Spiffing Reads: Overwatch Fashion, Majora’s Mask and Games Versus Politics

I didn’t have time to post Spiffing Reads last week, so this week we have a bumper double issue of the spiffingist reads from the past two weeks, starting off with an insight into how a game idea can end up going nowhere.


The Ant Man: my year in development hell (Eurogamer)

It must be heart-breaking to pour your heart into creating and developing a game idea, only for it to go nowhere. Often we never hear about the failed projects that never even get to the official announcement stage, so this is an interesting look behind the curtain.

Fail Forward: How Television Fails At Discussing Games (Rock Paper Shotgun)

Games get short shrift in mainstream media, that’s pretty much a given. But it was depressing to see how partisan the BBC was in its depiction of games in the recent ‘Make it Digital’ season.


The Best Way To Play New Steam Hit Icey Is To Ignore The Instructions (Kotaku UK)

Clever. Very clever. This narrator of this game tells you where to go, but you’re free to ignore him and choose your own path – at which point he becomes exasperated and the plot of the game changes significantly.

Excellent Fan Film Captures the Horror of Majora’s Mask (Kotaku UK)

The production values of this fan film based on the Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask are simply astonishing. And it made me think again about the mask itself, as well as the characters of Skull Kid and the Happy Mask Salesman. Is the latter basically Gollum?


Should games and politics ever mix? (Eurogamer)

Another cracking article from Ellie Gibson, echoing some of my thoughts about Trump, Brexit and the craziness that is 2016 – I just want to bury my head in games and forget about it all.


Weak AAA launches are a precursor to industry transition (GamesIndustry.biz)

Why I think big console game sales are down (Eurogamer)

A pair of thoughtful articles on why sales of AAA games like Watch Dogs 2, Titanfall 2 and Dishonored 2 are so low. For my two cents, I think there’s a sense of lethargy in the industry at the moment, a growing discontent with FPS after FPS, interspersed with the odd GTA clone. The success of Farming Simulator 17 shows there’s scope for trying something different – and older gamers are a viable, rich target market. It’ll be interesting to see whether the Nintendo Switch can attract both older gamers and millenials…


Overwatch Outfits, As Reviewed By People Who Know Fashion (Kotaku UK)

This is an excellent follow-up to an article on video game fashion by Kotaku Australia. It made me chuckle, and it’s interesting to hear an expert take on some of the OTT outfits that are commonplace in games.


What Gamergate should have taught us about the ‘alt-right’ (The Guardian)

Finally, a fascinating article by Shut Up & Sit Down‘s Matt Lees that links Gamergate with Trump and the rise of the alt-right. The signs were there all along…

Spiffing Reads is a regular feature where we pick out the best gaming articles of the week. If you’ve read anything interesting, please let us know in the comments.