This is it. The final What I’ve Been Reading of the year. And quite possibly the final post of the year. Read on for this week’s round-up of interesting links.

  • Patricia Hernandez of Kotaku writes about the advantages of playing games on easy mode. I play a lot of video games, and I still find myself gravitating towards easier difficulty levels. Sometimes, all I’m looking for is a mild challenge. It’s difficult to get absorbed in a game’s world if I’m constantly dying and reloading.
  • Michael Thomsen of IGN recaps the year in video game sex. Increasingly, developers are steering away from reducing human sexuality to titillation and are exploring its other aspects. It’ll be interesting to see how these topics are handled in the coming years.
  • In a community blog post at Destructoid, RamWar has five new year’s resolutions for gamers. Two of his resolutions really resonate with me. He advises people to buy games outside their comfort zones; it’s possible that in trying something new, one will discover an entire set of exciting new experiences. I’ve never been a huge strategy game fan, but I’ll be looking to buy XCOM: Enemy Unknown next year once it dips in price. RamWar also advises gamers to try games that don’t have super-high Metacritic scores. There are a lot of good, fun games with sub-80 Metacritic scores that many people will never experience. If you give some of them a try, you might discover a hidden gem or an experience that really speaks to you. Metacritic scores are not a guarantee of how you’ll react to the game. Personally, I’ve enjoyed some games with really low scores (e.g. Hydrophobia: Prophecy) and hated some games with really high scores (e.g. Far Cry). In any case, give RamWar’s post a read, and maybe try coming up with some of your own new year’s resolutions to be a better gamer (or TV viewer or moviegoer or music listener or opera attendee or what-have-you).

Well, that’s it for this week’s compendium of interesting things on the Internet. I may make a couple of blog posts tomorrow. If not, see you in 2013!