Welcome to the Rapid Fire Reading List! The world wide web is a big place and my deadlines are always close! So this is where I put all of the interesting links from the week when I haven’t had time to cover them for J Station X. Sometimes they cover feminism/gaming/queer theory and occasionally they cover all three! Read on to find out which big stories were making the headlines this week.
(This column is based on the wonderful ‘Things I Read That I Love’ series by Riese at Autostraddle.)
“I Watched 10 Game Developers Get Demolished by an MMA Champ” (May, 2014) by Keza MacDonald by Kotaku UK – Ok, I’ll be honest here, that headline put me off because an MMA champ pulverising ‘the little guys’ sounds about as mind-numbing as a 10-ton ice cube to the temple but I read it and was pleasantly surprised! It’s actually about aggressive and ridiculous masculinity in games, how that’s perceived by an outsider and why it’s embedded in the culture of one of the world’s most popular MMOs, so in short; brilliant.
“Why Supergiant ditched publishers for the release of Transistor – interview” (May, 2014) by Dave Cook for vg247 – “Distinct is a good word to use with Transistor, because this is a game that exudes a clear identity, a unique, obscure world and SuperGiant’s unmistakable art style. In an industry top-heavy with clones and spins on worn concepts, that’s certainly something to be thankful for, and it’s interesting to learn that Kasavin and the team never start with a base pitch or overarching theme for its games. It’s an organic process that flies in the face of focus testing and ‘box-ticker’ design.”
“Why Kinect-free Xbox One is playing catch-ups with PS4” (May, 2014) by Brenna Hillier for vg247 – More good stuff from vg247 as this one looks at Microsoft’s recent decision to cut costs by removing Kinect from the Xbox One package as well as all of the ins and outs of why a console maker would effectively admit defeat in the face of its competitor. Also, I know I’ve billed it as a very serious article about very serious business things but this is an entertaining gem that I reread about 3 times because I liked it so much.
“Four common questions” (May, 2014) by Rami Ismail for Gamasutra – If you have any interest in game development (as in, making your own games) then for the love of God read this. Rami Ismail knows his stuff and this is one of the most helpful and easy to digest things about making your own games that I’ve read in a while.
“Call of Duty: what would indie developers do to it?” (May, 2014) by Keith Stuart for The Guardian – “Cold open through the sight of a sniper scope. Fast zoom on to typically arid landscape, sand-blasted rubble, long shadows and crumbling stone huts. Your red dot dances across a doorway. Suddenly: movement. You track your dot back – but it’s just a scrawny cat, chasing the laser. The cat stops in its tracks, narrows its eyes, ears flatten, and slowly turns to face the scope. Has it seen something? Then it happens: the cat reaches, with a paw that behaves unnaturally human, behind her tail and pulls out a Desert Eagle. Everything slows down as she shoots and your POV reels backwards. Before you fade to black you catch a glimpse of your falling body in a cracked mirror behind you. You, too, are a cat. Call of Duty Logo. You’re welcome, Activision. I know what the internet wants. Call me for more on the Grumpy Cat Season Pass.” I honestly love this but also I’ll be angry for approximately the next three decades that none of these Call of Duty spin-offs will ever get made, so there’s that too.
“Nintendo apologizes for Tomodachi Life” (May, 2014) by Brendan Sinclair for Games Industry International – This is a follow up statement to the original statement that Nintendo made where they put their foot in it. This is an interesting one to follow, especially through GI’s posts because the writers are unbiased and the comments are relatively mild-mannered even if they’re disagreeable, which I appreciate.
Have something to say about the articles I linked to? Or do you have a post that you think would be a good fit for the column? – Leave a comment and let me know.