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Worth Reading: 08/31/12

While we're all being idiots at PAX, here's a truncated selection of games, stories, and other madness to occupy your weekend.

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My initial thought was to put Worth Reading on hold this Friday, since the crew (sans Alex, sadly) will be wandering around PAX in a stupor. Since Worth Reading has been on and off since the beginning of July, so I’ve put together this truncated version.

Mostly, I just want to talk to people about The Walking Dead’s third episode, which is a...doozy. Without getting into spoiler territory, this feels like the equivalent of a character development episode in a TV show, where it simultaneously feels like nothing happened and everything happened at once. I'm still reeling from some of it.

(Please don't discuss/spoil episode three in the comments.)

I don’t know if you’re reading this at PAX or not, but if you are, stop doing that, and make sure to come up and say hi. The reason we don’t schedule to see very much at PAX is two-fold. One, it feels weird to be cutting in line of the patient folks who paid to be part of this very cool event. Two, the more time we can spend chatting with the users who make this site possible, and this job so great, is vital.

Hope to see you there!

Hey, You Should Play This

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I didn’t intend for Worth Reading to have yet another horror game as a highlight, but when the creator of Slender drops his latest work, you can bet your ass I’ll be the first one to listen. Granted, Where Am I? isn’t a fully fledged follow-up to Slender, but Mark Hadley participated in the more recent Ludum Dare, and came out with...this. I’d agree with the general set of critiques I’ve seen elsewhere. Primarily, Where Am I? takes way too long to execute on its one, pretty excellent scare, but there’s an argument to be made the anxiety and frustration over the prolonged feed greatly into its execution. Stick with it, and if you’re like me, every minute or so will result in moving further and further back from the screen, knowing the “unexpected” scare is coming, and trying to distance yourself from it.

And Maybe Read This, Too

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When companies like Valve, Epic Games and id Software are trumpeting the merits of virtual reality, maybe it’s time to check your preconceived notions of the technology at the door. Touch controls used to be garbage, too, and we all know how that’s turned out, whatever you think of the games built on it. Michael Abrash, the same programmer who co-authored Quake with John Carmack, is heading up a series of R&D projects at Valve, including the idea of wearable computing. Abrash shows the right amount of skepticism about VR 2.0’s prospects mixed with enough excitement to give someone like me pause. I mean, when games like Hawken are announcing support for devices like the Oculus Rift, it’s hard to not get a liiiiiitle bit geeky about the whole thing. Hey, I’m listening. Show me more.

My personal feeling is that – and this is far enough out that it’s something I’m not personally looking at – but my speculation is that there will be haptic devices. Once you have immersive VR that people are really using so that there’s a market for it, there will be experiments all over the place. My guess is that there’ll be some sort of form-fitting, shirt-like thing, and it’ll have some kind of percussive devices so it can tap on your chest and arms. That seems like an obvious and manageable thing. But there are so many ways that could go.

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+