[GameSetLinks is GameSetWatch's daily link round-up post, culling from hundreds of weblogs and outlets to compile the most interesting longform writing, links, and criticism on the art and culture of video games.]

Yipes, it's time for the GameSetLinks to kick in, on this wunderbar Tuesday, and we start out by another of those beautifully knotty design blogs that we love to link to - Experience Points on 'how to approach a specific game's difficulty'.

Also in this set of carefully scraped links - the ever-mercurial Surfer Girl gets analyzed, NowGamer republishes a nice magazine article on difficulty levels (hey, those things again!), retro pictures, and new games journalism, and social gaming are all touched on.

Nathan Barley:

Experience Points: On the Edge of Success
'When games like Mirror's Edge or Far Cry 2 challenge us, it is only fair to question how much of the challenge is fed by our expectations, and to explore the role our perception plays in the gaming experience.'

Critical Distance | Surfer Girl Reviews Star Wars
A really nice retrospective of the mysterious blogger, and I do believe that I got it wrong when I thought (at times!) that this person was an industry insider - although a lot of their info was meticulously researched and 'she' was a v.entertaining writer. Bravo.

The Difficulty Level | NowGamer
'As gaming's audience grows more diverse what will happen to vital role of challenge?'

Exclusive Leisure Time Electronics and Toy & Hobby World raw archive: 1980 - 1981 | Armchair Arcade
'Mr. Citelli was kind enough to bring materials from two of these ventures, Toy & Hobby World, and Leisure Time Electronics, both industry publications from 1980 - 1981, which I was able to take back on the plane with me for archiving.'

The New Games Journalism < Features | PopMatters
Always fun to discuss this.

PlayNow - How To Succeed In The Coming Social Gaming Explosion
Seems honest, smart, not so hype-y (apart from the 'explosion' bit), hurray - via Brinking.

Patent Arcade: New Case: Rubin v. Apple Inc.
'A puzzle inventor has filed suit against Apple [and the game's developer] for allegedly using one of his puzzles as the basis for an iPhone application without authorization.'