Welcome to the Playpen, our space for ferrety banter and whimsical snippets of things that aren't quite long enough for articles (although they might be) but that caught your eye anyway.

at 01:24 on 06-01-2013, Drew C
Okay so I'm not the most experienced player of "Simulation" games but I have a few namely Train Simulator 2013 (stop laughing), Farming Simulator 2013 (which I may be slightly responsible for talking Wardog Kyra into buying) and my newest acquisition from the Steam sale DCS: A-10C Warthog. What I'm trying to figure out is why of these three games is it that the one with the fighter jet (sorry, close air support aircraft) is the one I'm finding BORING!

Maybe there is something wrong with me.
at 23:44 on 05-01-2013, Pear
Idris Elba is my beloved spouse, as is Ruth Wilson.

No but seriously, even though I am mildly traumatised, I enjoyed Luther and was glad I watched both Series 1 and 2. Yeah, I totally feel people on the whole 'Series 2 is stupid' thing, but for me it certainly wasn't as much of a rapid descent into incoherent try-too-hard shittery that not even intriguing actors can salvage, as in the case of Series 3 Misfits. (DON'T EVEN TALK TO ME ABOUT THAT SERIES I AM SO ANGRY)

Putting my reverse-racist goggles on, I think it is very interesting how race is subtly treated in the series. I don't think there's a single Villain of the Week who is a POC. I've not yet heard claims of reverse-racism regarding this, but it could spotlight the idea of whiteness and crime--they mostly look like pretty ordinary white blokes and that is partly why they almost get away with shit in the first place. I don't think many people will pick up on the fact that Alice Morgan being a pretty white woman in combination with her evil genius affects how easily she slips in and out of situations. The camerawork also particularly brings out the pallor and eye colour of these actors. Possibly we are encouraged to be more aware of the presumed "default" nature of whiteness.

On top of the ridiculous gangster plotline in S2 I also wasn't entirely convinced by the way women were shown. I think basically all of the main female characters who were in S2 were presented as mildly-to-moderately contemptible for their ambitions in a manner that wasn't present in S1. Still, at least they got what they wanted, re-build their relationships with each other where applicable, and were not fridged. It's certainly nowhere NEAR as bad as Sherlock but I think we want a higher benchmark here!

I am looking forward to Series 3, anyway. ugh Elba is just so glorious.
at 19:46 on 05-01-2013, Wardog
I like Elba a lot but I really felt the second series was stupid.
at 19:29 on 05-01-2013, Jamie Johnston
I enjoyed both series of Luther. I'd been warned about the lack of Ruth Wilson in the second series so was actually pleasantly surprised by how much she did crop up after all. The whole gangster storyline was a ridiculous, but basically I find Elba's character compelling enough that I'd watch if they made more.
at 16:45 on 05-01-2013, Fin
I don't think I'm ever going to get bored of being called Wardog...

It certainly makes the random article button infinitely more amusing.
at 12:15 on 05-01-2013, Ibmiller
Yeah - I burned through series 1 last night, but the lack of Ruth Morgan is holding me back from series 2. Also lack of Indira Varma, who is really cute and an awesome character.

But Ruth Wilson is really awesome. It's quite sad, but I'm seriously considering watching Lone Ranger for her...though I probably will wait till it hits the super, super cheap theaters.
at 16:26 on 04-01-2013, Wardog
Lack of Ruth Wilson I think was a primary factor.

Also I think it went weird... did it have some weird manbonding due to rescuing an under-age prostitute?
at 16:13 on 04-01-2013, Dan H
Kyra and I bought it on DVD about a year ago. I seem to recall that we liked series one but found series two a bit off for reasons I can no longer recall.
at 08:12 on 04-01-2013, Cammalot
Me! I've missed a few episodes, need to catch myself up again.
at 06:32 on 04-01-2013, Ibmiller
Anyone watch Luther? I started for Ruth Wilson and Idris Elba, and am staying for the...erm...grim? :)
at 22:47 on 03-01-2013, James D
I can't help imagining it said like Threedog says his name on the radio in Fallout 3...WARDAWWWWGGGGG OWWW OWW OWW OWWOOOOO!
at 22:41 on 03-01-2013, Wardog

I don't think I'm ever going to get bored of being called Wardog...
at 19:55 on 03-01-2013, Axiomatic
People don't buy me books any more because I'm generally accounted to have read everything. :(

There is just something insanely funny about hearing that from someone called "Wardog". I get a mental image of Private Joker from Apocalypse Now, sitting in an armchair in front of a fireplace with his BORN TO KILL helmet and a pipe.
at 19:20 on 03-01-2013, Wardog
No, no, being GIVEN things is perfectly permissible in the current system!

People don't buy me books any more because I'm generally accounted to have read everything. :(
at 14:02 on 03-01-2013, James D
It doesn't help when your friends/family/partner always get you books for gifts and are damnably good at knowing what sort in particular you like...don't get me wrong, I'm grateful they're getting me something I actually want, but at the same time it feels a little like they're enabling an addiction.
at 22:16 on 02-01-2013, Melanie
I am now allowed

Freudian slip? ;)

Anyway, I was going to recommend, both for getting rid of old stuff you don't want* and for getting new stuff for, effectively, mailing cost, but the site seems to be down.

*Because there's a significant difference between "I still want to read this, just haven't gotten around to it" and "I bought this and I feel like should read it even though I don't care anymore"....
at 21:38 on 02-01-2013, Shimmin
Funny thing, I'm doing something along those lines, only softer. Turns out I have my own height (scroll down for English) in unread books at the moment :S

I'm only doing mine for physical books, though. Getting through that lot is quite enough, thanks.
at 18:26 on 02-01-2013, Wardog
*laughs* Like a really popular nightclub :P

If it makes me miserable, I'll obviously stop.

This is the good thing about new year's resolutions - there's basically no reason to keep them ;)
at 17:49 on 02-01-2013, Andy G
I think a quota system is probably more sustainable: read three books I already own for every one I buy, or something like that.
at 17:46 on 02-01-2013, Andy G
I've done that a few times, and I always end up getting miserable and resentful towards things that take ages to get through (Deadwood!), but also end up reading/watching great stuff I wouldn't have done otherwise (Deadwood comes in this category too despite the torturous effort involved).
at 17:12 on 02-01-2013, Wardog
Wah :/
at 17:00 on 02-01-2013, Arthur B
Theoreticlaly, I support you in this endeavour and should probably do such a thing myself.

Practically, I give you until the next Steam sale, tops. :P Dare you to prove me wrong.
at 16:07 on 02-01-2013, Wardog
Happy new year everyone :)

And congratulations to your friend, Cammalot - I think, under the circumstances, sentimentality may be permitted ;)

Also I have made a New Year's Resolution and I feel that if I publicise it here, in the playpen, you can all shame me into keeping it.

I am now allowed to buy anything new - books, movies, DVD box sets, computer games - until I have read, watched or played everything I currently own and haven't read, watched or played.

So mote it be.
at 09:12 on 02-01-2013, Arthur B
But more importantly, the author links to Arthur's massive Conan article.

Oh blushes, it's even in the context of a discussion featuring Epic Pooh.

I'm so thrilled I won't even rag on you for using my real name in the middle of a black op and blowing my cover. ;)