Sorry for the lack of updates this week. I’d blame the heavy workload I’m experiencing right now but, truth be told, the events on the Gulf Coasts seem to make any musing I could possibly put forth about game design to seem small and trite. I’ve recieved letters from people in the past thanking me for games that have resulted in meeting their soulmates and from cancer patients who have thanked me for allowing them to feel like fully functional human beings inside of a virtual space. But in the wake of the courage shown by the emergency personnel fighting this disaster, I feel like the maker of insignificant baubles and trinkets. I’ve given money to the Red Cross, and I’d urge anyone else so inclined to give what they can. Continue reading
I haven’t posted about politics in a while. I realized that everything I was saying was being said better and more thoroughly researched somewhere else. I also realized that half my game design audience may disagree with me. So I made a call after the elections – if it’s not about games, zip it.
The recent orgasm of Creationism-related news has forced me to pull my soapbox out from under the bed and tap on the microphone. Creationism is a topic that never fails to get under my skin. It is, ultimately, a plea to ignore science and logic, and an argument for us to move our children to the back of the science and tech bus. Continue reading
The other half of online gaming oversight from the Chinese government came today. Soon, leading games in China (including WoW) will institute measures designed to dissuade players from playing constant hours, in order to combat “sloth, truancy and even murder”. The exact measures are, at this point, a tad hazy, as each source I’ve found on the topic gives a slightly different account of what’s going on. One description is as follows.
The anti-addiction system cuts in-game benefits to players after three hours. For most games this will mean awarding fewer “experience points” to fantasy characters and reducing the value of virtual goods such as magic weapons that they acquire.
After five hours online, players will be subjected every 15 minutes to the warning: “You have entered unhealthy game time, please go offline immediately to rest. If you do not your health will be damaged and the benefits you can win will be cut to zero.“
Yet another hint that gaming is entering the mainstream – worldwide. My fiancee fell in love with Shanghai on her business trip out there, and watches a couple of blogs from the area. That’s where she saw this interesting tidbit.
Chao Ji Nu Sheng (”Super Voice Girls”) is the Chinese version of American Idol. Certainly nothing wrong with that, other than the blight which is Reality TV now having invaded all cultures except perhaps the African Bushman. And you have to give the Chinese credit for getting rid of the annoying guys and just putting cute Asian women on stage – it would be interesting to compare their demographics to ours, where AI is, at least anecdotally, a show that appeals to women and teen girls. But this is the part that caught the eye of my fiancee: Continue reading