[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.]

Looks like we'll be stepping up the GameSetLinks through the end of the week, since we have over thirty high-quality links(TM) to hand over to you, starting out with a really nice Quixotic Engineer piece on video games that carefully guide you.

Also in this set of links - a discussion of interface in games and challenge, a look at Hollywood and games, why social games are getting all quest-y, the old, old days of Atari, and plenty more.

We are watching:

Guiding The Player’s Eye - The Quixotic Engineer
'The Half Life series is a testament to subtly managing the player’s navigation while maintaining the illusion of a big open world. I’d like to explore some of the methods they use to do this, using screenshots from my recent playthrough of Half-Life 2: Episode Two.'

The gameplay/interface divide « Words on Play
'To claim that in some games, such as Toribash, the “challenge is in the interface” is to be unneccessarily fuzzy-minded. If it is part of the intended challenge, it is not the interface it is the game.'

ASCII by Jason Scott / Long Gone
'I asked the assembled group of 30 how many had ever, actually touched an Atari 2600/VCS console, and not played it as an emulated game or simply seen a photo. Three had.'

Quests are the new grind in social games, and that is why they are a good idea « Lightspeed Venture Partners Blog
'We’re starting to see the introduction of quests into the social network based MMOGs as a way of alleviating the boredom that can set in with a primarily level advancement based game dynamic.'

A Tree Falling in the Forest: Misquoted Again - Hollywood Style: Bullshit Edition
Boesky makes some interesting points on films and games as part of a complaint over a Hollywood Reporter misquote.

Champions Online Forums - View Single Post - Daily News Launches!
Ex-Edge Online EIC's Colin Campbell's work on Champions Online Daily News - an interesting 'paid by company embedded journalism' experiment - explained in his own words.

Insomnia | Commentary | Beyond the Videogame News Racket
Sorta Unabomber Manifesto-y, isn't it?

What his video games say about him » Infinite Lives
'World of Warcraft: Two Words: Total Nerd. This guy’s an easy catch. I doubt he talks to girls that often, but he’s probably pretty smart.'