- Aha, the GameSetMicroLinks are upon us again, and they include an inevitable ode to Portal, as well as some 'state of the fighting game scene' talk and various other fripperies, as follows:

- Of course, everyone loves Portal (including the Rock Paper Shotgun folks, who are already turning their freezers into Weighted Companion Cubes), but the Schlaghund's Playground blog has a detailed, intelligent critique of Valve's grav-'em-up, for example: "Portal is a clear tribute to player ingenuity and an allegory for the gamer’s struggle to be treated as more than an automaton - in both the mainstream media and the mainstream design philosophy." Vaaguely spoiler-y, but v.readable.

- Over at Grey Goo Games, they've pointed out that the latest issue of Playboy has a 'video game blowout', and as they say: "For those of you without the latest issue on hand there are additional extended interviews on Playboy’s website" - including ones with Phil Harrison, Dave Jaffe, Tim Schafer, and more - and all of which are extremely readable. Uhh... go Playboy?

- A couple of folks have referenced Valleywag's rather amusing 'Field Guide: The Six Types Of Journalists (And How To Deal With Them)', which - yes - is dealing with the tech journalist rather than the game journalist. But I'm pretty sure that a lot of the stereotypes fit into the game biz - particularly phrases like: "Being a cub reporter isn't just a career phase; it's a lifestyle." Can anyone list the six different types of game journalist, then?

- Regular GSW readers will know that we like printing items on the fighting game scene, and James Chen's super-detailed retrospective of the Evolution 2007 fighting game championships is well worth reading for coverage on the micro-scenes, even if you're not a player yourself: "I firmly believe a strong community generates a strong game. And what, exactly, do I mean by a "strong" game? I am referring to how a game is received by the Fighting Game community as a whole, not how well the game is designed and such."

- In my native UK, the inaugural Games Media Awards have just been given out, and Kieron Gillen has a slightly sodden account of the whole evening, which had a regrettably PR/profit-driven background, but actually gave out some awards I agreed with. Kieron sez: "Here’s the secret: the awards don’t really matter. Actively boycotting them makes them matter, because it implies the results of any award ceremony are worth getting pissed off over rather than just rolling your eyes. It also makes you a big dirty prima donna who has an incredibly over-developed sense of your own importance."

- Former colleague Jane Pinckard continues to post thoughtful, un-Au-like editorials on games for GigaOm, and her latest is called 'What Can Games Learn from Music’s Mistakes?'. Notably, it includes a genuinely interesting, odd concept entwined in there somewhere: "Kim Pallister, who works on strategy for Microsoft Casual Games, noted this when I asked him what he thought games could learn from the music industry. 'A really interesting thing is to think about the ‘If it’s all free, the money’s in concerts/live performance’ angle for music. Is there an equivalent for games?'" Whoa, brainfreeze.

- Finally, you might know Alexander Brandon's music from games like Tyrian, Unreal Tournament, and Deus Ex - here's his MobyGames profile. Well, nowadays the former Game Developer magazine audio columnist (and old Kosmic-related .MOD scene colleague of mine) is working over at Obsidian - most recently on the Neverwinter Nights 2 expansion, which he recently blogged about. He's also launched a new non-soundtrack website, sensibly called Alexanderbrandon.net, where you can cower beneath his visage and listen to/buy his latest non-soundtrack catchy synth album, which is less Celtic than the artwork might lead you to expect. (He's now working on the Aliens RPG soundtrack, the lucky blighter.)