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The Sunday Papers

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Sundays are for watching Antiques Roadshow with all your might. Before you tune in, let's read this week's best writing about games.

Over on the Verge, Monica Chin wrote about a generation that's grown up with Google and how it's forcing professors to rethink their lesson plans.

“I grew up when you had to have a file; you had to save it; you had to know where it was saved. There was no search function,” says Saavik Ford, a professor of astronomy at the Borough of Manhattan Community College. But among her students, “There’s not a conception that there’s a place where files live. They just search for it and bring it up.” She added, “They have a laundry basket full of laundry, and they have a robot who will fetch them every piece of clothing they want on demand.” (Some companies have actually played around with laundry-inclined robots, to little result.)

For Polygon, Michael McWhertor asks: "Where does Nintendo's Wa Universe go next?"

But why did Nintendo stop there? Why not “Wa” the entirety of the Mushroom Kingdom to create a gigantic weird playground? Why not a Wapeach, Wadaisy, and, in keeping with character trait twists, a kind-hearted and generous Wabowser (aka Wowser) who won’t kidnap and kill anyone? Shouldn’t Nintendo create a full Bizarro World funhouse mirror dimension of the Super Mario canon? This proposed alternate universe is sometimes known as the MarioCube theory: If a (good) Mario thing exists, does a (bad) Wario version of that thing exist?

For the Guardian, Sirin Kale went behind the scenes of Britain's big bin crisis.

He is a voluble and often hilarious presence, but so legendary is his fierce work ethic that some loaders dread being assigned to his crew. “I have got a name for myself,” says Gee. “I’ve had people in the office saying they won’t come out with me. If you don’t want to work, don’t come out with me, because I won’t carry anybody.” But even Gee is starting to slow down. “I’ve been at the top of my game now for 11 years,” he says. “No one can touch me on this. But I can’t keep this up. That’s my only worry. I’m nearly 52.”

For the New Yorker, Haruki Murakami wrote about how he amassed more t-shrits than he could store.

This T-shirt has a straightforward message: “i put ketchup on my ketchup.” Now, that’s the statement of somebody who is seriously in love with ketchup. It kind of teases those Americans who put ketchup on everything, but I find it interesting that one of the companies that distribute these shirts is none other than Heinz. A little self-deprecatory humor going on here, but you can’t help feeling the American spirit in it, the optimistic, cheerful lack of introspection that says, “Who cares about being sophisticated! I’m gonna do what I want!”

For Bullet Points, Kazuma Hashimoto wrote about the spectre of gacha oblivion.

If you miss out on event participation, or on obtaining the character or weapon you desire through the limited time gacha banner, then you’ll have to wait for it to return. Gacha games rely on this feeling of FOMO to generate profit—a persistent desire to want more, or to feel left behind if you aren’t able to obtain what you want. Nier Re[in]carnation exists as a reminder of just how profit-driven the “games as service” and mobile market is, not just for Square Enix, but the industry at large. It is the most recent of many recognizable IPs shifting to this business model. Gacha, as a system, is inherently driven by capital with the lifespans of games determined purely by the revenue it is capable of generating.

Music this week is Build A Better World by London Elektricity. Here's the YouTube link and Spotify link. Energetic.

Also, seven Japanese animation studios are producing nine Star Wars anime episodes for Disney+, and they look well good.

That's me. Have a solid Sunday everyone!

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Ed Thorn avatar

Ed Thorn

Senior Staff Writer

When Ed's not cracking thugs with bicycles in Yakuza, he's likely swinging a badminton racket in real life. Any genre goes, but he's very into shooters and likes a weighty gun, particularly if they have a chainsaw attached to them. Adores orange and mango squash, unsure about olives.

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