Games

Working through the pile of shame.

2020 consumption: a look at some stuff I liked

It’s that time again? Shit.

I mean…

I suppose this year hasn’t exactly been kind to my interpretation of, y’know, time, so it’s not a surprise that this has crept up on me. Anyway, for the benefit of me and the dick-pill spambots that flood my comments section, I guess it’s time to chunk out some words about things I liked this year.

As ever, I’m a bit uncertain as to why I do this. It feels like a bit of an indulgence, but I suppose it does allow me a bit of breathing space to look back at the year through the prism of entertainment and formulate some thoughts about it. Whether they’re any good is still up for debate, but before we get too deep in the ontological weeds, let’s get on with it.

Previous versions are here, here, herehere, here, here and here if you need an introduction.

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Book review: Masters of Doom

Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture by David Kushner.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars.

During high school, I had a PC. I was a bit bummed by it (largely because it wasn’t an Amiga) but that didn’t last after, in my final years, Wolfenstein 3D came out. From id Software, the game saw you eventually kill mecha-Hitler in a Nazi castle. It was, arguably, the beginning of the wave of first-person shooter games that would come to dominate computers.

You know what I love about this game? The subtlety.

It was (in ’92) the product, largely, of two guys: John Carmack and John Romero. They already had made a bunch of money through the shareware distribution of earlier games, but the duo were on the cusp of history. Just around the corner was one of the most influential and hated-by-politicians games ever: Doom.

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Book review: Blood, Sweat and Pixels

Blood, Sweat and Pixels by Jason Schreier.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars.

Making games sounds fun, right? Like, you get to hang out in cool offices and make things that are fun to play that people love? Sounds great.

It’s not, and that’s not just because the gaming audience is equally likely to lob death threats into your inbox as praise: it’s because the way games are made is fundamentally fuuuuucked.

At least this guy can go home at night.
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Ten months, thirty games?

I’ve realised that there’s been a lot of time since my last post about what I’ve been playing, games-wise.

Blame it on 2020, or blame it on my laziness. Either works.

Still, I should have a bit of a hack at what’s been getting in my eyeballs since I last wrote. Which was, er, for my what-I-liked-in-2019 post.

Oh good.

Yikes.

Let’s catch up on ten months of gaming, shall we?

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Book review: Game Changers

Game Changers.Game Changers by Dan Golding and Leena van Deventer.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars.

This is a neat read from two writer-academics who’ve built careers in the gaming sphere. They’re passionate about what the form can be, and have both had buckets of shit tipped on them for daring to disagree with Gamergaters or – in van Deventer’s case – for daring to be a woman online.

It’s a tag-team affair, with both authors taking a shot at a selection of topics revolving around representation in gaming, and the entrenched mindset of producers and consumers alike. It’s written from a position of deep love for games, and a respect for gamers as something other than the basement-dwelling – and fallacious – stereotype. And it’s most importantly a work that realises that games are something that can bring us closer together while allowing voices other than those of cisgender white men to have a say.
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2019 consumption: a look at some stuff I liked

So here we are again.

I remember not to answer the phone, though.

Once more, it’s the point of the year where I write a usually-lengthy post about the things I’ve enjoyed this year. I write a bunch of stuff about the cultural bits and pieces I’ve consumed through the year and figure out what was good and what wasn’t, in the hope of providing something of a portrait of my entertainment consumption over the past twelve months.

Previous versions are here, herehere, here, here and here if you need an introduction.
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Games update? Sure, why not.

So I guess it’s time for a gaming update. I haven’t written about what I’ve been playing for a while because I just can’t seem to gather the impetus to do so.

I mean, it’s not UNrepresentative.

The next couple of weeks are going to be hectic as fuck – the house is almost completed and we’ll be moving within the next fortnight – so I guess now’s as good a time as any to cover the missing bits. So let’s do this!

(I understand if you don’t want to, frankly.)

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Fumiko! (2017)

I’ve a slightly longer post brewing about the games I’ve been playing over the past couple of months. They’ve been longer and fairly involved, so I’ve been dragging my heels on getting something out there. But I just completed a game I chose at random from my collection, which turned out to be about seven hours worth of Good Times (well, mostly) and featured a whole lot of cyberpunk hoo-ha and stylish graphic nonsense, created by a very small team.

TLDR? I’ve been hanging out with an AI that has boxy hair and an alarming habit of exploding. (more…)

Destiny and servitude but with joysticks

Since I last talked about games here I’ve entered something of a slump, as far as the whole pew pew thing goes. I’ve played a couple of ’em in that time, and there’s been some really enjoyable aspects to all of them. But the overwhelming feeling has been one of meh: that there’s something that I’m missing, and I’m stuffed if I can tell what it is.

Conveyed well, with better hair.

Is it me? Or is it the games that are wrong? Well, let’s see.

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Pre-Sequel, phantoms and prehistory

So I’ve been playing through a couple of games of late, and haven’t written anything about ’em. Time to rectify that. Strap in if you’re delighted by the second-hand thoughts of my gaming exploits. It’s fun, I assure you.

(It probably isn’t, but bear with me.)

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