Category Archives: Roundups of Unusual Size

I don’t think they exist.

Roundup of Unusual Size: Tonight, on ‘Reasons to Never Eat at McDonald’s Again…’

…So Friday I had a drag show. And today I caught up on all the sleep I apparently missed out on the last 25 years of my life. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.

O Academia

The New York Times asks: why do students leave the sciences? Hell, I wish I could go back in time and get an astronomy degree instead of studying the liberal arts, but never mind me…



Wundergeek is in the process of building an awesome user’s guide for her Go Make Me a Sandwich blog.

Ryan Winslett asks if games are mainstream yet, and if so, would it matter?

And Rock, Paper, Shotgun provides a completely comprehensive flowchart for dealing with videogame review score controversies.


Article of the Day goes to Ian Bogost, who turns the lens of Lacanian psychoanalysis onto fast food culture, saying: “The purpose of the McRib is to make the McNugget seem normal.”

Proof once more that online petitions totally work.

This two part PRX series by Tina Fey takes a global perspective to “The Hidden World of Girls”.

And Jezebel is continuing their “girl’s guide to gay male sex” series, for all you slashers out there.

An update on the story of Judge Adams, the abusive subhuman creep who beat his daughter on camera because she liked things he didn’t like. He’s been suspended pending an investigation, by the way.


Taking note of Guy Fawkes Day, The Mary Sue pays tribute to the masks that have come to symbolize the Anonymous collective.

Still don’t know what “kettling” is? Here. Watch. On a related note, this is scary as hell.

Roundup of Unusual Size: BINGO!

(art credit: amrrr)

Is it me or is everything in tonight’s list about sexism? AND I got harassed on the way home from class. Bet it’s The Screwfly Solution taking effect.


If you read one article at Kotaku this week, read this one by Nicole Leffel, about sexism and a culture of dismissal in gaming. Also read the comments if you want laugh and boggle at some people’s staggering privilege.

On the other hand, you should feel at liberty to read Kotaku AU as much as you like, because that’s where Tracey Lien is. So here you go.

Sniff sniff. So proud of Fireholly. Look at this amazing sexism in games bingo card she made. It’s getting linked everywhere now! Be sure to check out Tami Baribeau’s twin discussions post on The Border House for more.

And as someone used to these kind of scams in publishing and other media, this really doesn’t surprise me, but it merits a signal boost: IF A CASH PRIZE PUBLISHING CONTRACT SOUNDS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE, IT IS.


What is Heim Theory, and what does it mean for time travel?


Dictators and the things they hoard.

This is depressing. This is infinitely moreso.


This one got lost in my instapaper backlog somewhere: foreclosure firm employees dress up as the destitute evictees they’ve victimized for Halloween.

Roundup of Unusual Size: To the Moon with Ocelot’s Six-Shooters


A new study concludes that games aid in creativity rather than stunt it. Which would seem to follow.

Indie game du jour for you: To the Moon.


io9 documents Captain Kirk’s ten most ass-kicking moments.


Dude recreates the Ocelot gun twirling from Metal Gear Solid 3. Commentary on other sites seem to forget the scenes were done with motion capture to begin with (the mocap actor wore his skin off his fingers!) but I doubt it was all done in a single take. Nice.


That great sage and blogger (and hot air balloon enthusiast) Cory Doctorow says copyright is meaningless in the digital age:

…the thing that triggers copyright rules – copying – is an intrinsic part of the functioning of the Internet and computers. There’s really no such thing as “loading” a web-page – you make a copy of it. There’s really no such thing as “reading” a file off a hard-drive – you copy it into memory.

Forging 30+ social psychology studies? You need a Scumbag Steve for that.

Viewer be warned: abused daughter posts video of her father’s verbal and physical abuse. Reddit takes action.


How about we Occupy the Patriarchy next?

Occupy Oakland Strike Posters for your downloading and printing! I’m fond of the socialist motif one myself.

Don’t Scan Me Bro

How did we get here? The narrative of US airports’ cancer machines.

