Thanks to Leigh Alexander for sharing this on Twitter.

readingegm:

EGM #110

This is a huge feature on women in gaming and the games industry that Electronic Gaming Monthly ran. It contains interviews, editorial remarks, and general cultural information from the time period. It carries a lot of “90’s opinions” (in all the resonances that phrase could have) about women, but I think it is a huge historical resource and I would encourage people to share it around. Publications writing about women in games is not new, and this is something to point to in order to make that case. 

It sure has characters, if nothing else.

Gearbox believes all this diversity in their approach will also be one of the ways it’ll connect with their player base. They’re keen to talk about their experiences meeting cosplayers and fans, who have been particularly enthusiastic about many of the strange and singular characters in Borderlands 2, a cast created with a deliberate attempt to be diverse and inclusive.

I used to like FPS games a lot more when I was younger, but many of them feel stale now. Borderlands 2 had personality, though, and this may too. It’s too early to judge, of course, but this could be some co-operative fun.

Yes, this is what you think it is.

The satisfaction this can give is not to be underestimated and, for a particular sort of player, the chance to indulge in endless readjustment is absolutely intoxicating. The same is true when it comes to shaping your Sims. Putty in your hands, these willing subjects can be stretched and squeezed and deformed in almost all the ways that your godliness might dictate. Bums are broadened, calves compressed, wardrobes discarded and even tiny facial details can be tweaked and tugged out. Then there are aspirations to choose, personality traits to add and even walks and voices to customise. All this gives the feeling of being an artisan, of finely crafting dollhouses and their dwellers.

And you may ask yourself, How do I work this?

Colossal Order is actually an architectural term.

While Cities: Skylines isn’t just an attempt to exploit the hole in the market left by an irrational SimCity, both Colossal and Paradox are well aware of the failings of the latest in Maxis’ usually polished series and know that there’s an opportunity to be seized.

This could be one to watch.

Matt Lees explains how silly and irrational this often recycled topic is.

jamsponge:

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As an ex-journo turned internet-monkey, I’ve spent the last week carefully toying with the idea of producing a video about the belief that the traditional games media is ethically compromised and/or corrupt.

After much consideration, I’ve decided that this would be a massive waste of time…

skul-gun.

'We may not have the premeditated lies of Deus Ex, but we do see extraordinary feats of storytelling when governments overstep or mis-step,’ says Pacotti. ‘To me, at least, some of the malaise of the Deus Ex dystopia has been present during the years after 9/11, during which torture, mass surveillance of civilians, and disregard for due process have all been touted as necessary for fighting terrorists. It’s the story of totalitarianism nicely wordsmithed by the West and provided free of charge back to the rest of the world.’

This is such a good retrospective and analysis of Deus Ex, examining its themes and extrapolations, as well as discussing just how prescient it could be.

It's not as complex as it first seems, but it's damn hard.

perform a sort of dance in the desert, careful where I tread. It’s a slow dance, in part because there are mines scattered about - so many mines - but also because any misstep I make could offer a dangerous opportunity, could present a sudden vulnerability.

This was one of the smartest wargames I’ve seen in a while. As well as making me feel like I was playing a very well-designed tabletop game of cardboard and counters (the sort of wargames I kind of fell out of love with as a kid), it emphasised the importance of supply lines and deployment. This isn’t just a game about using numbers and values to win battles, it’s also about space, positioning and even timing. That can be quite a rare thing.

That man is very big.

The best nation is that which either wins a space race to Alpha Centauri, blesses the world with twenty Wonders and Great People, amasses a tremendous pile of cash or captures four rival capitals. While all victory conditions are possible, the game is most often nudging you toward the latter. From the earliest days of your civilization, you must always prepare for the ever-present threat of conflict. This is a world forever on the brink of war.

This is unfortunate on a number of levels. Particularly some of the barbarians.

This looks a bit like a scene from the Kubrick version of The Shining.

It’s a slow and methodical business of finding beetles under rocks. You peek around every corner, peer through every window and squint into each loft space you pass. It’s not uncommon for gunfire to come from nowhere or for aliens to announce themselves with sniping or grenades well before you spot them. An unscrupulous commander may not mind firing back into the unknown, lobbing grenades through dark windows or blasting down walls with missile launchers.

I forgot to mention that I reviewed this X-COM/UFO remake. But I did. So here it is.

More tanks and more hexes.

Panzer Tactics HD has you following similar campaigns to many of Panzer General’s peers, Blitzkrieging your way across Europe with Nazi party-poopers determined to invade everything in sight, pushing your way into Berlin to paint the town red with the Soviets, or chasing the Axis forces out of their conquests with the rest of the Allied forces. The campaigns are mostly offensive efforts and you’re always facing a time limit as you move to capture or hold key objectives. Here, war is all about grasping at things.

Tanks again (urgh).