Four writings, one podcast, two games, a bundle and two exquisite videos. Contributions from Chris Spann, Chris Dahlen, Drew Toal, Daniel Joseph, Eric Brasure, and Jenn Frank. Yes, that Jenn Frank. Again.
“Beards, Fear & Incompetence: A Dwarf Fortress Diary” by Chris Spann (Arcadian Rhythms), April 2012. The final part is really why I’m linking this here because it made me laugh. On the toilet. At work. There, I said it. As the game collapses in front of his eyes, Chris disintegrates along with it.
…where they indiscriminately murdered a few Dwarves; soaking the stone in their thick, boozy blood before pissing straight back off the way they came… straight into the newest piece of bad news to hit Plaitedhatchets.
A piece of news so terrifyingly bad that I had to look up what it was before realising just how bad this bad news was.
Really fucking bad, if you’re interested.
“Friendly Fire” by Chris Dahlen (Unwinnable), 29 May 2012. By the time my children are old enough to play games with Daddy, Chris Dahlen will have exhausted all the topics that I could’ve written about. So don’t read them and give me a goddamn chance. Don’t read this article, specifically, about how tricky co-op can be for the parent-child relationship. This is so, so true.
Co-op gameplay is both the best and the worst. At our worst, we’re like squabbling kids, blaming each other for every mistake. We lasted 10 minutes with New Super Mario Bros. Wii before I had to take it out back and bury it in the ground.
“Scrabble for Cheaters” by Drew Toal (The Gameological Society), 16 May 2012. Now I only clicked on this because the name Hofmeier was attached to it, so let’s not beat around the bush here, I’m pretty darn fucking shallow. But how about a clever game for charity called Scrabble for Cheaters? Does that work for you instead? (I’m not sold on the final remarks about bending rules being a natural evolution of games… I mean, this is Scrabble for Cheaters, I don’t need any additional takeaways.)
“You’re catching me right after we got creamed,” he grimly informed me. “I’m filled with rage. Scrabble For Cheaters has nothing to do with real Scrabble. They’d be dead if we played them for real.” In George R.R. Martin’s brutal world, this would probably mean putting his opponents’ heads on spikes and pasting Scrabble tiles where their eyes used to be.
“On the Videogame Auteur” by Daniel Joseph (Drop Out. Hang Out. Space Out.), 16 Apr 2012. Interesting thoughts on how indie developers function; no real conclusions, just concerning questions. I’m having some of these thoughts myself so it’s nice to see someone wrestling with them.
I wonder how they come into existence. I wonder how they disappear. Sometimes this has to do with macro-economic flows. I wonder how many indies will leave Toronto when they get a little bit older, and want to raise a family. I wonder because we currently have a massive property bubble in Toronto.
“Dialogue Tree Episode 1, You’re Ruining Our Fun” by Eric Brasure with Michael Abbott, 7 Dec 2012. Picked this up via Richard Hofmeier; hour-long podcast interview with Michael “The Brainy Gamer” Abbott. Plenty of discussion about not just games in academia (a la Portal being on a course reading list) but also games studies as an exclusionary field that is littered with insights. Recommend if you’re enjoying The Academics Are Coming.
I Can’t Read Show Me Pictures
The moment Jenn Frank says “Fellas…” in this video was the moment she was guaranteed to be Link Dragged again. This is attached to an article she wrote for Motherboard but why spoil this with actual words? Tell us, Jenn. Tell us about Cho Aniki.
Awesome Façade music video picked up via Ian Bogost via pseudonymous John Brindle. So when you forward this you have to say you got it via Ian Bogost via John Brindle via Electron Dance. Best watched if you’ve played Façade before.