Roundup of Unusual Size: I rate your reading of this headline 7/10.

Sorry for the prolonged absence, all! I’m back or, erm, so goes the theory.


First up, my Sunday Papers and TWIVGB picks from over the weekend:

Level With Me, Dan Pinchbeck Part 1 of 7, a new interview series with the man behind the Dear Esther mod.
-Dan Cox examines the functions of asymmetrical knowledge in narrative–and how this might apply to games, particularly differences between player and PC knowledge.
-Patrick Klepek questions the “controversy” behind a review not being positive enough.
-Finally: I rate this review of a loofah 6/10 for creativity but lack of substance.

Moving forward, a few treasures from the rest of my RSS feeds–

We start with an opinion piece from Dan Cook, critiquing the emphasis placed on a vocal minority of players in an age of reliable metric data. I would just wonder where “squeaky wheels” demanding fairer, non-sexist, non-racist representation would factor in such a model (see: the under-advertising of FemShep and her resulting underperformance in metrics; CLEARLY THE DEVS SHOULD JUST FOLLOW THE DATA), but in fairness, he’s mostly talking about game mechanics and resistance to change.

And a compliment to that, more for fun than depth: Kotaku writer cites Cook’s article, basically calls out his “loud-mouthed assholes” readershi. Readers fail to catch on.

Also from Kotaku (I know! I’m surprised too!), Stephen Totilo covers a recent Q&A at the NYU Practice conference, addressing misogyny in the Street Fighter series as well as among its fans.

Playdead dev: “retail is broken.”

Tadhg Kelly discerns between participation and interactivity.

I love Gus Mastrapa and articles like this are why: a diary of food consumption in Skyrim.

Clint Hocking criticizes the oft-repeated prediction that games are “the dominant cultural form of the 21st century”.


NaNoWriMo is upon us once again, and regardless of how you may feel about it, it’s true that it does generate a greater than usual discourse on the writer craft. So, io9, what is a sincere first draft and how do we write it?

Halloween + Occupy Wall Street = protesters dressing up as Marie Antoinette.


As someone who works for a kids’ MMO, this concerns me personally and I can’t wait to dig deeper into it: why and how parents are undermining the Child Online Privacy Protection Act.


Before and after photos of the police raid on Frank Ogawa Park.

Apparently in addition to general police brutality and putting a guy in the coma, the Oakland PD’s anti-riot measures were flat-out illegal. I’m sure they’ll be thoroughly prosecuted, since the California justice system has been proven to work so well.

Nightmare Fuel

Seems like something Cronenberg would design: stiletto implants for your heels.

Moment of Pumpkin

The drawback for missing Halloween is that now all these links from last night seem a bit soggy and ready to be chucked… Ah well, have an exploding jack-o’-lantern anyway.

Roundup of Unusual Size: Spooky Edition

The blog feeds are slow tonight, so Ben, this one’s for you.

WARNING: These links (and especially the images at the end) are pretty much not for the faint of heart. I tried weeding out the gore, but some of it is still pretty tough to look at. Hey, at least I didn’t throw Lotus Boob at you.

(Don’t Google that.)

Body Horror

Parasitic twins.

Teratomas! Some of them have brains.

And this one is my favorite: Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva, where your entire body –cartilage, muscle, organs, everything– turns into solid bone.

Delusional parasitosis, including Morgellon’s, where you believe foreign bodies (like insects) are crawling under your skin.

Not abnormal by any means, but freaky all the same: sleep paralysis.


Aokigahara, the Japanese suicide forest.

The Dyatlov Pass incident.

Street light interference–which happened to me constantly when I lived out in the sticks, ugh.

Nature is EVIL

Human botflies! Have a couple videos too.

Naegleria fowleri! Otherwise known as the amoeba that eats human brains.

Governments are Evil-er

Project MK-ULTRA. See also: The Killing Room.

“Why are chains growing out of this man’s skin?”

Polybius. Which is probably not the same as this 2007 PC game (warning: may be dangerous for people suffering from epilepsy).

