We’ve got a lot to cover on this week’s What I’ve Been Reading, so fasten your seatbelts, kids, and brace yourselves for some linky goodness.
- Google Chrome has overtaken Internet Explorer to become the world’s most widely-used browser. As a Firefox user, I’m hesitant to make the switch, if only because I’ve been using Firefox for almost a decade now, and I’m set in my ways. But I suppose that I’ll eventually have to start using Chrome when Google takes over the world. (It’ll happen eventually, mark my words.)
- Over at the Daily Mail, crazy, deluded trophy wife Samantha Brick writes a crazy, deluded defense of trophy wives. The only appropriate reaction is: lolwuuuuut?
- Kotaku has a lighthearted instruction manual for how to play video games. *sigh* When people complain that video games are inaccessible to outsiders, this is exactly what they’re talking about. A list of tips and tricks for dealing with the idiosyncrasies and annoyances of video games shouldn’t be necessary. Let this be an eye-opener for game designers. (By the way, don’t listen to what they have to say about the Wiimote. That wrist strap is necessary. Trust me.)
- What is this I don’t even – As reported by Deadspin, CBC’s Stanley Cup Finals coverage will feature an alternate audio feed with coverage by women, for women. Not such a bad idea, if it weren’t for this: “We just think it’s more fun to talk about why so many gorgeous players come from Welland Ontario and why they all skate around with scotch tape holding up their socks.” This has got to be some sort of ridiculous joke, right? You don’t think it’s possible that women might be watching hockey for the hockey? What a load of insulting, sexist bullshit. Blerg.
- Eurogamer has an interesting article about the use of colour in video games and how it’s progressing beyond the traditional greys and browns to encompass a more varied palette. I tend to gravitate towards games that have a distinctive look and feel. One of the examples mentioned in the article is Deus Ex: Human Revolution (a fantastic game, by the way), which filters everything through a golden yellow hue, as if to symbolize both toxicity and glory. (It also makes for some gorgeous sunsets.) Earlier this year, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning received praise for its vibrant colour palette, which actually makes me want to give it a whirl, despite its reportedly generic fantasy setting. (More on Amalur later in this entry.) I love the fact that games are incorporating colour in new and interesting ways, and I can’t wait to see what artists and developers have up their sleeve.
- I try not to get political on this blog; this is a pop culture blog, after all. But every once in a while, I see something hilarious that deserves a link. Whatever your stance on the current student crisis in Québec or the government’s response to it, I think we can all agree that this video about mini-protests is awesome. (Sorry, but the link is in French, guys. Nonetheless, the video is bilingual.)
- As a man, I’m probably a horrible person for enjoying this, but this satirical blog is too amazing not to be linked to: Is This Feminist?
- You might have heard about the recent collapse of game studios 38 Studios and Big Huge Games, the makers of 2012 RPG Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. If not, this article will bring you up to speed. (Or, if you prefer watching videos to reading text, the second half of Destructoid’s Friday live show has most of the details.) Long story short: the government of Rhode Island backed a $75 million loan to 38 Studios, founded by former baseball star Curt Schilling, to set up a video game industry and create jobs in the state. The studio was unable to make loan payments and was forced to fold. Now, Rhode Island taxpayers are on the hook for the loan. Kevin Dent and Laura Wilkerson have provided their takes on the issue. My take: fuck Curt Schilling. In the eye sockets. With a rusty shovel.
- Tom Ewing has a short blog post about “degamifying,” i.e. taking game mechanics out of things in order to reduce their game-like qualities. If gamification is meant to drive engagement, it stands to reason that such engagement can become excessive or exclusionary, at which point we might want to degamify. Ewing has a more detailed argument. Give it a read.
Well, that’s it for this week. As always, feel free to leave comments.