- Advance warning - you may find GSW slowing down a little bit next week, starting around Wednesday, since I'm off on holiday to my native England and then Finland/Estonia (and no, I'm not going to see Remedy, we're just going there for fun to hang with the Moomins.) In the mean time, here's a full set of link weirdness:

Avatar Alter Egos, In Book Form: The U.S. version of the 'Alter Ego' book is out - and it presents "...the phenomenon of the contemporary avatar - the virtual characters gamers choose and design to engage in 3D worlds online... Portraits of gamers from the United States, Europe, China, and Korea (including leading figures of the gaming world) are paired with digital images of their alter egos." Unlikeliest real-life avatar alter ego pictured above.

- GameTappity-Tap Revelations: It was pointed out to me this week that SomethingAwful's 'GameTap Megathread' is the best single informational location for what's going on at Turner's 'all you can eat' subscription site. And yes, they added Cyan's The Manhole this week, as well as the continuing golden shower of Neo Geo goodness. Also, our former colleague Frank Cifaldi hinted at some new titles in a very... Frank-ish way on the GameTap forums. Yay.

- A Little More RePlay: Gamasutra news/layout guy Jason Dobson picked up some RePlay magazines in the same eBay batch I did, and has done a fun feature analyzing the ones he got over at Snackbar Games, covering a multitude of topics concerning the arcade game biz back in 1987. And honestly, could that PlayChoice 10 ad be any cooler?

- Game Journalist? It's Not An E3!: Not that I mention things just because Kyle Orland tells me, but the IGJA's Not An E3 party is absolutely not taking place on July 10th, and journalists who want to hang out and talk smack and non-smack about the new-style E3 festivities should absolutely not not turn up. Oh, I guess that's turn up! The last one had both Dean Takahashi and Brian Crecente in attendance, and no black holes swallowed up LA, so that's a mark of its quality.

- Seriously... Games?: I believe Ian Bogost is going to address this article in his next column for Gama, but Slate ran a story called 'The Trouble With Serious Video Games' this week, and it makes the interesting point: "In taking the fun out of video games, companies like Persuasive make them less alluring to people who love games and more alluring to people who don't. Your boss, for example." Games with social messages aren't always meant to be Bejeweled-style addictive, of course, but...

- Virt Hits Contra 4 Running: I've known Jake 'Virt' Kaufman from way back in .MOD scene days, so it's awesome to hear his virtuoso game music insanity paying off - he's doing the soundtrack to Contra 4, working with his old buddies at Wayforward, with whom he did the Shantae GBC soundtrack. Considering his skill at updating old NES-style tunes (as showcased at the IGF finalists party at GDC this year), this is likely to be sublimeness personified. [EDIT: Ah, Kotaku points out some in-game footage, with music, even, in a 1UP preview.]

- Lazyweb: Kennedy Vs. Darwinia: Having recently been introduced to the 'genius' of Kennedy's 'Your Mama' video, which, yes, has an absolutely terrible Halo machinima version, too, I realized that the ridiculous disco ball virtual landscape in the official video (starts at about 0:50) looks quite a lot like Introversion's Darwinia. So c'mon, Introversion, modders, somebody, do a version of Darwinia starring Kennedy. You can replace the little green stick men with, uhhhm, MILFs. Wow, what an awful Lazyweb request - let's draw a veil over this entire post, quick.