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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 getting over some powerful Maltese flu. Before you cough, let's read this week's best writing about games (and game related things).

For Eye On Design, Niek Hilkmann and Thomas Walskaar spoke to the last person standing in the floppy disk business. I had no idea there was still pretty huge demand for them!

However, my biggest customers — and the place where most of the money comes from — are the industrial users. These are people who use floppy disks as a way to get information in and out of a machine. Imagine it’s 1990, and you’re building a big industrial machine of one kind or another. You design it to last 50 years and you’d want to use the best technology available. At the time this was a 3.5-inch floppy disk. Take the airline industry for example. Probably half of the air fleet in the world today is more than 20 years old and still uses floppy disks in some of the avionics. That’s a huge consumer. There’s also medical equipment, which requires floppy disks to get the information in and out of medical devices. The biggest customer of all is probably the embroidery business though. Thousands and thousands of machines that use floppy disks were made for this, and they still use these. There are even some industrial companies that still use Sony Mavica cameras to take photographs. The vast majority of what I sell is for these industrial uses, but there is a significant hobbyist element to it as well.

Lane Brown and Luke Winkie wrote about the decomposition of Rotten Tomatoes for Vulture. I've been guilty of paying attention to Rotten Tomatoes scores before I go and watch a movie, but nowadays, I don't even give it a glance. I just watch whatever without any outside interference and I think it works out quite nicely, to be honest.

But despite Rotten Tomatoes’ reputed importance, it’s worth a reminder: Its math stinks. Scores are calculated by classifying each review as either positive or negative and then dividing the number of positives by the total. That’s the whole formula. Every review carries the same weight whether it runs in a major newspaper or a Substack with a dozen subscribers.

Jess Elizabeth Reed contemplates what types of players remakes are for, for Into The Spine. A quick look at how remakes reflect the times we're in.

It seems, then, that the updates to Muffy’s character and the eradication of the bar have more to do with what the game makers believe to be appropriate for kids in 2023, a standard that may be pretty far off from the one used in 2003. I wonder how remakes would address the Sprite Casino where I gambled away a fortune in Harvest Moon DS or the New Year’s drinking competition in Harvest Moon 64 where you can win the affection of one of the game’s bachelorette’s, Karen, by outdrinking her.

Patricia Hernandez wrote about Starfield being too big to fail for Paste. God, I wish Starfield's version of space were a couple of nice planets, each home to fun little aliens. Alas.

The problem is that for fans of the genre, traversing every pixel that stands before you, no matter how empty or tedious, is what it means to be free. The open-world fantasy, set by games like Skyrim and ballooned to impossible standards by games like Cyberpunk 2077, has always hinged on being whoever you want and doing whatever you want. Judging from the trajectory of modern Bethesda franchises like Fallout, Bethesda is eager to meet part of this ceaseless, impossible fantasy, often at the cost of the things that make their games compelling in the first place.

Music this week is Twilight Clouds by Cicada and Jesy Chiang. Here's the Spotify link and YouTube link. A great one for working to.

Bonus track this week is Colourfast by Pendulum. Here's the Spotify link and YouTube link. Can't believe they're back with a liquid banger!

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

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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.