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The Sunday Papers

Papers on Sunday

Sundays are for sending emails, to set in motion the wheels of future words about videogames. Let's inspire ourselves first by rounding up some of the week's best writing from elsewhere.

  • Margaret Robertson recently asked on Twitter for recommendations for story-creation games, and she's rounded up the advice in Once Upon A Wonder: A Story Game Guide. This is your daily reminder that there are more interesting games than you'll ever have time to play:
  • Dog Eat Dog is a game about colonialism and identity, the first task of which is described by its author Liam Burke as “As a group, you work together to describe one of the hundreds of small islands in the Pacific Ocean”. One player takes on the role of *all* of an occupying force, representing “their capable military, their quisling government, and whatever jaded tourists and shrewd businessmen are interested in a not quite pacified territory,” and all other players become individual Natives, responding as best they can to the actions of the colonizing power.

  • I am a fan of playing games with your own particular set of rules, and so any article about same is up my street. Over at Look, Robot, Grant Howitt plays Far Cry 3 his own way:
  • ONE. No additional weapon holsters – I would carry one weapon at a time.
    TWO. No upgrading or purchasing weapons from shops or vending machines – I would only use weapons that I found in the field.
    THREE. No additional ammo pouches – my bullet stockpiles would remain low throughout the game.

    I was going to live off the land.

  • Does playing videogames make you more morally sensitive?
  • The current study found such guilt can lead players to be more sensitive to the moral issues they violated during game play. Other studies have established that in real life scenarios, guilt evoked by immoral behavior in the "real-world" elicits pro-social behaviors in most people.

    "We suggest that pro-social behavior also may result when guilt is provoked by virtual behavior," Grizzard says.

  • 'No-one is coming to take away your shitty toys' is about internet drama and the real meaning of censorship. It is also, mainly, funny.
  • To summarise: Rami made a tiny blip of a post about boob physics in The Witcher 3 being referred to internally as "eye candy" and then some asshole made a concerted effort to complain about political correctness, denied that there's any structural privilege in being a straight white man in America, and then made the bold claim that racism (and presumably sexism, ageism, et al) only persists because of people who keep bringing it up and calling others out on it - this fascinating notion that we live in a post-prejudice age, soiled only by the whining of people of colour, women, homosexuals, etc, who cling to the 'victimhood' of ages past, who for some reason believe documented history and observable systems of causality are to blame for their disadvantaged social/economic/political position. Yes, our ancestors forged global empires on the flagellated backs of slaves! Yes, womens rights over their own bodily integrity have been violated by male-dominated political institutions throughout history! I agree, all of that stuff was terrible! But that was YESTERDAY! Didn't you get the memo?! Starting TODAY we're all equal! Other than in an ongoing series of freak, one-off incidents which I don't think we should read anything into. Now, let's never mention this again and just continue as normal until trickle-down economics has evened everything out.

  • Shut Up & Sit Down have released their second sci-fi special, which means 35 minutes of japes and boardgame reviews. Top japes.
  • So Mars is under attack from Reiner Knizia, right, and Team SU&SD are the only ones who can stop him. We also welcome back Susie Pumfsk, and Brendan is an alien!

  • The BBC released a virtual reality tour featuring newscaster Fiona Bruce. Steve Hogarty at PCGamesN covers the news and finds other, similar projects:
  • In 1986 engineers at Sinclair generated a fully three-dimensional, artificially intelligent clone of Peter Sissons, which activists at the time described as "a sentient program, one that it could be argued has its own thoughts and feelings, with deeply troubling philosophical and spiritual ramifications for the entire human race. What happens next may be the measure of our species. Have we become God? Or something worse?"

    Researchers trapped virtual Peter Sissons inside 3D Monster Maze for several gruelling weeks until, in a tragic and unexpected twist, the confused and terrified program learned how to shut down the maze's safety protocols. Now vulnerable to a violent self-deletion, Peter Sissons walked calmly into the monster's waiting jaws with a quiet dignity he had never been programmed to have.

  • Check out this hot No Man's Sky fan art.
  • This Eurogamer article by Richie Shoemaker tells the story of Thorolfur Beck, the co-founder of CCP and original designer of EVE Online who was fired before the game was released. It has quite the opening paragraph:
  • Thorolfur Beck has enjoyed - or perhaps we should say endured - an intriguing career trajectory. He's been a global ambassador for kids TV phenomenon LazyTown, laboured on a Reykjavik building site, produced Iceland's 2006 Eurovision Song Contest entry and spent six months working in a psychiatric hospital. We should add that all these disparate entries on his CV come after his five-year stint as Eve Online's very first lead designer.

  • I hadn't watched this yet when writing last week's papers, so here it is now. Feminist Frequency has a new video up, titled 'Women As Background Decoration'. It's good.
  • Everyone wants to write like Barney Ronay. If you've been following the World Cup, the least you can do is read him: We should be apologising to England, not the other way round.
  • Music this week is The Ghosts of Bush, a hauntological album whose creation is as fascinating to read about as the music is engrossing to listen to.

    ‘The Ghosts Of Bush’ was created entirely using the natural acoustic sounds of Bush House, the iconic home for the past seven decades of the BBC World Service which closed its doors for the last time on July 12th 2012. All of the sounds were captured in the small hours of the morning in empty offices, corridors, stairwells and other hidden corners by a Studio Manager working overnight. These recordings were then dubbed onto quarter-inch tape in the basement studio deep in the bowels of the South-East wing using two of the surviving reel-to-reel machines.

    Thanks to DiamondDog who recommended this in the comments last week.

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    Graham Smith avatar

    Graham Smith

    Deputy Editorial Director

    Rock Paper Shotgun's former editor-in-chief and current corporate dad. Also, he continues to write evening news posts for some reason.