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It's Christmas time, and that makes it a slow time of the year for video game news and an even worse time to start a blog that features my favorite pieces from the week that weren't posted here on GIO. I probably should have waited a couple weeks to start this thing until 2013 kicked into gear but I was bored and felt it was time to move on after letting some self sparked controversy simmer. Plus, Vaas really wants you to read these articles. Really, really wants you to read them. I've got 10 this week, but hopefully will be making this a weekly feature of just 5. Fair warning though, I have an irrational love of longform journalism.
New York Public Library adds video games to its film and book discussion groups
In the spirit of cramming in as many of these as possible I'll keep it short. The title says a lot about what the news is, but there's a good bit of meat to the feature. While being accepted as a discussion topic at the New York Public Library doesn't fundamentally change the medium, it is an important step nonetheless. Go, read, learn about how the attitudes towards video games are changing.
SOE President John Smedley on PlanetSide 2's future, free-to-play and EverQuest Next
I'm normally one of the first people to loudly express my distaste for executives in the video game industry. From the consumer's point of view they often come across as out of touch businessmen brought in to min-max the monetary side of the development process. It's not surprising to see them defending their gaming habits, as Bobby Kotick recently did, because in general it seems like something they should need to do as people who don't play much. John Smedley is an exception to that rule though, and this interview is a perfect example of why.
Source: PC Gamer
Jack Thompson to ECA 'Maybe Now You'll Get It!'
Jack Thompson sucks. However, he is one of the biggest anti-video game activists in the world and if you follow or care about the industry you should know about him. I cut a couple articles about the over talked Newtown tragedy and it's idiotic link to video games. I even abandoned a blog on the topic because I don't feel I need to say anything on it. Those that know our old buddy Jack shouldn't be surprised that he's crawled out of whatever dark hole he found his way into after being disbarred. Jack Thompson is the reason this article makes the cut, and knowing his game could help you expose some idiots, or write a research paper like I did, later on down the road.
Fifty years since Spacewar!
It's hard to believe that it has been 50 years since the first example of what we would call a video game was invented. In fact, I didn't even know Spacewar existed until I took a look at this piece. Half video, half standard written feature, this look at The Museum of the Moving Image's exhibit on video game history is worth the small amount of time it will take you to browse through.
Code Hero: The Kickstarter success story that soured
Yes, another feature from Polygon. While I'm not a fan of certain aspects of the site, namely their generally convoluted attempts at making their reviews more intelligent sounding and the editors' mob-mentality browbeating of games that don't meet their expectations, Polygon's features are a step above their competitors. The case of Code Hero is a perfect example. The site clearly presented the original story as rumor and, while most publications chose to dig no deeper than the outrage of over zealous Kickstarter backers, actually did some investigation and then reported it. Investigative reporting, from a video game publication, who would have guessed?
This Portable NES Looks Like It'd Fit Right In at an Emergency Command Post
Kotaku rarely elicits more than a sigh from me, mainly because it's one of the most egregious examples of speed at the cost of accuracy in reporting that the web has to offer. This thing is just too cool not to share though.
Source: Kotaku (Honestly, it's from Reddit but Reddit isn't a publication. I urge you not to give Kotaku any credit. They're only here because I'm linking to their story instead of Polygon's for a change of pace and because Polygon chose to link them as the source instead of the Reddit post.)
World of 'Tweeria': like it or not, your Twitter feed is a massive role-playing game
I'm not sure if I should be more surprised that there's a Twitter-based RPG or less surprised that said Twitter-based RPG stole artwork directly from the World of Warcraft card game.
Source: The Verge
Board games by the numbers: what it costs to Kickstart, produce, and ship a new game
Ben Kuchera quickly established himself as one of the most distinguished writers in games media when he jumped ship from Ars Technica to help launch The Penny Arcade Report. In reality anything on the PA Report could be here, but this article by Kuchera caught my eye because it addresses a sector of the industry that many people forget exists.
Source: The Penny Arcade Report
Violence and Video Games in America
Forbes isn't exactly the first place you'd go looking for stories on the content of video games, and certainly not a defense of said content. That's exactly what this piece is though, albeit with the numbers focused approach that might be expected from one of the worlds largest business publications.