Twelve links shall rule them all. In this episode: Ellen Page is gay, Rich Stanton loves Revengeance, droqen pells his hoggam, an economist tells you that Eve tells you nothing about economics and why isn’t everyone watching The Smash Brothers already?

Here Be Links

Breaking news: Ellen Page Simulator 2014 cancelled” – AJ

Another way to look at it is if you were to watch straight porn and the guy had a boner but he was actually gay, that would put you off right away.

The Permadeath Drive” – Chris Whitman

Every ex-WoW player tells the same story. They didn’t stop playing when they stopped enjoying the activity. They played for months or sometimes years after the enjoyment was over. 3:00 a.m. raids, sleep disorders, poor eating habits and health problems are the wages of heavy, routine MMO play. It’s the desperate assertion that you can keep the party going, that you can beat death this one time, even as your life is crumbling beneath you.

Light Entertainment: Our Paedophile Culture” – Andrew O’Hagan

And so you open Pandora’s box to find the seedy ingredients of British populism. It’s not just names, or performers and acts, it’s an ethos. Why is British light entertainment so often based on the sexualisation of people too young to cope? And why is it that we have a press so keen to feed off it? Is it to cover the fact, via some kind of willed outrage, that the culture itself is largely paedophile in its commercial and entertainment excitements?

Replaying Revengeance: Difficulty, Mastery and Fighting” – Rich Stanton

This is not about alternative story branches or new areas to discover, but a core system that is so flexible and large that it has to be gradually unfolded to new players. Mastery of one strata leads onto another, and this is not a question of memorising combos. Think of it more like a tree diagram – an enormous tree, stretching far out and up with countless sub-branches to follow. Then imagine there are shortcuts all over the tree from one fork to another.

Relaxing undirected notepad thought” – Alexander “Droqen” Martin

“A naft of gitches pells at the hoggam” is a statement, even a scene, that means nothing without having any basis upon which to understand what gitches are, how a naft of them is mechanically or emotionally different from simply ‘a gitch’ — or what pelling is — or how one does it at a hoggam, let alone what a hoggam even is.

Early Excess?” – Gregg B

Unlike other media, the artifacts of gaming are getting decreasingly static, and perversely a game’s success can hinge on reviews that remain static once they’re flung into the wild. They’re rarely revisited and with Metacritic’s policy of only honouring the first review the damage can be permanent, especially when those pesky numerical scores are so prominent — and the resulting aggregates even more so.


The UN’s failure to save victims of the famine, combined with the TV images of starving children had caused outrage in America. In the face of that a powerful group of people at the top of some of the relief agencies proposed an alternative. This group have been called “the international humanitarians” and their solution, which would have been unthinkable only a few years before, was that you should go and occupy a country militarily on humanitarian grounds.

Interview: James Sterrett, Professional Wargamer” – Tim Stone

The issues in our sims are more subtle, but I know one instructor has ended exercises by assigning to students, as homework, the task of writing letters to the mothers of three soldiers who died in the simulated battle they just fought, in order to drive further reflection on the seriousness of getting their planning right.

A Retrospective/Post-mortem on Dear Esther” – Robert Briscoe

By this point I only had enough savings left to last me another 4-5 months; I’d sold off most of my worldly belongings and was basically living out of one room in my flat to save on heating and electricity. I was deeply depressed and the future of the project seemed pretty bleak.

War spikes in the Eve Online universe: A political economist’s account” – Yanis Varoufakis

Very soon journalists, some from respectable newspapers and media organisations, started emailing me, seeking my views on the economic significance of this incident, and of the destruction that it caused. I find this fascinating in itself. For when such media outlets take an interest in the way a video game is developing, and pose economic questions about it to an… economist, one knows that something is afoot.

Armageddon 2.0” – Fred Guteri

The consequences of going without power for months, across a large swath of the United States, would be devastating. Backup electrical generators in hospitals and other vulnerable facilities would have to rely on fuel that would be in high demand. Diabetics would go without their insulin; heart attack victims would not have their defibrillators; and sick people would have no place to go.

The Smash Brothers” – East Point Pictures

Commentary from HM: I have never played any Super Smash Bros. title and I have no interest in tournaments. But this is the best videogame documentary I have ever seen. I enjoyed this wayyy more than Indie Game: The Movie. Did you enjoy Iain Banks’ The Player of Games? Then watch this. Thanks to Doug Wilson for all the arm-twisting.

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6 thoughts on “This Link Drag is Ellen Paged

  1. You’re welcome. It amused me! It means you get about 5 extra hits from Electron Dance. I’m afraid that’s all that’s on offer.

  2. Thanks HM. I’m humbled to be included in this here Link Drag! I must say, the title ‘Early Excess’ kind of wrote itself. I wasn’t sure about the question mark but it seemed fitting given how scattershot and uncertain the whole piece was.

  3. No problem, Gregg. I don’t have any coherent thoughts on the business myself but, if I do, I’m sure I’ll have started out with your piece on our new Permanent Alpha culture.

  4. Yeah, Shaun, it’s totally worth it. There is one episode that felt a little slow/not as interesting but overall it’s compulsive watching.

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