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Remembering the beautifully boring MMO Star Wars Galaxies

There aren’t many games where the player can be a club dancer, strapped-for-cash and performing for tips in a sleazy bar. There are fewer where that bar is filled with fish people and space bears. When Star Wars Galaxies first released in 2003, it did so under the tagline “Live in the Star Wars Universe.” A simple slogan that could initially be read in a number of ways, but one that turned out to be diametrically opposed to the rest of the Star Wars game library over the title’s lifetime. As opposed to the epic quests of games like Shadows…

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Kill ’em with kindness and love in Undertale, an RPG unlike most others

Sign up to receive each week’s Playlist e-mail here! Also check out our full, interactive Playlist section. Undertale (PC, Mac)  BY Toby Fox You might say Undertale is unique due to its passive battle system. Certainly, allowing you to choose whether to flirt or fight with every monster you encounter is unconventional for an RPG. But what makes Undertale a truly notable title is how it makes metaphors out of mechanics. Most videogames give you a sword, creatures to kill, and a reward for doing so. There’s not a lot of room for interpretation. Undertale, mimicking real life, renders conflict a puzzle to be finessed and solved…

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Alan Turing’s enduring but complicated legacy (and timely message to EA)

We stand at the edge of a precipice: Six decades after Alan Turing’s suicide, we’ve found ourselves with access to the entire breadth of human knowledge, available anywhere, anytime, instantaneously. The light of progress burns ever-bright in the human breast, where hope also springs eternal; Turing’s formalization of the basic concepts of computer science—algorithms, his eponymous test, the idea of computation itself—have helped us get here. Technological advances have far outstripped social ones, and, if Turing were alive today, I’m sure he’d be ecstatic at our computing prowess. As a gay man, though, I don’t think he’d be quite so…