Sundays are for accidentally rubbing your eyes after handling chilli. Before you cry, let's read this week's best writing about games (and game related things).
Over on Vice, Joseph Cox wrote about Disney being the biggest ad tech giant you've never heard of. Leaked videos of The Muppets' Bunsen and Beaker talking digital ad buying needs. Big Hero 6's equivalent of the Michelin Man explaining non-disruptive, highly personalised ads. Might book my ticket to Disney Data Land Florida just to hear Daffy Duck's ad-revenue conference.
Another Disney video, which is publicly accessible and from over two years ago, hints at the sort of data Disney has explored using. The video uses a Star Wars theme and says that Disney had plans to use credit card data and “survey-based pharma data.” The video starts with the iconic Star Wars scrolling text, and calls itself “Star Wars Episode X: The Rise of Audience Segments.”
Caelyn Ellis wrote about queer identities in online spaces for Eurogamer. A history of queer exploration in games like Second Life and where these spaces are going now.
It was shortly after reading User that I started to experiment with playing female characters in online spaces. I kept it secret, for the most part, as it was frowned upon in most circles. The supposed vast male majority in gaming, combined with the often self-deprecating view of gamers as awkward, sex-starved geeks, led to various stereotypes and jokes. With voice chat becoming the norm being years away, there were plenty of stories floating around of men pretending to be women in order to exploit their nerdy compatriots, on top of the general misogyny and homophobia that appears whenever men do anything considered effeminate or unmanly. "Many Men Online Role Playing as Girls" was a popular joke about MMORPGs for years.
On Medium, Malindy Hetfeld wrote about games, art and their limits. A deeply personal contemplation on games and their role in times of grief and crises.
And yet, when it all becomes too much, when it becomes a depersonalising experience to see the war in Ukraine next to the Wimbledon liveblog, I put on a TV show or I read a book, and I use neither as a blueprint for the future or an instrument of radicalisation or whatever, I use them to, for an hour or two at a time, steer my brain away from death.
Nathan Brown wrote about the struggle of finding a video game home for Hit Points. Not like, an actual house. More wading through an endless supply of games in the search for something that'll stick and dispensing with perfectly good - even great - games in the process, because you're after a long term investment.
We’re swamped with freebies and subscription games. With no real agenda, I spend my rare free evenings flitting endlessly around what’s new: browsing the recently added section of Game Pass, checking out that month’s PS Plus giveaways, or fiddling disconsolately around with whatever my phone pings me to say has just hit Apple Arcade. Nothing sticks, but of course I continue the search — floating through open sea with neither rudder nor anchor, visiting every island I come across for only as long as it takes me to realise I don’t want to stay there forever.
I went through a World Of Warcraft phase back when Vanilla wasn't even Vanilla, it was just WoW. So interesting bits on that period of time always interest me. PC Gamer's video on the now-legendary tale of the blood plague that ravaged the game in 2005 is no exception.
That's it for now, catch you next week folks!