• "In recent years we've seen plenty of criticism (including mine) leveled at video games that rehash old ideas; games that rely on genre formulas; games that ape the language of film. Games, we're often told, need new ideas. Games need to grow up. Games should leverage their defining interactivity. Cutscenes are lazy. Let movies be movies. Players want to write their own stories. Games don't need authored narratives. Games don't need linear stories. Games don't need stories. All games should be fun. No they shouldn't.

    The problem with these reductive arguments is they fail to account for how art rails against boundaries; how artists inevitably seek to situate their work in the margins no one can own. Artists instinctively push back against "don't," "shouldn't," and "must." This is why we give them genius grants. It's also why we put them in prison. The real action is in the margins." Good stuff from Michael.

  • "It's true that Wyndham's preference is for no-nonsense, brisk, wry narrators, and the horrors that visit the books can seem like opportunities to show off good old British pluck. But the books are surprisingly unheroic, and often (notably in the cases of Kraken and Triffids) peculiarly open-ended. And if you look closely, you begin to see that there's something very uncosy, persistently unsettling, about these books, that continues to ask profound questions about the limits of our culture and the foundations of the post-war world."
  • "We’re happy to confirm the news today that the sale of the company is complete. We appreciate all of your support, comments and warm wishes in the preceding few weeks.

    Viacom and MTV Networks have been an amazing home for us over the past 4 years. It’s where we launched both Rock Band and Dance Central, worked with The Beatles, Green Day, AC/DC, The Who and thousands of other artists. We want to take a moment to thank everyone in that organization who helped make these awesome games possible.

    We’re excited to be returning to our roots as an independent and privately owned studio."

    Brilliant news.

  • "What this magazine requires," he said, "is red-blooded, one-hundred-per-cent dynamic stuff, palpitating with warm human interest and containing a strong, poignant love-motive." "That," we replied, "is us all over, Mabel." "What I need at the moment, however, is a golf story." "By a singular coincidence, ours is a golf story." Lovely short Wodehouse about the coming of Gowf to a far-off land.
  • "Perhaps we should be turning up at the cinema expecting more stories about resilience, or reports from the future where the problems are what to do with limitless energy, or Japanese consciousness multipliers, rather than dustbowls and gasmask hipsters. Authors: is that nihilism really what you want to leave behind? Your silhouette a stoop, rather than a hurrah?" Jim, quite rightly, likes his "shiny retro shit".
  • "Trace Holden Caulfield's perambulations around Manhattan in "The Catcher in the Rye" to places like the Edmont Hotel, where Holden had an awkward encounter with Sunny the hooker; the lake in Central Park, where he wondered about the ducks in winter; and the clock at the Biltmore, where he waited for his date." Lovely.
  • "Dreamed up by American and European SF writers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries — at a time when Lamarckian evolutionary philosophy, which posits a tendency for organisms to become more perfect as they evolve (because such change is needed or wanted, e.g., by “life”), remained popular — many of the first fictional supermen were portrayed by their creators as examples of a more perfect species towards which humankind has supposedly long aimed. Radium-Age superman was, that is to say, homo superior, an evolved human whose superiority was mental, physical, or both." Lovely essay; a nice bit of SF history (and originally published on IO9, I believe).
  • "I saw these two videos of Rock Band Network tracks over at RBDLC and couldn’t resist sharing them. The first is a serious jazz tune: “Footloose and Fancy Free” by Bill Bruford’s Earthworks. The thing that’s interesting about this is that the “guitar” track is actually piano — something Guitar Hero has done in the past but Rock Band has generally shied away from. But what’s even neater is that the “vocal” track is actually a sax line, intended (one would assume) to be played with a sax or other horn; the “lyrics” are simply the notes being played." There's no question that building tunes for RBN is hard wokr, but god, this Bill Bruford video is stonking, and the sax-as-vocal idea is cracking.