This Saturday night was all about browsing online shops and resisting dark urges that must be suppressed, or else my lady will truly leave me for someone who doesn't stink of resin and glue. But Sunday is a joyous time. For today is the time I compile a list of fine pieces of reading to distract you this afternoon, while resisting the urge to link to old Austin-based SY-influenced indie-rock singles for no bloody discernible reason.
- About once a year PC Gamer's Tom Francis takes a swing at something really fun and hits it out of the park - which is about the home-run rate my favourite writers on games manage. Last year was his GalCiv2 diary. This years, I suspect, will be his cheerily stalkerish attempt to find a girlfriend while playing MMOs. You'll laugh! You'll wince! You'll never let any of your womenfolk anywhere near him!
- When doing the link-grab for the Fruit Mystery post I found myself noting Jonathan Blow has linked to scans of a recent XBox 360 World preview of the game. Which is splendid stuff, and applies just as much to the PC version.
- Julian Murdoch of Games with Jobs writes a piece on Pinning Butterflies, specifically about how writing about games has made him love games more. To my mind, entirely right. People talk a lot about turning games-into-job so losing all pleasure in it - but the other side is that actually actively examining your sensations when playing a game increases the experience: an unexamined life isn't worth living, or so some dead greek dude once said, and I suspect the same may go for virtual ones too. I recall talking to Super Foul Egg, curmudgeonly gaming oracle of game commune State, after it was winding down, picking up my usual why-don't-you-write something leitmotif. "When you actually gonna write something about Games, Egg?". "When there's no more games left to play". As ripostes go, just about perfect and - right then - unanswerable. If you replayed the scene today, I'd have linked to Murchoch's piece.
- Talking about examining gaming lives... Irish Gamers talk to Jim about his book. You know: This Gaming Life.
- I was so pleased at describing Jane McGonigal as a Hyperbrain last time I mentioned here, clearly I'm going to have to link to her write up of the Hide & Seek festival which I attended the opening night of, if only to have a chance to do it again. "It was probably one of the top 3 fun weekends of my life," says Jane McGonigal, Hyperbrain.
- Not quite Hyperbrain: The RPS chatroom does a RPS room in the Google's new Lively service. The Horror, The Horror...
- Look past the chatlog formating to the content, as Reticulated Splines talks to Asi Burak of Impact games, who made Israeli-Palestinian Diplomacy game Peacemaker.
- Mistakes & Regrets - ... And You Will Know Us by the Trail of The Dead. Still as painfully compelling as being dumped by someone unexpectedly. Also, for those who ever played my old Deus Ex mod, The Cassandra Project, the slightly-squiffed inspiration for the name of the bar you walk into at the start.