Friday, April 8, 2011

Link roundup

1. Yahtzee Croshow of Zero Punctuation participated in an ask me anything at Reddit. One notable comment:

Motion controls are a dead end and the industry has thankfully started to understand that. Nintendo's more recent first-party games have left the motion controller behind almost totally, or use it with no more depth than a token Sixaxis control.
Relatedly here's a great video where he responded to hate mail he received after panning Smash Bros. Brawl.

2. From a much longer article about politics in Italy:
When unification came, it was led not by the major city-states of the past but by the half-French region of Piedmont, an area peripheral to Italian history and with a long record of rounding up and executing Italian nationalists. Nor had Piedmont planned to annex the whole peninsula. Exploiting wars between France and Austria to acquire the rich northern part of the country, the Piedmontese king was faced with a startling fait accompli when the revolutionary Giuseppe Garibaldi, initially leading an expedition of only a thousand men, quite unexpectedly conquered the whole of Sicily and southern Italy. Garibaldi then offered the territory as a gift to the now enlarged Piedmont, which, as much to avoid the spread of republicanism as for any other reason, sent its armies south to meet him. On March 17, 1861, Italy became a single state under the Piedmontese crown.

The new country’s prospects were not encouraging. The vast majority of Italians had not sought unity and many had fought against it; those who supported it were divided between republicans and monarchists, and some were not so much nationalist as internationalist, working toward a united socialist Europe. An estimated 97.5 per cent of the population didn’t speak the national language. (Most spoke one of scores of local dialects.) The Catholic Church, which before unification had governed territories in central Italy, remained implacably opposed to the new state and for decades instructed practicing Catholics not to vote in elections. Those in the north had little idea how to govern the economically backward south. In short, in Graziano’s view, it was a complete fluke that the country came into being at all. The fact that it survived, he argues, had far more to do with the fraught power games among France, England, and Austria than with any real will of the Italians to exist as a nation.

3. Funny 404 error page (ignore the instructions and scroll down).