What I’ve Been Reading: January 19, 2014

Some video game stuff in this week’s What I’ve Been Reading. Also, the death of net neutrality (BOOOO!), and porn star dating? Don’t worry, it’s safe for work.

  • Indie games have achieved a high level of popularity, and they can often turn a significant profit with a fraction of the budget of AAA title. Shamus Young of The Escapist explains why this is bad news for the AAA segment of the game industry. AAA studios need to find some way to rein in their exploding budgets. Or perhaps a return to “AA” titles that represent a lower financial risk might be just what the industry needs.
  • It’s every guy’s dream to date a porn star, right? Think again. Pornographic actress Shae Snow has discovered that’s not the case. (Courtesy of Cannibal. Yes, this link is safe for work.)
  • Everybody remembers Ross and Rachel from Friends, right? Fewer people, though, seem to think of the show’s other (and better) main couple, Chandler and Monica. Josef Adalian of Vulture has a detailed look into how the writers of Friends decided to pair off Channy and Monmon. (I’m the only person who calls them that.)
  • Voice input seems to be the wave of the future, but there are a number of roadblocks to its implementation. One of the main ones is that voice recognition software is terrible at identifying homophones. Jason Johnson of Kill Screen has a look at these roadblocks and what the future of voice technology holds.

I’m sorry I didn’t write any articles for the blog this week. I’m currently working on a very lengthy piece, but it’s proving difficult to write. To be frank, I don’t know if I’ll ever have the willpower to finish it, but if I do, I think it’ll be worth it.

I probably shouldn’t have tagged this post with “Shae Snow.” Now it might get flagged. *sigh*

As always, feel free to leave comments below.

3 thoughts on “What I’ve Been Reading: January 19, 2014

  1. I can’t believe the Charter of Values still exists. Unified public outrage should have nuked it from orbit.

    Guys are supposed to think that dating a porn star actress is appealing? Tell that to a playwright I know: he wrote a sitcom-esque script wherein the punchline was that a character’s girlfriend was a porn star. I suppose they have experience, but. . . .

    As for Shamus Young’s piece, I think we can all agree that AAA needs to curb its costs because they just aren’t filling out the bottom line. At the same time, I’m not satisfied with indies’ contentment to sit at the “cinematography” level of storytelling. Not everyone wants to craft story around abstract, nihilist plays (Antichamber) or Dadaist shapes (Thomas Was Alone). There should be room for those more traditional “protagonist, antagonist, etc.” people to dwell. You know, Triple-A writers and coders (who hopefully won’t need to be shooters and can focus on a good script). I don’t want my Game to be 100% Game much like I don’t want theater to be 100% blocking, monologuing, choreographing, and stage cues. I’m not attached to AAA as much as I’m attached to traditional narrative (“why don’t you watch a movie” seems a stupid argument to me because I can’t be at play in a movie and “play” isn’t constrained to 100% ludicness). It’s-

    That’s heading into stupidly familiar territory. Sorry. It’s a topic that’s starting to drive me out of games entirely.

    1. I’m not against the existence of indie games like Antichamber or Thomas Was Alone (and that’s coming from someone who loathed Antichamber), but I do think those kinds of games tend to dominate the conversation about indie games. There’s a huge variety of indie games out there, and I wish people would talk about all of it rather than merely focusing on the ones that provide “non-traditional” gaming experiences.

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