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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... oh, god, there’s more of it, isn’t there? I thought it was just a regular cave, not a cave to literally a million new things. Before I go left and spend the next three hours stressed about the stuff I missed by not going right, let’s read this week’s best writing about games (and game related things!)

Kastel wrote about 'Large and "Large" games' via Cohost, or games that are traditionally, insistently massive and games that are a little more sparing and thoughtful with their expansiveness. Shout out to the ever-great Critical Distance for the spot. It occurs to me there's a whole world of these wonderful, personal Cohost blogs I'm just not attuned to, and it's likely where a lot of the most interesting writing in the sphere currently resides. I will endeavour to dig!

But there are other ways to make something feel big without giving everything away. Something I found interesting while listening to an interview with 1000xRESIST's creative director was his description of Final Fantasy 7 as a game where you leave places. For him, there's something sentimental about leaving places you've been forever and then exploring a wide new world. It transforms the sense of loss of not being able to access places into something great and wonderful. Like it's saying, "You may have to leave your hometown, but there's a bigger world out there." If you play 1000xRESIST, you'll find that each chapter is full of unique setpieces that don't appear in other chapters. The same goes for Final Fantasy 7, Mass Effect 2, and other games where you lose access to places you're familiar with. You are forced to go to different places, a new world. I think this negative sense of loss and the strange need to "immigrate", for lack of a better word, make the world feel bigger and harsher than it actually is.

Unwinnable decided to see me coming this week and have pieces about both dark fantasy TTRPG MÖRK BORG and Godzilla Minus One. If you’re unfamiliar with MÖRK BORG, it’s spawned what I believe is quite a unique phenomena in tabletop with its open licence, making for loads of spinoffs, expansions, and accoutrements, and it’s always a treat to watch folk spin wonders with its distinctive vibe and portentous, Soulsian lore-snippets.

For Aftermath, Nathan Grayson (RPS in peace) wrote about how Dr. Disrespect, depressingly, will likely come out of all this with the same career still. I usually pay very little attention to what Grayson describes as the "middle-aged man who yells at video games" industrial complex, so his perspective is always illuminating.

There’s obvious trainwreck appeal here, but some fans also look to these creators aspirationally, as a sort of avatar. If a big content creator can embrace an unhinged lifestyle and get whatever they want, maybe viewers can too. These sorts of viewers will always support somebody like Beahm, a 42-year-old man who behaves like a 16-year-old boy, because they see themselves in him. And though Beahm will probably lose viewership over this in aggregate regardless of whether he stays on YouTube or ends up somewhere else, the viewers who stick around will likely become bigger fans than ever. Because ultimately, this is not about morals or principles; it’s about people forming such a strong attachment to a creator that they feel like attacks against him are attacks against them as well and platforms that recognize they’ll make more money than they’ll lose by harnessing that ugly energy.

Hellworld aside, The Bear season 3 is here! Good news for people who enjoy watching fictional people get very stressed at each other in small kitchens i.e me. Gingy is one of the better lore summary ‘Tubers imo, and he’s summed up Shadow Of The Erdtree’s revelations for your viewing pleasure. Polygon's Simone de Rochefort made me sad about the armour I've been wearing for most of Elden Ring's DLC. Music this week is Lost by Robohands. Have a great weekend!

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