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 00:18 on 15-05-2016, Melanie
My impression: Weird and dreamy, makes for good background listening. The sort of tense, sparse, industrial/electronic sound some of it has makes me feel like I should be sneaking around, trying desperately to avoid being seen by guards/undead/whatever. Or, more likely, hiding in some out-of-reach place I've found, studying npcs' patrol patterns and trying to figure out if I can survive a mad dash to the exit.
at 21:36 on 14-05-2016, Ichneumon
Oh. Fair enough.

I really have no idea how to describe it. There are songs with lyrics and chords? Also synthesisers and strange noises?
at 11:33 on 14-05-2016, Arthur B
I don't think anyone can really tell if they are interested or not without either hearing the album or getting some sort of description of what it's like...
at 02:55 on 13-05-2016, Ichneumon
Speaking of which, I made an album recently. I think it's decent, or hope it's decent; certainly enough time has been spent fussing over the stupid thing. I'll link it here if anybody's interested.
at 02:48 on 13-05-2016, Ichneumon
The first part is still going to likely be a fairly dry and wordy breakdown of the different potential definitions of the phrase "video game," though, seeing as my biggest issue with the original article was the way it applied this sort of semantic absolutism to such a broad and malleable umbrella concept. I really hate prescriptivism in media analysis. But after that, yeah, it's vein-opening time.
at 08:35 on 12-05-2016, Arthur B
Also: I finished the game I alluded to earlier, and it would indeed make a great lynchpin for the article on games and art, but I have come to realise that this article, because of how important this experience was to me, is probably going to get way more personal and reflective and less point-driven and definition-oriented than I had intended. This one got to me.

I look forward to reading it even more now.
at 01:22 on 12-05-2016, Ichneumon
A trans* friend of mine once observed that Tingle's use of the "unicorns=transfolk" metaphor as a satirical device in his work managed to be infinitely more respectful than the Powerpuff Girls revival's use of the same idea in earnest. Which, given trans* representation in media as it stands, is kind of alarming.

Also: I finished the game I alluded to earlier, and it would indeed make a great lynchpin for the article on games and art, but I have come to realise that this article, because of how important this experience was to me, is probably going to get way more personal and reflective and less point-driven and definition-oriented than I had intended. This one got to me.
at 23:49 on 10-05-2016, Arthur B permalink
at 11:48 on 06-05-2016, Arthur B
Chuck Tingle's whole web presence is basically trolling - in the "amusing Internet performance art" sense, not the "harassment and hate-spewing" sense - so Vox Day bringing Tingle into the whole mess just gave him a huge opportunity to get Tingley everywhere.
at 01:35 on 06-05-2016, Adrienne
At this point I actually hope Tingle gets the short story Hugo. I mean, it wouldn't be the worst thing ever to win a Hugo award; it wouldn't even be the worst thing to win one THIS DECADE.
at 01:31 on 06-05-2016, Michal
This is beautiful.

If there's one thing out of this year's Hugos I'm enjoying, it's seeing Chuck Tingle troll the ever living fuck out of Teddy Beale.
at 21:58 on 04-05-2016, Arthur B
Yeah, I'm pretty sure that going silly is the way most people would approach Round Robins.
at 19:33 on 04-05-2016, Shim
I always wondered how serious it was supposed to be. Lovecraft's section is verging on self-parody, though not outright there, and Howard's section is superlatively machismic. The writing circles did a lot of joking around, so I'm not convinced it was meant to be a super-serious project. As you say, it'd be interesting to know.

Rereading it reminds me I meant to check out Long and Moore and haven't got round to it yet. Merritt's stuff is okay.

I also noticed how short the early sections are. Obviously Lovecraft is very verbose, but I wonder if it's more difficult doing the early sections where you're trying to brew up something without pinning it down too hard for the rest?
at 15:11 on 04-05-2016, Arthur B
Relatedly, The Challenge From Beyond was kicked off by C.L. Moore, who ended up marrying fellow pulp writer/Lovecraft correspondent Henry Kuttner when he wrote her a fan letter under the impression that she was a dude.

I kind of wonder what Moore thought of the way Challenge From Beyond turned out.
at 07:54 on 04-05-2016, Melanie
So I found this anecdote involving Lovecraft and Howard and thought of you all.
at 03:13 on 04-05-2016, James D
Well, lore-wise the Space Marines are supposed to reflect monastic orders, while the Sisters of Battle are supposed to be nuns, and that kind of "separate but equal" thing might work if they were, y'know, at all equal in terms of spotlight, miniatures available, relative power (Sisters of Battle are more akin to elite Imperial Guard as opposed to the superhuman Space Marines, IIRC).

