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Archive for the ‘books’ tag

I Heart WikiBooks

Posted on 29th May 2010 at 11:21 by Joe Martin with 21 comments

Joe Martin
I’m a big believer in eBooks, not just because I think that’s inevitably the future of publishing in the same way that digital distribution is the future of the games industry, but also because there’s something that just appeals to me about eReaders themselves. It probably comes from watching too much Star Trek as a kid.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying that conventional books are obsolete and I’m not saying that within two years we’ll have be carrying Kindles in our backpockets. I still buy 99.9 percent of my books in their traditional format, just like I still buy games on discs every now and then, but I do recognise digital formats as the future.

Anyway, one of my most recent sources of digitally digested delight has been Wikibooks. They are awesome.

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Books based on games: Halo

Posted on 20th Apr 2010 at 10:10 by Antony Leather with 34 comments

Antony Leather
Before you start your ranting, if you don’t know already from my mercenary attitude to buying hardware, anti-fanboy and anti-Apple attitude, then please don’t think of me as just another Xbox owner who goes all giddy on the day a new Halo game has launched.

In fact I’ve never owned an Xbox and never played any Halo games on one. I’ve only ever played Halo: Combat Evolved on the PC but while I did think it was a very enjoyable game, especially online, that’s not why I’m here. Being a Sci-fi nut, I love most things futuristic. I’m also pretty keen on warfare and action in general (in fiction!) so when by accident I picked up a book called Halo: The Fall of Reach, being quite into Halo Combat Evolved at the time, it turned out to be one of the best books I’ve ever read.

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Things I've learned from The Stolen Throne

Posted on 12th Jun 2009 at 12:41 by Clive Webster with 3 comments

Clive Webster
I'm ploughing through the Dragon Age: Origins prequel novel The Stolen Throne at the moment, and it's made me wonder exactly how much of the book will translate into the final game. Here are a few of the things I've found so far that I think might (or at least would be cool if if they do).

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How Do You Review a Book?

Posted on 15th May 2009 at 10:06 by Clive Webster with 10 comments

Clive Webster
It seems that this week is Dragon Age week - Joe's put up his Dragon Age Hands-on Preview and I received my review copy of the game's prequel novel Dragon Age: The Stolen Throne yesterday. I've been pondering how exactly I'm going to review it ever since.

The issue is that our reviews usually follow a fairly tight formula: here's a product, it costs £X, does the performance and features it offers mean it's worth that price? The issue is when you're trying to review a product where your judgements will be largely subjective - making it tricky to definitively say whether it's worth spending time with or not. And a review that's not definitive fails to be a useful review.

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Books You Should Own: Trigger Happy

Posted on 3rd Apr 2009 at 13:32 by Alex Watson with 16 comments

Alex Watson
Trigger Happy, by Steven Poole
Fourth Estate, 2000

The importance of criticism in relation to the actual art or products it discusses is matter of debate and criticism itself. Elvis Costello was neatly and completely dismissive of the very idea of music journalism, declaring that ‘writing about music is like dancing about architecture.’

Still, it was, in part, the traditions of music writing – and Rolling Stone in the 60s and 70s – that video games writers turned to when they wanted to redefine the point and purpose of games criticism. New Games Journalism was a reasonably successful attempt to widen games writing’s remit and claim a role for it that was bigger than just slapping 9/10 scores on run-of-the-mill sequels and churning out breathlessly keen previews (and it’s also what we here at Bit-Tech practise, at least if you believe Wikipedia).

Before the debate over New Games Journalism, though, was another of my favourite books about computers: Steven Poole’s Trigger Happy. Originally published in 2000, Trigger Happy isn’t subtitled ‘The Inner Life of Videogames’ for nothing. It’s a conscious attempt to push writing about games beyond identikit phrases ‘good graphics’ and ‘great playability’ ‘interesting gameplay’ – and if anything, to think about what words like ‘gameplay’ really, actually refer to.

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Books You Should Own: Core Memory

Posted on 10th Mar 2009 at 10:09 by Alex Watson with 15 comments

Alex Watson
A few years ago, I was helping a friend build a PC with a selection of left-over, scavenged and second hand bits, including a fairly crusty Epox motherboard. We’d spread all the components over the kitchen table and work surfaces and were just about to start the build when his Dad returned from work. My friend's father spent almost his whole career working for BT, beginning as an apprentice engineer tinkering around with old call exchanges, before progressing onwards and upwards into projects, paperwork and management.

Rather than being upset with the fact we’d covered the kitchen with PC kit, he was fascinated by it - particularly the motherboard. Having cut his teeth as an engineer on analogue exchanges, a six-layer PCB bristling with capacitors, ICs and silver circuit traces was, to him, a slice of pure future (even though neither my friend nor I had given it much consideration, beyond hoping it would still POST and get us into Battlefield 1942).

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Fractal Design Core 3300 Review

Fractal Design Core 3300 Review

This new wide body ATX chassis from Fractal keeps costs low but packs in...
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