BOOK | In the preface of LOITERING, Charles D'Ambrosio's newest collection of both new and previously published pieces (released Nov. 11), the award-winning Portland writer reminisces about living across the street from a Seattle bookstore. He writes, "I had just figured out, rather naively, that I could buy my own books, and then almost instantly I became a prig about their condition ... no breaking the spines, no dog-earing the pages, no greasy thumbprints." Not 20 pages later, in the midst of D'Ambrosio's title essay, I'm compelled to dog-ear two corners to note passages that epitomize the writer's exacting style. Throughout the collection, D'Ambrosio's words conjure metaphorical "thought light bulbs" in the reader's mind as he strikes feelings deep within — about TV news reporters, whale conservation and the magic of trains — all eloquently described in his rich, affecting prose.
GAME | Move over, DOTA 2 and League of Legends. There's a new MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena, that is) on the scene. STRIFE is setting out to change the hostile perceptions of this gaming style set by its predecessors, including Strife developer S2's previous release, Heroes of Newerth. With Strife, the team hopes to weed out those mean trolls through a karma vote system, and thus create a more welcoming environment for casual or new MOBA players who may be unsure of the genre based on past experiences or hearsay. Strife's play format is fairly standard — two teams of five players battle for and defend territory in an enclosed arena, upgrading their characters' abilities as each battle session progresses. The free-to-play game is currently in Beta mode, with new features added continuously.
MUSIC | In one week, the music video for "I Won't Let You Down," the second single from OK Go's latest record HUNGRY GHOSTS, racked up more than 10.5 million views. The power-pop four-piece is known for its epic, low-budget videos filmed in a single take. If you haven't seen the drone-filmed video for the disco-esque pop anthem, drop what you're doing and head to YouTube now. Then go get Hungry Ghosts, the band's fourth studio album and its best yet, with plenty of single-worthy tracks, mixing vibrant strings and brass with OK Go's upbeat, electronic sound and soaring choruses. You'll want to hop out of your chair and dance, no matter where you are. ♦