This week on Spiffing Reads, we kick off with a couple of interesting opinion pieces on the Nintendo Switch…
Don’t Judge Switch by the Stagnant Competition (Kotaku UK)
This article struck a chord with me, particularly in how it accuses many in the games industry of not being able to look past technical specs. “There are a few problems with how we look at it, the first being the hardware bores who talk tech in terms of upper limits rather than capabilities. The deathly-dull teardowns of components, the red-meat comparisons for the troll brigade, none of it’s illuminating. It’s not that specs or framerates or resolutions are unimportant, just that they’re much less important than the overall experience they’re being used to create, which gets lost beneath meaningless technical gotchas.” Personally, I stopped caring about tech specs once they stopped counting ‘bits’.
Switch’s challenge is unique software, not PS4 competition (GamesIndustry.biz)
Another fascinating article from Rob Fahey, with some really interesting points about the timing of the Switch’s launch in the console cycle in comparison with its predecessor, the Wii U.
The six worst US presidents in video game history (The Guardian)
I have to thank this article for reminding me that in a gaming world somewhere out there, J. K. Simmons is the US President.
The Invisible Bunnies That Power World of Warcraft (Kotaku UK)
I love this story. It turns out that some of the spells in Warcraft are powered by invisible rabbits – and they’re just one of the bizarre animal-based shortcuts that programmers have used to save time.
How a Tetris clone on the front of a tape-player led to spiritual enlightenment (Eurogamer)
This is something a bit different – an article from a self-confessed ‘non-gamer’ about how gaming changed her perception of the world. I’ve experienced a bit of ‘Tetrishead’ myself, but nothing like she describes. A great read.
THE PUNCH HEARD AROUND THE WORLD – by Mr Biffo (Digitiser 2000)
Nothing to do with video games, this one, but a very well written and interesting article about the internet reaction to neo-Nazi Richard Spencer getting punched on live TV. Mr Biffo echoes my own feelings – as much as I loathe neo-Nazis, beating them up is nothing to be celebrated. And if anything, it’s only going to strengthen their resolve.
The story behind the worst game ever made (Eurogamer)
It’s always interesting to hear tales from the eighties gaming scene, which was basically a kind of pixellated Wild West where anyone could do pretty much anything and get away with it. But even then, it’s hard to believe that a publisher could release a game that literally doesn’t work at all and still get away with it. Sort of puts modern day-one patches into perspective.
The Sin City game that never was (Eurogamer)
My first thought on reading this headline was that Sin City would make a brilliant video game, particularly with it’s stark black and white (and red) stylings, a la the under-rated MadWorld. But then I read how the publisher and writer kept demanding horrible, horrible changes to the characters and script, to the point where it was a mercy that the game was eventually killed.
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.