- Ah yes, a little something for the weekend, Sir? In the form of these slightly insane left-over GSW-worth links, of course. Some of the most important of which are as follows:

- MTV's Stephen Totilo and Newsweek's N'Gai Croal have discovered the art of conversation, and seem determined to make us suffer for it. Hence the 'me-vs.-n'gai: The "God of War II" debate - Endless Gaming Conversation' article, as it's charmingly called on Stephen's own site. As he notes: "Below you will find the entire exchange N'Gai Croal and I had about "God of War II" over the past month and published over the past week. It runs a mere 12,329 words." Turns out it's fun and readable, though, like those Tom Vs. Bruce articles from CGW or other suitably charismatic double-acts. I look forward to them conspiring to drop a piano down some stairs next.

- Do you remember the video game poetry book 'Blue Wizard Is About To Die' from Seth 'Fingers' Flynn Barkan? Well, it was released a couple of years back, and it turns out it's really good. Anyhow, I just found out why he's called 'Fingers' - here's Barkan playing 'How Deep Is the Ocean (How High Is the Sky)' by Irving Berlin on YouTube, very creditably. Again, like the Marc Laidlaw post the other day, this is just someone somewhat involved in games doing something else cool, so to hell with ya, I'm linking it. [Via Frank.]

- GamesOnDeck editor Mathew Kumar also hoity-toits around at the Torontoist (ugh, too many vowels!), and he's pointed out some kind of crazy Nintendo Canada painted-Wii competition. "So, with the Wii on everyone’s lips but in almost noone’s shopping carts (what with it selling out the minute new stock arrives) your best bet to get your hands on one might be Nintendo’s new sweepstakes The Art of Wii. Held in conjunction with Magic Pony, you can win one of six unique hand-painted Nintendo Wiis, with the first four decorated by Gary Taxali, Hoi-An Tang, punk group illScarlett and (our favourite, possibly because it’s the most video-gamey) Arnold Tsang of Udon Entertainment."

- That grumpy Grassroots Gamemaster guy posted something called 'Dead Game Designers Society'. I do like his point a bit more this time, since it's about games making you care: "Why? Why make the game? And therefore, why play it? Why playing it will make you feel alive! Unless you ask why - and ask that not within the confined context of gaming, but out in the open context of human experience... Unless you ask why, and speak on those terms, you won't have a goddamn clue how to make anything fun. How to make it really compelling."

- This is really a bit biz-like for GSW, but I like linking to Paul Hyman's Hollywood Reporter pieces, so there. This time, he's talking about the rise of outsourcing in video game art, and this quote is probably the choicest, from Foundation9's Craig Rundels: "It can cost me maybe $7,000 to get a high-end character created domestically or $5,500 in Russia. But, if I go to China, it runs me closer to $4,000 without sacrificing quality. That's per character. And many video games have lots of characters in them." Scary? Mebbe.

- The adorably tiny NIS America just had their E3-replacing press event, and lo and behold, they announced a bunch of new import RPG-style games, including Grim Grimoire for June, Dragoneer's Aria for July, and Soul Nomad & The World Eaters (great name!) for August. I was going to try to work out what the hell each of those was, but Shacknews' Chris Remo did a great job of it already, so go check his comments. He also notes: "A company executive strongly hinted that Nippon Ichi is moving into Wii and Nintendo DS development." Goodie.