Find your seven click escapes below.

“Make something that makes something: Inside the Procedural Generation Jam” – Christian Donlan

“For whatever reason, and I’m still not sure why, the jam brought together academic researchers, students, indie developers, artists, novice game designers, people who don’t think they really have anything to do with games at all,” says Cook. “They wanted to make a tool or whatever, fabric generators, quilt pattern generators – and they were all on the same hashtag, talking to each other. And I thought: after all the things I’ve been angry about, this is exactly what I want, actually.”

FAV LONG “A Jedi Saga” – Raph Koster

This is all fine and dandy in games where you play a Jedi and mow down Stormtroopers by the hundreds. It worked great in the Jedi Knight games. But Jedi are notably absent from the gameplay of other types of Star Wars games, and for a good reason. They are a discontinuity. They are too powerful. They are an alpha class. Not a problem is a single-player environment, but what do you do with them in a multiplayer setting where some people are badass Han Solo types who will always lose?

“The web has stolen my creativity. I need the time and space to think…” – Jemima Kiss

The endless news feed doesn’t want you to read that news story – it wants you to throw yourself into the frantic social currency of scrolling, of liking and of more sharing. It isn’t designed to offer the optimum environment for you to lose yourself in a thorough, well-researched piece about the health industry in the developing world, say, that invites you to comment and question the writers and experts who contributed.

LONG “Is this the world’s most radical president?” – Giles Tremlett

The man who most Uruguayans call El Pepe drives a 25-year-old Volkswagen Beetle, lives in a tiny house on a rural smallholding, and gives away 90% of his salary. His deliberately coarse but pragmatic style delights Uruguay’s poor, but also works for part of its middle classes – a trick that other populist Latin American leaders, invoking the great liberator Simón Bolívar, have conspicuously failed to turn.

“Deconstructing feedback” – Mike Bithell

You need to suppress that urge to ignore rude people, or massively trust people who were nice to you. It’s a human, social impulse, and it’s nice and warm and fuzzy but utterly useless to designers. Leave that compartmentalisation of people as either heroes or demons for twitter, where it belongs.

“Is Playing A Videogame For Two Years Worth It?” – Michael Thomsen

In the interim, I have spent an even longer period of time playing a single game every few days, violating my own prescriptions while seeking for some better way to approach time, to cull meaning from its abasement in play. Before I started, I watched the ending. There was nothing to it. Super Hexagon is a game of repeating the same basic choice again and again, the player guiding a pip around the center of a hexagon as various patterned lines are collapsing in on it, needing only to find which of the six hexagonal planes to rotate to in order to avoid the collapsing structures.

“The Aesthetic Flaws of Games” – Chris Bateman

Movies, books, and other narrative artworks have a well-established critical lexicon; while critics might not agree about any given example, they largely concur on how criticism of these forms should proceed. But what are the ways that a game can manifest aesthetic flaws, and how does this relate to classical art forms?

Small Print

Some of these links are sourced from recommendations and apologies for not acknowledging where they came from. I throw scores of links into Instapaper every week and I have no record of their origins. Note also that links are not endorsements of any kind.

Also, if you get really bored, the Weapons of Progress Twitter account slowly dribbles out links which may or may not be related to my not-gonna-be-finished-for-a-while book on videogame economics.

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