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Read This (22/06/09)

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Er. I said I was going to do lots of non-games reading this week. I’ve barely even done any games reading. Oh sod.

I’ll do my best to shoehorn stuff in. First: games.

  • Barry “Oh baby” White starts a series I’ve been wanting to do for a while. The bast! Looking in more depth at universally criticised games, he begins with the characters of Kane and Lynch. This is being linked around for a reason. Excellent stuff, and I look forward to seeing what he writes about next.
  • Game-journo-talk, a bit, but I’m one hundred per cent in agreement with SnakeLinkSonic when he says the word “gameplay” is a bit crap. I’ve been wound up by someone this week incessantly ranting about how crap games journalism is (clue: some of it being crap – which of course it is – doesn’t mean it’s in a worse state than ever, as seems to be the thought-trend), but this is thoughtful and correct.
  • This is an interesting one.  Tom Betts on why minimalism works best in game stories. I’m immediately reminded of Christos’ comment on a podcast, shocking the ears off the hosts when he claimed Super Mario Bros was the best videogame narrative ever. I’m still not entirely sture where I stand on this stuff – awkward, really, since I’m supposed to be writing something about it at the moment.
  • Kieron finishes his board game essays. Added since last week are Backgammon and Cards. All are handily linked from here, and definitely worth a read if you enjoy musing on where videogames sit into the wider gaming spectrum.
  • This one’s more interesting for the comments thread than the post. Leigh Alexander asks people why the Last Guardian trailer is so affecting. Some enlightening responses, from technical stuff to purely emotion-driven reaction. The sort of discussion I love.
  • I’m increasingly enjoying reading Ready-Up, a fast-growing blog with a focus on experiential stuff within games. This is a bit before this week, but it’s fantastic, so I link anyway: Zoey on her first-hand encounters with sex in Second Life.
  • Okay, here’s something non-games. Some Leeds music folk bring people’s attention to a dispicable Daily Mail website poll. How’s this for a leading question: “Should gipsies be allowed to jump the queue in the NHS?” The reality, of course, being that people with no fixed abode can’t register with a GP – not the leading nonsense the Daily Mail poses. Anyway, long story short, some psychologists picked up on it as well, and apparently broke the website. I do wonder if the Mail just got scared and pulled the plug ’cause it wasn’t the answer they were hoping for…

That’ll do for now. Yesterday I did the Leeds 10k, which I hilariously didn’t start training for until about three weeks ago. Managed to finish in under 1 hour 10 mins, meaning I’m absolutely exhausted still. So bed soon.

PS. The Guru is on telly. The opening ten minutes is almost exactly the same as GTAIV. How interesting.

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