For you, Christmas may be over. For me, it continues in my enormous trek around the country to visit anyone who has the misfortune to share but a drop of blood with yours truly. But I will break this grand tour to compile a list of interesting game-related writing from across this week and try not to link to a track from an album I got gifted, especially because I think I've already linked to it wayyyy back.
- Many people linked to this, and understandably so. It's a good 'un. John Lanchester in the London Review of Books takes on that most cringe-worthy of games-criticism questions: "But is it art?". Point being here is context. To see a serious piece in favour of games - and, particularly, nailing gaming's subcutural-yet-vibrant existence - in such a place is absolutely heart-warming. That it is pretty damn brilliant is even better. Go read.
- Meanwhile, Tom Armitage takes a nose at Far Cry 2. A lot. Taking in everything from comparisons to Epic Oral Verse to novelistic structure and the exact nature of its much-ignored moral aspect. I tend to agree - the idea that morality in games is nothing more than feed-the-tramp/steal-from-the-tramp dichotomies is pretty loathsome. Africa wins again. As does Tom.
- The Reticle talk to the 2D Boys of the moment in a hefty 2-part interview. First here and second here. Random quote: "A little while ago we plotted the number of sales we got on each day from the day the game first became available for pre-order until the day it launched. Every sales spike corresponded to positive attention from the gaming press. No press? No sales. It’s only through the passion and excitement that guys like you have sewn for the game that the word spreads. Winning IGF awards helped us in discussion with publishers, but didn’t generate very many sales."
- Over at Gamasutra Ian Bogost turns his gaze upon Mirror's Edge and has a good old think. Smart, persuasive stuff - the idea of software as a window versus software as a mirror is particularly well done.
- I suspect we'll do a post about it when it's all finished, but at least some of RPS (Alec didn't vote but did comment, Jim didn't comment but did vote [actually I just didn't comment on those low-rung games - Jim]) have contributed their opinions to Eurogamer's always amusing Top 50 games of the year. 50-41 and 40-31 are up already, with the remaining parts arriving over the next few days.
- Hitten - These Dancing Days