I’ve been busy lately and haven’t been able to blog as much as I’d like. I want to keep this blog alive, though, and I figure that the best way to do it is to post links to articles that I’ve been reading on the Web, along with a short description of or opinion on each one. Don’t worry; I’m not going to get super-political here. I’ll try to keep the links at least tangentially related to popular culture. So, without further ado, here’s what I’ve been reading this week:

  • Standpoint has a very strange criticism of author Umberto Eco, accusing him of, among other things, being an anti-Semite who is obsessed with conspiracy theories. Having read only two of his books, The Name of the Rose and The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana, I can’t form too strong of an opinion, but I think it’s a huge leap in logic to think that someone who writes about conspiracy theories because he finds them interesting must actually believe in those conspiracy theories. You can read a well-articulated rebuttal to Standpoint’s editorial here, at The Frozen Sea.
  • It’s even better than playing the real thing! Gameinformer has an hilarious flowchart summarizing basically every first-person shooter of the past decade. I haven’t played any first-person shooters more recent than Half-Life 2: Episode Two (unless you count Deus Ex: Human Revolution, which isn’t much of a shooter at all), so I haven’t witnessed the slow decline of the genre into formula. But if things have truly gotten this dire, I’ll stick to RPGs and puzzle games, thanks, unless some new, fun, brilliantly inventive FPS comes out. (Oh man, what I wouldn’t give for a No One Lives Forever 3.)
  • Stephen Beirne has written a defense of Women in Games initiatives over at Destructoid. It makes a lot of good points, but I don’t agree with the article entirely. It’s a sad state of affairs when the only female developers I can name off the top of my head are the supremely talented Kim Swift (Portal) and Amy Hennig (the Uncharted series). That being said, affirmative action may not be the best way to bring the “female perspective” into gaming, especially because of its tendency to breed resentment. In fact, I reject the very notion of a single, unified female perspective. There is just as much richness and variety of ideas in the heads of women as there is in the heads of men. Women are already “othered” by the game development community, and Women in Games initiatives may unfortunately serve not only to “other” them further, but also to obfuscate their individuality.

So, that’s what I’ve been reading this week. Do you have any thoughts or opinions on the pieces to which I linked? Feel free to sound off in the comments below.

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