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  1. Gaming News and Reviews Sites

    the culture stuff annoys me because it seems so insular and projects a depressing image of gaming (outside of the stuff that's completely disposable man finds jesus on toast type) like polygon in general is pretty good at looking at the diversity of games, they gave gone home game of the year, their features cover a really wide range of stuff within gaming, they try to explore social issues. yet all the culture stuff feels just like stereotypical nerd culture pandering. it's all articles about superhero comic book stuff, the latest blockbuster action films, tv recaps for nerd favs like walking dead and game of thrones. i think there's lots of cool stuff you can look at how gaming relates to the wider world as games don't live in isolation, though i don't want it to dominate the site, but it seems so limited in its world-view. it's like if polgyon the gaming site only covered triple a games.
  2. Quitter's Club: Don't be afraid to quit the book

    i finished this as it was so short but i certainly share your disdain. every point made seemed to be so underdeveloped and unconvincing, more about pompous posturing on lanier's behalf than making a clear and well supported argument. the funny thing is that i actually agree with a lot of the ideas on the surface, but when reading a non-fiction book that isn't going to challenge my understanding of the world i'm looking for either something that is going to add a lot more nuance to what i previously thought, or to express ideas my mind grapples with broadly in a way more cogent manner such that i can see and process the issues clearer. this managed neither.
  3. Books, books, books...

    i think hard-boiled wonderland is an awkward and boring experiment in bridging the gap between his style and the american genre fiction he loves from just before murakami's most fertile period creatively. i'm well overdue a re-assessment of murakami though, i loved his works as a teenager but thought 1Q84 was just absolutely terrible as an adult and while i still believe the wind-up bird chronicle is brilliant i'm a bit suspicious of how much my appreciation of his older stuff was driven by the quality of his work or just that his way of writing male leads particularly resonated with my lonely teenage dork worldview (him and woody allen films kinda defined what it meant to be an adult at that age which is probably bad, particularly wrt seeing women) reading knausgaard's first my struggle book at the moment. i like it but it reminds me of speak, memory in that it makes me feel very sad about my limited powers of memory.
  4. the amount of smoke and mirrors over exclusives at the sony press conference was ridiculous. it came so thick and fast it was hard to even parse the particular linguistic tricks involved because there were so so many in so many forms: console exclusives (or just exclusive stated as meaning console exclusive), debuting first, exclusive content, timed exclusive content, timed exclusive beta, exclusive alpha, exclusive special edition, exclusive data transfer, exclusive co-op game sharing demo. i felt exhausted following it. it seems especially absurd when the ps4 looks like it's going to be the default platform for people who like console games - they don't need that stuff surely. i guess the point was that if you say the word exclusive a million times people will be tricked into thinking more stuff is than really is which is pretty shady way to conduct a press conference. it was nice to watch the nintendo show and not have to bother thinking about that stuff, it's all nintendo games so you know where you stand always. sean murray was on giant bomb's live show and said that they're twelve people now (though he also implied that one or two are also working on joe danger ios and vita stuff)
  5. watch underscore dogs seems to be about ideas of privacy and surveillance in the same pretentious way that nolan's batman films are political. like they want you to be 'oooh look how clever and political and prescient it is' but also not actually be thoughtful or interesting and concerned about following the consequences of those ideas. they're ultimately just window dressing for the fundamental story about a cool man dressed as a bat hitting criminals or a shady badass in an iconic cap shooting people and driving cars fast and killing with hacking powers. as well as feeling unsatisfying it can also lead to unintended consequences like the last batman film feeling fascist or watch underscore dogs thinking it's a goofy power to out trans people, because they just haven't put much thought into what it means but are happy having their cake too by playing around with serious issues
  6. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

    i'm very glad i decided to re-read this book in anticipation of the episode. there were aspects i enjoyed but my experience last year was too riddled in my own struggle trying to puzzle out why hemmingway was considered a quote unquote great american novelist and as a result looking for something more concrete (either in big characters, larger social commentary or clever structural elements) than what this book offers. i think i had to read the book to learn how to start to appreciate it, as this time i'm more relaxed with the material and the pace, prose style and subtle sadness of the characters is resonating with me way more.
  7. Feminism

