[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.]

Well, as we near the end of a rather eventful week, time to catch up on the GameSetLinks. Not entirely sure what we'll be doing for E3 next week in terms of GSW coverage, but expect updates with show ephemera, the odd crosspost or two, and a general state of 'oo, Los Angeles and announcements!' euphoria.

In the meantime, let's mop up some of the neatest links, including Eurogamer on the shareware revolution, a fun Plants Vs. Zombies interview, bad science and health games, the rise of news games, and lots more.

Mic ro phone:

From Madoff to Sully, news events inspire video games - CNN.com
Nice to see some mainstream coverage of this type of thing, I think.

Nick Schager | IFC.com
Kindly pointed out to me by Alex Litel, IFC.com is running a decent new column on the video game/movie crossover - here's all the columns to date, I would check out the Braid one and the Iraq one for starters.

The Shareware Age Article - Page 1 // Retro /// Eurogamer
Nice article, and neat timing, given that we released the shareware-tastic Tim Sweeney piece on the same day.

Community Games: Creation Myths | Edge Online
Interesting piece, not least because it seems to have a lot of counterspin on XNACG by talking to some of the top devs. On XNACG, I still think the curve of success vs. not is quite iPhone-y, ie extreme, and also (like Super Monkey Ball at iPhone launch) some of the sales numbers early on were inflated by lack of available titles. We'll see.

Chilling warning to parents from top neuroscientist - Bad Science
Criticism of video games, while endorsing her own, super-expensive mind sharpening game. Wacky.

Interview with Plants vs. Zombies creator George Fan | Gamezebo
'One of the critical points in the design process was when it was pointed out that the sun collection mechanic was hard to learn for players who had never played Real-Time Strategy games. These players would plant peashooters but not enough sunflowers, and often lose because of that.'

ihobo: Eden (Concept document)
Shame this didn't get made, though I'm increasingly of the mind that docs like this should be replaced by actually making the thing, esp. if you're in the position to be indie and pick up tools yourself. (They're getting more userfriendly.) The final section about adoption methods is either amusing or genius, also.

Mania’s Arcania » *tap tap tap* Is this thing on?
I find this interesting because, heck, just collecting pets in World of Warcraft seems to be amazingly compelling in itself, as vocalized here. The imagined breadth of ecosystem for that world is just amazing.