Sundays are for locking the doors and toiling away at pet projects, because how else are you ever going to become rich, famous and attractive?
- Keza MacDonald visited EVE Fanfest and wrote about the uncanny machismo of EVE Online, as expressed through many of its developers being beaten up by an MMA fighter. So many quotable paragraphs in this one.
- It's easy enough to map videogame's present onto the history of any medium you choose - it's just like American sitcoms of the latest '60s and early '70s, clearly - but this comparison to impressionism takes a lengthy, educational stroll through art history in the process.
- The Guardian's Headquarters blog asks, "Is there any evidence of a link between violent video games and murder?" The short post is a look at the current state of research, and contains fascinating tidbits on how research is carried out and the petty, political squabbles that exist between research groups.
- Patricia Hernandez writes about the game she played when she was scared of being deported - Papers Please - and the parallels she found in it with her own experiences.
- This article will beat you over the head with its theme, but the story of how Fract OSC was built at the same time and in tandem with its developer family, is a compelling read.
- This week's Three Lane Highway at PCGamer.com is a re-run, and I may have linked it before, but I like it. On anger, failure and David Foster Wallace.
- Back to the Guardian for this silly look at what indie developers would do with Call of Duty. Our Jim is in there and I like his idea best.
- PCGamesN's Julian Benson talks to Scott Kevill, the creator of GameRanger, the multiplayer service which can basically replace GameSpy when it shuts down later this month. This is a PSA for where you should turn if one of your favourite games is about to disappear offline.
As the fighting begins, I’m feeling apprehensive. I know quite a bit about CCP as a company, EVE Online and its unusual fanbase, but I know literally nothing whatsoever about MMA, so I’m concerned that they’re going to get absolutely destroyed. I don’t want to watch EVE’s concept artist or someone get carried out on a stretcher, twitching and covered in blood. But what they’re doing here isn’t the bloodsports I had imagined, but rather a sort of… protracted hugging. Painful hugging, I’m sure. But what I’m seeing here is impressively pale, Nordic, muscular men climbing on top of each other and kind of wriggling around for a few minutes until one of them taps out.
The year I attended, chessboxing was the violent sport of choice. Its mixture of tactical manouvering with direct punches to the face seems at least slightly more appropriate to the game.
From our vantage point, it is probably hard to see Impressionism as anything as near as scandalously radical as it was viewed in its era. But if you set aside modern preconceptions and look at the values of the Impressionist painters you can begin to reconstruct why they so confounded the Academy. First, Impressionism, at its radical core, proposed that there shouldn’t be any artistic gatekeepers, commercially or artistically. After all, part of the revelation that defines thinking in the modern era is that humans perceive the world in deeply subjective way (the modern era also brought forward the rise of psychology) so every artist should make work from their point of view.
Another task, called the "hot sauce paradigm", measures aggression by having participants prepare a cup of chilli sauce for another (again, fictional) participant. The more hot sauce they put in the chilli, the more aggressive they are deemed to be, and some studies have shown that people who are asked to play violent video games beforehand use more hot sauce.
So, the more you play, the more you notice your little stall and the way you can barely fit all the documents, letters and rulebooks and governmental edicts is incredibly claustrophobic. You start wondering how long it will take for you to crack, ever-aware that a simple task has somehow become gargantuan, impossible—and that if you mess up too many times, it won't be hard to find someone to replace you. The joys of living in a dystopian world.P
Me, I'm used to being on the other side of that sort of interaction. I'm used to being with my family, who would hand over (sometimes false) documentation, since I typically acted as the translator. It's the sort of experience that makes playing Papers, Please feel a little surreal.
Every family has a bedtime routine. At Phosfiend it's been integrated into the work day. Flanagan holds Zoe while Nguyen brushes her teeth. They draw a bath, read a story. They get back to work.
"Everything together," Nguyen says.
"With military precision," Flanagan continues. "Every night."
But it wasn't always this organized. Their lives, and their game, used to be in chaos.
Figuring this stuff out is one of the coolest things about learning to play Dota. Not only is it transferable to everything else you’ll do in life, but it hooks into philosophical principles that apply to the game’s mechanics as well. The principles I’ve listed above require engagement, awareness, and an active choice to play better. The social challenge of Dota requires a separate but parallel set of skills, another form of game-sense that allows you to take everything your brain can do with regards to perception and analysis and communication and apply it to more effectively wizarding the fuck out of five other people.
Next time you bash out ‘FFS’ and ping a teammate’s recent corpse fifteen times, consider that you’re not only throwing the game but your potential enjoyment of the game. You are choosing the see the game only through the narrow lens of the part of yourself that is still two years old.
Clearly the next CoD should be set near Bournemouth and feature a retired colonel whose lawn has been trampled. Having spoken about this to his second wife, Miriam, he sets out for bloody revenge.
The software he first developed was “adding support for games without needing them to be updated.” That tech’s still at the core of the software, it “makes it so nearly every game has first-class support that works as smoothly as if the company had integrated an SDK.” He had to build it this way because “early on I realised there'd be a Catch-22/Chicken-Egg situation. Companies would want to see users to be interested, and users would want to see games to be interested.”
Since I'm going to see them on Monday, music this week is Phantogram. Start here. Music videos are mostly a load of old shite, aren't they?