Good Game Reads 2 - January 20th 2017

Ghost Recon: Going to war against a devout drug cartel
Polygon's in-depth overview of the backstory for Ubisoft's Ghost Recon: Wildands discusses the studio's attempt at incorporating a real religious denomination into the game. This is a tricky thing to do with respect and sensitivity, particularly in an open-world shooter.
Charlie Hall

Following The Bouncing Ball: Tennis for Two…at The Strong!
The story of the creation and re-creation of the first video game. In case you were wondering, it was made to "liven up" Visitor's Day at a laboratory. Thanks bored scientists!
Raiford Guins

Seven must-watch speedruns from Awesome Games Done Quick
Far be it for me to tell you what you must watch, but the Awesome Games Done Quick speedruns are incredible. Steven Messner picks some great highlights, but I would suggest going straight to the source and check out the whole list from the event, which wrapped up at the end of last week. My personal picks: Halo 2 in less than 2 hours and Super Monkey Ball.
Steven Messner

How We Design Games Now and Why
An extensive and technical analysis on video game design, the market, and labor. Neil makes a strong argument for a more formal approach to design in games to increase quality and creativity.
Katharine Neil

Building empathy and self-healing: Game development as an awareness and healing tool
A touching piece about a developer who set out to make a game as a way to express and distract from her feelings. What starts as catharsis ends up as a tool to discover something new about herself.
Thais Weiller