There are only a few moments per year where I'll stare at my TV and realize I don't have anything to play.
That's not entirely true, obviously. There's always something that could be played, but nothing calling my name, nothing that's required to remain "current" in the conversation.
I relish this. It's a chance to step away and indulge in other interests. When your hobby becomes your job, you have to keep up with that hobby in very intense way, and it's why most people don't recommend combining employment with your favorite thing in the world. It's how you burn out. So when games don't want me, I don't push the issue.
It's important to have other interests, and not simply because it makes you a more "well-rounded person." In actuality, these help inform my primary interest. The psychology books I've read about human behavior loop into my understanding of how people act on the Internet, the movie podcasts I listen to help me figure out what other forms of criticism do and don't have in common with games, and the political theater I follow shows me how hard it is to make big things happen.
It would be so easy to watch the snake its own tail, and keep diving deeper and deeper into games. I'm sure that works for some people, but those people have that covered, right? I'd rather compete from a different angle. By expanding what's filtering through my head on a daily basis, I'm (hopefully) bringing new ideas to the table for larger discussion about games.
Hey, You Should Play This
And You Should Read These, Too
The response to my Flappy Bird piece, which used harassment directed at the game's designer as a launching point to discuss empathy on the Internet, was overwhelming. Thanks for giving me much to think and consider about where my feelings on this topic might go next, and do know that the comments did not go unnoticed or unread. In fact, I make sure to read every single one of them--good and bad.
But there was so much more written about Flappy Bird recently, and I want to make sure those stories don't go unnoticed. You might be tired of hearing about Flappy Bird, and I totally understand. The thing about Flappy Bird is how much there is to discuss around Flappy Bird. It touches on a bunch of really important topics that don't often come up. It's a big moment, and with everyone paying attention, it's an opportune time for discussion about some really big ideas.
- "Why Indie Developers Go Insane" by Jeff Vogel
- "Flappy Bird is Dead, But Brilliant Mechanics Made It Fly" by Keith Stuart
- "Our Flappy Dystopia" by Mattie Brice
- "The Flappy Bird Fiasco" by Stephen Totilo
- "An alternate history of Flappy Bird: 'we must cultivate our garden'" by Robert Yang
If You Click It, It Will Play
Like it or Not, Crowdfunding Isn't Going Away
- Blackmore is a 2D adventure game from the localizer of Snatcher and other collaborators.
- Darkest Dungeon is a roguelike specifically focused on the psychological stresses of adventure.
- Scum Lord is a game about grappling hooks, which are awesome. They only want $4,000!
Tweets That Make You Go "Hmmmmmm"
In parallel universe there's a good 'ad based free games make money, perhaps industry reliance on microtransactions unnecessary' story here.— Chris Simpson (@lemmy101) February 9, 2014
Flappy Bird & the return the "curate Steam" movement both highlight a bigger conflict: A dispute about who gets to make successful things.— Chris Franklin (@Campster) February 10, 2014
A true “holy shit” moment when I came across this: Technical overview of the SNES CD-ROM system! pic.twitter.com/R2U04jCfPm— Steve Lin (@stevenplin) February 13, 2014
Thanks to SUPER TIME FORCE, a person at Microsoft had to write "poo coils" on an official form. JOB COMPLETE DROP MIC.— Nathan Vella (@Capy_Nathan) February 13, 2014
street-fighter-the-legend-of-chun-li-imdb-reviews.txt— The Mountain Goats (@mountain_goats) February 12, 2014
So industry hero @ADAMATOMIC decided to ask for female applicants only for a position on a project he's working on. Wonderful move.— Rami Ismail (@tha_rami) February 12, 2014
It is not reverse sexism: fighting invisible privilege always seems unfair to the privileged. That's why we call it 'invisible privilege'.— Rami Ismail (@tha_rami) February 12, 2014
It is the mistaken assumption of full meritocracy, built upon a foundation of having never been at the bad end of the structure.— Rami Ismail (@tha_rami) February 12, 2014
Oh, And This Other Stuff
- Cameron Kunzelman reviews the first in Boss Fight Books' series examining single games.
- Derek Thompson writes about the difficulty in measuring the value of online traffic.
- Stephen Totilo had a chance to check out the new game from Adam "Deal With It" Orth.
- Ethan Levy suspects EA isn't especially unhappy about Dungeon Keeper's launch.
- Medium features a piece about when a business model is no longer good for your users.
- Valve has released the talks and roundtables from its recent Steam Dev Days conference.
- Leigh Alexander explores how different cultures express "beating" a video game.
- Cara Ellison examines the noir genre and its surprising lack of women.
- Cardboard Computer explains why Kentucky Route Zero development is taking so long.