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Lola's favourite finds: Best Reads of the week ending 15.07.2012

by Han Cilliers (Lola)  Posted Monday, July 16, 2012 11:26:03 AM

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Mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the smartest of them all? 

Why humour of course ;) Tongue in the cheek, witty and strangely disturbing articles made it into my favourite finds for this past week. These articles might not be the best in terms of gaming news, but they sure as hell put a smile on your face.  

It also highlights some of the bizarre features of the video games and internet culture. The fastest growing nation on the planet consists of people from all races, religions and political views, and this is bound to produce a collage of oddness unlike any other mind on earth. Let’s have a peek at what went on inside the collective soul of The Gamer for July week two.

Up first we have an article by Hilary Goldstein from the Escapist. He highlights an oddity that we’ve come to accept from the Japanese side of the gamer’s family. The punch line of this article: “When the apocalypse comes, I'm looking to Boy George to save our asses.” Read the full story here.

Pretty Boys Who Look Like Girls.

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Snake, Does this Sword Make Me Look Fat? Vaan from Final Fantasy VII  

“Boys who could pass as girls out to save the world from evil are so common in games we've started to take such an oddity for granted. In Japan, they call it Bishonen, which more or less translates to "pretty boy." If not for the seven-foot long sword in his hand, the average Bishonen would hardly look the part of saviour. But these pretty boys are just that - heroes destined to save the world (and sometimes even get the girl). Many would like their heroes to be manly men, gruff and rugged, spitting out curse words as fast as their guns spit out bullets. But the Bishonen has his place alongside the Master Chiefs and random Doom marines of the gaming world. In fact, Bishonen make for better heroes than your average stubble-cheeked muscleman.”  

Don’t fret; all is not loss for the macho hero. Up next we hit it big with Lucy O'Brien from IGN. He explains why Michael Fassbender is The Man to don the Assassin's hood for the upcoming Assassin’s Creed video game to movie adaptation. Maybe, just maybe, all is not lost for the game-to-movie movement.

Ten Reasons Why Michael Fassbender is The Man

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He’s got style, (because in X-Men: First Class he showed us that he can rock a vintage leather jacket). He Stood Out in a Tarantino Cast (referring to Inglorious Bastards as a stand-out amongst a stand-out cast). He Survived Jonah Hex, (he shrugged off his involvement in this utter fail of a movie by saying, “Pretty awful, wasn’t it”). Even Charlize Theron Loves Him, (she commented on how impressed she was with his uh, big assets in Shame). He was the Best Part of Prometheus, (as David the android he steals the show with a display of ‘cool detachment and voracious curiosity like that of a sinister child’). He’s Versatile, (his ability to turn roles into something unexpected every time, is what makes The Fass more than the sum of his parts). Read the rest of this tongue in the cheek article here.  

Up next we have a look at Nintendo’s lesser-known, but way more interesting accomplishments, failures, and dirty secrets. Article by Luke Plunkett from Kotaku.

The Weird, Wonderful and Sometimes Secret History of Nintendo  

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"Founded in 1889, the company has enjoyed a rich video gaming tradition dating back to the 1970s, releasing some of the most successful gaming consoles and franchises of all time. Which is great for them, but it's not why we're here. Today, we're here to look back at some of Nintendo's lesser-known, but way more interesting accomplishments (and failures, and dirty secrets). You'll find a collection of some of the more bizarre aspects of Nintendo's history, some of them during the company's video gaming years, others from earlier in their history when they made playing cards, bad LEGO clones and ran love hotels." See the rest of Nintendo's soul laid bare here.

If there is one thing gamers agree on, it is that, in our world, hacking is the forbidden vice. Like the call of a deadly Siren, Julie Uhrman presented gamers with this challenge; "We decided, ‘let's take this as far as it can go. So if you want to go in and hack the box, go ahead and do it. We hope you do it." We all know the other thing gamers also agree on; “Challenge Accepted.”

An All-Star Plan to Build a New $99 Hackable Video Game Console Requires $950,000 Of Your Money

StephenTotilo also from Kotaku did an in depth interview with Julie Uhrman from Ouya. He looks at the latest gamers’ toy from every angle. Read the full article here.

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"Enter: Ouya, a fully hackable console with the same Tegra 3 chip as the new Nexus 7 tablet and a twin-stick controller that also includes a touchpad. Enter a system that is being pitched as a platform for both indies and big companies, a console that is fully open to develop for and on which every game will be free either initially as a demo or as a free-to-play game. The console that will challenge the way Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo have been bringing games to you on your television for years."

"We don't think the console-makers are dead, we just think it's time to rethink how they do their business. We don't like it when people pay $60 for a game and feel cheated. We don't like it when developers can't work on a platform because it's too expensive." Julie Uhrman

The final article is not about gaming news. It does, however, capture the psyche of the 21st century internet journalist and the consequence of growing up in the internet age. In a brilliant display of writing genius, sharp wit and brutal honesty, Leigh Alexander paints a portrait of the “Narcissistic Generation”. Read the full article here.  

Welcome To The Age Of Feeling.

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Leigh Alexander, Editor-at-Large for Gamasutra.

“I remember reading a lot about the death of journalism in the internet age: What happened to neutrality, to sincerity, to true reportage? What gave these kids the right to get their attitude all over everything? In an echo chamber of internet noise, as this generation’s naïve hopes shatter like so many unbought CDs, all we know is who we are. The self is the only thing we have. Our own experience is the only thing on which we have complete authority, the only thing over which we have total control. What critics call “narcissism” is the only anchor we have. Welcome to the age of feelings.”

In closing feast your eyes upon this striking piece of art from Ian McQue. Read more about him on Kotaku here..

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The Art of a Rockstar Games Legend



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