Sundays are for applying excessive amounts of lip balm because it's getting nippy out there. Before you swipe, let's read this week's best writing about games.
For Polygon, Maddy Myers asks: How does Samus Aran turn into a ball?
As for how the morph ball would actually work, that’s another story, and it’s not a question that any Metroid game has answered: How can Samus see well enough in morph ball mode to navigate an underground maze? And wouldn’t she get dizzy? My personal theory is that the morph ball operates similarly to a glide eyeball toy, meaning that Samus is curled up but always upright while in morph ball mode. This would still mean, once again, that the morph ball would need to be at least half the size of Samus Aran standing at full height in her armor.
Over on The Verge, they rounded up the worst gadgets they've ever touched. An interesting round-up, but it's the Doom-esque rotating illustrations by Alex Castro that really get me going.
On paper, the Ouya had a lot going for it: an interesting Yves Behar design, an Arm processor (years before the Switch would take a similar tack), and big ambitions. But the Ouya was sold to backers (and customers) on a pile of promises and unfulfilled potential, of big things it could accomplish sometime in the future, if only it had the support, the time (and the money) to pull them off. But time was one thing microconsoles like the Ouya didn’t have, and even a Razer acquisition and a spiritual successor in the Forge TV couldn’t stave off the inevitable.
For PC Gamer, Wes Fenlon breaks down why the Metaverse is bullshit. Cheers to commenter icarussc for the spot.
If Facebook—sorry, Meta—is one of the key drivers of the metaverse, then of course it will have some new spin on the ad-laden news feed. It'll just be a natural extension of the gig economy, some poor soul being paid .00000000001 bitcoin an hour to virtually dress up like a carnival barker and shout about the latest horrible news out of Syria on some virtual street corner. And if Epic somehow created Sweeney's utopian metaverse, it would still be built to promote Epic's own interests and profit above all else. There's no way for any massive tech company to build the metaverse without becoming the villains.
For Vox, Sigal Samuel wrote about how new technologies are promising a shortcut to enlightenment.
Thompson, for his part, worries that such technoboosts might be counterproductive rather than beneficial — if, for example, the way the technology mediates the experience of meditation reinforces the ego tendencies that meditation is meant to alleviate. This is his concern about all the gamification the Muse app displays, from telling you when you’ve achieved a streak of consecutive days to rewarding you with bird chirps when you’ve stayed calm long enough.
Finally, I've rediscovered Alpharad's video about a Donkey Kong Amiibo they've trained to become an unstoppable force in Super Smash Bros Ultimate. Viewers then challenge this hulking AI to a duel. Spoilers: no-one competes with Hard DK, NO-ONE.
Hey, I'm trying to read more books, so why not share what I'm reading too? I'm about a third of the way through English Pastoral by James Rebanks. So far it's a beautifully written story of how the old ways of farming have morphed over the years. I know nothing about farming, but it's proven educational, gripping, and hopeful. Seriously, it's fantastic.
That's me. Have a solid Sunday everyone!