Sundays are for wringing out the last of the toothpaste from its tube, and feeling particularly satisfied about it. Before you practice good dental hygiene, let's read this week's best writing about video games.
Polygon's running this fun "The Next Generation of Everything" series of articles, and it's filled with many good words on extremely online trends. I like a lot of them, but Ryan Gilliam's story on having a ludicrous three TV setup sticks in my mind. Truly something to aspire to here.
My living room’s TVs sit in a triangle formation. Two main TVs sit next to each other, mounted to the wall. A third TV sits above those, forming a pyramid of viewing pleasure. An entertainment center sits on the floor, also centered between the two primary TVs. The left TV is mine, the right one is my wife’s, and the middle one is, currently, for watching Hell’s Kitchen. It’s a perfect setup, and even given unlimited funds and space I’d change very little about it. But Rome wasn’t built in a day. Getting to three TVs was a journey.
For Input, Britt H Young wrote about having one of the most advanced prosthetic arms in the world, but actually hating it. Not only is it a great insight into life with a prosthesis, it highlights how bionic arms have been turned into "savior" devices by the media.
Don’t get me wrong — I have been psyched about a new arm, too! But the media’s coverage of these new kinds of prosthetics is so focused on the initial joy or incredulity — on the idea that “lives are changed” — that they forget to ask if these hands are actually useful and what happens in the weeks and months after the unboxing.
Over on Eurogamer, Emma Kent had a chat with Valheim's Body Recovery Squad, a group of helpful vikings dedicated to helping other players recover their items after unfortunate circumstances. I reckon they'd get tired of me calling in every few minutes, though.
The BRS is a group of Valheim players dedicated to helping others recover their items, no matter where the tombstone is stranded - and they do it all for free. Players in need of assistance can head over to the community's Discord server, join a channel called #assistance-application, and hit an "SOS" button which changes their Discord role and allows them to request help in the channel. At this point one of the team members (known as operators) will get in contact with the client, organise to join their server, and a bunch of burly Vikings will set sail to help them recover their gear.
And thecatamites (maker of Murder Dog IV: Trial of the Murder Dog) asks "What do we mean by craft in videogames?".
Art and craft are two of those words which sometimes only seem to mean anything in relation to the other - locked in an eternal goofus and gallant relationship in which one is defined as correcting the failure of the next. Sometimes craft is steady and art is fickle, sometimes art is romantic when craft is drab. And at heart the various moral parables of craft and art tend to be circling another question - that of the role of limits within human life, the attempt to distinguish limits that should be broken from limits that should be obeyed. So I think when people debate these terms they’re often really talking about limits, and as such are worth paying attention to, for the same reason it’s a good idea to listen closely when a member of the central bank starts talking about tightening belts: you’ll want to know whose belt, around whose neck.
Music this week is Alfama by Poldoore, a lo-fi chill beats kinda song I stumbled into while doing some work. It's funny, because around this time last year I was on holiday in Portugal, and actually stayed in the Alfama district, Lisbon's lovely old town. It also sounds like the sort of song which you'd hear while browsing jumpers at H & M. Another activity I quite like to partake in right now, to be honest.
Oh, and this is another good read. For Vox, Aja Romano wrote about how the internet's most beloved fanfiction site is undergoing a reckoning. It concerns a million-plus-word story called "Sexy Times With Wangxian" that's largely unremarkable as a fanfic, but has over more than 1,700 site tags. A number so large it's properly wreaked some havoc.
Before I finally leave you be, have an article on this compostable trainer that looks like the wearer trod on some Weetabix with their socks on.
Alright, that's me. Hope you're having a great weekend so far!