Sundays are for being in awe of backpacks that pack into themselves. Before you scrunch it into a ball, let’s read this week’s best writing about games (and game related things).
For The Guardian, Lu-Hai Liang wrote about Chinese video games being on the rise, but not getting the respect they deserve. In spite of the Chinese government’s restrictions, Liang feels – quite rightly! – pride in the accomplishments of his mother country. They make brilliant, creative games, and have found ways to break free of censorship.
Video games are one of the few creative media not dominated by the US. In consoles, two of the platform holders are from Japan, while developers in the UK and Europe are powerhouses of creativity. But the world’s biggest games company is Chinese giant Tencent, which is often the target of racism and online criticism. While massive corporations don’t need huge sympathy, as a Briton of Chinese heritage, it does pain me when Chinese games companies are falsely conflated with the Chinese government.
Christopher Livingston reviewed Starfield for PC Gamer. Probably one of the best reviews out Todd’s mega RPG at the moment as it captures the experience of downing the main quest and pursuing your own.
I’ve always found the real joy of Bethesda’s RPGs to be not the main story or official quests but the sandbox itself, the freedom to come up with your own goals and aspirations. So after about 75 hours I retired my helpful artifact-collecting space ranger and created a second character with the goal of completely ignoring the main quest. Once free of the tutorial I headed straight to Neon, a densely populated and gritty cyberpunk city on an ocean planet, a place packed with gangs, addicts, shady operatives, and crooked security guards. The perfect place to start a life of crime.
Victoria Kennedy asks: How realistic is Starfield? for Eurogamer. Kennedy gets the European Space Agency’s verdict on shooting people in space, mining asteroids, and space elevators.
“I mean, if you look at the Dyson Sphere, which is the ultimate artificial way of going off planet, where basically you encircle your entire star with a sphere and you live on the inside of the sphere… then we had, in the 70s, a science fiction thing called Ringworld. So you had a ring around the star and that would increase your habitable volume by millions, but you’d have to dismantle the entire solar system to build it,” he said. “This sort of thing, these huge engineering projects – which for us are like complete fantasy – engineering wise, it’s kind of, sort of possible with a few caveats, like space elevators are kind of possible but with a few caveats. And they’ve been thought about for decades. But are we all gonna live in space? I don’t know.”
Simon Sarris wrote about the process of learning for The Map Is Mostly Water. Yes, after I linked his Reading Well post in the last Sunday Paps, I dug through many of his old posts and settled on this one in particular. I love his poetic writing style and his insights into stuff.
I think there is value in pushing learning and doing as close together as possible. I wish to learn like an apprentice with no fixed master, instead with repeated trial and sharing the results. If no teacher is found along the way, then the mistakes will be my teacher. Every undertaking is a series of questions and experiments. I believe every hard thing you do, for that matter, acts as a multiplier on the rest of your knowledge.
That’s it for this week folks, take care of yourselves and see you next week!
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