Friday, April 18, 2008

Friday links

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.

34 comments:

Valerie said...

How does someone fight like a dairy farmer? How do dairy farmers fight? Different than normal??? :)

Mitch Krpata said...

Better than cows fight.

Katie cat said...

sounds cool, I'll have to check some of these out!

Loren Eaton said...

You must play Planescape: Torment, even if you don't like videogames. It's chock full with meaty stuff like theories of epistimology and the like. Plus, it has an incredibly creative narrative.

shroomheat said...

good blog thankyou

Ryan Davies said...

Ah yes, Monkey Island.

Matthew Gallant said...

Many thanks for the link, Mitch. I've been really enjoying Dan Bruno's series on Zelda music as well, despite the fact that most of the theory is way over my head.

Mina Jade said...

Hello,
I am glad to find this blog; when I began to write short stories I joined to a book publisher which was the owner of the very first Hungarian RPG and I am fond of those colleagues. I like computer games, too, and love everything connected with fantasy.

MovieWatcher said...

I had not heard about The Phoenix before. Going to check out the website. You have a nice blog

Scott Gunsaullus said...

The only things missing from Harris's version of the RE5 trailer are puppies and kittens. He makes some good points about the history of racism in the United States but misses the mark on Resident Evil.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Dan Bruno said...

Thanks for the link, Mitch, and thanks Matthew for your kind words. I hope the rest of you enjoy the posts too, occasional lapses into music theory jargon notwithstanding.

Michael Abbott said...

Appreciate the linkage, Mitch. Glad you found the syllabus project interesting.

I've been enjoying all the Insult Swordfighting love running rampant through the interwebs of late. Well deserved, I say. :-)

And I agree with Loren. Planescape: Torment is amazing. A game that complex and ambitious (and big and difficult and overblown) is difficult to imagine today.

K.C. said...

Great blog. So much time invested in it. Reading Hawking's Briefer History in Time, while browsing Rich Dad's Financial IQ right now. When I finish, I AM going to get Parallel Universe. It is something that I have been fascinated with for some time now. Glad I saw your blog. KC

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R2K said...

: )

Anonymous said...

okay la

JAMJARSUPERSTAR said...

Zelda always has a great soundtrack, and some of the music I'd go as far as saying is iconic in games (I'm thinking Zelda's theme, Ganondorf's theme mainly).
God, am I glad I found this site!
Ciao

http://scarletsculturegarden.blogspot.com
http://jamjarsuperstar.blogspot.com

Twinklescrapbooks said...

Congrats on being a blog of note! :) tina

C. Marie Byars said...

I saw you on "Blogs of Note." With a title like that, I had to see what was up. Love the heading. I sort of picture Garison Keeler's Lake Woegegone Minnesota Scandanavians fighting like dairy farmers. Anyway, I'm really not a gamer. I have too much restless energy to be a gamer except in short sputs here & there.

Mina Jade said...

I am not a gamer in the first place, I am kind of author and reader about fantasy.
Fantasy rocks!

video game master said...

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Amanda Wildefyre said...

I prefer Indian Leg Wrestling myself, good read non the less!

anon said...

dairy farmers are use to fighting the cows


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Liquid said...

Hope your ankle is feeling better!

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shroomheat said...

thankyou for the links i will surf every one and will also link to this wonderful blog thankyou for your contributions to making the world a bettar place and peace!

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chambilkethakur said...

I must say a very impressive blog.
by the way, have you played Heroes of Might and Magic, i saw all your archive, but couldn't see anything on that one.

suresh said...

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Keep the good working going.

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