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On Seriously, Fuck You, "Kindle Unlimited"

@RJ Blain@facebook that's really sad to hear! I'm sorry your library provision is so off-putting and expensive. Can you get inter-library loans from other libraries to your local one?

Posted on July 22, 2014 at 10:58 am 0

On Seriously, Fuck You, "Kindle Unlimited"

@awlful

I don't agree with you that "it shouldn't cost a thing to borrow a book" means "you should lend books for free" - she is not suggesting that Amazon give away any of the wares it currently sells. They are introducing a scheme by which users pay for something that previously was free as a cultural norm and considered a public good. She's not saying they should introduce the scheme but not ask for money, she's saying the scheme isn't a good thing.

Posted on July 22, 2014 at 10:56 am 0

On Seriously, Fuck You, "Kindle Unlimited"

@awlful she's not saying "amazon should offer their wares for free", she's saying "amazon are asking you to pay for what is basically a library card for a shitty library"

Posted on July 21, 2014 at 4:36 pm 4

On Ask Polly: You Are Not Uniquely Fucked

"fondling Alan Thicke with a giant foam hand"

I'm so glad about this image - i know it's probably just a brain blip but imagiing Alan Thicke in place of Robin Thicke, bemused and out-of-place but really no less unfitting than his son, is aggressively delightful.

Posted on July 17, 2014 at 11:42 am 1

On The Life and Times of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

meh

Posted on May 20, 2014 at 7:23 pm 0

On Gays Assassinate CEO

so short-termist, the gays! just straight-up murdering a man when we've SAID that we'll totally get around to discussing whether they deserve equal treatment to straights, just as soon as we've finished fixing open software and monopoly practices in tech, which has nothing to do with politics and i don't see why you would think that.

Posted on April 4, 2014 at 9:59 am 2

On All That We Have Foreseen Has Come To Pass In Brooklyn

wait is the joke that 'Finbar' is some kind of poncey middle-class name for a toddler and this is somehow new in brooklyn now in 2014 or is the joke that this dude has hashtagged #brooklyn rather than idk #parkslope or is the joke that this is some kind of "no darling that's daddy's yakult" type of easy metonomy for "oh no this place where middle class people live has middle class people in it to an extent i had not yet understood", i don't get it.

Posted on March 27, 2014 at 11:49 am 0

On How Should We Deal With The Worst Of The Internet?

"But his recent writing about the way we use the Internet was striking for not only being thoughtful but for also not being objectionable."

Is that really striking, though? There's nothing unusual about someone having conventional ideas about one topic (e.g. the quality of much of what one reads on the internet) while also having nasty or idiotic ideas about another (femininity, the effect of compliments, anything else). There's also nothing striking about the idea that these people believe their own guff - I've had the "Western women are lazy and mannish and the downfall of Western civilisation is at hand" spiel from a number of men, and I'm sure they all felt it perfectly sincerely. Even the ones who tried to cloud it with "i'm just saying"s and "it's just banter"s and other lightening touches. Their deep sense of horror and injustice and politically-incorrect truth-telling helps them to ignore their own intellectual laziness, the fact that they're fantasists.

Posted on March 25, 2014 at 2:48 pm 6

On Why Brush Your Teeth With Chocolate When You Can Brush Your Teeth With California Wine or Bamboo

salt toothpaste is pretty refreshing!

(yes yes i am an appalling hippy)

Posted on January 30, 2014 at 6:05 am 0

On How Should A Game Be?

No mention of Xbox Live Arcade? I think the majority of the "indie game" playing that my friends do has been sourced via XBLA. It's always been my impression that that was the first distributor for the indie game: the movie crop of indie games - Fez, Super Meat Boy, Braid - games that are highly playable but have that recognisably "indie" aesthetic particularly in their use of nostalgic tropes. Which are games I wish you'd discussed here!

Of course these are (by and large) platformers, and have nothing like as much of the RPG elements that you're identifying in the AAA games, but they're strong on ludic elements, they're hugely fun and their criticism can't avoid discussion of how fun they are to play. They're popular, they're critically rated, they're valued for their aesthetic. The economic and structural disparity between indie and major studios means they're shorter and more derivative than major-studio platformers. But there isn't the same gap you're identifying by focusing so much on story-led games.

There's a huge and undeniable tendency in indie games towards eat-your-greens Difficult Art with a Moral Message - especially when it comes to experimental free games, whose very freeness is often related to the creators' political and artistic convictions. But there's also a lot of sentimental and nostalgic stuff that uses its limited resources not to be meaningful but just to charm (even to charm with how difficult it is! even for kids! i've had six-year-olds commandeer my computer to play endless rounds of bit-trip runner (which, ok, rhythm action puzzle) in total delight and fascination).

Posted on January 17, 2014 at 7:51 am 1