Friday, September 18, 2009

Friday afternoon tidbits

I haven't played any video games this week, and I've had no problem falling asleep at night. I hope these two facts are not related.

-Some very smart people are trying to get a new gaming magazine called Kill Screen off the ground. They're trying to raise $3,500 to publish the thing. As of this writing, they're over halfway there. Take a look and see what you think.

-Congratulations to Denis Farr of Vorpal Bunny Ranch, who is the newest writer for Here's his first article, "NieR's Gender Confusion."

-Michael Abbott says it's time we paid more attention to the Sims. It's a point he also made persuasively about sports games: lots of non-"core" games actually have incredibly deep role-playing and storytelling elements, if we'd bother to look for them.

I don't know, though. All I ever did when I played the Sims was make a bathroom with glass walls, and then I named two Sims after my friends and got them to kiss.

-This is only marginally related to video games: (former?) NBA player Paul Shirley writes in his column that the Beatles don't hold up. I am glad to see somebody make the anti-Beatles case in this ham-handed a fashion, because it deflects attention from my much milder criticisms of the band. Among Shirley's silly, self-evidently false statements are things like "We were not around for The Beatles. Therefore, we cannot judge their impact on popular music," and "The arrangements used by Oasis are more complex, the sound is denser, the production is better."

Shirley also claims that Dean Koontz is superior to Bram Stoker.

-Hey, since we're not even talking about video games at this point, why not also take a look at Dan Brown's 20 worst sentences? Sometimes I think that I should read one of Brown's books before declaring him a shitty writer, but I really don't think it's necessary.


Tim Mackie said...

I got about 50 pages into The Da Vinci code before I had to quit in disgust. Those 20 sentences were exactly the reason why. Loved them.

Simon Ferrari said...

"I don't know, though. All I ever did when I played the Sims was make a bathroom with glass walls, and then I named two Sims after my friends and got them to kiss."

This sounds like something Michael Cera would say in a movie. I don't even like Michael Cera, because he feels so fake. But this feels real, like how Michael Cera would feel if he were a real person and not fake. So you win my Internet for today.

Mitch Krpata said...

Michael Cera's always jackin' my style.

Gary said...

1) I hated Da Vinci Code, but I rarely talk about it because I'm afraid people would assume I objected to the subject rather than the writing.

2) I can't even tell you the despicable things I did with The Sims (after the initial recreate-your-own-house phase). I almost blogged about it at JD once, but chickened out at the last minute for fear of being branded some sort of sociopath.

Mitch Krpata said...

We need a Kinsey report for people's secret Sims behavior.

Al Byrne said...

I genuinely thought you were joking when you said Shirley argued that Koontz was better than Stoker. But no - Shirley's just a ranting buffoon. Excellent.

Garrett Martin said...

Yeah, Shirley sounds like an ass. Not because his anti-Beatles argument holds no water, but because he immediately decides he doesn't like somebody because they're overweight. Class act. Why are non-writers writing about music on a sports website, anyway?

Mitch Krpata said...

I think was so shocked to find a literate athlete that they had to give him a column.

Alex Denham said...

I stopped reading that Shirley column at this quote:

"She couldn't understand my disconnect, which means either that I didn't do a good job of explaining it or that she's an idiot"

Haha.. classic.

Unknown said...

Mitch, thanks for the link to the Kill Screen kickstarter page - we're so close to the goal now that I'm actually kind of scared.

And that Shirley article cracked me up. The hardest thing about writing music (or any?) crit is to separate what you'd rather be listening to from what is actually better. Just assuming that Oasis is better than the Beatles because it's new and you like it better (and oh yeah, because of the production?) is awesomely wrong. On the other hand, what he can do well that I can't is to put something crazy-stupid on the 'Net and say, "I'm right." I wish I could do that, it would save time!