Sundays are for descaling your kettle. Before you watch the fizz, let’s read this week’s best writing about games (and game related matters).
Over on The Guardian, Wilfred Chan wrote about the TikTokers pretending to be NPCs. “Erotic undertone” is quite the understatement here. Also, where are the real NPCs? The ones who say, “Saw a mudcrab the other day, horrible creatures”.
If you haven’t seen them yet, the videos are mesmerizing. A content creator with long, straight hair sits at her kitchen table, rapidly stringing together nonsense catchphrases, over and over with the same cheerful expression and tone. “Yes yes yes. Mmm, ice cream so good. Ooh, you got me feeling like a cowgirl. Gang alley. Mmm, ice cream so good. Yes yes yes.”
John wrote about memorializing friends and family in Team Fortress 2 over on Pixels For Breakfast. A touching piece about loss, and how TF2’s workshop is a wonderful place to honor those important to you.
The first time I ever experienced loss was at a pretty young age. I had an Uncle who is literally the reason why I’m into technology. Being that I was young when he passed I don’t remember much, just that one day he was gone. They say it was a heart attack, but that side of the family always debates whether that was true or not. I do remember every time he came over he would ask for black coffee and wore a black newsboy cap. I honored him by recreating his hat in Team Fortress 2.
For Unwinnable, Francisco Dominguez wrote about Zelda: Tears Of The Kingdom’s link to its childish past. A piece about Link being a fun little guy, just a small dude whose hair you want to ruffle.
You’re constantly reminded of your childlike status by the gentle indignity of how Hyrule regards its fabled hero. Zelda’s guardian knight saved Hyrule once already; he should command respect and authority across the realm. Yet wherever he goes, he is greeted with overfamiliar, teasing humor like an enthusiastically fond aunt or uncle. In a familiar contradiction, they refuse to treat your grand goals with the seriousness they deserve, yet these patronizing adults reward their adopted nephew for relatively trivial tasks with a fistful of rupees and dreadful jokes.
Over on the BBC, Jonathan Amos wrote about new discoveries from Pompeii. A kitchen shrine with serpent motifs, a massive oven, a pizza (?), a burnt bed! The accompanying video is also fascinating.
In the third room, I pull back another tarp to reveal a magnificent shrine. Two yellow serpents in relief slither up a burgundy background. “These are good demons,” says Alessandro. He points to a fresco further down the wall just above an opening to a box of some kind. “This room is actually a kitchen. They would have made offerings here to their gods. Foods like fish or fruits. The snake is a connection between the gods and the humans.
Music this week is Mullaly by And So I Watch You From Afar. Here’s the Spotify link and YouTube link. Math rock which goes hard. Also, the cover art for this album is brilliant.
I stumbled into this NieR: Automata/Replicant OST vid on YouTube and it’s got voicelines which help transition you from track to track. It’s a pleasant reminder of how much I love those games.
That’s it for this week folks, take care of yourselves and see you next week!