Sunday is a day for reading, catching up on blogs, and going to Fairs to celebrate all things 1950s. That last one may just be me, however.
So, hey, what's Matthew Wasteland been up to this week? I'm glad you asked because he's been playing open world racing game Fuel apparently, and writing about it, which is doubly beneficial for This Week in Videogame Blogging as we’d have less things to link to and less great things to read this week. His post 'Fuel: A Tragicomedy in Two Acts' goes a bit like this;
I was seized by the idea that perhaps Fuel had unintentionally created the first game that dove into the depths of existential absurdity, a disguised meditation on the ultimate pointlessness of everything. Might Fuel actually be a game that explores the place of mankind in the cosmos by placing him in this ludicrously illogical, staggeringly gigantic world for no apparent reason? Was Fuel the secret Waiting for Godot of video games?
And it kind of makes me wish for a real existential crisis videogame.
The fine Southern Gentleman LB Jeffries finally manages to explain Unit Operations to me, this week, and for you too if you choose to read his fine piece of paraphrasing. I wish I had Jeffries’ article to hand when I was writing my honours thesis last year, kids these days have it so easy: you don't have to wade through obtuse references to Lacan or even look up what 'fungible' means in the dictionary.
Jonathan Stickles, a student of the Digipen Game Design school, writes on his blog about 'Total Player Alienation and Far Cry 2'. I left a big long comment that is still waiting on moderation, so I wonder how active the blog is, but give it a read nonetheless. On a completely unrelated note, I played this really quite excellent game 'Froggle' by some students of Digipen's 2008 cohort. Tongue grabbing, frog swinging action? Yes please!
Michael Abbott wrote a post about perspective and Point of View in games this week.
How do you enjoy what is by all accounts “a great game” while its creator is “a hateful homophobe”? The answer, according to the Gay Gamer blog, is to donate to your favourite Gay-friendly charity.
Chris Dahlen mind-creates 'The Ultimate Ad Game' using only his ginormous brain. As I've learned from first hand experience on farms, watch out for that rabbit hole you could break an ankle in that.
Jim Rossignol talks to Valve's Chet Faliszek about Left 4 Dead 2, and a bit about how Valve likes to operate as an organisation. He also talks about a lot of other things but I forget most of the specifics other than to say that it was interesting. And that's enough to get a mention on TWIVGB.
Gameology.org gets a refresh and a facelift this week. Hopefully this will mean more frequent posting since it had slowed to about one per month for a while there. Interesting fact: Gameology was one of the first places on the Internet that I found where people talked about videogames seriously.
Matthew Gallant took a gander this week at the MDA framework for game analysis and how well it does (or doesn't) tally with Scott McCloud's approach to “understanding comics” which Gallant has a bit of a personally history of applying to videogames.
And lastly, being the 20th Century Art music nerd that I am I couldn't resist the idea of John Cage's epochal work 4'33″ as Rock Band DLC. Here's how the story went down at the Phi Beta Kappa frat house.