Other Ten Percent 9/23/13

Sep 23 2013

Man, I got distracted trying to get super fancy with this stuff since I’ve got five links open that aren’t from an RSS reader but maybe I should just cover those and move on with my life.

Let’s start off with Leigh Alexander’s GTA V review. The second one. The one she wrote for Gamasutra having actually played the game that discusses a lot of the underlying emotional stuff in the game that’s so weird. I played the game for a few hours today and most of this seems…totally on point. There’s a weird tonal disconnect between the story GTA wants to tell (essentially a Scarface riff about corruption and money and power) and what the game actually tells you (do whatever the hell you want, literally going head to head with the LAPD isn’t that big of a thing) and it makes the whole thing kinda exhausting.

Nikki and I spend a lot of time on Friday working through a solution to the other big criticism of GTA V, that you can’t play as a woman and what female characters there are are…kinda awful. We came up with a whole riff on Weeds and Breaking Bad where you’re a husband and wife team that used to rob banks and then retired that’s gotten dragged back into the life after moving to the suburbs. The idea that you’d have to keep up some measure of appearances around your home to keep the homeowners association happy while robbing enough banks to trick out your house endlessly amused us. Somehow I doubt that idea would make a billion dollars in three days though.

In other video game story news: who wants to read thousands of words about the level design in the original Portal and how it subtly teaches you the solutions to the puzzles it asks you to solve? Wait! Come back! It turns out the answer is actually you. You want to read that. It’ll be interesting even if you’ve never played Portal.

Hey remember when I shit talked the Omni reboot site for like eight billion words that one time and I was all “I dunno maybe it just needs to find its legs and I’ll feel stupid for saying all this later?” I feel super stupid. The Omni Reboot got pretty great pretty fast. Here’s a sci-fi tour of LA that’s even better because it turns out I did half of it without even trying when we went down there earlier this year.

If that wasn’t cool enough there’s also an article that’s EVEN BETTER. If Claire Evans was just a little bit more self serious…well she’d be almost as insufferable as I am, but she’d also title this article “J. G. Ballard and Seinfeld.” Instead she calls it The Parking Garage. It’s pretty cool either way.

Finally, so very many words on the history of slash fiction.

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