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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 ordering a Steam Deck and getting quite excited about its arrival. Before you track its delivery, let's read this week's best writing about games (and game related things).

Over on Games, Marie Dealessandri wrote about how to design autistic-friendly games. Dealessandri talks to Changingday's founders Nick and Alison Lang about the making of a VR title made with autistic players in mind.

"We have a function where the player has a smartwatch so that if they become over-stimulated they can hit this smartwatch and it takes you straight out of the game to a nice relaxing space where they can calm down," Nick says. "And there they'll also find an accessibility menu where they can fine-tune the game, the colours, the sounds. And then they hit the smartwatch, they go straight back into the game where they left off. But only when they're ready to do that. And they dictate the pace of it. It's up to them, they're in control of what happens."

Sherif Saed wrote a post for VG247 on Call Of Duty's tech being wasted on Call Of Duty. Warzone 2 Season 2 turns back the clock, getting rid of sweeping changes and reverting things back to how they were in Warzone. Saed argues that COD's ever-evolving tech is tied to a series that refuses to change.

It would be disingenuous to say Call of Duty hasn’t changed in a decade, what with all the battle royale iterations, Tarkov-lite DMZ mode, open-world co-op, and so on. But the moment you dig deeper and start actually playing all that, you’ll find that all these experimental spokes are simply different pockets in which more of the same Call of Duty gameplay exists. It’s like using a pan without washing it, over and over again; sure, you’re cooking a steak now, but it smells and tastes like orange syrup and caramel from the morning’s pancake cookout.

On Insider, Kieran Press-Reynolds wrote about spending a night on TikTok Live and discovering a strange wasteland. Press-Reynolds wades into TikTok's largely unregulated cesspit and the algorithm serves up some interesting subgenres.

Next up was a stream of a man pretending to be a robot. Waving mechanically at the camera, he performed various tasks (like saying "daddy," "mommy," or slapping himself) depending on the gift size. Whoever donated the largest gift would make him perform a "big punishment." I wasn't quite sure what that meant, but the vagueness of the term felt ominous, inviting you to fill in the gap with your most alarming imaginations. Commenters accused the stream of being a scam and warned newcomers that he wasn't actually a real robot. (Roleplaying seemed to be a mainstay of late-night streaming.

For Defector, Soraya Roberts argues that AI art only looks like art if you don't care. Interesting snippets from folks that express what an AI's creative process lacks.

I thought of these photos when I read about The Decemberists lead singer Colin Meloy using the ChatGPT bot to AI-construct a facsimile of a Meloy composition, including cords. The result was “Sailor’s Song,” which, according to the musician is, “What someone might think a Decemberists song sounded like if they’d skimmed a few reviews, observed some fairly skin-deep Twitter hot takes.” Meloy himself noted this went beyond the repeated or missing bits and the mistakes. “It has data, it has information, but it has no intuition,” he wrote. “So much of songwriting, of writing writing, of creating, comes down to the creator’s intuition, the subtle changes that aren’t written as a rule anywhere—you just know it to be right, to be true.”

Music this week is Moonlight Flight by Makoto Iwabuchi. Here's the Spotify link and YouTube link. A soothing one.

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

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About the Author
Ed Thorn avatar

Ed Thorn

Reviews Editor

When Ed's not cracking thugs with bicycles in Yakuza, he's likely swinging a badminton racket in real life. Any genre goes, but he's very into shooters and likes a weighty gun, particularly if they have a chainsaw attached to them. Adores orange and mango squash, unsure about olives.