    i've seen quite a lot of 'you shouldn't focus on mental illness as it stigmatizes people who already have enough issues', at least on twitter, but i'm not sure if i agree with it. prime facie, yes, you absolutely want to avoid people correlating mental illness which is common and an ordeal with you being a dangerous out of control nutter. that's very unfair and otherizes people with them in a cruel, unhelpful way. these are also extraordinary events, though clearly not nearly as extraordinary as you'd hope, and it's sometimes dangerous to try and relate them to more quotidian life. now i'm not really knowledgeable enough to make expert judgments but after reading the reports and manifesto i've been thinking a lot about it to try and process how you get to that stage, and i think there's stuff to be learned from this case that can increase understanding of mental illness and empathy towards those with them. i think people struggle to see mental illness as a real problem because the idea of someones brain working against them and undermining them and robbing them or the ability of make rational choices constantly is alien to their experiences and just what our understanding culturally is of a person, yet reading about rodgers you can really see how his brain just completely fucked him over constantly and led him to dangerous, self-destructive, irrational takeways from events in ordinary life. such an extreme example somehow makes this easier and clearer to process than the more banal experiences i'm used to. i also think there's a sense that mental illness is untouchable and there's nothing you can do, which can make people distant and evade talking about it. yet i feel like the way he was completely isolated and trapped in his horrible thought patters, his inferiority yet also superiority, his anger, his jealousy, for years really fueled him and made real problems absolutely toxic and ultimately fatal. i don't think this means other people are bad people for not being friends with him, but to me the takeaway from the manifesto was to try and be more cognizant of friends that seem isolated and distant and pay more attention to what's going on with the people around me. rodgers was probably too much of a mess to live a normal happy life even with optimal treatment, but i think a meaningful human connection at the right time could at least have prevented this tragic outcome, so i'm going to try and remember that in how i relate to those around me with mental illness or symptoms of them, being there to help prevent them from getting worse.
  8. Feminism

    i've read quite a lot of his manifesto but i'm not really convinced he's an mra. don't get me wrong, it's probably the most misogynist thing i've ever read, the guy hates women so profoundly and viciously it's incredibly uncomfortable and blames them for all his problems. but while mra's and misogyny are fundamentally linked, not all misogynists are mra's. normally you can tell in under a minute if someone lives in the mra world because with their rhetoric it's all about feminism as the enemy, it's very political, instant barricades, ranging from 'not all men' to vicious attacks on people expressing feminist viewpoints. a place where men's rights are defined solely along us vs them sports team politics. yet in 140 pages he barely mentions feminism and seems fairly apolitical, all his problems with women are deeply personal in nature and related to his narcissism and personality disorders, he hates them because they don't smile at him, or show him attention or do anything to him that isn't just worshiping at the altar (the culture informs the personal of course and you can see that in the document, but that's patriarchal assumptions about masculinity and the way men should act and look at women instead of mra's specifically). i don't think he's a pick up artist either. he believes he is entitled to women just by being a man (and rich) - whereas pick up artists believe that interacting with women should be like playing dark souls and that everyone that is failing is a weak person who just needs to master their awful rules. this might sound like a lot of words to split pointless hairs about different flavours of what are all awful mens groups, but i think there's value in distinguishing the different manifestations of how men hate women.
  9. there's a bit of recurring theme in the tone control episodes i've heard about getting your foot in through good luck then being willing to take the initiative with extra responsibility. i'm not in the games industry but i think that's a useful idea for success in lots of things. ryan was a bit guarded about the number one thing i was curious about from someone who worked with him but doesn't have to follow the pr script, which was how much kojima is responsible for the games he produces. as a big fan of kojipro's games i find it fascinating, especially as i find the games oscillate between the sublime and the dreadful in a way few things do and i can't work out whether it's that kojima is incredibly eccentric or whether it's a push and pull between him and his team or both or whatever. crunch in the japanese game industry sounds especially brutal
  10. Books, books, books...

