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Worth Reading: 09/07/12

If you're suffering from a bout of PAX flu, here's a pile of games, stories, trailers, and other nonsense to keep you busy this weekend. Who doesn't wanna fly in space?

(The above gif is from an excellent Gamasutra article on 2D animation published earlier this week.)

How cool is this? Thanks to Giant Bomb user Fobwashed, my dream of being a Mega Man character is true. Mega Man 2 = king of games.
How cool is this? Thanks to Giant Bomb user Fobwashed, my dream of being a Mega Man character is true. Mega Man 2 = king of games.

This is going up a few hours later because a good chunk of today was spent sketching out a rough draft of the Big Live Live Show Live 3, which will be yet another all-day set of complete nonsense.

Big shout out to everyone who said hi at PAX this year, and if you were one of those people that was too shy to say anything and then apologized on Twitter about it, make sure you fix that next year. That’s what we’re at PAX for, and why we come back every year.

(I have no idea if we will end up going to Australia, but who wouldn’t want to go to Australia?)

With the fall season upon us, I’m bummed my sidetracked summer means I didn’t get around to playing through Eternal Darkness and System Shock 2. Those are at the top of my to-do list, and hopefully a small chunk appears after the flood of the next two months. Eternal Darkness hurts the most, since I actually made it a few hours into that one before everything went haywire. I loved it, too.

Luckily, Halloween is coming up. I’ll find an excuse.

Hey, You Should Play This

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If you’re someone who stresses over the definition of a “game,” maybe don’t download EXO. If you’re open to new experiences, interactive software that skirts the edges of what we consider a game, then consider giving EXO a shot. Described as a 35-minute adventure inspired by the music of Gatekeeper, EXO drops players into a variety of science fiction locations--yes, including flying around space--set to some head boppin’ tunes. There’s not much to do except sometimes go forward, back, left, and right, and I’m not sure what happens at the end, but it’s awfully pretty, sounds really good, and seems like the kind of thing that’d be awfully relaxing on a lazy Sunday morning.

And Maybe Read This, Too

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There’s hardly a consensus on whether Valve’s decision to institute a $100 requirement to list a game on Steam’s Greenlight service was the right move. Even within my own story from earlier this week, which featured opinions on both sides, creators largely, if reluctantly, agreed with Valve’s move. If you find yourself on that side of the argument, The Sea Will Claim Everything designer Jonas Kyratzes has a compelling rebuttal. Kyratzes is behind a critically acclaimed game, and yet, if he hadn’t pulled the trigger on Greenlight pre-fee, he’d have struggled to summon $100 for a maybe. The answers to these questions aren’t clear, and I’m sure--at least, I hope--Valve is listening closely.

To some people, $100 is not a lot of money. To me and my wife (who works two jobs), it’s a week’s worth of food or more. To others, it’s a month’s wages. Do we have absolutely no understanding of the fact that the internet is a global phenomenon and so is indie game development? Even ignoring the fact that developing games requires a great deal of time and effort, platitudes like “why don’t you get a job to finance your game development” don’t help much in countries where there are no jobs, or jobs pay next to nothing. Hell, have you read the statistics on poverty in the United States? Do you think these peoplewant to be poor? Do you think they deserve to be poor?

Maybe that’s the heart of the argument. People have so internalized the ideological myths of capitalism that they believe the poor deserve to be poor. If you don’t have $100, your game must suck, because if it didn’t, you’d already be rich (despite not having access to not only the biggest market, but also to a major source of legitimacy in the eyes of consumers and critics). More than that, you’re not even a game developer – like Calvinists or Social Darwinists, the entitled are certain that their entitlement means they are the chosen, superior few, and everyone else is doomed anyway.

If You Click This, It Will Play

I Don’t Know About This Kickstarter Thing, But These Projects Seem Pretty Cool

Oh, And This Other Stuff

Patrick Klepek on Google+