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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 updating your drivers. Before you click install, let's read this week's best writing about games (and game related things).

Over on IGN, Rebekah Valentine wrote about Xbox's Perfect Dark reboot still being years away. A detailed report on the new Perfect Dark and its troubled development, with the usual suspects of studio clashes and mismanagement. Towards the end of the piece, we get to hear directly from Xbox, too.

After multiple necessary months of onboarding and discussion, the new co-development partner of Perfect Dark was handed the vertical slice that The Initiative had assembled with Certain Affinity. But according to individuals who worked at Crystal Dynamics at the time, what they received was a bit of a mess. While some sources attributed that to the chaotic relationship between Certain Affinity and The Initiative, as an added stress, The Initiative had opted to jump to Unreal Engine 5 in the interim before Crystal Dynamics came on board, adding to the amount of work needing to be done. One former Crystal Dynamics employee described what they were handed as a construction with no foundation. “A lot of the project, if not almost all of it, ended up needing to be wholly reworked,” the source said. “They had done three years of work on it already, but we didn’t benefit from three years of work.”

Aamir Mehar wrote about Final Fantasy 6 containing a scene of perfect desolation. How FF6's most powerful moment lies buried in a choice you're unaware of making at the time. A risky idea, but one that works?

Much later, however, I was surprised to find out that this powerful moment may not even happen during your playthrough. It's secretly changeable; the game doesn't specifically tell you, but the type of fish you pick up and give to Cid will determine whether he lives or dies. If Cid lives, the entire scene where Celes throws herself from the cliff never unfolds: Cid recovers from his illness, and Celes leaves the island promising to return for him. I find myself fascinated by how different the story feels between the scenario where Cid lives and the one in which he perishes; there is a greater sense of peace in the former, and a disturbing isolation in the latter.

For The Verge, Alex Heath wrote about why Instagram is taking on Twitter with Threads. Interesting to see that Threads hopes to hope into ActivityPub, the decentralised social media protocol that also powers Mastodon. Lots of promises, lots of "it'll take work", so we'll see I guess.

The one that I think resonates the most with creators, in my experience, is that you should own your audience. If you decide to leave Threads one day, you should be able to bring your audience with you. I’ve talked about this idea in a couple of different contexts. There are, I think, better ways to do this over the long run, but I do think ActivityPub allows you to support that. I think we might be a more compelling platform for creators, particularly for the newer creators who are more and more savvy, if we are a place where you don’t have to feel like you have to trust us forever or you can build up an audience, and then you can bring that audience with you elsewhere if you really have to at the end of the day.

Over on Vice, Francisco Garcia wrote about the man who deleted his past before he was found dead. An article that's several years old, but hey ho. No riproaring revelations or mysteries solved, but that's not the point. It's a quiet commentary on digging up a past which lies buried for a reason.

With Peter Bergmann, there are no loved ones that we know of, and only professionally concerned advocates pressing for answers. Instead of deep memory and grief, we have snatched recollections gleaned from a cluster of chance encounters. The taxi driver who remembers his courteous, softly spoken passenger. The people at the beach, who couldn't have known they were witnessing the strange figure's final moments. There are those that believe the initial hunt was aborted too soon. That somewhere, someone must remember or hold the key to his real identity. But despite the ongoing interest – buoyed by a recent Irish Times podcast about the case – Ray Mulderrig told me that no one has ever come forward with anything truly convincing.

Music this week is Assumptions by Sam Gellaitry. Here's the Spotify link and YouTube link. The amount of people I've seen doing house shuffles to this on various social media platforms - remarkable.

That's it for this week folks, take care of yourselves and see you next week!

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