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I love this exchange

THOMPSON: …“We want Rick Thompson to lead it.” I turned bright red and said, “I’m not big enough for this job.” The next day, Ballmer showed up in my office with a baseball bat in his hand, literally, and told me that this is what I was going to do.

BALLMER I don’t remember that, but it’s possible. I’m sure I was playing with the baseball bat. People used to think I meant it as a threat, but some Microsoft customer had given it to me, and I’m a hyperactive dude, so it was something I was always sort of nicking around with. In defense of my reputation, I have ADHD, but I am not mean.

Happily, my only encounters with SteveB when he was at MS were at the Pro Club (the giant gym everyone at MS used to have a membership at). He’s a big dude, but not for any lack of working out. Heard some fun stories, though – you definitely needed to have all bases covered and then some before meeting with him.

Stopped by RPS today, and my initial take of their website redesign is it sucks. Pretty obvious their parent company told them to get in line.

Whereas before I’d pop in now and again and scroll thru the latest now I’m greeted by a page where I don’t instinctively have any idea what’s new and what’s not.

Like most things I’m sure I can adjust, but then there’s also the distinct possibility, in fact entirely more likely, that’ll just stop going there.

Looks like you just need to link to the /latest page to see what used to be the home page.

Here’s hoping they keep that alive, not a fan of this becoming Rock, Paper, Eurogamer.

May have been reported elsewhere, but Tim Stone, previously of The Flare Path, has his own blog now.

I did not know that. But now that I think of it, I haven’t noticed any Flare Paths in a while.

Maybe it’s finally time to remove RPS from my routine after considering it for years.

It was the only reason I kept going to RPS at some point.

But then I changed careers, had training in India for 2 months, and had a cross country move so stopped even reading that a few years back. And I just kinda forgot it existed.

Thanks for that link!

Oh my god that RPS redesign is awful. I have actually never, and I’m pretty sure that’s literally true, seen a redesign that wasn’t just worse than the site it replaced.

Yeah, I never liked the Rock Paper Shotgun design, so I thought any redesign would be better, but I have to admit, this is indeed worse. That’s amazing!

I enjoyed his run at Kotaku. But I do miss the days when he did more actual articles and content, which he did considerably less in this role.

Hopefully wherever he ends up, we’ll see more of his writing on games.

Ben Kuchera spills some dirt about his time at Penny Arcade:

I never believed Penny Arcade was ever close to being the “good guys”. Call it a “hunch”.

The most surprising thing about that tweet dump from Kuchera is that he says PA gave him six months of severance and didn’t require an NDA. Six months!

Wow, they are good guys!

That was… good of them? Trying my best to not go full Godwin here… ;)

Penny Arcade had a great thing and blew it up. They should have just retired the comic and gone on to be the “guys behind PAX”, and when people asked what PAX stood for, everyone collectively shrugged their shoulders.

Instead when during some drama about some or another booth inclusivity at PAX, they backed down and said that, really, it’s all about the comics. It’s like you build a thing but are one of those guys that don’t really understand what it is you built and take it personally that what people care about in the thing you built is all about you.

In the post-What’s PAX? world, PA sort of forgot that they’re just a website that makes comics that don’t matter. I don’t actually know how they had the resources for as long as they did to hire people like Ben Kuchera to begin with. But underneath is all is that miserly panic of the once well off stretching the butter across too much bread, and desperate not to spoil their own butter with their own commentary.