In 2018, I read a bunch of books and I wrote down what I thought about them. I enjoyed the experience so much that I decided to do it again this year. Let’s see if we can make this an annual thing!
I wrote a lot more words than I intended so I’ll break this up into multiple posts in order to increase the chance that someone reads it! Honestly, the things I do for you people.
October, China Mieville
Before this book was released, anyone who wanted to learn about what happened in Russia during the Revolution of 1917 you only had one choice: listening to a wheezy hardcore leftist whose Twitter bio included so many “-ist” suffixes that you needed to stop for a tea break before he had even finished introducing himself. Thanks to China Mieville, millions of people have been freed from this terrible fate and can now simply read a book instead.
Continue reading Books What I Read In 2019 (Part 1)
Earlier this year I was struggling pretty hard to find anything funny about video games anymore, and was seriously considering putting Point & Clickbait on an indefinite hiatus until, well, everything stopped being a fucking nightmare.
I did not do that. Instead, I asked James “Jickle” O’Connor to help out, and he has since done a stellar job which I want to take a moment to recognise in the traditional form of a listicle, which is how games journalists communicate.
In no particular order other than chronological, here are ten delightful pieces of James from the year of our lord 2019:
Continue reading 10 Times That James “Jickle” O’Connor Was Very Funny On Point & Clickbait This Year
The Lizzies are the Australian IT Journalism awards, presumably named after the fact that the first ever journalist to cover the information technology industry in Australia was a lizard who made a nest in a ‘press’ hat and hissed angrily until it was given an employment contract. I refuse to investigate further.
The point is that video games are included under “IT Journalism”, and so every year, Australia’s increasingly-precariously-employed videogames journalists make their way to Luna Park to enjoy an open bar with the secondary thrill of finding out who gets to take home a trophy.
It rules to get nominated for the Lizzies. They are, even with all the criticisms I’m about to write, the most exciting and prestigious award for games writing in Australia. It’s a thrill to see your name up there and to feel like your talented and hard working peers think you’re hot shit.
But despite all that, the Lizzies kind of suck. Here’s why, and how to fix them.
Continue reading Quick thoughts on The Lizzies
I read a bunch of books this year in an attempt to make my brain bigger. Here are some of them.
1. 1984, George Orwell, 1984
I’ve never actually read 1984
before, although thanks to the magic of cultural osmosis I basically absorbed
the entire plot and most of the catchphrases at some point over my adult life.
In the last few years I’ve become an insufferably woke socialist so a lot of
the themes of 1984, which it turns out actually run a lot deeper than what if surveillance, but too much were
particularly resonating with me as I read it. The entire second part of the
book, where George Orwell basically uses the flimsiest pretext to drop in a
blatant self-insert character and writes an enormous essay called “HI READER,
IT’S ME GEORGE ORWELL, CAPITALISM IS BAD”, is especially great.
I started to wonder why this book was never taught in school
to me or any friends I know, but quickly realised that there were probably two
reasons for it. The first, that it directly asks the reader to question
undemocratic social hierarchies and the artificial poverty which is deliberately
created and maintained by a state of constant war and fear (hmm, doesn’t ring
any bells); and the second, that every time the main character meets up with
his girlfriend they absolutely go to town on each other and fuck like rabbits.
Continue reading Some Books What I Read This Year And My Thoughts On Them (The Books)
Off the back of the critical and commercial success of DOOM, Bethesda have formally announced their intention to continue with a policy of providing media outlets with review copies no earlier than 24 hours in advance.
Their announcement (which quite tellingly offers no justification for the change other than “the game sold a shitload of copies, so fuck you”) is being met with no small amount of criticism from games media who have correctly labelled it as anti-consumer.
That’s not the issue. Of course it’s anti-consumer. It’s difficult to think of something more anti-consumer than to proudly brag about how your game is 100 hours long or needs to be played twice to be properly understood, while simultaneously doing everything possible to make customers pre-order a year in advance and to prevent media outlets from reporting on any possible shortcomings until it’s too late.
The problem is not that it is anti-consumer; the problem is that the industry as a whole is anti-consumer. It has been for a long time, and Bethesda’s formalisation of that anti-consumer position is doing for the games industry what Trump’s racism did for the Republican party: scandalising the establishment by saying out loud the racist things that were previously only conveyed through polite smiles and racist policy*.
Continue reading Bethesda, Games Media, And The Uncouth Vulgarity Of Acknowledging Capitalism