“Found Footage”

Aka, the only horror genre that’s worth bothering with these days.

Marble Hornets: zero budget ongoing web series about Slender Man, an internet-borne folk tale (you can see artist renditions of him in the gallery after the jump).

Poughkeepsie Tapes. Just… Poughkeepsie Tapes.

Less found footage, more faux documentary with body horror/black-as-black-gets hospital humor, but Lars von Trier’s The Kingdom.


I’ve got a gallery. Hit the jump. Hit iiiiiit.

Continue reading

Roundup of Unusual Size: Terrible things are happening in Oakland (like Sonic theme parks)

I thought today was Saturday and I don’t know why. I’ll blame the flu again.


Deets on Limbo dev Playdead’s forthcoming second game have turned up. Huzzah!

And according to Kirk, I Am Alive is The Road in game form.

Why would you ever?

And okay, this entirely fan indulgence, but they’ve gone and made an [insert your name here] version of the PlayStation “To Michael” commercial. And it’s totally good for a chuckle.


I’m as happy as anyone for more Phoenix Wright in my life, but man, you can’t make this look good.


Man. You guys just have it out for Pluto.


Huzzah! Women can ascend the British throne a little easier! Well, unless they’re a Catholic who marries in. Erm.


A day after I devoted part of a class midterm to likening the Egyptian revolution to the Occupy movement, this happened.

Elsewhere, angered protesters hold a vigil for (doing better!) Scott Olsen. The outbreak of police brutality in Oakland is, of course, being cited as “the left hand not knowing what the right one was doing.” Whatever the case, Threat Level’s Quinn Norton is calling it “a moral victory” for the movement. Meanwhile, Salon think the overarching victory goes to how the talking points on the news have shifted.

On the slowly shifting demographics on the protest lines.

Great op-ed: only a pundit would think Occupy didn’t have a message. The rest of us hear it loud and clear.

NMDNet on ground-up democracy.

You know that lady who showed up all over the blogs with her awesome protest sign? Her boss fired her for it.

Lastly, and warning for spoilers: why In Time is coincidentally the perfect movie for #OWS.

You Can’t Make This Up

Seriously. Three-eyed fish found near nuclear facility.


Moment of Zen

Johnny Weir. Ice skating to Lady GaGa. WERK!

Roundup of Unusual Size: I’d like a supersized debt with a coke.


So, commentary has been spreading like wildfire regarding homophobic remarks made at the close of this year’s BlizzCon. (Warning: triggering language ahead.)

Your first order of business should be reading Denis Farr’s essay, reposted as a guest editorial on Kotaku. You do not want to read the comments if you want to retain any faith in humanity.

Next, Richard Goodness’s take.

Blizzard were quick to issue an apology. And not just a fauxpology, sorry-you-were-offended apology, but actually owning up to the mistake.


The paralysis of choice in game design.

A scummier ploy we have rarely seen. Bravo, Vimeo.

A little coverage by Michael Abbott on a talk delivered by Jonathan Blow and Marc ten Bosch at this year’s Indiecade.


Hyperbole and a Half has a brilliant illustration of depression.


Here is a take we haven’t seen yet: now that DADT has been repealed, GLBT servicepeople are suing to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act as well.

For my slash-writing friends out there: a nice little guide to gay sex, part 1.

Every time you read about Republicans endorsing regulation to protect corporate interests, take a drink.


I actually haven’t heard of this series, but if they’re doing web videos on the protests, that’s good enough for me!

Excellent article in The Nation today about the Occupy movement’s relation to student debt relief.

And by now you should have heard about Scott Olsen, the Iraq veteran who was injured by riot police at Occupy Oakland and is now comatose in critical condition, awaiting brain surgery.

Moment of I Don’t Know How to End This

That “Feminist Apocalypse” video has resurfaced. Yay?

Roundup of Unusual Size: Occupying Bioshock Infinite

Sick as a very sick dog, hurgh blagh. Let’s see if I can even finish my interactive lecture for class tomorrow.


