In Stellaris, every star looks the same

There’s a moment in Dreamer of Dune—Brian Herbert’s 2003 biography of his father, science fiction author Frank Herbert—that is worth noting for the way it skirts the idea of reference in sci-fi. It describes the Herberts’ reaction to the release of Star Wars in 1977: “The film was shocking to me, for all the similarities between it and my father’s book, Dune. Both featured an evil galactic empire, a desolate desert planet, hooded natives, strong religious elements, and a messianic hero with an aged mentor. Star Wars’ Princess Leia had a name with a haunting similarity to Dune’s Lady Alia…


People play Europa Universalis IV and Crusader Kings 2 an average of 190 hours, or 136,800 Flappy Bird lives

In news that is probably only surprising to people who have not been sucked into their vortex of systems and emergent narratives and lusciously illustrated maps, Paradox Interactive is reporting that their flagship games Europa Universalis IV and Crusader Kings 2 tally an average of 190-hour playtimes. “I see the amount of hours players sink into our games as hard evidence that gamers want freedom,” Johan Andersson, Paradox’s studio manager, told The Escapist. He’s right. Both games have fairly steep learning curves but the converted come away with wild eyes, telling stories that you just don’t hear about from other…