Friday, December 12, 2008

Friday afternoon tidbits

The end of the year is coming up fast. I'm committed to a last-minute cram session, which includes, at the very least, Fallout 3, Prince of Persia, and Yakuza 2. Ryan keeps imploring me to give Castle Crashers a go. I may have to listen to him on this one. Either way, all this stuff is going to keep me very busy this weekend. What will you be playing?

-I don't know a single person who listens to Nickelback. Do you? I know an awful lot of people who are passionate about rock music, but not one of them would admit to liking this band. And yet, in an era when album sales and live attendance are down industry wide, the rock band that no rock fans like continues to sell out arenas and release multi-platinum albums. What this has to do with the news that Nintendo sold 2 million Wiis in November, I'll leave up to you.

-Well, I didn't get a membership card this year, either, but at least Slate's Gaming Club, the year-end roundtable discussion between Chris Suellentrop, Seth Schiesel, Stephen Totilo, and N'Gai Croal, linked to me. In two places! As it was last year, some excellent reading here from some first-rate writers. Next year, perhaps I can stand outside in the rain and watch them type, a single tear rolling down my cheek.

-Shawn Elliott's official reviews symposium lifts off soon, but the meantime check out a couple more unofficial entries from Gary Hodges and Daniel Purvis. I love reading how other people approach their work, and I hope it's true for them, as it was for me, that sitting down and thinking about these questions is a clarifying exercise.

-I may as well acknowledge that a few people have complained about the whole symposium thing, such as some guy on the QT3 forums, and PixelVixen707, who I should remind you is not a real person and is just part of a marketing campaign for a book. I don't understand the objections. People in every field participate in professional development courses, whether it's novelists joining writers' workshops, or tech dudes taking programming classes. How is this any different? I suppose if you presume that it's going to be a circle jerk, sure, there's not much value in that, but I'm optimistic enough to think that it will encourage some genuine self-reflection.

-There's also kind of a weird, but ultimately positive, take on it from Gamers with Jobs.

-I'm not a fan of the lists people make about the sexiest videogame heroines, or the top girl-on-girl kisses in gaming history, or whatever, but it's only fair that the Phoenix's Maddy Myers put together her list of the top 10 videogame studs of 2008. Can't even quibble with her top pick, really, even if he had some questionable genes.


Rick said...

Hey, they introduced me to you, and if I have any say next year (which I won't -- I'm pretty unimportant), you'll be writing with them next year!

Rick said...

(They being the folks at Slate... sorry for not quite being clear.)

Daniel Purvis said...

I'd recommend playing Castle Crashers. It's a fun, if not occasionally frustrating, experience and a great slash 'em up co-op game.

Thanks for the link to Gary Hodges take on the reviews. It was an extremely enlightening piece of writing and somewhat more thought out than mine, haha. It's given plenty of food for thought. His call for every reviewer to complete it is also welcomed, considering the symposium as run by Elliot is specifically aimed at those who I'd arguably already call respected critics, rather than those who review for sites such as IGN or GameSpot.

I'm not sure that PixelVixen707 was calling out that the whole enterprise was a terrible idea but her point is rather valid -- the list of people I'd consider good editor's, as opposed to good writers, is rather short.