Teesside Snog Monster (jiggery_pokery) wrote,
Teesside Snog Monster

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Red hot recommendations

Nothing too exciting going on here. UK readers may have heard that our town has been one of many recently badly affected by relatively heavy rainfall; we happen to be OK, but this news story has a photo that we think was of a road about 250 metres south of here - but, more importantly, about ten or so metres lower in elevation. For those who know where we live, look on the map about 150 metres south of our house and there is a wide open grassy park, with a cycle track running through it, by what is usually a sleepy stream. The stream burst its bank and the park became a flood plain. Our house is somewhat the worse for wear as a result of all the rainfall, but we're one of the lucky ones, compared to those who probably did not appreciate the irony of the rescue shelter being at Splash!, the local swimming centre.

I'm slowly building up a post of interesting games-related links. It's already probably got too long to be practicable. Accordingly, I'm just going to post links to three really good blogs, connected by little other than my recent discovery of them, which might be considered games blogs but happily only really by a rather liberal definition of the term. If you like this, and you're not just reading it because you know me in real life, then these are well worth a try. I am prepared to stake large portions of any tipster credibility that I might have earnt by betting at very short odds that they will continue to feature cracking posts further down the line.

Clavis Cryptica started off as being focused around puzzles and mysteries, but there's a lot of overlap with things that can have gameplay verbs applied to them. Natalie is really throwing herself into the world of interesting events and games that she's only started to learn about over the last two or three years, has an admirably open mind and broad-based approach, alongside an artistic background. (Possibly the most essential way is her delightful "my perfect day in five years' time" post, depicting an enchanting dream - now there's a thought for an interesting post to make, or at least an interesting thought-exercise.) On top of that, she's accomplished in her achievements and a corking writer displaying both charming enthusiasm and a clearly-explained make-no-assumptions writing style, with a lovely sense of fun.

Look, Robot came to my attention for a really exciting, vital write-up of one of the games at the Hide and Seek Festival, then before it had a fantastic piece about emergent gameplay. In this case it discussed emergent gameplay in similar live action games, but it's a point that generalises to all sorts of other things and resonated with me in the context of Nomic. Author Grant then described a game he ran as "a cross between Ocean's Eleven, Supermarket Sweep and The Crystal Maze" and I was sold. That's yer actual microcontent, right there. Even bearing in mind the swallows-to-summer exchange rate, three tip-top posts in a row alone would be enough for a red hot recommendation in my book, but his archives show that the man has form, with this discussion of the impromptu device of a NERF LARP evoking the sensation of what I imagine attending the best ever Unconference session might feel like.

Si Lumb's Posterous, for if I quote its title you will get completely the wrong idea, definitely fits into the more traditional, weblog-gy sort of definition of a blog: it's a bit more like this paragraph and the two beforehand - here's a link, here's why it's good. However, Si and his team work on games and social (I like that "social" can exist as an adjective alone, and not actually need a noun these days!) for the BBC, and his weblog contains reading material for other members of the Games Interest Group. Accordingly, the stakes are high for him to find really sparkling content, and he delivers with aplomb. Lots of really nicely-curated videos as well as links to reading material. There is a rather tighter on video and computer games than is the case with the two blogs above, but the way the world works, that won't last long! *rubs hands with glee*

In other news, three months ago, I wrote here about the then-upcoming Croco-League online team logic puzzle contest. Upcoming has now upcame, and so far - all of one match in! - the league has been everything I had ever hoped for from it. If the premise of being part of a representative team in a logic puzzle competition has ever appealed (for instance, if you've ever wanted to be on a World Puzzle Championship team) then this is your best opportunity yet; genuinely global competition, if you can pick your way through the German language interface, a relatively low level of commitment (no more than THREE puzzles every TWO weeks) and a core activity that should entertain at levels of logic puzzle accomplishment even more modest than mine. (Y'all saw how badly I did in the UK and US Puzzle Championships, right?) If the principle appeals then the practice fulfills the promise of the premise - and it's not too late to join!

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