We’re in the back half of the first month of 2012 already? Whew, time sure flies by! Well, since none of us is getting any younger, here’s this week’s What I’ve Been Reading.

  • Recent discussions of video game violence have put video games under the microscope yet again, perpetuating mental images of psychos who are indoctrinated into murder cults by violent video games. Ben Kuchera of the Penny Arcade Report explains, by outlining the role video games play in his family, why those images are total baloney.
  • Writing for Periannath, Erik David Even explains away one of the supposed plot holes in The Lord of the Rings: why doesn’t Frodo simply ride an eagle to Mount Doom? It’s a lengthy explanation that delves into Middle Earth lore, but I prefer a simpler one: because it would make a really shitty story.
  • Sometimes, things aren’t what they seem. Writing for the Verizon Business Security Blog, Andrew Valentine tells the story of a foreign unauthorized VPN connection at a US company. It turns out the connection wasn’t so “unauthorized” after all. I don’t want to spoil the story for you, so take a look for yourself.
  • Rob Lefebvre of Venture Beat writes about how video games are finding their way into libraries. I suppose that people who think libraries should simply remain a place for books will disapprove. But libraries have started collecting movies and CDs in addition to books. Collecting video games too isn’t such a stretch, especially if we want libraries to be repositories for knowledge and culture.

One of my new year’s resolutions this year was to play more board games. I’d like to try ones I haven’t played before, like Space Alert and Pandemic, but a few rounds of auction-ruleĀ Monopoly wouldn’t hurt either. Any board game recommendations? Feel free to give them in the comments.