The News Grandmaster 4000


Remember when they said they wouldn’t review kickstarter games?

Anyway this looks like every overcomplicated mafia clone so I don’t get it.


it’s not the kickstarter thing I feel one way or the other about (perhaps people who are closer to the economies of game production feel differently about that, idk, but I wouldn’t really hold a change in policy there against them), but to be honest SU&SD increasingly make me think of, like … all the poor naive dummies who originally thought that gators were acting in good faith when they appeared to be criticizing the insularity of the industry.

because, like, SU&SD are unquestionably like the board games intelligentsia at this point, and by virtue of being so outwardly progressive (I remember they were getting DDOSed by reactionaries at one point for something Matt Lees wrote somewhere and they just paid more for DNS and soldiered on, which was very admirable) and having such decent production values they, as near as I can tell, have come to be on friendly terms with pretty much everyone in the industry. and when they like something, they really, really, really like it, and they praise it to the nines, and by virtue of being a glossy youtube channel they come awfully close to just coming across like a sales pitch. I wish they were more embarrassed about that, I think? but I also think that most of the creators they wind up endorsing have probably been vetted and are as deserving as you or I might want; if only they didn’t always seem to make up their minds about the endorsement before they set about reviewing the game.

it’s a funny arms length for me to hold them at because I have very similar tastes to them, including a bias in favour of social/deduction stuff (though I think the overcomplicated meta of everyone needing to know the different roles for the game to really shine is a big problem for mafia clones and this one seems to have embraced that rather than address it), I obviously share their politics in principle, I appreciate that they originally approached board game reviews from the perspective of valuing their own time and weren’t afraid to be somewhat biased, and I too am a blandly straight guy who can be overly enthusiastic about things I like. I think my saving grace is that I’m really very turned off by positivity.


I think it’s also probably somewhat endemic to the format as the handful of tim’s kotaku videos I’ve watched also come way closer to “you are selling this to me” than I’m comfortable with, and I don’t really keep up with any other video reviewers or youtubers; SU&SD occupy a unique role for me in bringing this perspective and happening to do it as video rather than as text.

just because it’s basically Good where so much else isn’t doesn’t mean it’s not stifling


Hugo Awards were announced, including a nomination for the fanfic site Archive Of Our Own (AO3). The entire site.

Still a bit bitter that the IGF never nominated the Pirate Kart in 2012, the cowards.


Wake me up when they nominate the Tenchi Muyo Fan Fiction Archive (TMFFA)


Only 90s Kids Remember when erotic fanfics were called Lemons


Wait what are they called now


I feel like “slashfic” has sort of just become the catch-all term, now? Maybe someone will correct me.


I think slash typically connotes gay pairings but that meaning has dropped away a bit.


also ones that were only slightly dirty were limefics

also, the “lemon” name is a reference to the 80s hentai series cream lemon, which is well known for having a few sci-fi episodes with cool designs and animation!


my big thing with SUSD has been that the games they really really like are always games that require you and whatever group you’re trying it with to already be into board games SO MUCH

like i always admired their commitment to being ambassadors for the hobby which makes it kind of strange when their favorite games ever are so difficult to sell the average person on

not that they’re not allowed to be excited about things they like tho

my second big issue is that they are not as critical of very obvious orientalism as they should be considering how fucking much of it there is in board games


this is true but I feel like it’s true in a fairly unintuitive way: they tend to like shorter, self-contained, social games, but also games that are more convoluted and frictive. and I am absolutely here for it, but I think that sweet spot tends to come across as too loose or light or hipstery to most people who are very willing to internalize complex rules, and too involved to most people who aren’t. I do my best to cultivate a group that gets it, but even then, yeah, it’s a lot. and even if I couldn’t tell by two minutes into any of their reviews whether they’d made up their minds to sell me something or not I also have to try to parse out whether I’ll be able to get anyone to put up with whatever it is.


For people that were once capable of sustained and interesting criticism, they’ve certainly uh… reduced their scope to selling people on games their friends made that they played once, and grumping about anything that doesn’t have a ‘social friction’ element to it or that has rules that are maybe too much for quinns to understand without paul around to explain them.

Literally all they have going for them is that it is not literally painful to watch them talk about games (when they don’t decide to wear dodgy orientalist caricature outfits like for that tales of the arabian nights review), their tastes are pretty uniformly bad both for people new to games and people who too deep into games. Like, I wouldn’t say their tastes are hipstery so much as an undiscerning craving for any game that lets them roleplay without the weight of actually playing an RPG or story game.

All the games they’ve liked for the past few years could be summed up as ‘theater geek Mafia clones’


actually this is a really good clarification of what I meant to say; my “hipstery” in this context was an attempt to signify “flighty and high functioning and non-commital,” which is exactly why I’m normally much more interested in a self-contained social game than actually committing to an RPG. I don’t think there’s necessarily a better way to signal “high engagement, low commitment” like that – “games for people with jobs” or “games with people with families” both have inflections I’m not crazy about (and if we conclude on this basis that SU&SD have become successful in part by demographically resembling the people in this hobby who have money, that should be held against them at least a bit), but it’s nonetheless squarely inside of my tastes and some distance from yours (which is also I think at least part of why we reacted differently to Sekiro). though we already agree that SU&SD have been really undermining their credibility even so.


It amazes me how much of the ship Paul was steering in retrospect now that he’s gone. Like I had already thought the Matt/Quinns stuff wasn’t as good as the Paul/Quinns stuff, but it really is shocking seeing how far they’ve been stumbling recently. Reviewing a kinckstarter board game you need twenty people to play but requires a good GM that their friends made??

Plus I think there has been exactly one ‘card game that doesn’t suck’ video where the game seemed like it didn’t actually suck, and that was Gin Rummy. A bunch of the rest had less actual game in them than fucking solitaire. Solitaire!!


I always thought Paul was a little too in love with his own quietude whenever he got the chance to be though

I see he’s stopped self identifying as a male feminist in his twitter bio so that’s something

idk they needed each other. He basically quit onstage at the closing panel of SHUX last year, seemed like he was just done.



Only just now did I connect that Alpha Complex was totally the primary inspiration for Vault Tech.

It took a Paranoia game copying the aesthetics of Fallout for me to see it, but it seems so obvious now.


4 posts were merged into an existing topic: bulletin witch


This topic was automatically closed after reaching the maximum limit of 5000 replies.