Category Archives: 2011.08

Roundup of Unusual Size: More cute headcrabs! Oh, and some links and stuff.

(art credit goes to blackrathmar @ deviantArt)

Videogames

Kate Cox has posted again, and that’s really all the reason you should need.

Mazels tonight go to Limbo devs PlayDead, who have used the profits from their landmark 2010 title to pay off their debts and buy back their company from investors.

Film

This live action Captain Planet parody has been circling today, but I like Susana Polo’s whole grimdark interpretation even more.

Nightmare Fuel

Science makes yet another Edgar Allen Poe story a reality.

And normally I’d link you to the podcast itself, but something like the Simulation Argument, which tends to keep me up at night, benefits from Mark Frauenfelder’s distillation of the premise. Thought experiments about the nature of the universe and reality are scary, kids.

Moment of Awwww

Say hi to Jackie, a 10-year-old transgirl whose parents not only love and fully support her, they’ve helped her to transition.

Roundup of Unusual Size: Thank you, Mood.

Videogames

Oh my goodness, is it member blog day again already? Let’s start with Mathew Stone about feeling bravery in games, then shimmy over to Dylan Woodbury and Eric Schwarz for a double-whammy on RPGs.

Thom Dinsdale writes about the circus ruining gamification.

While you were sleeping, female game journalists ceased to exist. Maggie Greene has some thoughts on that.

A couple strong ones from Joystick Division on morality in games, the first from Rich Shivener and the second from Garrett Martin about Deus Ex: Human Revolution.

Scott Juster gripes about some of the problems he’s been encountering in Catherine.

Tadhg Kelly of What Games Are supposes on a fundamental reason behind gamers not finishing their games.

Animation

Adventure Time genderswapped musical special with Neil Patrick Harris!

Curios

Oh man, think of how fast he could type.

Roundup of Unusual Size: Please Sign My “Bring Back ‘Gynoid'” Petition

I’m baaaack! I thought about taking some extra time off, but now that I’m back to my day job as well I figured, why delay things further?

I’m in three phenomenal courses this semester which should help shape my critical output for the next few months. But more on that another time. I have a linklist to get to. And mind you, I’m not even going to ATTEMPT to sift through all the news I missed, but it’s not like anyone was even blogging while PAX was on, right?

Videogames

First out the gate, Darius Kazemi has a new column up at Paste and you should totally read it.

Finally! The Pink Knight is available for Castle Crashers. For free! To benefit breast cancer research!

Mitch Krpata asserts that maybe a lot of game critics actually just suck at games. I never thought this was a secret? We’d write ourselves right out of relevancy if we sought only the hardcore perspective.

Mike Schiller came up with his final post on Bastion just as I came off hiatus! I love you, Mike.

Kirk “Pretty Fly for a Jazz Guy” Hamilton interviews Jennifer “FemShep” Hale. Excellent.

This one was recced to me during my break: the storytelling of Super Metroid.

Mattie Brice tackles the difficult conundrum of transgender characters in Atlus games.

And before I lose you to the other categories, be sure to check out the latest Sunday Papers and This Week in Videogame Blogging as well.

Film

Oh holy jesus, more Johnny Depp as Hunter S. Thompson? The universe has answered my prayers.

Music

The first science fiction film is to become a faaaabulous rock opera!

SCIENCE!

Ever wonder why human animals think we’re not the animals, the other animals are? Baby, we were born that way.

Hacktivism

Oh, shut the hell up.

Moment of Zen

What happens when you make two chatbots hold a conversation?

Roundup of Unusual Size: Gender, Memory, and Brain Fever

(art source: the_chaos_theory @ deviantArt)

Wow, I seem to take breaks a lot. But then I remind myself I don’t live in a parallel reality with 28-hour days, and feel a little less guilty.

In other words, I’m taking a break again. But here’s a roundup for you tonight anyway!

Videogames

Eee, I love it! Genderswapped Super Mario cast!

Gorgeous gamer dating sim about a bomb scare? I’m there.

Kate Cox tackles death in games. Elegantly, as usual.

Anna Anthropy writes for The Border House. Nuff said.

SCIENCE!

Annalee Newitz argues for the necessity of memory-altering drugs.

Great video and commentary on why our brains are lying liars who lie.

Curios

According to The Economist, Americans support tax breaks for the rich because American politics are like a junior high locker room. No, trust me, it makes sense.

Gorgeous Blade Runnerification of Paris concept art.

After infiltrating the Tea Party, this journalist thinks he’s finally figured out what their damage is.

But will it run on little girls in tiny dresses?

Hacktivism

Scientific American details how BART shut. down. EVERYTHING. during the Anonymous protest.

Nightmare Fuel

This one’s for you, Ben. Deadly brain-eating amoebae.

Roundup of Unusual Size: DISPATCHING WHAAAMBULANCE TO VIRGINIA

Of course, we all know the real reason the Mormons want to ban those darn Victorians…

(Need website for this artist!)

Videogames

It’s Member Blog day! First up, can learning about game design suck the joy out of playing them? Second, Joey Gibbs writes about spatial constraints and narrative.

Haven’t or can’t play “The Stanley Parable”? Don’t worry; there’s a complete video walkthrough now.

I don’t know about you guys but a world in which single-player gaming is completely dead is not a world where I want to live.

And Joel Goodwin’s second part of his interview with David Fox is now live as well, so that’s something.

Film

A thriller about face-blindness? Could be corny, could be awesome. Cornawesome? Anyway, it has Milla Jovovich, so that’s reason enough.