    pnin is my favourite book! it breaks my heart constantly and i want to give him a huge hug while also laughing at his bumbling and funny appearance (funny + sad is my favourite combination in general) it's amazing the detail to which he captures pnin's utter and tragic devotion to his russian heritage, he literally cannot relate to anything through any other lens. the prose is brilliant of course, sometimes it feels like nabokov's unbelievable mastery of the language is used to play games with the reader but in pnin it's deployed to either make you laugh or to cut deep into pnin as a human Only in the detachment of an incurable complaint, in the sanity near death, could one cope with this for a moment. In order to exist rationally, Pnin had taught himself, during the last ten years, never to remember Mira Belochkin - not because, in itself, the evocation of a youthful love affair, banal and brief, threatened his peace of mind (alas, recollections of his marriage to Liza were imperious enough to crowd out any former romance), but because, if one were quite sincere with oneself, no conscience, and hence no consciousness, could be expected to subsist in a world where such things as Mira's death were possible. One had to forget - because one could not live with the thought that this graceful, fragile, tender young woman with those eyes, that smile, those gardens and snows in the background, had been brought in a cattle car to an extermination camp and killed by an injection of phenol to the heart, into the gentle heart one had heard beating under one's lips in the dusk of the past. And since the exact form of her death had not been recorded, Mira kept dying a great number of deaths in one's mind, and undergoing a great number of resurrections, only to die again and again, led away by a trained nurse, inoculated with filth, tetanus, bacilli, broken glass, gassed in a sham shower-bath with prussic acid, burned alive in a pit on a gasoline-soaked pile of beechwood i haven't read stoner yet - it's been on constant reserve at the library since it blew up last year :/ - but another good book about university professors is lucky jim, though this is more straightforwardly comic.
  11. The Nintendo Wii U is Great Thread

    I thought the 3D World trailer they showed in the direct looked amazing. More 3D land but with tons of new gameplay ideas. Also while it's very fashionable right now to argue that Nintendo should go handheld exclusive, gosh the simple art style and vivid colour palette really pop in HD.
  12. Nintendo 3DS

    I'm so used to the XL now that i find it hard to imagine how i got on with the original. I gave my old one to my sister and the top screen just seems so small whenever i see her playing. Anyway i'm playing Crimson Shroud at the moment. It's wonderful. I've often wondered what a jrpg short story would look like, given how much of the genre is about grand adventure over 40 hours, and this is it done very well. It has a nice intimate feel being only about three people in a small dungeon with a few flashbacks yet the writing hints at this grand history behind the characters and world that gives it a real sense of intrigue. As it can't do sustained character customization through leveling it instead focuses on making each battle drawn out and strategic, forcing you to properly consider buffs and debuffs, party balance and your elemental combinations to increase damage. I'm right near the end but the are destroying me so i probably need to mess around with melding more. Downloaded Attack of the Friday Monsters too so looking forward to digging into that <3 Guild Series
  13. PlayStation+

    I'm pretty fond of the service. Just to put to one side the value you get which i think is very good, especially as someone who also owns a vita it does a few things i appreciate - by being curated it exposes you to games you wouldn't otherwise have played or taken a risk on, out of feeling obligated to get your moneys worth and the low barrier once you have them avaliable for free. i think they've done a good job at having a wide variety within the constraints.of being well reviewed games on ps3: good range of genres, good balance between western and japanese games. though there could maybe be more good indie stuff on ps3 (there's more indie focus on vita, but that's more a reflection of what's on that platform). - having a new group of games each month means that friends and internet communuties also part of ps+ synchronise their playing habits which leads to interesting discussions. yes i know lots of people playing the same game is common - loads will be playing gtav right now - but i think it's nice to have these conversations distanced from the hype and expectations around new releases. I'd be fascinated to know how it works out from a buisness perspective.