A compendium of links to articles worth reading. Click the title to visit the article. Best read via RSS. Got a comment? Tell me on Twitter.


Forgiving, But Not Forgetting, All This Gay Chicken

So I posted to Teh Tiny Social Medias yesterday about Chik Fil-A walking back their stance on supporting anti-gay organizations, and wondered whether it was okay to eat there yet. And a common response was, “Too little, too late. Chik Fil-A’s lost my business forever.”

I humbly suggest this is a very unhelpful attitude.


The Sometimes-Beautiful Struggle

Games have an incredible, novel, awe-inspiring capacity to frame experiences. Games can translate life, ideas, themes, skills and so on in a fascinatingly tangible way. Games have this ability to reveal to us sublime truths using only small details, teach us lessons using patterns and consequences, and impart symbolism and meaning through clever and heartfelt dynamic systems.

But to do this really well, games must also look to life. The hard parts. The dirty parts. The horrid and terrible parts. We cannot ignore them. Rather, games must reflect on what about life is resonant, formative, human. Reality has to be broken—and that’s ok. Art is one of the ways in which we try to organize it.


“Never Forget”

I don’t like remembering this day. What I’m remembering is an entirely different thing from everyone else, several different narratives that ran wild and are still running wild, and will probably never be settled. Because 9/11 was the first major historical event to be viewed from the fractured lens of FOX News vs. Everyone Else, not the dry paper of tabloids but exciting video footage and people in nice suits debating on camera in purposely mismatched fights to tell not just a story, but a whole goddamned mini-series devoted to their point of view.


Three Reasons Possession Of Child Porn Must Be Re-Legalized In The Coming Decade

I was skeptical of this article's value from the title, as you probably are, but it makes a very convincing case that current child porn laws actually serve to hurt children rather than help them.


Two Kinds of Humor

There are two kinds of humor. One kind that makes us chuckle about our foibles and our shared humanity -- like what Garrison Keillor does. The other kind holds people up to public contempt and ridicule -- that's what I do. Satire is traditionally the weapon of the powerless against the powerful. I only aim at the powerful. When satire is aimed at the powerless, it is not only cruel -- it's vulgar.

— Molly Ivins


Why Rich Kids Don’t Know They’re Rich

This was written several weeks before the last link, but still ties in nicely by further explaining the disconnect between people who have always had money and the people who really don't.


The One Hundred Dollar Question

Jonas Kyratzes on the reaction to Steam's new Greenlight fee:

A disappointingly large number of developers and journalists could not even imagine that some people don’t have this amount of money. I found this genuinely shocking. It’s not that they hadn’t experienced it themselves, but that they could not even conceive of it. That’s a disconnection from reality so fundamental that it is quite frightening. Ever wonder why there aren’t more political games? This is why. Not only are the majority of developers (those who have a voice, anyway) white heterosexual middle-class males from the US or the UK, but a scary amount of them have absolutely no understanding of the existence of anything outside their own experience, and are in fact offended by the very suggestion that anything else exists.


The Other One

An excellent piece by Lana Polansky that I wish she'd never had to write.


On PAX, Assault, and Gamer Culture

Scott Madin:

Nerd culture resists change, and perceives efforts to bring change as attacks, no matter how moderate, no matter how careful the phrasing. I think the best hope is to work to make explicit what it is the pillars of the subculture support: to label their behavior indelibly as sexism, and to finally attach some modicum of shame to behaviors that should always have been seen as shameful. Challenge harmful structures, don’t support them. Don’t let praise for misogynist companies and institutions go unquestioned. make all but the most committedly sexist nerds uncomfortable voicing their boy’s-club attitudes, and make it socially unacceptable for the majority to associate with the hardcore misogynists.


Post-Truth Politics

In real-life situations, the technically superior argument does not always carry the day. In real-life situations, the one that wins is the one with wit and timing, the one with the ability to employ mockery, flattery, flirting, storytelling, peer pressure, guile, and the whole array of other non-factual, non-logical communicative tools available to the human animal.

(via Cody Fink)