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Writing the book The Art of Design of Gears of War in 2011, games writer Tom Bissell has a close connection with the Gears franchise. As Gears of War: Judgement — the fourth instalment in the franchise — hits stores in the US, Bissell has spoken about his work on the title, detailing his interactions with level designers and how he helped portray the struggle of the Cog army.

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Richard Garriott, the space-faring developer who created the Ultima series and recently announced his return to games with the successful Shroud of the Avatar Kickstarter project, has come out swinging with some harsh words for his peers. "I've met virtually no one in our industry who I think is close to as good a game designer as I am," said "Lord British" in an interview with PC Gamer. "I'm not saying that because I think I'm so brilliant. What I'm saying is, I think most game designers really just suck, and I think there's a reason why."

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The question of whether or not video games are "art" is a long-standing one, and it often centers around whether the medium can accurately convey dramatic emotion in the same way that film and literature can. Writing for Splitsider, writer (and Verge contributor) Noah Davis takes a different approach, wondering whether or not video games can ever be a medium for true comedy. Looking through the lens of the darkly humorous Portal franchise, Davis notes that "comedy comes as an afterthought or accidentally" in the vast majority of video games.

Speaking to a variety of game designers, journalists, and comedians, Davis finds that the most popular games are nearly always melodramatic romps with high stakes and no room for levity, though some...

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Google's controversial decision to shut down Google Reader on July 1st has left its users searching for a new news-collecting homeland, and we now have an idea of the scale of the RSS diaspora. Feedly has announced that more than half a million Google Reader users have signed up for its RSS service following Google's service termination announcement on Wednesday. Feedly also says it's working to keep up with its growth, increasing bandwidth by 10 times and adding new servers. Moving forward, the developers say its main priorities over the next 30 days are to keep the service running, to solicit suggestions from new users, and to add new features on a weekly basis.

The Google Reader shutdown will force users and developers of third-party...

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Australia's biggest casino fell victim to a USD$33 million scam after its own surveillance systems were used against it to supply a high-roller with information on how he should play. According to The Herald Sun, thieves were granted unauthorised access to the casino's security systems "several weeks ago" by a staff member who has since been sacked.

It's believed that the high roller — who was reportedly staying in an "opulent villa" reserved for VIP guests — was exposed over the course of eight hands of cards, played at a table in an exclusive area of the casino. The gambler, along with his family, found himself removed from his VIP accommodation in the middle of the night, saw his betting license revoked and was (unsurprisingly)...

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Google's sudden decision to sunset Reader — perhaps the best-known RSS reader ever made — has been met with swift reaction from high-profile users across the web. Here's a sampling of people asking to save an RSS service on Google... all coming from the service that probably helped kill it in the first place: Twitter.

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