The Sunday Papers | Rock Paper Shotgun

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Sundays are for snapping your glasses case shut with a very loud bang. Before you deafen yourself, let’s read this week’s best writing about games (and game related things).

Over on Medium, Maddy Thorson wrote about four years of Celeste. A personal post about gender transition and responsibility. Maddy says goodbye to the person she was when developing Celeste and finding herself through disconnection.

For the record, this wasn’t something that I intended to talk about publicly so early in my transition. If the discourse around Celeste hadn’t become so focused on its queer undertones, I don’t think I would have come out publicly for a long time. It felt like people needed to know whether Madeline was trans, and I felt a responsibility to engage with that conversation. Once I started trying to do just that, I found it impossible without talking about my own now-apparent transness.

Over on Eurogamer, Jon Bailes wrote about the rise of Taiwan’s indie scene and why it deserves our attention. An interesting look at Taiwan’s indie boom, community spirit, and the struggles they still face making games for China, or marketing them for the West.

At the same time, Europe and North America remain difficult markets to crack, as games from Taiwan and smaller Asian territories struggle for media attention, even with the support of a publisher like Neon Doctrine. Tsypljak explains that their recent releases have sold well, suggesting that western players are open to experiences coming from Asian creators beyond Japan. But, he adds, “if editors have a choice between an indie game made in Europe or America and an indie game made in Indonesia, Malaysia or Taiwan, they always go with the ones that are made in America or Europe.”

For NME, Tom Regan wrote about how D&B label Hospital Records became a Forza mainstay. Some quick insights into music production for a massive game series. I was surprised at how much longer it takes for tunes to be created for a game, as opposed to an album.

“On top of that, placing music into Forza is a particular art, because the music doesn’t play super loud,” Goss continues. “There’s a huge amount of in-game noise: from me and Degs chatting rubbish, to the sound design from the cars and the landscape. So, it’s important that the producers understand that, and sit with the game for half an hour. [They] need to understand that maybe a very minimal, deep subby kind of tune is probably not going to cut through.”

For Substack, Ed Zitron wrote about the value of time. Specifically, how play-to-earn games are a new evil that monetise your joy time. Or rather, that our time isn’t being used “valuably” if it’s not paying us.

Ohanian isn’t simply participating in hustle culture, he is funding it and empowering it, turning as many gamers into hustle culture zealots, and turning the idea of gaming into another way to chase riches that are just out of grasp. Play-to-earn gamers are being fleeced both fiscally and emotionally, having their time stolen as a means of enriching others and poisoning the concept of what they consider “leisure.”

Finally, Molly White put together a timeline of how cryptocurrencies, NFTs, and other web3 projects have been doing really great over the past year.

Music this week is The Latest Number by toe. Here’s the YouTube link and Spotify link. The YouTube algorithm introduced me to this one.

That’s me folks, until next time!

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