May 7, 2021

The Sunday Papers | Rock Paper Shotgun

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Sundays are for putting on your new glasses and realising your should’ve got your eyes tested years ago. Before you book an appointment, let’s read this week’s best writing about games.

For Kotaku, Ash Parrish wrote about how Magic: The Gathering is transforming a teacher’s game club. Greater representation is good, more of this please.

I know the feeling. Kaya, Orzhov Usurper is a Magic: The Gathering card I have never owned yet it is one of my favorite cards. Not because of what the card can do—I prefer big-ass creatures more common in green mana decks—but because of who is on the card. Introduced in 2016, Kaya is Magic’s first Black female Planeswalker. And though she is by no means Magic’s first Black female character, she is definitely the first one I had ever seen in my years of on again, off again playing, and as such she became special to me. I coveted her cards (though I have still never had the luck of opening one) and I gorged myself on her stories.

Another one from Kotaku, this time by Brian Ashcraft. He writes about the recently released English translation of “Ask Iwata”, a collection of stories about former Nintendo president Satoru Iwata from his two closest colleagues, Shigeru Miyamoto and Shigesato Itoi. He seemed like a truly good dude.

Iwata was driven and worked hard, but never took himself too seriously. “I’ve said as much to Iwata myself, and I mean this in the best sense of the word, but he was a bit of a goofball,” said Itoi. “But believe me, this was a strength for him.” Around the office, Iwata was called “Kirby.” According to Miyamoto, “If you’re stuck in a long meeting, and there’s a pile of candy, it’s easy to eat a ton, right? Well, doing that earned him the nickname ‘Kirby,’ and we made sure there was always lots of candy close at hand.”

Over on the Washington Post, Shannon Liao wrote about game developers, mental health, and avoiding crunch during the pandemic.

“I think there is a longing in the studio for when it’s safe and we can reopen. Because there’s nothing like hearing laughter erupt from the conference room,” Bilder said. “When you’re working in the afternoon and you hear that happen, you know we’re onto something really good. We’ve got some great games.”

For the Guardian, Sirin Kale wrote about the mystery of the man who fell from the sky.

Here was an anonymous man, travelling from a country where around a third of the population lives on less than $2 a day, who had fallen thousands of feet from the underbelly of a plane into one of the wealthiest postcodes in London. “It’s in your face,” said Graves. “The meeting of worlds, at about 200mph.”

Music this week is Lupe Fiasco’s Hurt Me Soul. He’s one of my favourite hip-hop artists and lyrically, he’s one of the best in the game.

I saw this the other day, a story about a wife who took revenge on her cheating husband by auctioning his Yu-Gi-Oh! collection for millions of yen – it gave me a good chuckle.

And just for good measure, this story about a tree beast which turned out to be a croissant.

That’s me. Have a solid Sunday everyone!

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