Still hard at work on that piece for the Phoenix, so it's been tough to devote full-time energy to blogging this week. But I've read some interesting stuff that's too good not to share.
-If you want your brain broken, Dan Bruno at Cruise Elroy is writing a multi-part thesis on the music in Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. This is an insightful, illuminating series that shows how many different ways there are to go about analyzing games. And it shows how important it is to learn about things besides video games as a way of actually increasing your ability to enjoy games. Very cool.
-The Brainy Gamer is putting together a syllabus for a course on electronic RPGs. Although it's a bit past time to enter your own suggestions, I highly recommend reading the comments thread on the original post. As someone whose experience with RPGs is limited to the Final Fantasy series, with one detour into Chrono Trigger, I was amazed at the breadth of the genre, and by the passion of the commenters for their favorites. Someday, when I'm independently wealthy and retired, I'm gonna play Planescape: Torment.
-This week marked Leigh Alexander's debut as Kotaku's associate news editor. Her first piece was a look at the strife surrounding the EA-Take-Two merger. It's nice to see this kind of long-form, hard news on a game site. It's the kind of thing you might occasionally see in the Times or the Post, but it makes sense that a site like Kotaku should be leading the pack here. I'll look forward to more of this. Also, other people doing real journalism means I can continue never leaving my house.
-Apropos of the question of race in games, Matthew Gallant is posting an essay about race and rock 'n' roll in the 1950s. It's always easier to see this stuff as an historical artifact, but there's a lot of relevance to today's culture. 50 years is not a long time.
-Bill Harris on how the Resident Evil 5 trailer should have been done.
-Magical Wasteland feels sympathy for games writers. Part of what makes blogging great is that you're not beholden to publishers or PR folks. And I can't say how grateful I am to be reviewing games for a publication like the Phoenix, which doesn't depend on ads from game companies and therefore gives me wide latitude to bash a game if I need to. On the other hand, I certainly don't have any "access, favor, or discretion," to borrow from Deadspin. The guys at Gamespot and IGN must be walking a tightrope at all times -- Matt Cassamassina needs those chummy Perrin Kaplan interviews. I also nearly jumped at a chance to apply for one of those Gamespot positions recently, before I realized that I didn't want to work 60-hour weeks. One game a week is all right with me.
-Not games related, but I've been reading Parallel Worlds by Michio Kaku, and it's alternately thrilling and terrifying. The universe (multiverse?) is a strange, strange place.