Lots of links for you this week. Also, tater tots.

(Warning: there may not actually be any tater tots.)

  • Allistair Pinsof takes a retrospective look at my favourite first-person shooter of all time, The Operative: No One Lives Forever. As Pinsof points out, the game’s hilarious script is a large part of what makes it work so well. However, the comedy shooter isn’t such a big thing anymore, which is a shame, because the idea of a single person making it through dozens of life-threatening situations while murdering hundreds of people is inherently ridiculous. Games like Borderlands and Bulletstorm seem to have picked up the slack, but I haven’t yet had the chance to play either.
  • Brendan Sinclair of GamesIndustry explains how the secrecy surrounding digital sales figures is harming the video game industry. For example, knowing only how much the top sellers have sold doesn’t help smaller developers who work in more obscure genres. As the industry moves increasingly towards digital distribution, retail-only figures will become increasingly irrelevant. Take Square Enix’s recent Sleeping Dogs, for example. It was a AAA title, but its PC version didn’t even receive a boxed release in North America. If a major publisher is selling a relatively well-publicized release in a major market only in digital format, I think it’s time for us to stop putting so much stock in retail-only figures.
  • Andrew Testerman of The Escapist writes about the importance of respawn systems in video games. My opinion on the matter: if you’re going to make me replay twenty minutes of your game every time I die, then fuck you, and fuck your stupid game.
  • Matthew Inman of The Oatmeal has a lengthy comic about his content creation process.
  • 2K recently revealed the box art for its upcoming shooter BioShock Infinite. And of course, ITS THE WORST BOX ART EVAR NERDRAGE!!!!!!!!111 Destructoid’s Allistair Pinsof took the opportunity to poke fun at the nerdrage, while once cooler heads prevailed, Kotaku’s Owen Good rationally explained why bland, generic box art is a problem. I prefer to judge a game by, you know, actually playing it, instead of just looking at its box art. But I should probably finish BioShock and BioShock 2 before weighing in.
  • Jack Shepherd of BuzzFeed has compiled a photo gallery of funny bookstore signs. Check it out.

That concludes this week’s round-up of interesting links. If you want to share an interesting link with me, post it in the comments below. Or just post it on Facebook so that the guy you met once at a party back in college can read it too.