[GameSetLinks is GameSetWatch's semi-regular 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.]

As we get into the U.S. holiday, time to wander happily around the GameSetLinks once more, and this set are headed out by some interesting Xbox Live Indie Games stats - albeit only for the first week - from Squid Yes, Not So Octopus creator Oddbob. Of course, the game probably isn't overtly commercial, but nice to see numbers, anyhow...

Also hanging out in here - Frank Cifaldi on Desert Bus, the Mega64 guys find out what the past thinks of the new Mario game, 1UP on war's effect on gaming, a new issue of Game Studies, and rather more besides.

The Blob:

XNPlay: Squid Yes, Not So Octopus – Sales
"Interesting stats on a $1 XBLIG title from a reeasonably prominent indie game maker, showing that it's quite quiet in there unless you can get up the top charts."

1UP's Retro Gaming Blog : Lost Levels: How Goofy Killed Desert Bus
Frank finds the Desert Bus programmer, neat interview ensues.

He Was Always Trying to Prove Something (Magical Wasteland)
Great piece.

Mega64 » Archive » Billy & His Time Belt: Super Mario Bros.
More awesomely conceived goodness from the San Diego massif.

Rules of War: A Historical Look At How War Has Influenced Game Design from 1UP.com
'A gun, any projectile you separate from your in-game body, enhances your influence in the game world, intensifying your connection and response to it. War as game has been naturally proliferated by basic design impulses, as it was in the board games that preceded video games.'

Hardcore Gaming 101 - Blog: More TV show weirdness - Qué vida más triste
A Spanish show with a lot of quirky game-related visuals - neat.

Game Studies - Issue 0902, 2009
Aha, a new game studies issue - some interesting articles here, and not overly academic in general, either.