The easiest solution would be to just say "hey women can be space marines after all," but would it be better to make all the chapters co-ed, or make all-female chapters and thus preserve the whole "space nun" thing to go with the "space monk" thing? I mean you'd run into problems either way - if they integrate existing chapters, we'd most certainly end up with "Smurfette Syndrome", because all the Chapter Master positions are taken and all the Primarchs were dudes anyway, so there would be a couple of women like, holding bolters way off to the left somewhere in big battle scene art, and in a big army box you'd get a couple of female marines in your tactical squad or something. Who barely look any different because they're all wearing helmets anyway. Or, you go the sex-segregated route and say that the lost primarchs were women and give them all-women chapters, but there's so much lore behind the existing primarchs that any kind of new inclusion on that front is just going to seem shoehorned-in. What were these lost primarchs doing during the Horus Heresy? Just hanging out? That's no fun.

I mean probably the fairest possible thing would be to just retcon a ton of shit, gender-swap a bunch of the big primarchs, and integrate everything, but then you're left with a mountain of novels that aren't accurate anymore. Maybe there's another way I'm not seeing, but it's just such a boy's game for boys about men doing manly things with other men (NO GIRLS ALLOWED!!) from the ground up that as far as I can tell it's a "damned-if-they-do, damned-if-they-don't" kind of situation. Which is fitting for Warhams, I guess.
at 23:45 on 03-05-2016, Arthur B
Header image is an Imperial Fist so I approve.
at 22:57 on 03-05-2016, Adrienne
Of possible interest to various folks here, because Warhams (and because it's funny):

at 21:40 on 01-05-2016, Janne Kirjasniemi
Hyvää vappua! Glada vappen! Happy Walpurgis Night! Although that was last night, but those celebrating it the cool way have probably returned from their Hexennacht Jamboree by now.

On the subject of that Supes vs. Bats article, I vote for the image, but the point of the article is very illuminating. It seems that Snyder is very investedin making sure that any other filmmaker should have any fun within the DC cinematic universe ever again. At the start of the next film, Booster Gold, Blue Beetle and men of Elongated, Plastic and Animal persuasion will be summarily executed by... something or other, but not by Darkseid or anything too cartoony. At the same time, Batgirl, Batwoman and Starfire will explode in an explosion in the background.
at 11:50 on 30-04-2016, Arthur B
That guy seems to have evaporated after dropping his drive-by comment so engage away. :D
at 09:57 on 30-04-2016, Adrienne
I just now noticed that there was a Fionavar review that i missed weeks and weeks ago; wish i'd caught it so i could engage more. (But also holy crap, creepy MRA dude in comments. Possibly it's better I didn't?)
at 21:16 on 29-04-2016, Arthur B
I don't know which better: this mildly spoilery article about Superman vs. Batman and how one small and apparently innocuous decision on Zach Snyder's part underscores a really wrong-headed approach to filmmaking and constructing a shared cinematic universe... or the header image.
at 10:48 on 29-04-2016, Arthur B
Yeah, we try not to use the spoiler tag within actual articles because an article consisting of a huge slab of blank space just doesn't look good. It's better used in comments because whilst the Articles RSS feed don't deliver the full text of articles, the comments feed does deliver the full text of comments - but if you use spoiler tags the text in question is left out of the feed, so people don't get spoilers in their Feedly.

As Robinson pointed out my personal style, if I think I need to talk about spoiler-y stuff to make the point I want to make in an article, is to start the article by covering enough non-spoilery points to let the reader decide whether they want to stop now and go play/watch/listen to/experience the subject matter before getting to the spoilery bit, tacking on some spoiler space, and then discussing whatever it is I wanted to discuss.
at 05:30 on 29-04-2016, Robinson L
@nxnwinaad: Personally, I'm pretty chill about spoilers for stuff I know I'm probably not going to read/watch/play, or I'm just on the fence about, and you can always use the spoiler tag to talk about them.

In terms of reviews, we sometimes include spoiler sections for stuff we're recommending, and I'm sure I've read at least one article from the past year or two that was a paragraph or three of generalized praise and then the whole rest of the review was given over to the spoiler section, so it wouldn't be unheard of. My philosophy is to give fair warning, then say what you have to say and let folks work out for themselves whether to read the spoilers or not.