Skip to main content

The Sunday Papers

Read more

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 folding away your clothes horse carefully, so it doesn't snap shut on your fingers. Before you struggle, let's read this week's best writing about games (and game related things).

Over on The Guardian, Lewis Gordon asks: Can video games change people's minds about the climate crisis? A look at "climate positivity" and player agency to do good climate things, and whether that's enough to actually have an impact on their climate outlook. There's also more to be done from companies on reducing their carbon footprint, too. And that's a whole other challenge.

When Sony pledges to plant trees for every “Reached the Daunt” trophy earned by players of Horizon: Forbidden West, an effort promoted as part of the 2022 Green Game Jam, it raises the spectre of greenwashing. Sony recently announced that it was accelerating its net zero commitments by 10 years, but 2020 emissions stemming from the use of its TVs and game consoles were the highest they’ve been since 2016, according to its 2021 sustainability report. Furthermore, an eye-watering 17.1m tons of C02 were created over the course of its products’ life-cycles, with a further 1.4m tons emitted from the company’s business sites. Next to these numbers, it’s hard to see tree-planting as anything other than trivial.

Zack Zwiezen wrote a post on how it's okay if a game wraps up for Kotaku. Turtle Rock Studios recently announced that they're not going to release any new stuff for Back 4 Blood. Zwiezen argues that developers moving onto something new shouldn't be looked down on.

Before let’s say, 2013, games could be released, supported for a bit, and then the developer could move on. Rarely did people bat their eyes at this. Nobody expected a developer to stick with a single game for five, seven or 12 years. There were some exceptions, of course, big MMORPGs like EverQuest II or insanely popular PC games like Counter-Strike or The Sims. But those were rarities. For a long time games launched, people played and enjoyed them, and devs moved on. Maybe if a game was really good and sold very well, it might get an expansion. But a lot of the time hit games never got more content or seasons, and players were fine with that.

On PC Gamer, Tyler Colp wrote about a YouTuber's pet fish that committed credit card fraud live on stream. It'll be phishing next, amirite (sorry).

Mutekimaru eventually caught them and had to explain the situation to Nintendo customer support. "I am very sorry, but is it possible to get a refund for items purchased in error by my pet fish?" they typed into the form with a link to the video evidence. It worked and Nintendo refunded their 500 yen, but unfortunately not the reward points.

For GQ, Simon Parkin wrote about how Hollywood's VFX crisis. Streaming services and VFX-heavy blockbusters means that VFX artists are being pushed to the brink.

Without adequate time or resources to complete their work to a high standard before a film’s release, VFX artists are increasingly being accused by fans and, in some cases, even directors, of shoddy workmanship. (One recent, typical headline in a national newspaper: “Why is the CGI in She-Hulk so terrible?”) “When people complain our visual effects look shit, they should know we can make anything look absolutely fucking real,” a senior artist, who has worked on several Marvel films and the Harry Potter series, told me. “Every time I see a shot that looks bad, like, say, the last third of Black Panther, all I see is a group of artists who were not given time to finish their shots.”

I should've posted this last week, but new People Make Games vid is out! It's an insight into Valve's 'flat' working culture, with all the strengths and problems that come with it.

Watch on YouTube

A Simon Parkin double-whammy, I know. But for good reason! He's launched a new pod called "My Perfect Console", where he invites guests to talk about the five games they'd immortalise on a fictional console of their dreams.

Music this week is Crack Sandwich by JID. Here's the Spotify link and YouTube link. JID brims with creativity, this track is a perfect example of why he's one of hip-hop's biggest talents right now.

That's it for this week folks, have a great weekend!

Read this next