[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 the week wends on, time to hit the GameSetLinks once again, starting out with Steve Gaynor discussing the place of games in media (and maturity) in typically whipsmart fashion, closed followed by Robert Ashley's latest wonderful podcast.

Also in this set of links - a Cifaldi romp around random Spectrum games, plus Kim Pallister discussing Metacritic, Ars Technica looks at first-party bloggers, and rather more things besides.

An experienced chaser:

Fullbright: The middle child at peace
'The urge to outgrow what is already our little brother is only a sign of insecurity; the urge to overtake our big brother, to destroy and subsume passive media, is vanity.'

A Life Well Wasted – Episode Five: Help
'Robert Ashley helps people in videogames instead of helping people in real life, meets a comedy group who spend hundreds of hours every year playing the most boring videogame ever created, talks to a guy who quit playing games for a year, and profiles the best selling pinball designer of all time.'

Ars Technica: The first-party bloggers who connect devs and gamers
Neat concept, not sure anyone says anything very cutting, except maybe Jeff Green, who is _interesting_ to be EA EIC. Via Arne360.

1UP's Retro Gaming Blog : It's Random Speccy Time!
'While most people spend their internet procrastination time reading the news or seeing what their friends are doing on Facebook or whatever, I like to dig through lists and databases of video games and come up with strange crap I've never heard of. And for my money, no system had more strange crap I've never heard of than the ZX Spectrum line of computers.'

...on pampers, programming & pitching manure: Correlation vs Causation, and the MetaCritic MetaQuestion
'So the meta-level question about metacritic is whether you believe it serves as a focus group, or as a marketing tool. I beleive its the former, but choose your own opinion and proceed accordingly.'

Interview: Space Invaders Exhibition | Edge Online
An interesting Liverpool-based game exhibition's curator gets quizzed.

Remembering 7th Street: A Spatial Documentary - News Games: Georgia Tech Journalism & Games Project
'Remembering 7th Street: The Virtual Oakland Blues & Jazz game was developed by UC Berkeley journalism professor Paul Grabowicz and architecture professor Yehuda Kalay.'