No Time To Play
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Weekly Links #106

Hello, everyone. With all my attention these days going into efforts to self-publish a couple of new books, I ended up not just with few links, but also nothing much to say about them at all. Still, let me see if I can find a few words. *rifles through pockets*

For one thing, An Accidental Man's retrospective of landmark computer games has reached Prince of Persia, and the article has much to say about storytelling via gameplay, something most game designers don't even try to achieve, instead running scared right back to cutscenes. (Or worse, spin-offs in other media entirely.) Maybe it is because, as I wrote on other occasions, most creators don't even like games, and keep trying to turn them into movies or books...

In unrelated news, Gamasutra is running a feature on the state of game development in Africa. Which is, sadly, pretty much what I was expecting. But hey, it's a big continent, and people are trying. It's the rest of us, elsewhere in the world, who need to pay attention.

Wow. @usborne have made their 1980s computer programming books available as free downloads.

— Mike Atherton (@MikeAtherton) February 5, 2016

Last but not least, a couple of friends alerted me to the tweet above, to the effect that UK publisher Usborne now offers free downloads of their old Basic programming books from the 1980s. I haven't looked at them yet, but such books often have more than historical and nostalgic value: there was a lot of ingenuity involved in designing compelling games small enough to be typed in without excessive effort, not to mention able to run reasonably well on 8-bit machines despite being written in Basic. We're truly spoiled nowadays... and we don't seem to know what to do with our privilege.

And that's really all I have this week. See you around.