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The Sunday Papers

Sundays are for waking up and wondering what is going on. What is going on? Well, it seems that a large number of people are cooking bacon. Others, meanwhile are drinking their morning hot drinks and wonder what was said about videogames in the past week. We can help them with that last part. Let's do that.

  • Eurogamer chat with Randy Pitchford about finishing Duke Nukem Forever: "All of the intellectual analysis of the reality of the situation - the situation in the market, the state of the software and the nature of entertainment that existed and entertainment that it should be - all of that led to the sound decision of, yes, this needs to happen." Or did it? Hmm!
  • Paul Callaghan's speech to the Australian IGDA in Brisbane is a rousing thing, and lengthy. It's framed against a backdrop of the Australian games industry which has been in turmoil due to layoffs, cancelled projects, and closed studios. He makes some important points about what it means to stay working in the insutry, whether that is as part of a large studio, or as an indie.
  • Cliffski challenges some myths and suppositions over what it means to be "indie": "Indie means ‘independent’. It means you dont’ work for a publisher that controls your output. It means self-funded, with total control. It does NOT mean *cheap* or *low budget* or *desperate* or *hobbyist*. Granted, there are a lot of hobbyist indie devs, but that doesn’t mean some indies don’t employ a bunch of people, have nice offices, spend tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars on development, produce high quality content, and you know what…. I think it’s perfectly reasonable for a lot of those indie games to sell big numbers, and *shock horror* for the developers to make some decent money without being made to feel like they are worse than Osama Bin Laden."
  • Daniel Golding is doing a PhD on games and doesn't always admit to it: "My unwillingness to reveal my interest in videogames was partly based on the kinds of reactions I imagined I would get. Nobody wants to be the videogame guy. Or, more to the point, nobody wants to talk to the videogame guy. And, worse than that, I’m the videogame guy who thinks they’ve an interesting enough topic for a doctoral thesis. In dinner party stakes, I’m only a few steps up from the editor of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Philosophy or someone who writes Star Wars fan fiction." MAN UP, DANIEL. YOU ARE A NERD, NOW DEAL WITH IT LIKE THE REST OF US.
  • Gosh, Michael Abbott's going for it in this piece on games and the Buddhist conception of the self.
  • IGN, bless 'em, go in search of sex games at E3: "It's not a coincidence that EA chose sex to promote The Sims Social and its experimentation with the details of an ordinary life lived in suburbia. The Sims games rarely get full credit for their creative ambition, but they acknowledged the silly pleasures of making WooHoo almost from the beginning. Adding a layer of social media integration to populate date nights and bathroom rendezvous 's with real world people seems as important an evolution to the life sim genre as motion sensing has been to exercise and dance games. "
  • Gamasutra's Leigh Alexander tries to read the message of E3: "The downside to all this core-pandering was a fairly predictable show. There was plenty to see and do and admire, but little to be surprised by. BioShock Infinite gave a truly breathtaking demo, but then again, we were expecting it to. The hyper-focus on AAA action entertainment, and the blistering levels of quality and realism the industry's beginning to achieve seem actually counteractive. One view down a gun sight, one shambling zombie, one plummeting bridge starts to blend with another."
  • I missed this before: "You could say that Portal and Portal 2 are games about game design. GLaDOS is, of course, our game designer, piecing together test chambers for her test subject(s) to solve, helplessly addicted to the process. "
  • The new Alice is not far off, but how was the old one? Not great. I gave it 81%, which seems rather high, in retrospect.
  • Two NYT critics defend slow and boring films, in much the way that I have defended slow and boring games in the past.
  • Will Self questions the rituals of our digital age.
  • A lecture by Chris Crawford.
  • That Jim Rossignol dude got interviewed this week, too. He talks some proper rubbish.

Music this week is via the RPS forums' thread of metal. Ultimate.

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Jim Rossignol