🎮 French toast
Plus upgrade your beach reads, use games to fight loneliness, and more...
Mornin’. Growing up in New Jersey, summer just wasn’t summer until you got your first road rash from the Alpine Slide at Action Park (alternately known as “Traction Park” and “Class Action Park”—this doc explains everything).
What was your summer must-do? Did you moon the Amtrak trains in Southern California? Are you a proud Wisconsin Cheesehead who loves to show off their cow chip-throwing arm? Maybe you climb the greased pole (and claim your prize ham!) at the annual Marymass Festival in Scotland, or you look forward to getting smeared with mud at Okinawa’s Paantu Festival (it’s for good luck!)
It’s summer, after all. The perfect time to open yourself up to new experiences.
—Eric Alt, Andrew Nusca, Tim Leong, Marques Edge
What’s up and down in the world rn.
Buffed: Clickers. With a whopping 24 Emmy nominations (second only to Succession), The Last of Us became the first live-action video game adaptation to get serious award recognition. Here’s to many more 🥂
Nerfed: Ageism. Kazuyoshi Miura is the world’s oldest pro footballer at age 56 and just extended his contract for an indefinite amount of time. Relative whippersnapper LeBron James (38) is coming back, too.
Buffed: Picket line sizes. Actors are joining the Writer’s Guild on strike as the SAG-AFTRA contract expired Wednesday night without a new deal in place, grinding much of Hollywood to a halt.
Nerfed: Alien conspiracies. If you were hoping that the Perseverance rover would find that long promised underground Martian civilization, we have bad news—but it does seem to have discovered evidence that life could have existed on Mars at some point. So…yay?
Buffed: Potential Point Break sequels. A sea otter in Santa Cruz apparently enjoys stealing surf boards and shredding. Team him up with Keanu stat.
Field Upgrades: The gamer’s guide to the best beach reads
Change the game.
Let’s face it: The summer sun can be too bright for handheld consoles. Never fear. You can still get your video game fix the old-fashioned way: with books. (Also, sand won’t destroy your paperback.) Editor Tim Leong suggests five cool video game-themed books for a hot day at the beach.
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Extractor: Confronting loneliness with games
Investigations of interest.
It’s a weird paradox. Technology has made connection across borders and time zones easier than ever, and yet—as the pandemic has shown—it can also exacerbate feelings of loneliness and isolation.
Contributing writer Laura Entis spoke with independent game designer Madison Karrh, creator of the game Birth, to explore how games can address loneliness and help people deal with a world that feels simultaneously at their fingertips and galaxies away.
Fun Fact Friday
In France, today is Bastille Day. But if you’re in France, calling it “Bastille Day” is the quickest way to identify yourself as a tourist.
(Natives prefer to call it la Fête Nationale, the “National Holiday.”)
Rather than trod over the well-worn historical narratives around the storming of the Bastille and the French Revolution—everyone knows Marie Antoinette never actually said “let them eat cake,” right?—let’s celebrate with a few lesser known tidbits.
…like how the Bastille was always a terrible fortress. Built during the Hundred Years’ War (1337-1453, give or take), the Bastille was besieged and surrendered at least six or seven times. King Henry V of England occupied it for 15 years.
After the fortress was turned into a prison in the 17th century, some of its most famous inmates were “The Man in the Iron Mask” and the Marquis De Sade.
The idea that the “Man in the Iron Mask” was the twin brother of Louis XIV was invented by Three Musketeers author Alexandre Dumas. (So was the iron mask part.) There was a prisoner whose identity was kept secret in the Bastille, but they just put a cloth over his head. A script called “The Man With the Cloth on His Head” would NOT have landed Leonardo DiCaprio.
The Marquis de Sade might have likely been freed during the storming of the Bastille but about a week before the uprising he was transferred to a mental institution for yelling obscenities out the window at passersby.
Bonne fête nationale! —EA
Click the following image and…well, we don’t want to ruin the surprise.
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