Another week has gone by, never to return. Celebrate its passing with these fun links!

  • Amidst all the bellyaching over how the video game industry is heading for a second crash, it’s nice to have some positivity. Robert Rath of The Escapist thinks it’s all going to be fine.
  • Now that Microsoft has decided to put all its instant messaging eggs in its Skype basket, MSN Messenger is officially shutting down. Bradley Wint of Vyralize has a look back at some of the program’s most fondly remembered features.
  • By now, you might have had the chance to take a look at Dove’s Real Beauty Sketches viral video. The premise: women describe themselves to a sketch artist, and then strangers describe those same women to the same sketch artist. Most of the women agreed that the second sketch showed them as more beautiful. The point: people are their own harshest critics, and others tend to see them as more beautiful than they themselves do. It’s a fine message in principle, but Jazz Brice of Little Drops takes issue with it, believing that it reinforces narrow standards of beauty instead of challenging them. As for me, I’ve always been weirded out by the fact that Dove, a product line of soaps and moisturizers – not exactly “beauty” products – has been conducting this so-called “campaign for real beauty.” It always struck me as a cynical marketing stunt that attempted to engender positive feelings about the Dove brand by associating it with ostensibly positive messages about body image. Unfortunately for Dove, it seems as if consumers are equally cynical. The first top comment on the video takes Dove to task for featuring people of colour for only a few seconds in the video, thereby reinforcing the notion that lighter skin is more beautiful, while the second top comment points out parent company Unilever’s hypocrisy in putting out this video while continuing its awkward, sexist marketing campaign for its Axe product line.
  • To conclude this week’s edition of What I’ve Been Reading, Canadian progressive rock sensation Rush has finally been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. IT’S ABOUT FUCKING TIME.

As always, feel free to sound off in the comments below.

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