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On How Should A Game Be?

First, can I please say that if The Awl were to create a site that were about games I would be unreasonably, unfathomably, excited? Okay then.

Two random thoughts:

1. "Indie game" is a bit of an amorphous catch-all, when you think about it. It includes artier stuff like "Papers, Please", but also hardcore Rogue-likes or games with lo-fi graphics but super-complex rules engines. What they have in common is that they're all low-budget, but they often appeal to very different audiences. I hope as time goes on this can be delineated further but I'm not 100% how that happens.

2. If you're looking for indie action you have to avoid the main consoles: Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft are very committed to their big game publishers, and for reasons that are probably sensible. The big triple-A releases are what drive console loyalty for a lot of people. Indie games are far easier to find on iOS or Steam, and I think it's a damn shame that Steam's look and feel makes you feel like you're at a LAN party drinking too much Mountain Dew, because inside that store there are actually a lot of lovely independent games waiting to be found. The situation doesn't feel that similar to comic book stores not that long ago: Lots of great, sensitive comics to be found but only if you could wade through a mile of generic superhero crap to find it.

There does generally seem to be an upswing of interest in indie games, which is great. More than anything else that's what keeps me coming back to Steam ...

Posted on January 16, 2014 at 8:00 pm 1

On Inside the Charming Brain Trust of the Federal Reserve

There were a handful of experts who were raving like Cassandra in 2006, but almost nobody would listen to them. Off the top of my head, you could include: Nouriel Roubini, Robert Schiller, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, John Mauldin, and Barry Ritholtz.

As far as I can tell, the biggest reason nobody listened to them is because they were a particularly lonely tribe of independent-minded finance types and economists -- they didn't work for the big investment banks, and they didn't work for the Fed. They might've been able to make common cause with the left, but back then not that many people on the left wanted to read all those super-boring details about the economy.

I remember this immensely well, because most of my friends are lefties, and back in 2006 I was trying to tell all of them not to buy real estate.

Posted on January 14, 2012 at 1:18 am 0

On Apostrophe Impractical

Should Waterstones be a punctuation vigilante? They're just looking for diverse and even nuanced responses to a difficult question.

Posted on January 13, 2012 at 12:07 am 0

On What's Your Most Played Song?

I reset play counts about once a year for reasons far too nerdy to go into here. But this past year mine was "Swim Good" by Frank Ocean.

The lack of Frank Ocean in this comments thread makes me sad.

Posted on January 6, 2012 at 7:02 pm 0

On What's Your Most Played Song?

@melis What impressed me was that the song isn't even that old. It's like she listened to it four times a day ever since it came out.

It is a pretty great song, though.

Posted on January 6, 2012 at 7:00 pm 0