Links! 28/11/2013

Games, cats and communism. What else could you expect from this blog?

  • Ossuary is a new commercial game by Gregory Avery-Weir, creator of Looming and indie classic The Majesty of Colors. I wonder, do game critics nowadays even remember how big games like The Majesty of Colors were? Do they remember how for a while, Flash games were a space for genuine creativity that you could actually make a living from? Or is that all gone now, small-time stuff compared to Minecraft and the other Great Indie Hits? I hope not.
  • Exiting the Vampire Castle. “The Vampires’ Castle specialises in propagating guilt. It is driven by a priest’s desire to excommunicate and condemn, an academic-pedant’s desire to be the first to be seen to spot a mistake, and a hipster’s desire to be one of the in-crowd. The danger in attacking the Vampires’ Castle is that it can look as if – and it will do everything it can to reinforce this thought – that one is also attacking the struggles against racism, sexism, heterosexism. But, far from being the only legitimate expression of such struggles, the Vampires’ Castle is best understood as a bourgeois-liberal perversion and appropriation of the energy of these movements. The Vampires’ Castle was born the moment when the struggle not to be defined by identitarian categories became the quest to have ‘identities’ recognised by a bourgeois big Other.”
  • WHO Fail: Claim that 50% of new Greek HIV infections self-inflicted for benefits totally false. In case you see anyone still spreading this story, give them this link.
  • OECD report: US life expectancy below international average. “Although the US spends more by far on health care than any other country—$8,500 per capita, compared to an OECD average of $3,322—this has not translated into improved life expectancy gains. The US also has a higher than average GDP per capita, but still falls short of the majority of its OECD peers when it comes to life expectancy—a key indicator of quality of life.” Because universal healthcare works, and insane capitalist chaos healthcare doesn’t. (The report itself: Health at a Glance 2013.)
  • World’s Luckiest Cat Runs Out of Luck. “I found Muppet the night of January 7th, 1996 as I was walking home from midtown Manhattan to my apartment on West 109th Street through the third-worst blizzard in New York City history. I was on Central Park West around 103rd Street when he appeared from between the garbage cans outside the front door of a building facing the park. He looked almost full grown, was incredibly friendly and didn’t have a collar or any other sign of belonging to people. And the snow was falling so thickly. I couldn’t help picking him up and taking him with me; what I remember is that he didn’t struggle at all, he just somehow accepted that I had his best interests at heart.”
  • Music of the Day: The Songs of Distant Earth.