Cards Against Humanity’s '$5 More' Black Friday Sale →

We called our contact at Amazon and explained the idea for the sale to them. They thought it was funny but were also pretty annoyed - apparently monkeying with pricing on the biggest sales day of the year isn’t as funny to Amazon as it is to us.

I wish more companies were as playful or as honest as the Cards Against Humanity guys.

Agrippa - A Book of the Dead →

From Wikipedia:

Agrippa (a book of the dead) is a work of art created by speculative fiction novelist William Gibson, artist Dennis Ashbaugh and publisher Kevin Begos Jr. in 1992. The work consists of a 300-line semi-autobiographical electronic poem by Gibson, embedded in an artist's book by Ashbaugh. Gibson's text focused on the ethereal nature of memories (the title is taken from a photo album). Its principal notoriety arose from the fact that the poem, stored on a 3.5" floppy disk, was programmed to encrypt itself after a single use; similarly, the pages of the artist's book were treated with photosensitive chemicals, effecting the gradual fading of the words and images from the book's first exposure to light.

There's something really magical about this. I love Jason Rohrer's Chain World, a game that is played once then passed to another player. But there's something special about the physicality of Gibson and Ashbaugh's book. Something beautifully ephemeral.

Second Homes for Leisure Living →

Between my love for 60s illustrations and my love for a well-designed A-Frame, this book is pretty much pornography for me.

The continuing awfulness of Penny Arcade

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If you ask me, Penny Arcade is a brand in trouble. Financially, they're doing well. Their three conferences draw huge crowds annually (although people are saying that's not necessarily a positive thing), but critically, they're facing a massive backlash for their handling of the whole "dickwolves" issue (which is far too long and complicated to get into here - read Rachel Edidin's article on Wired if you want to be depressed).

So given that they're already turning a lot of people against them, why did they think it would make sense to advertise a job like this?

It goes to show the importance of context. If Penny Arcade was a struggling startup, the ad would make a certain amount of sense. Almost every startup has had someone working a job like that (although maybe they'd be slightly ashamed and wouldn't describe the role in such a humblebrag). And no-one would think twice about it. Except Penny Arcade aren't a struggling startup. They're a multi-million dollar corporation with fingers in lots of different pies. Besides the successful conferences I've already mentioned, they've got advertising, videogames, a 'tv' show, books, merch. They're not struggling for cash. And yet, they're looking for a lynchpin of their entire infrastructure and they're looking to pay them peanuts.

Of course, the response from the internet has been predictably savage.

And know what I think is the worst part? They saw absolutely nothing wrong with it.

I get this feeling we'll get a lot of interest for this job... (AN IT HIRE!) http://t.co/SiCjPTAQRJ

-- Robert Khoo (@rkhoo) November 26, 2013

I realise this whole thing is of little relevance to anyone who reads this blog, but I just want to add my voice to say please, don't anyone take this job. Even as a worst-case, there are thousands of other start-ups out there who have this exact same role with the exact same shitty remuneration, but at least you would go home knowing you weren't being exploited by a misogynistic, tone-deaf conglomerate.

An Interview with Bill Watterson

Owing to spite or just a foul mood, have you ever peeled one of those stupid Calvin stickers off of a pickup truck?

I figure that, long after the strip is forgotten, those decals are my ticket to immortality.

Mental Floss has done the impossible and snagged an interview with Bill Watterson. And he seems just as charming as I'd imagined he would be.

Airships →

Even though I know these are all real, my brain can't process them. They're like something from an alternate reality.

Highway Sing-along

This is lovely. Who couldn't use a few more moments of pure, uncynical joy in their lives?

Cesspool of Negativity

Solitary play can feel especially shameful, and we gamers have internalized that vaguely masturbatory shame, even those of us who've decided that solitary play can be profoundly meaningful. Niko, I've thought about this a lot, and internalized residual shame is the best explanation I have to account for the cesspool of negativity that sits stagnating at the center of video-game culture, which right now seems worse than it's ever been.

-- I might not have loved his book, but Tom Bissell's take on GTA V is spot on, in so many ways.

How Atari box art turned 8-bit games into virtual wonderlands →

I sometimes worry that my old-man nostalgia is getting the better of me, but looking at these cartridges just nailed it for me. The covers of 8-bit games were things of beauty. Never mind that the graphics could never live up to the promise of the cover = your imagination filled in the details.

Visionaries

All due respect to Don Mattrick and his Prada-clad team of VPs, but it's just a bunch of dudes trying to sell us a box. Bring out the product guys, the visionaries, and then have them explain why they made the decisions they made that will affect us all, and there'll be a noticeable change in attitude from the gamer crowd.

Xbox One was revealed yesterday and received a lukewarm reaction from the 'core' gamer crowd. John Davison nails the reason why

What would DFW make of Netflix?

An optimally adapted parasite takes as much from its host as possible without damaging the viability of the host. In order for us to stay viable hosts for the media parasite, we need only enough waking hours away from media to make money and to spend that money on advertisers’ offerings and/or media’s costs (and of course to feed ourselves and, like, stay alive). Media will gladly take all our other hours.

James A. Pearson on what DFW would make of Netflix

What do Hate Groups Think of Jennifer Lawrence?

Hey there. I was just wondering if you could tell me your opinions on Jennifer Lawrence? Tony Alamo Christian Ministries: I have no idea who that is.

You know who Jennifer Lawrence is! She just won the Best Actress Oscar? She was the one who tripped on the stairs when she was going to get her award, and it was adorable?
This is Tony Alamo Christian Ministries. This is a church. 

You didn't see the Oscars this year?
Did you call us because you have nothing better to do? Let me just say, real quick, the Lord's coming back. Very soon. And He's not gonna ask you how many movies you saw or which celebrities you knew. He's gonna ask you what you did for his son, Jesus. He died on the cross, and He did that just for you, and that's what we preach.

**Wait, are you doing that thing where people pretend they don't know what someone or something is to seem cool? Like, my friend is really cerebral and is into a bunch of obscure old music, and one time he claimed he didn't know who the Spice Girls are. Which, obviously, is bullshit. **
Did you hear anything that I just said?

This is Water

I really miss David Foster Wallace.