Sundays are for writing GTA4 reviews. Well, they are for me. Should be up later on Eurogamer. But when not doing that, I like to compile a list of the interesting stories I read online this week involving games, and try to avoid linking to a webcomic thing that tickled my tickler. And here it is. The list, not my tickler. What a horrid idea.
- Tom Armitage puts his GameCity presentation online, where he muses about what if Gamers ruled the world. Because within a decade, world leaders will totally be well within those who grew up with games. One of my standard riffs is that for games to be more generally accepted, all we have to do is wait for old people to die. This is a much more positive (and smarter) take on the same subject matter.
- Soren Johnson writes defending the much-maligned second-hand retail market. Not a major PC issue, of course - most shops don't actually stock PC games for second hand. Of course, that does make it a PC issue. That there's no resale market is one of the forces pushing PC games to the corner of the shop. Retailers are better off selling a console version which they can then buy back and resell for a hefty margin than a PC game, after all. Of course, all of this is a side effect of games costing as much as they do. C'est la vie. [Via Dubious Quality]
- And talking about going shopping, Leigh Alexander does exactly that over in Kotaku. Which leads her to examine identity as a gamer and the concept of mainstream. As Ed Stern said at the Thinkosium, it's worth remembering we're the beret-wearing coffee-sipping intellectuals. We're not normal. That's fine, of course, but worth remembering.
- N'Gai Croal in his regular Big Idea meta-commentary column takes on the idea that was kicked around the blogosphere that reviewers tend to over-punish innovation. We picked up on Keith Stuart's start of this on the last Sunday Papers, where Keith got a bit of a hammering in the comments thread. My personal take is that reviewers actually mark for failure rather than success - because failure is absolute and easy to notice while success in games is primarily subjective (And requires theoretical leaps to explain if you're going to try and do something more than "It's awesome!"). The problem with this is that rather than marking for highs, you mark for the absence of lows. And frankly, that tilts the marking scale in favour of mediocrity. Actually, before I go: a little meta on N'Gai's metacommentry - it's interesting how that everyone involved in the debate gets a real name, while the reviewer on IGN - despite being bylined, despite his review being the core thing being discussed by everyone - gets treated like a faceless drone worker of a great hive.
- We mentioned Kyle Orland's press-pass column when writing about Spirit Engine 2, but it's worth reading his article about the difficulty of coverage for indie games. Do read.
- Lovely RPS reader Helm has been posting his print-comics on his blog. And frankly, they're great. Though the top one is just a drawing of a cock, so you better scroll down sharpish.