Sundays are for cleaning the tea stains out of your mugs. Before you scrub, let's read this week's best writing about games (and game related things).
For Aftermath, Gita Jackson wrote a quick post about upcoming fan game Amoured Core. Jackson speaks to the creators of an Armored Core 6 dating sim that started off as a joke and has since morphed into a passion project.
Also, shoutout to Luke Plunkett's post, also on Aftermath, about Yakuza's shopfronts being one of life's little pleasures.
Short also pointed to the characters Ayre and Snail as examples of strong voice acting and character in Armored Core 6, but the one character that she kept coming back to was Rusty. In the context of Armored Core 6, Rusty is essentially the only character who is outwardly nice to you. You play as 621, also known as Raven, who is a freelance mech pilot that commits war crimes for pay. Most of the time when you interact with characters, they’re asking why you’re crushing their resistance movement, or telling you about an exciting new mission in service of an evil arms manufacturer. By contrast, Rusty calls you “buddy,” and seems genuinely excited to see you when you show up. Combined with Hackney’s sultry tones, it’s hard not to fall in love with Rusty.
Nathan Brown wrote about the steady decline of the internet for Hit Points. Brown looks at layoffs and Google's machine-learning feature, in what's quite a bleak piece. But it posits a future where folks have a "shift in mindset", an "untangling of the hard-wired expectation that Good Internet Things should always be free".
The implications of denying search traffic to websites that depend on it for revenue, I imagine, go without saying, but we’re 2,000 words deep into this thing already so we might as well get into it. This model may work for Google, and Google users, for games that are already on shelves. If someone searches for advice on Cyberpunk 2077’s Dex vs Evelyn decision in 20 years, Google’s ML models will be able to provide it. But what about the games of the future? What are you going to train the machine-learning models of tomorrow on when you’ve put all the guides teams out of work, the websites they used to write for have gone out of business, and no new ones have stepped into the void because you’ve shown there’s not a penny to be made from producing content for Google’s robot army to steal? Where’s the fucking future in that?
Geoffrey Bunting wrote about why gaming is so important to players with chronic pain for Eurogamer. An important read helps you see the simple act of playing games from a different perspective.
"Being in small amounts of pain may not prevent you from doing things," Rebecca says. "That small amount stacks up, like a molehill that keeps building up dirt until it's the size of a skyscraper. People find it hard to understand why just sitting at a desk and typing can make it hard to do little things like clean your apartment or brush your teeth or take out the garbage or empty the dishwasher, but when your life is a constant build-up of pain and mental anguish, when you get those days where you feel suffocated, sometimes you have to sacrifice the little things just to keep yourself breathing."
Jess Reyes wrote about her experiences with games media layoffs. A tough read about the callousness of it all.
I didn’t think I would be at Inverse forever. I wasn’t that naive. After all, BDG shuttered our sister site, Input, and already laid off one of our dear friends earlier that year. Things weren’t all bad, though. BDG Union negotiated a new contract where even part-timers were going to get a raise and new benefits. All of us were finally going to be paid the same amount? Awesome. Then, they came for me, my associate editor, and at least twenty other people from other sections that’d been working there for various lengths of time.
Thought this episode of The Back Page was brilliant. Gibson's Scarface anecdote is an all-timer. You can listen to it down below or find the pod on Spotify, Apple, etc etc.
Music this week is a Pigeonometry by Aesop Rock. Here's the YouTube link and Spotify link. From Aesop Rock's latest album, which I'm really enjoying right now. I think Pitchfork's review acts a solid summation, too.
That's it for this week folks, take care of yourselves and see you next week!