So I have a PC now. It’s pretty cool.
Naturally, I spent the first few days with a computer attached to my TV playing Singularity. Naturally. (Hey, I really liked it. Sue me.) The first constraint I ran into was not having a monitor. I’ve now solved that, which’ll allow me to experiment with streaming. No more streaming on a MacBook Air? I don’t even know how to imagine how much better that will end up being. Given the generosity that resulted in the PC showing up, Spookin’ With Scoops will return next week. Which game? Hmm.
The weirdest part about having a PC appear in your life after years without one is figuring out where to begin. The coming drought of new releases is a blessing for me, as it provides a meaningful opportunity to begin exploring a catalog of games that have patiently sat in a text document on my computer. Most of them are horror games (Dark Corners of the Earth: Call of Cthulhu and S.T.A.L.K.E.R. being at the top of my list), of course, but there are so, so, so many others. What classics to revisit, and consequently destroy my nostalgia for?
What excites me about a PC isn’t so much the increased catalog as much as it is the lack of restrictions. There’s nothing more distressing than having a game recommended to you, only to find out there’s no way to play it. It’s the reason why I own every platform other than a Vita, which I’ll eventually solve later this year. I’m always looking for a game to provoke a reaction out of me, and where that might come from isn’t always clear. It should hopefully result in a more varied set of recommendations for Worth Reading, too!
Anyway, if you have PC games you wanna recommend, have at it!
Hey, You Should Play This
Tax Evaders might not be as subversive as Paolo Pedercini’s other works--the way it communicates the message is a little on the nose--but it was created as part of a larger team, so maybe that explains it. I’m not used to Pedercini using humor as part of his toolset as overtly as Tax Evaders employs it, but it’s easy to see how the goofy charm could effectively disarm players and make them more receptive to the serious point it’s trying to impart. If Tax Evaders strikes you, check out Pedercini’s other games.
And You Should Read These, Too
I haven’t made a game, but the creative process outlined by Blendo Games’ Brendon Chung sounds similar to writing an article. More specifically, it’s the process of writing an opinion piece. I’ve written stories just for the sake of writing stories, but the ones that feel really good afterwards were clawing out of you. What you wanted to say may not translate into the words properly, but at least you said it, at least you tried. Chung’s feelings on how to get started with game development are analogous: just start. The worst game is one that’s never made, and the worst article is the article that’s never written. So...get to it.
"I don’t think it’s important to have a great idea. I don’t think it’s important to be unique or innovative. I don’t think it’s important to be bulletproof, or for that matter, good.
When the ground is rushing toward you at a million miles per hour, what’s important? You make something.
People can’t play a design document. People can’t play a grand vision. People can’t play all the cool ideas you’ve planned out down the road."
The conversation that’s been happening around games in the...well, I’m not sure how long it’s been going on. Maybe it started when the conversation about women and games started snowballing, maybe it happened somewhere else down the line. I don’t know. Anyway, that conversation has been a messy one, and it’s not getting any cleaner. It’s not just about women, either--it’s a larger conversation about empathy and inclusion. In the way, a conversation meant to erase lines is drawing new ones, and creating the exclusionary atmosphere we’re all (I think) trying to avoid. This is not just a games problem-- it’s an Internet problem. Shouting down others in order to be heard is an effective but frustrating strategy, and Saltsman is one of the many who feel excluded, sitting on the sideline and observing the flames.
"We are in the midst of the most important and influential movement in video games in a decade, if not ever — a movement that is vital to the ongoing cultural relevancy and maturation of our medium — and almost everyone involved in the conversation is, intentionally or otherwise, looking for ways to ignore everyone else. We can do better than this, and we have to, in order to make progress.
This is our real empathy problem in video games. Instead of figuring out some reason why this person we disagree with shouldn't even be at the table, we should be trying to figure out why they so badly want to be part of this discussion. We will always, always, always learn more from people with whom we disagree than from our own personal echo chamber, as safe and comfortable as that place may be."
If You Click It, It Will Play
Crowdfunding Has Promise, Hopefully Developers Don't Screw It Up
- Rowan Kaiser is raising money to write a book-length analysis of the Mass Effect games.
- Ghost of a Tale is an ambitious, impressive looking adventure game from a former supervising animator at DreamWorks.
- Talented writer Ray Barnholt is raising money for the next issue of his Scrolls magazine.
Even If You Don't Like BioShock Infinite, It's Getting People Talking
- An examination of the "choices" in Columbia, and whether their inclusion is commentary.
- Leigh Alexander has serious issues with Infinite, and to her, that's an enormous compliment.
- Alex Austin decided to critique the game by creating a text adventure about the story.
- Daniel Golding is the writer that kicked off this week's close examination of the game.
- I'm not the only one who took issue with the somewhat casual way Infinite invokes racism.
- Infinite's final moments change everything that's come before, and Richard Naik takes a closer look.
- Brian Taylor writes down Infinite's themes and gives recommendations of games with similar ones.
Tweets That Make You Go "Hmmmmmm"
FUCKING ROOMMATE WALKING IN FRONT OF THE TV WHILE I'M ON RAINBOW ROAD IN MARIO KART SHOULD BE GROUNDS FOR EVICTION— boxcar (@pilotbacon) April 11, 2013
"WHO GIVES A FUCK" is the correct answer to many contemporary questions— ITS ME PORPENTINE (@aliendovecote) April 10, 2013
Oh, And This Other Stuff
- Tom Chick responds to being called a critic who is “well-known for aberrant scores."
- Quite the different take on #1ReasonWhy from a women in the video game industry.
- Did you know Dishonored designer Harvey Smith has released a book? No joke.
- Warren Spector is continuing to champion the creation of more serious video games.
- Howling Dogs designer Porpentine talks about her process, and the growing Twine community.
- I was waiting for someone to finally write about this cancelled Mega Man shooter.
- Using EVE Online to predict the most recession. Now, you know why I can't wait to get to Iceland.
- Rolling Stone talks to Shigeru Miyamoto about his life's work so far.
- A touching look back at LucasArts from the employees who are saying goodbye.
- Possibly...wait, definitely, the best interview you're going to read this week.
- The programmer and co-designer of Road Rash recently did an AMA on Reddit.