modern culture since 1991

Wings over Sealand


Archive for the ‘previously on WoS’


A better world 5

Posted on March 10, 2013 by RevStu

This is why Gran Turismo games make me sad.

Racing games are one of the few remaining mainstream genres where (with the exception of the Need For Speed series and a handful of others) the player plays as themselves, rather than as a predefined character in a story. As a result, personalities are rather thin on the ground – if anything, the cars are the stars.

But nobody wants to read 800 words about the Nissan Skyline (nobody who doesn’t urgently need drowning in a bucket, anyway), so instead let's focus our attention on something altogether more beautiful, in every possible way.

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Why Ben Kuchera is a dickhead 22

Posted on January 30, 2013 by RevStu

[This piece was originally titled "Why Piracy Is Good" when I wrote it in August of 2004. I figured I'd make it gratuitously offensive clickbait this time, just for teh funz. If you don't understand the new title, start here.]

It's weird how the simplest games can have the longest stories. Today we're going to talk (well, I'm going to, anyway) about a couple of games (well, four games, but we'll get to that) that are about as Zen-basic as it's possible for electronic entertainment to be.

They're a pair of games which could be played by the one-armed dishwasher from Robin's Nest (one for the mums and dads, there), a duo that require all the brainpower of a starving dog pondering the best course of action to take with a pound of sausages that's just fallen out of an old lady's shopping bag right under his nose.

And yet, by the time we're done we'll have covered inspiration, plagiarism, moral flexibility, flagrant copyright infringement, public-spiritedness, cultural history, corporate pragmatism, collective short-sightedness and the proudest moment in your correspondent's career to date. Which is a lot of stuff, so let's get on or we'll be here all day.

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The Greatest Rock’n’Roll Stars 2

Posted on April 14, 2010 by RevStu

Malcolm McLaren RIP. This is a version of a piece I originally wrote for WoS a few years ago, reprinted in tribute to one of the world's great chancers.

The world would have been a much more interesting place if he'd managed to become the Mayor of London.

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Why Tetris isn’t a puzzle game 10

Posted on March 31, 2010 by RevStu

It's weird how bad people are at looking even a tiny bit below the surface. All you have to do is quietly mention in passing somewhere that Tetris, Columns, Bejeweled or any of their millions of clones and derivatives aren't actually "puzzle games", and all hell breaks loose.

Even nowadays, with a resurgence in indie games making abstract graphics (relatively) popular again, most gamers angrily insist that if something doesn't look like a traditional spaceship, it can't be a spaceship.

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Six rules football should copy from rugby 8

Posted on March 07, 2010 by RevStu

With a tremendous sense of comic timing, the International Football Association Board this week ruled (despite the votes of the English and Scottish FAs) against any possibility of even experimenting with the use of goal-line technology, almost at the same minute as Birmingham City were denied a clear goal in their FA Cup quarter-final against Portsmouth that might have kept them in the competition.

It's embarrassing that in the modern age such crucial refereeing errors, so simple to rectify, can still see teams knocked out of a nation's biggest cup tournament. What's more embarrassing still is that another sport has successfully demonstrated just how easily many of the niggling issues that dog the thankless task of football officiating can be solved.

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World Turned Upside Down 8

Posted on February 23, 2010 by RevStu

or how one record changed my whole life.

(To enjoy this feature TO THE EXTREME!, install the excellent Spotify and click the song titles to hear the songs. Failing that, I'll just have to try to paint you a picture of some sounds, but made with words instead of paint.)

In the heady atmosphere of 1985-1986, I never thought I'd live to see the day when The Jesus And Mary Chain – musical revolutionaries, performers of shambolic 20-minute sets of hellish white noise and inebriated chaos, banned from Student Unions across the country because of their concerts' tendency to end in (sort-of) riots, scruffy council-estate urchins from the industrial wastelands of West Central Scotland – would be having their music celebrated and given away free with copies of The Times.

I guess if you're right, and you wait patiently enough, the world will often come round to your way of thinking eventually.

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    Hello. I am the Rev. Stuart Campbell,
    a semi-obsolete neo-culture journalist.
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