The Sunday Papers surprises me. Sometimes it can be Thursday and my document is nearly empty. I think it's going to be a small one. And then, Sunday hits, and I've all the writing in the world. So, as is Sunday's wont, I compile a particularly bumper selection of the fine games writing across the week, while trying not to link to some pop-band who've managed to surprise me totally in the same period.
- Loyola Professor David Myers has been playing City of Heroes as part of his research. Which strikes me as a good thing to do. However, he's been playing his Alt Twixt as... well, only obeying the rules of the game rather than the social rules. This lead to becoming one of the most hated players and recieving death-threats. He's written a paper on it, and a book is forthcoming, but this article has an over-view of the events plus a link to one of his papers. Myers comes across somewhat naive, frankly. Gaming social groups act like social groups? Yeah, so what? And why shouldn't they. Myers, from their perspective, was acting like a sociopath with no interest in societal mores.
- The Civony ads are quite the thing. Jeff Atwood has been tracking them. This is hilarious.
- We wrote a little about running Far Cry 2 in an Iron Man mode and writing about it last issue. Creative Director Clint Hocking talks about how the permadeath playthroughs of Far Cry 2 started at their end, and the devices they were trying to work into the game to encourage it. Trying to make players cry, basically, via ludic rather than narrative techniques. As always, great to see Clint show his working.
- The second part of Resolution Magazine's look at how Real World Security Issues in games.
- Meanwhile, Mr Denby goes and drinks from the Eurogamer Money Fountain while writing about flawed-classic Vampire: Bloodlines.
- The oft-splendid console-journo Andrew Kelly has the haircut and (er) posture of a posturing indie-kid haircut. But no! He's got a dark and geeky past. ONE OF US! ONE OF US! Here's him on Full Throttle.
- Ars Technica on why they think no-LAN play for Starcraft 2 is a total betrayal.
- Rab Consolevania on his own personal black obelisk. That is, the Fighting Fantasy game books. I could have easily included these in my own Gaming Made Me piece.
- Kirsten at Ready Up continues her Five Lessons in Games Journalism series, with an interview with Jeff Gerstman on writing about the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the bloody truth.
- Game Set Watch's Gaming Anthropologist column caught my eye, in examining the Battlefield Heroes' community. Paraphrasing somewhat cruelly, it's free so it's full of 'tards. There's something about this sort of attitude which always rubs me up the wrong way, which I may have to examine eventually. When the most articulate gaming communities I've ever been involved in have been purely free ones, putting it down to "you get what you pay for" is flawed.
- Jim Rossignol writing about the beauty of a magazine-layout and transfering it to the modern age. If we had the money and the time, I suspect we'd do things like this. Hmm. I like the contradiction between this entry and the last.
- Steve Peacock on being hype-o-phobic. Love the John Malkovitch/Molyneux mash-up photo.
- Digital Gigolo interviews Leigh Alexander. I'm linking this primarily as a cursory lesson to any would be games journalist in the room. Do not ask your subject to marry you in the first question. You have to manfully resist, as I do whenever I interview Spector. Part of the job is being professional. Part of the job is not proposing.
- I like this. Steven Peeler of Depths of Peril fame goes to the community, asking for what Dungeon Crawl games they'd like to make. A perfect chance to play back-seat designer.
- Here's some non-game reading for you. Tom Ewing talks about the concept of Poptimism, but segues onto the idea of the charts as a public space - and, I link back to gaming, by thinking how important it is to have generalist sites like (well) us. The more someone disappears into one genre, the more they disappear. The ever-articulate comics/politics blogger - and there's a powergamed dual-class for you - Sarah Jaffe writes about the Philadelphia Pool Racism scandal, and why it doesn't surprise. And the Washington Post on the sorry cases of people forgetting about their kids and leaving them in their car. It does nothing but provoke strong emotions. I suspect were I a parent, it'd be more so, one way or another.
- Okay, like many others, I kicked the Horrors' first album. I found myself giving the second one a chance. And fucking hell - it's incredible. First single was the album's closing track, which is an incredibly suicidal and a bit Suicide-al when the synths arrive, a simmering piece of atmosphere: Sea Within A Sea. Second single, Who Can Say is curter and more ferocious with a genuinely great monologue dropped in the middle. The whole album's on spotify.