The Sunday Papers
Sundays are for mowing the lawn. Before you inhale the scent, let's read this week's best writing about games (and game related things).
Over on Polygon, Ana Diaz wrote a quick post about smartphones being literal brain poison in Norco's sci-fi world. Reading this makes me want to play the game, even if I'm not usually one for visual novels. It looks gorgeously... horrible?
Phones are often touted as the perfect tool to keep in contact with the real people we love, but Norco paints a more realistic picture of our contemporary relationships with these devices. When Catherine texts Kay, she doesn’t hear back from her daughter. Instead, what we see is a steady stream of notifications from a collections agency about her medical bills. Although phones can be used to maintain and strengthen relationships, they are also understood as a means to extract further value from their users. Norco’s depiction of that dichotomy is a harsh one, but an honest one; it illustrates how phones can be an useful tool for exploiting marginalized and impoverished people. And after all that, I think I would throw my phone into the Rio Grande too.
The BBC put together a video on how Minecraft is being used in schools to tackle flooding. I never got to play Minecraft at school, so that's me bitter now.
Pupils at Archbishop Temple Church of England High School have been testing specially-themed Minecraft mini-games built to replicate their local flood defences.
For VG247, Adam Arter wrote about how Elden Ring's turtles are so much more than grade-A meme fodder. I've always wondered why there's so many turtles (dogs) in Elden Ring, and this piece illuminates why quite nicely.
Elsewhere in The Lands Between, turtles themselves are neglected: hunted to near extinction for the healing effects of their meat. If you come across a turtle, you can finish it in one shot to have some white meat and turtle neck ready to transform into useful healing items. The pickled turtle neck item you can craft is one of the best restorative items in the game, and is described as “practically boiling out endless power”.
Over on MIT Media Lab, Lingdong Huang wrote about drawing as a programming language. Incredibly technical and I'm not sure I understand anything, but the images are nice! And if you're a programmer it'll be up your street.
And the animation did turn out quite fun to watch. But what if it makes sounds when going over different symbols? We can then "listen" to a program as it is being run, as if it were a song! I'm no musician myself but theoretically it should be possible to compose something musical with this kind of system.
Music this week is Departures by Tom Day. Here's the YouTube link and Spotify link. A somber one.
Apologies for the quick-fire nature of this Paps folks, I'm jetting off on hols this week so it's a hastily put together one. Back to normal service soon.
Until next time!