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The Sunday Papers

Sundays are for struggling to not watch the clock all weekend. And when the battle lulls, we can think about taking a few months to catch up in the debates of our time.

  • Polygon does a great big Rolling Stone piece on The Fullbright Comany: ""I am ... merely a curious explorer, who has become entwined in this family tale ... These people matter and deserve to be remembered." This excerpt, from writer Michael Gakuran's blog series, describes the thrill of Haikyo. Literally translated, this Japanese word means "ruins." It's also a term for urban exploration, the act of investigating abandoned buildings and houses."
  • An interview with Cliff Harris on The Reticule: “It’s going really well actually. I’ve never done the show before – I’ve never shown games at shows before, I’ve given talks and stuff but I was worried that, like most shows, there’d be loads of stuff blowing up and… games with helicopters exploding, and then I’d have a game about interest rates and it’d be ‘What the hell is that creepy game doing there? What’s the point in that?’
  • Very old boardgame tokens found in Turkey. I wonder when they will find 5000-year old trad fantasy maps roughly based on Middle Earth.
  • Rich Stanton the great myth of Half-Life 3: "Valve's refusal to provide information-on-demand absolutely baffles the internet. Not that it stops things: instead, every site relies on a merry-go-round where no link is too tenuous. Beyond the fact that Valve have an internal email group called 'Half-Life 3', there is not enough evidence on Half Life 3's existence to fill one good article, but it has been the topic of countless thousands and leaves some writers resenting Valve's sheer effrontery in the face of their desire to know. The game has almost become of secondary importance to confirmation of its existence."
  • Bogost on Facebook development: "The feeling of using the Facebook Platform is that of total, unmitigated despair. Despair because there's no way to know what it might do next, yet once one has committed to it, one must do its bidding. I suspect that every Facebook developer has a case of Stockholm Syndrome, some more severe than others. Does it seem silly to despair over a software platform? Maybe, but most prisoners are not chained to cots in cells, but to computers in cubicles. Despair is no less real and no less desperate just because it is ordinary."
  • Yar's Revenge as a sports game? "The Yar can fire missiles in relative safety until the guided missile inevitably gets near. But this is also the slowest tactic—shots must travel further to chip at the barrier and, since the barrier continually scrolls up and down, precision aim is more difficult. Likewise, the Yar must eventually shift into a closer position to either a) evade the guided missile or b) eat some barrier to obtain the Zorlon."
  • How games are like dioramas: "Compare Deadlight with the similarly styled Shadow Complex. They’re both 2.5D side scrollers, meaning you play on a 2D plane, and the environment around you is 3D. However, the former looks like a shoebox diorama presentation of the zombie apocalypse, while the latter just looks like a stylized video game. Why does one look “miniature” and the other does not?"
  • A podcast on the relationship between devs and pubs over at Game Engine Podcast.
  • On romance games: “Our guys are beefcake – there’s no question about that,” said Bailey Gershkovitch. “But they have stories. They’re people. … For me as a gamer, I’d like to see the women in games written like that.”
  • Cobbett on Ecstatica: "As anyone in the UK will know but those outside might not, our game ratings were historically handled by the BBFC – the same guys who a) handled film ratings, which are backed by force of law, and b) once decided that Shadow Warrior had to replace throwing shurikens into peoples’ faces with impaling them with darts – a decision that no doubt made sense to at least somebody at the time. A person who is no longer allowed to cut their own food, but would probably consider using a chainsaw to do it."
  • Outside Xbox on games you will never play.

Music today is Circular C by Mountains.

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Jim Rossignol