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The Sunday Papers


Sundays are for arguing with people on the internet. So often, sadly, it is an activity akin to arguing with aliens from a world where stupid is the main language. Cheer up, though, Jim. You've got a Sunday Papers to compile! Hooray!

  • Mike Rose writes about "chasing the whale", which is not some sort of new-fangled drug abuse, but actually about the ethics of F2P games. The drug metaphor isn't lost though, because there's the sad tale of the TF2 junkie: "There were nights where I'd be up until 3 am drinking beer and playing Team Fortress and chasing those silly hats with purple text, ignoring the gambler's fallacy and swearing that if I dropped another $50 I'd be sure to win this time," he adds. "Then I'd wake up the next morning and see that I'd not only spent over a hundred dollars on digital hats, but failed my only objective by uncrating a bunch of junk."
  • Naughty Warren Spector said stuff and used the "Kane" and "Ebert" words in polite company. It has been much debate.
  • The story of Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines: "Bloodlines was sent out to die. An unfinished game released prematurely by its publishers Activision, it didn't stand a chance on the shelves, especially alongside the hotly anticipated Half Life 2. But the commercial death of Bloodlines wasn't the end for the game. Thanks to a German analytical chemist with a passion for fixing broken things, Bloodlines has received not six months of additional work, but nine full years."*
  • Catch up with PC Gamer's Crusader Kings diary:
  • Should games that want to be movies be watched as movies? No need to speculate, folks, because people are already doing it: "Yes, I just used the word “work” to describe a 15-hour game like The Last of Us. It’s a game, so it’s meant to feel like “play”, but The Last of Us does not want you to settle down and feel comfortable. The journey feels instead like a miserable slog punctuated by moments of high anxiety—as well it should. It’s set in the middle of a god-damned zombie apocalypse. That sensation of stress and collecting what you need to survive and barely making it is not a pleasant feeling, per se, and it’s not meant to be pleasant, either. But what if you already felt that feeling of living in a high-stakes Hollywood action film for fifteen hours, and now you just want to … well, sit back and watch that movie?""
  • Eurogamer on the Oculus Rift creator: "My biggest score was a unit that originally cost about $97,000 in the 90s," he tells me, "and I picked it up for $80. Shipping wasn't included and I had to actually drive to the warehouse and go get it, but those are the kind of deals you can get... There's very little demand for outdated virtual reality equipment."
  • This article on "gameisms" and Tom Bissell's writings contains a couple of very salient points, if only the author would get to them more quickly. Brevity can be a powerful thing! Here's one: "Sound stage games are, as it happens, just about the only kind of game that Bissell covers for Grantland. He has written tens of thousands of words on L.A. Noire, BioShock, Arkham City, and a dozen of their genre kin. True, he’s also written articles about Catherine and the Madden franchise, but those are exceptions in a catalog overwhelmingly devoted to hard-nosed anti-heroes roaming 3D worlds for something to kill. He is, in that regard, the most visible of a school of video game journalists who plainly see those games as the industry’s best hope for shaking its reputation as an expensive, time-wasting hobby."
  • Kotaku on Cate Archer: "I love this scene so much. We've seen a variation in plenty of movies: After braving hell and high water to reach her goal, the heroine is greeted with doubt. "Hold that thought," she says, turns, and proceeds to blow away like seven dudes. She turns back, cool as anything. "What were you saying?""
  • Mysterious space signals! Man, it is going to be a fascinating but dark day when alien reality TV starts arriving.

Music this week is this track by Black Moth Super Rainbow.

*Has anyone actually not played Bloodlines? If not, get through the first few hours of it, at least. Beautiful thing.

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