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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 chucking away the manual and doing it yourself. Before you struggle, let's read this week's best writing about games (and game related things).

Over on The LA Times, Ronald D. White wrote about the Gen Z gamers who drive food delivery bots. I don't know, I think I'd prefer a human on a bicycle to a cold robot. Not only would it be more eco-friendly, surely it would be quicker than a little robot pootling around?

Despite the pandemic’s Great Resignation and resulting worker shortage, Coco has managed to create enthusiasm within a largely untapped workforce: Generation Z. The company’s young squadron of about 150 pilots — dubbed “Coconauts” — offers something parents around the world have told their teens not to expect in real life: a paying job with “experience playing racing video games” listed as a requirement.

For IGN, Cian Maher wrote about how Elden Ring's silliest memes are getting lost in translation. A really interesting look at how the game's online player messages can confuse those who don't speak English as their first language - and how English speakers might be confused by international equivalents.

This is just one meme that unintentionally caused players from non-English-speaking countries to conduct weird and unpredictable experiments. There are lots of other phrases that are translated a bit too literally. ETC explains that messages like “bug ahead” posted in response to weird gameplay behaviours don’t really work in Japanese, because “bug” becomes “虫,” which only means “insect.” Phrases like “Edge, lord” -- pertaining to Ensha, the woman who stands with her arms folded outside Gideon’s study -- are similarly confusing. Lofkor says this appears as “Limits, sir” in Spanish, which led them to believe it had something to do with flirting. Hilariously, she will never actually talk to you -- any attempt to speak to her will only end in silent tears.

Over on Vice, Gita Jackson wrote about how Hogwarts Legacy imagines a Harry Potter without JK Rowling. Yes, the game is trying to build a Harry Potter universe without the politics of JK Rowling, but is it actually possible? No, not really.

This is the kind of stuff that’s baked into Harry Potter that becomes impossible to avoid even in Rowling’s absence. If you turn over a rock of Potter lore, you unearth a whole host of problematic worms. Despite the fact that Rowling did not work on Hogwarts Legacy, and despite the fact that Warner Bros. would surely like for Harry Potter to exist in perpetuity apart from its creator, like Star Wars now does, Rowling did in fact write and create this universe, and in many ways it is a reflection of her politics.

Over on PC Gamer, Rich Stanton spoke to Luca Galante, the developer of Vampire Survivors. An uplifting read, and I'm into Galante's mindset: let things be overpowered because it's fun.

"I spent quite a lot of time testing with just two or three weapons really," says Galante. "I was more focused on trying to put as much stuff as possible on-screen. [Laughs] I still wasn't thinking about how this is actually going to get fun. Then I started to build in the combos try to diversify the weapons so that they feel different, and without worrying too much about which one is strongest really. I don't care for game balance that much. It's a singleplayer game, I'm more than happy for people just to go for what they have fun with.

Music this week is 日曜日 by Gestalt Girl which translates to "Nichiyobi" or "Sunday". Here's the YouTube link and Spotify link. A sunny bop.

That's me folks, until next time!

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