Television

Stephen Colbert(‘s 3D printed head) in spaaaaace!

Reading/Writing

Virginia school bans Arthur Conan Doyle’s A Study in Scarlet for being offensive to Mormons. Someone should remind the schoolboard that roughly 90% of the Sherlock Holmes canon is apt to offend someone. Quick, ban “The Adventure of the Five Pips” before the KKK gets their feelurs hurt.

Curios

Gotta love the British law enforcement these days. First they jail a couple of guys for four years for “using Facebook to incite disorder” and then theyarrest a guy for organizing a water fight via Blackberry. THE FACE OF COMPETENCY.

Not to say we’re terribly innocent stateside, what with a woman recording a brutal police beating being charged with “illegal wiretapping” (what the fuck).

Quit saying Kansas is flat as a pancake! Pancakes have more dimension than Kansas.

Moment of Zen

Brother tells sister to stay out of his room. Sister (and family) totally disregard this with epic results.

Roundup of Unusual Size: This is the talking point that never ends, yes gamification goes on and on my friends…

Videogames

I wrote the Critical Distance yesterday! Go and read it.

And good friend and colleague Eric Swain has an essay on the geneology of Dragon Age II.

Kill Screen has a new feature on the game design of everyday things. Futurismic lectures us on overreading. And welcome to the Kirk and Leigh Letters, Part 2: Deus Ex.

Gamification is the gift that keeps on giving, at least where Ian Bogost is involved.

Television

/x/ have been searching for this for years, and now it exists! Thank you, internets! Crybaby Lane is now online! EDIT: Damn it, takedown notice from Viacom already. ;(

SCIENCE!

Here’s a nice list of some of the half-evolved and useless parts of the human species.

Curios

Gay finches mate for life. Sounds like a Born Ruffians song.

And David Liss looks at how magic got to be elitist.

Hacktivism

And then, suddenly, Anonymous are back in the news, staging a protest in San Francisco.

Nightmare Fuel

Bullet-proof spider silk goat milk armor… skin. What.

Okay, let’s wash that out of the memory for a bit.

Moment of Awwwww

Cheer up, here’s a stampede of corgis!

Roundup of Unusual Size: I don’t want to live on this planet anymore.

That must be a wonderful job.

Videogames

Well, Critical Distance’s This Week in Videogame Blogging goes live in a few hours?

Television

And wait, Banksy is making a television show? Okay, fine. Sell-out.

Curios

Nothing gets my overprotective mother hen side going like hearing something bad has happened to Shepard Fairey. It doesn’t make it better that Boing Boing speculates the ambush was set up by the press.

FAIL

Here’s a fail from the article’s subject, not the authors. Homophobic, xenophobic, climate change denying presidential candidate loves Pokemon, fails to get its message.

And finally…

Nightmare Fuel

Someone has finally died by vampire bat.

Roundup of Unusual Size: Tonight’s list is guaranteed escort mission free.

I didn’t realize that taking a break from Wizard and Glass to watch a bit of The Stand would lead me straight into crossover territory. Then again, I could throw a stick in the general direction of King’s entire output and hit something that crosses over with Dark Tower.

Videogames

These adventure game mashups of classic paintings are divine.

And over on Joystick Division we pay tribute to the five worst mission types in games. And Gus Mastrapa addresses the problem of DRM and how it’s worse than we know.

Lastly, Tadhg Kelly at What Games Are says we shouldn’t get mad, should make lemonade after all.

Film

io9 has a roundup of the less than cheerful response to the news that the unconventional story structure of World War Z has been given a conventional glitz and glamour Hollywood adaptation.

Television

PBS offers up a compelling argument for keeping their number one couple on Sesame Street unmarried: they’re not adults.

SCIENCE!

Excellent look at how language affects color perception.

Finally, the kind of scientific progress we’ve been waiting for.

Curios

This might be the best office window post-it note battle in history.

At best, twin reduction seems understandably controversial, mitigating financial circumstances be damned. Of course, it’s nothing compared to this paper on trying to cure homosexuality with electrodes and rape.

Roundup of Unusual Size: Plz fund my Kickstarter proposal to be named honorary Professor of Interwebs

(art source needed!)

Videogames

The latest of Kate Cox’s Beyond the Girl Gamer series is now live. A recommended read, as always.

Randomessa at Casual Is As Casual Does takes apart the sexual dimorphism of several races in Guild Wars 2.

IndieGames interviews Yasunori Mitsuda about Play for Japan.

Amidst discussions on why like should or shouldn’t hire like in the course of building the game industry of the future, Lisa Brown advocates for the benefits of a liberal arts education.

And if motion control isn’t gimmicky enough for you, maybe tactile gaming will tickle your spine.

Fandom

Words cannot describe how much I want this.

SCIENCE!

Into the dark planet. The very, very dark planet.

Well… that’s an interesting Kickstarter project.

Roundup of Unusual Size: I may or may not have put on a Midnight Venus voice.

Videogames

Having just wrapped a podcast about Catherine for Moving Pixels, it’s my pleasure to link today’s blog post by G. Christopher Williams on that very subject: The Taming of the Dude.

SCIENCE!

Fossilized toe holds the secrets to our randy ancestors. Or that’s what I’m getting from it, at least.

Curios

Meatspace 8-bit sculptures.

What is suspension of disbelief, and why do we like it? io9 explains. They also suggest that spoilers don’t actually ruin stories. But I’d take that with a grain of salt, as someone who flipped to the last page of 1984 as a 12-year-old and has regretted it since.

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