- Well, after getting distracted by pesky earthquakes, which suspiciously knocked _just my PSP games_ off the shelf, on the week that Nintendo has a reception welcoming them to Silicon Valley (just saying!), it's time to resume non-normal service providing the world random links:

- Sharkey On The Rampage - 1UP's Scott Sharkey, who exists purely to review bad games and cause trouble in a rapscallion-like way, as far as I can work out, has been teasing GamesRadar, IGN, and himself about similarly-themed crass features on his 1UP blog, in a post named: "People Who Live in Glass Houses Shouldn't S*** Where They Sleep." It also features an angry commenter recommending GSW in a violent manner. Nice.

- Wolpaw's Humor Portal - Everyone loves the Rock Paper Shotgun-ners (I picture them like The Beatles, only with cider and Warhammer 40k miniatures), and their interview with Valve's Erik Wolpaw is pretty much priceless - including this gem about what game writers do: "At strip clubs, there’s a guy whose job is to talk between the strippers. He tries to do a good job and be entertaining and enthusiastic, but everybody’s just there for the nakedness."

- Tale Of IGF's Tales - Some of the latest folks to poke at the 2008 Independent Games Festival entries are Michael (and Aureia) at Tale-Of-Tales, and their rundown of prominent IGF entries this year is definitely worth reading. There's also an interesting and provocative split of entry comments: "As it turns out, the games I selected can be divided in three categories. I call them pinball games, simulators and games with content. The first are the most likely to be noticed by the IGF jury, in my opinion, and the last make the least chance."

- GameTap + Userfriendlier? - A useful note for anyone interested in GameTap, still - the Angled Whiteboards folks point out that you can change/cancel your GameTap service online now, something painfully missing from the 'all you can play' subscription PC/Mac download service before. So now you can play Typing Of The Dead and then exit gracefully, eh?

- Venture Capital, Gaming, Blog - A couple of smart Microsoft-ies, Kim Pallister and (my former nemesis, and now non-nemesis!) Vlad Cole have set up the Video Game Venture Capital weblog as a hobby project, giving a pretty helpful biz-centric look at who is being funded in the game business and why. There's even some stuff in here I hadn't spotted, particularly in the Worlds In Motion area, including Hidden City Games getting $15 million.

- Spaghetti Monster Game? - I first noticed him because he's entered the IGF this year with a remake of his classic title ChipWits, but check out Doug Sharp's awesomely wacky resume: "I wrote the hit game King of Chicago (Cinemaware, 1987)... my next game is GODinabox: Desktop Digital Deities in collaboration with Bobby Henderson, creator of the Flying Spaghetti Monster." Sharp hangs out in a cabin in the woods, coding, too - is this outsider art in full effect?

- A Decade Of UO - Flippin' ages ago, Benj Edwards wrote a feature about 'Ten Years Of Ultima Online' for 1UP, and I completely failed to notice until now. Apparently, "...we find the love-it-or-hate-it MMO still breathing, clinging to a healthy (if lean) player base" - and moving out of Anachronism City, I think Benj might still be working on some kind of cultural history of the game for Gamasutra debut soon. Excellent, if so!

- Zottel The Goat Says? - Ian Bogost's Water Cooler Games has been exploring some very disturbing 'Right-Wing Swiss Political Games', going into the history of the political party which hosted and commissioned them - they include: "Help Zottel the goat keep Swiss passports out of the brown and yellow hands of immigrants, or help him kick "black sheep" foreigners over the border." Yikes.

- Finally, some MicroMiniLinks: American McGee's company trip to the Chinese mountains, Adventure Classic Gaming has a 'short personal history of Dynamix’s adventure games' from an early employee, and Korean indie game site Pig-Min is doing really weird indie game-centric comics in English - here's the full set, don't say I didn't warn you.