Gay teens killing themselves? Oh I know! Let’s hurl some anti-gay slurs at BlizzCon!

Critical Missive digs deeper on an admittedly problematic Gamasutra feature on skill design, linked on this blog a few days ago.


Kirk, you’re too good for Kotaku.


io9 asks: where did right-handedness come from?

I fail to see how this is any more likely than any other apocalyptic scenario, but at least it doesn’t break with physics.


Against all homophobic rhetoric, gay parents don’t warp children. Homophobia, however, is.


Occupy Oakland, we are with you! Boing Boing, as always, has been posting plenty of articles with news from the front line all day: Xeni Jardin’s day-one roundup, police flash grenading a crowd helping a hurt protester, and again with the sanitized newspaper accounts.

A letter on DailyKos from a member of the 1%: why I support the 99%.

Tiger Beatdown: Who are the 1%?

Rushkoff: this ain’t a scene, it’s a goddamn arms race.

Heather Parton on Al Jazeera contrasts the #Occupy movement with the Tea Party.

Anna North comments on how the sexual politics of Occupy Baltimore can be read as a microcosm for the entire movement.

Lastly, Heather Tsukayama draws parallels between #Occupy and an unreleased videogame at her peril, but the argument remains an interesting one.

Moment of Creepy

You know Gadaffi commissioned a love song for Condoleezza Rice? Yeeeah.

Roundup of Unusual Size: Revolution(TM)

Wake me up when it’s June.


Ernest Adams argues that professionalism can take you a lot farther than mere passion.

An indie game I plan to investigate as soon as time permits: The Art Piece as a Video Game.


What good is half an eye? the evolution denier asks. A hell of a lot, says science.


Depressing: study finds that women professionals, by and large, suffer from a lack of strong mentorship in their fields.


Occupy Oakland received a warm welcome of good ol’ fashioned police brutality today.

The revolution will be branded and trademarked.

Roundup of Unusual Size: But can Bhaloidam Occupy Wall Street? CAN IT? (Yes, it probably can.)

Ignore me. I’ve got midterms.


Sunday Papers and Thwigavibs for everyone!

Joe Tortuga has a great essay up on Corvus Elrod’s Bhaloidam, and you must read it. I am a backer, and you should be too.

What happens when you make Settlers of Catan about oil drilling? A lot, apparently.

Richard Fine explores how music can define a play experience.

A large developer-slash-platform talking actual Earth logic sense about piracy? Buwaaaaaah?

Dorkly Bits uncovers a flaw in Dr. Eggman Dr. Robotnik’s world domination plans.

Last but not least by any means: Where do computer games go when they die?


Tim Gunn critiques the fashion of Star Trek TOS (and a few modern-day superheroines). Disagree with him aplenty, but the discussion on period- and medium-specific gender politics is interesting. Elsewhere on The Mary Sue, we ask the harder-hitting questions, like why isn’t there Trek on TV anymore?

O Academia

There’s something pretty weird about watching a web video of a TV projection of a Skype call. Good news is, it’s worth watching.


This list of things you probably didn’t know about dreams consists largely of things you probably did know, but it does have links so you can drill down further into a given subject.


On making it to the Macy’s Day Parade.

Nice that the lady had a sense of humor in this story, but I think I’d die if a horror story like this happened to me.

Why the recession is harder on women.

This is apparently a meme now, which is a pity as I believe memeification dilutes what is in fact a very powerful anti-racism campaign.

Who the hell names their baby daughter “Unwanted”? At least 285 Indian families, apparently.

Why am I not surprised the Church of Scientology is using their old familiar dirt-digging tactics on South Park‘s studio and staff as they do for anyone else publicly criticizing them?


Charlie Stross, an economist and speculative fiction author I quite admire, conducts a thought experiment on how history will assess the class tensions of today.

I Hate Everything

The whitewashed Akira movie is still happening, and look! More white people who might be in it!

Go to hell, MTV.