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The Sunday Papers

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A plain white mug of black tea or coffee, next to a broadsheet paper on a table, in black and white. It's the header for Sunday Papers!
Image credit: RPS

Sundays are for slopping vinegar over fish and chips. Before you pour, let's read this week's best writing about games (and game related things).

Over on Input, Jessica Lucas wrote about the volunteer 'police department' arresting people in VR. It's... something.

There now are nearly 11,000 members on the the LPD Discord. The group, which gets its name from “lolis” — the young-looking anime girl avatars members use — is the most prominent police roleplay group in VRChat. The tightly run community allows members to experience a fantasy version of police life and prides itself on being a source of chaotic good in the strange world of virtual reality.

Over on The White Pube, Gabrielle de la Puente wrote about Uncharted 4 as video game that's too perfect. A neat piece contrasting embarrasment and art with the smooth ride of Uncharted 4.

I resent it because these choices give the game an artificial coolness that suits a godlike, masculine archetype: the game is the equivalent of a teenage heartthrob in a leather jacket moving down a school corridor on a skateboard while everyone stops to look at him or tries not get in his way. Except, I really want to trip him up. The whole game is a slick ride on that skateboard but our feet are actually glued to the board so we never fall off! I can’t even trip him if I wanted. I hoped the story would give me a bit of resistance but even when characters lie to each other in big ways, they forgive each other immediately. The door doesn’t stay open long enough for things to get chilly or interesting. I resent that too! None of it was embarrassing so I can’t write anything embarrassing in return. A waste of time!

Over on Hit Points, Nathan Brown wrote about Elden Ring and the dreaded discourse surrounding its UX/UI. A look at how FromSoft's UI and something like Horizon Zero Dawn's can co-exist. There isn't a right way to do it.

So I can totally understand a UX designer’s frustration when a game comes along that hides its tutorial down a hole that, if my timeline is any guide, a great number of people, many of them experienced game developers, have completely missed, and gets one of the highest average review scores of all time. I can imagine a quest designer having an existential crisis when the difference between a player sticking to the critical path or going off on a ten-hour detour is a single line of skippable NPC dialogue in a game with no quest log, and people talk breathlessly about it being the best game ever made.

As I'm writing this Paps up, People Makes Games have just come out with a new video. I know it's going to be a good - but very difficult - watch, so I've linked it below.

Watch on YouTube

Music this week is N.Y State Of Mind by Nas. Here's the YouTube link and Spotify link. A hip-hop classic.

That's me folks, until next time!

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