July Reading

This Gaming Life: Travels in Three Cities by Jim Rossignol.

A whistle stop tour of gaming culture which avoids the usual clichés of describing gamers as nerds or gaming as an antisocial and harmful habit. Rossignol splits his essay into three parts each dealing with the different types of gaming that have emerged across the world and it’s not only a decent essay about gaming but touches on some exciting developments such as gaming with purpose and games-as-propaganda.

The Vesuvius Club: Graphic Novel by Mark Gatiss.

An adaptation of Gatiss’ novel about an Edwardian James Bond type getting into scrapes around London and Italy, which seemed like the Cliff Notes version of the original novel.  The story itself is pretty camp and leaves you unsure whether to give the book on which it’s based a chance.  Quite disappointing considering Gatiss’s track record on Doctor Who and Sherlock.
Warning: May contain hand-drawn penis.

The Wheel of Time, Book 12: The Gathering Storm by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson.

Just when I thought I was getting to the end of a very long slog, I found out that this final volume in the twelve book series was to be split into three huge books.  From notes left when Robert Jordan passed away, the epic battle between light and dark is being finished by fantasy writer and fan Sanderson.  Definitely a commitment, but Sanderson’s input has given the story a sense of urgency that makes the reader know the last battle is only around the corner.

“Lay down all hope, you that go in by me”

Dante Alighieri (110/365)

Image by kimberlyfaye via Flickr

What would classic novels be called if they were written for today’s market?

Then: The Gospel of Matthew
Now:  40 Days and a
Mule: How One Man Quit His Job and Became the Boss

I’ve just finished Dante’s Descent into Dummy Loan Felonies —With a Detour for Minimum
Security Prison
— and Amazing Redemption as an
Ethical Financial Advisor in preparation for the video game version. I don’t remember the poet being so badass.

(via Boing Boing)

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The Original Sims

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Image by Damien Ryan via Flickr

Alter Ego was a video game released by Activision in 1986. The brainchild of psychologist Dr. John Favero it allowed players to play out an entire lifetime as if it were a Choose Your Own Adventure novel by playing out events based on hundreds of interviews conducted with people about their lives.

Now you can play a very faithful reproduction online.

Update: For $5 you can get a version for mobile phones using the Android operating system in the Android Market