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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 buying easter eggs for the week after. Let's prepare to crack as we read the week's best writing about games and game-related things.

For The Guardian, Thomas Hobbs spoke to RollerCoaster Tycoon creators and rollercoaster designers about the game's impact in the late 90s. Fantastic insights here, into how the game inspired more women to join the theme park industry, theme park designers, and the impact the game itself had on its creator Chris Sawyer.

“For years and years, I remember being the only woman working on rollercoaster projects,” says Candy Holland, executive creative director at Legoland resorts and an industry stalwart who helped design the world’s first vertical drop rollercoaster, Oblivion, at Alton Towers. “But when RollerCoaster Tycoon came out, we suddenly had a surge of young women applying for jobs. They were utilising RollerCoaster Tycoon to build their understanding of what, I guess, was previously seen as a pretty niche industry.”

Gita Jackson and Riley MacLeod, on Aftermath, wrote about Kotaku's editor in chief Jen Glennon resigning over a new editorial edict. According to a source close to the situation, it seems that Kotaku's staff will be "expected to create 50 guides a week at the site". Now, I understand that guides are the lifeblood of a site, but this is a huge change and a monumental ask if you're not hiring a dedicated guides team.

“I firmly believe that the decision to ‘invert’ Kotaku's editorial strategy to deprioritize news in favor of guides is fundamentally misguided given the current infrastructure of the site,” Glennon wrote. “[This decision is] directly contradicted by months of traffic data, and shows an astonishing disregard for the livelihoods of the remaining writers and editors who work here.”.

An oldie, but hey I read it recently and they are still good words. For The New Yorker, Judith Thurman wrote about the mystery of people who speaks dozens of languages. Thurman spends time with a hyperpolyglot in Malta, where she observes how fast he picks things up, and the quirks he employs when doing so.

Linguistic competence, as it happens, was the subject of my own interest in Rojas-Berscia. He is a hyperpolyglot, with a command of twenty-two living languages (Spanish, Italian, Piedmontese, English, Mandarin, French, Esperanto, Portuguese, Romanian, Quechua, Shawi, Aymara, German, Dutch, Catalan, Russian, Hakka Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Guarani, Farsi, and Serbian), thirteen of which he speaks fluently. He also knows six classical or endangered languages: Latin, Ancient Greek, Biblical Hebrew, Shiwilu, Muniche, and Selk’nam, an indigenous tongue of Tierra del Fuego, which was the subject of his master’s thesis. We first made contact three years ago, when I was writing about a Chilean youth who called himself the last surviving speaker of Selk’nam. How could such a claim be verified? Pretty much only, it turned out, by Rojas-Berscia.

Thanks to EX Research, I have learned that Grand Theft Hamlet (which I've embedded below) has walked away with top honours at SXSW Film awards.

Watch on YouTube

Music this week is "Yakusoku" by Gran Ciel. Here's the YouTube link and Spotify link. My friend Simon tracked down the track we'd heard roughly this time last year when we went to Japan. We heard it performed live outside a department store and quickly concluded it was something special.

Bonus article courtesy of NPR, who have unveiled some incredible information about cicada piss.

Have a lovely weekend!

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