Sundays are for being unreasonably excited by the prospect of a Gousto box. Before you unpack, let’s read this week’s best writing about games (and game related matters).
Over on Bloomberg, Rachel Metz asks: “How important is it to you that a human writes the news you read?”. Metz speaks to VentureBeat’s editorial director, who reckons that his readers probably don’t care if an AI wrote bits of an article. Huh. What do you make of it all?
“I’m not trying to take a press release, feed it through the system, and get an article, although I can probably do that,” he said. Nuñez thinks the debate over whether to use small pieces of text written by a machine will be short lived. “If you’re taking sentences or clauses or small fragments of ideas from the large language model — in my view, we’re going to be discussing it for six months — and I guarantee, in two years, it’s not going to matter. ”
Ade Adeniji wrote a post for Waypoint on why there’s no room for suburbs in open world games. Adeniji speaks to devs about the beigeness of suburbs and having to trim the fat, which unfortunately means trimming out the mundane.
Carly Kocurek, who teaches in the Game Design and Experiential Media program at Illinois Tech, says suburbs operate in the realm of “perceived beigeness” making it hard to imagine them as settings for the kinds of stories and worlds we see most often in open world games. To the extent that suburbia does show up strongly, these spaces often serve as a starting or transition point for a character, perhaps the first 10 minutes of a film, or the film’s midpoint.
For Hit Points, Nathan Brown waxes lyrical about Red Dead Redemption 2. Brown puts the state of Redfall, Star Wars Jedi Survivor, and the future of the industry in focus, as he contemplates RDR2’s brilliant open world.
What’s really grabbed me about RDR2 this time around is how fresh it still feels. It’s nearly five years old, and while I get a big kick out of seeing old games tarted up by the brute-force power of a new PC, they can normally be expected to show their age. I restarted GTAV for the umpteenth time a couple of months back and while it holds up really well for a game that is almost a decade old, it is still, quite obviously, almost a decade old. It’s had some work done, sure, and it’s still got that old glint in its eye, but it walks with a bit of a stop. It creaks a bit when it sits down, grunts when it stands back up. Red Dead, though? It still feels like it came out yesterday.
Over on Intelligencer, John Herrman asks whether Temu is the future of buying things. I hadn’t heard of Temu, but its style of gamification sounds awful! I’m sure that means it’s going to take over the world.
In the space of a minute, an initial buy-seven-get-three-free promo morphs into a buy-four-get-two deal; “Gifts” pile into your inbox, nudging you through casino-style pseudo-games promising free products, and even cash, in exchange for inviting friends; $2 products that arrive later than expected result in $6 shopping credits. In any other context, a single one of these sales techniques would read as scammy and ridiculous. In Temu, they combine into a totalizing and strangely compelling promotional experience, where prices and timers keep ticking down while your account’s various credits — cash, tokens, invites — keep ticking up, suggesting some sort of climax: a payout or, much more likely , a tiny first purchase of just a few dollars.
Music this week is Proof by Teen Daze. Here’s the Spotify link and YouTube link. Soft dance.
That’s it for this week folks, take care of yourselves and see you next week!