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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 seeing what this new Nolan flick is like. Before you reach for the popcorn, let's read this week's best writing about games (and game related things).

For Unwinnable, Hayes Geldmacher wrote about Devil Daggers being a performance. How over successive runs, one can learn the choreography of the all-immersive Devil Daggers. It's just up to you to "step in tune".

Devil Daggers does an excellent job of minimizing, even eliminating external form all together – it’s all content, all immersive, nearly all of the time. Upon starting up the game, players encounter an intro screen with the title, and select “Play”. No on-screen icons or reticles are present. On death, they are greeted by a grinning leaderboard before immediately being placed back in another run. The fibrous connective tissue that often holds a game together is entirely gone. There is no contextual narrative, no meta-game advancement or tutorial prompts. It’s just the player and their hellish surroundings, again and again. When I am not able to rest my understanding of the game on the familiar ground of non-diegetic interface elements, something special occurs: The space becomes the interface.

Geoffrey Bunting asked why games send us back to school, over on Eurogamer. I'm a sucker for an RPG set in a high-school, to be fair.

Those social links are a core part of games that use schools as settings, and of our relation to them. Compelling as being able to gaze back in time and put a face to our old demons may be, more affecting is how games allow us to once again experience the ease with which relationships formed when we were crammed into a building with hundreds of people our age.

Elizabeth Winkler wrote a long read for The New Yorker about the struggle to unearth Enheduanna, who scholars believe was the world's first recorded author.

But since their discovery, in the mid-twentieth century, scholars have fiercely debated Enheduanna’s authorship. Did the priestess really write these works? Is the idea of a woman at the beginning of the written tradition—two thousand years before the golden age of Greece—too good to be true? This winter, an exhibition at the Morgan Library & Museum in New York, “She Who Wrote: Enheduanna and Women of Mesopotamia,” will try to give the priestess her due. “You ask anyone you know and they’ll say the first author is Herodotus or some other man,” Sidney Babcock, the show’s curator, told me. “It’s always amazed me. No one will ever come up with her.”

For Gamespot, Michael Higham spoke to the Yakuza devs about how they made a legend of its long-time hero over two decades. A nice chat about all things Yakuza with Takaya Kuroda (Kiryu's Japanese VA), Hiroyuki Sakamoto (RGG Studio chief producer), and Yong Yea (Kiryu's English VA).

"One of the first substories that I played in Yakuza 0 was the dominatrix one, and that gave me the idea that the sense of humor in this series is wild. And yet, when you really think about that story, like yeah it's kinky and it's raunchy, but it's also got a lot of heart. It's about Kiryu just trying to help this woman find confidence within herself. That's the beautiful blend of Yakuza. It's absurd, but it's got heart everywhere you look, and that's what I love about this series, so many standout moments like that."

Over on Disconnect, Paris Marx wrote about Elon Musk wanting to relive his start-up days. A piece about Twitter's rebrand to X, and why Musk is repeating mistakes he's made in the past with the likes of PayPal.

As Elon Musk’s reputation is revealed to be more marketing than reality, looking back at his history is instructive. While he had big ideas, he was eventually ousted at Zip2 and because he was a bad leader and didn’t make good business decisions. But he got rich despite those failures and built his reputation in the process so that by the time he started SpaceX and took over Tesla, it was much harder to pry him from the chief executive seat if he didn’t want to leave. We can now see the consequences of granting him so much power.

Sophie Raworth wrote a touching tribute to George Alagiah, the BBC newsreader who sadly passed away this week. Beautiful words.

Exactly five years after George had first called me to tell me about his cancer, we went for lunch on a sunny terrace in London to celebrate still being able to chat. He was back at work, looking good. George rarely spoke publicly about having cancer. He said he didn't want to give a running commentary about his illness. But when he did give interviews, he was always taken aback to find himself on the front page of newspapers. He never understood the interest in him and just how much people wanted to hear his story.

Music this week is Definitely Maybe by Flica. Here's the Spotify link and YouTube link. Perfect track to read to.

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

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