In this week’s What I’ve Been Reading, I talk about video game rumours, net neutrality, and weed. Sweet, sweet weed. (Don’t do drugs, kids.)

  • You may have seen rumours about Fallout 4 floating around the Internet. Has there been a leak at publisher Bethesda? Nope. It turns out those rumours were entirely made up. Jason Schreier of Kotaku writes about a rumour-monger who goes by the name of Jesse. Jesse enjoys playing pranks on the gaming press because he’s “got to do something to keep the boredom away.” I don’t know about that; if you have to do something like this to keep yourself entertained, you might be a sociopath.
  • Drawing on her own parenting experiences, Alice Dreger of Pacific Standard writes about how our sex-negative culture impacts the way we educate children about sex. Dreger is right to point out that it leads to a lot of awkwardness and embarrassment, but the consequences of sex-negativity are much more serious; the resultant poor sex-education leads to unsafe sex practices, which in turn lead to unwanted pregnancies and the spread of sexually transmitted infections.
  • Net neutrality is effectively dead in the United States. Ross Lincoln of The Escapist has some suggestions for the public to campaign the FCC to reinstate it.
  • At his personal blog, independent game developer Jeff Vogel warns that the indie bubble is about to pop. Why? Too many games. The number of indie games available is increasing far faster than the size and purchasing power of the gaming audience. I more or less agree with Vogel’s central thesis, but I think he’s missing an important point: part of the problem is the utter lack of curation on the part of digital storefronts such as Steam. (Alright, mainly just Steam.) Ever since Steam opened the floodgates and started approving low-quality games for its service, it’s been impossible to sort the wheat from the chaff. The result is good indie games get lumped in with the bad, and everyone suffers. I’m not suggesting that Steam should go back to a more closed model, but it has to do a better job of highlighting worthier titles.

That’s it for this edition of What I’ve Been Reading. Don’t do drugs, kids.

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