The Sunday Papers

By Jim Rossignol on August 26th, 2012 at 9:10 am.


Sundays are for waking up at the crack of dawn, donning slippers and monocle, and heading down to the study for preparation of the day’s documents. What would the message hidden them actually say about the state of our civilisation? Only one way to find out…

  • CNN’s Gaming Reality series is pretty formidable. Their large piece on Korea hits some familiar notes, that nonetheless resonate: “Take Seung, a 17-year-old I met in Seoul. He didn’t want his real name used because of stigma associated with gaming addiction. Like MarineKing, he grew up idolizing the pro players he saw on TV. He told me he wishes he could stop playing, but he can’t. He spends sometimes 12 to 14 hours a day, he said, tapping away on the keyboard playing online games like “Maple Story,” “Sudden Attack” and “StarCraft.” Seung attended several counseling sessions for gaming addiction — supported by the government — but said that wasn’t enough to make him stop. He’s not sure he’ll ever be able to.”
  • Or this article about gaming in a US school: “The magic of the school is that, just like in a video game, when one challenge ends another begins, co-founder Salen said. You move to the next level. The school is designed to create challenges that the students actually want to tackle, without worrying about grades or tests, just because they’re actually interested in the world. Games “create a reason for young people to want to engage in a problem or around a set of content,” Salen said. “And then you make those resources around them available so they can do work and practice around that problem.””
  • Craig Stern tackles the “what is indie”? question: “When a multi-million-dollar game with a team of nearly 50, created with the backing of a major publisher, can get into an “indie” bundle with nothing more than a collective shrug of indifference, the indie community is in deep trouble. This article is an attempt to address a root cause of the problem.”
  • One man’s account of GamesCom: “As if my life were a sitcom, the moment I entered the first big hall was when one of the stage shows started. A dubstep trailer echoed throughout the whole area, the stage occupied by cosplayers there to promote the game. This wasn’t what got to me, though. The moment one of the employees showed up on stage, likely a developer or community manager, the crowd went wild. “Do you want free stuff?!” he yelled, showing a paper bag full of swag, zoomed-in and displayed on the actual stage monitor. The audience yelled with the sync of a Swiss avalanche. You could practically hear the drooling. This was happening on a press day? Who was I supposed to be disgusted with? The media in the audience or the developers on stage? The ones acting like a pack of badgers or the ones exploiting that? The whole scene made me sick and I just kept walking. Somewhere, anywhere, just to get away.”
  • The Extra Credits chaps have been busy with stuff like this and this.
  • Default Prime talks to Steve Ince: ” I think for those developers that want to have a story that’s important, I think they really need to intertwine it very much. So, the gameplay objectives are linked to the story objectives. And so the way the character moves through the game, it needs to tie in with the way that character moves through the story. The more they are intertwined, the better, because then you have a seamless experience. You’re delivering the story as part of the whole gaming experience, it is not running parallel or anything like that – it is very much an integral part of the whole experience. And I think that is vital, really. And I don’t think that developers particularly are against it being integrated. I think that part of the trouble is that no-one has as fully worked out the best procedure.”
  • Why We JRPG: “Lest anyone doubt the possibility of a new JRPG doing all the things I’ve described, along comes Xenoblade Chronicles, the best pure RPG of this generation. Tom Chick calls it “a landmark achievement in the genre,” and he’s right. Better than any game I can think of, Xenoblade Chronicles embraces its systemic elements and enables players to leverage them in fun, consequential ways.” Agreed, it’s an amazing game.
  • Eurogamer’s podcast post-mortem of Planescape Torment only adds to the clamour for a remake.
  • Colin Campbell nods in the direction of the now-closed Psygnosis (Sony Liverpool): “The biggest payoff was in the PlayStation launch game, Wipeout, an ultra-fast, colorful, cool racing game that lit up fashionable magazines of the day, and was featured in trendy nightclubs. This was the game that allowed Sony to market its new console as something for grown-ups, for the hip kids who had grown up with the NES, wanted to keep playing, but needed an identity other than that projected by home computer-owning enthusiasts.” Psygnosis actually made me buy an Amiga, too, when my cousin showed me Lemmings (although strictly speaking that was DMA) and The Killing Game Show one fateful afternoon. And that was that.
  • Chris Crawford has been reflecting on his failed Kickstarter: “As it turns out, my model was only right for what Kickstarter used to be,” said Crawford. “That is, Kickstarter used to be a semi-charitable operation in which people could assist worthy creative projects that might not make it commercially, but still ought to be done. But in the area of games and comics, this is no longer the case.”
  • This is a fascinating tale of the creation of shooter Retro/Grade, with some familiar lessons: “We approached developement … not in the best way for an indie. We came from the big budget, AAA … I don’t even know what ‘AAA’ means anymore, but we came from large teams and teams that valued polish,” Gilgenbach said. “So we spent a lot of time polishing the game of details on little details, [and] some of them we ended up scrapping because we had to change the way we did the graphics in order to stay competitive.”
  • io9 has a piece on How to Create a Scientifically Plausible Alien Life Form. Useful!

Music this week is in tribute to Neil Armstrong, Brian Eno’s An Ending (Ascent). Armstrong did what needed to be done. I have a strong feeling that the rest of us failed him.

.

147 Comments »

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  1. Premium User Badge

    Lacero says:

    Little known fact, Psygnosis had a London studio that became SCE London Studio.

    So it’s technically not quite dead.

  2. Dave L. says:

    I think Crawford’s not really showing the amount of self-reflection he maybe needs to about the failure of his Kickstarter. It didn’t fail because Kickstarter isn’t what it used to be for games (and when was Kickstarter ever about charitable donations, anyway? I mean, there’ve been one or two pure art projects that I’ve seen and donated to with no real desire for a return on investment, but the entire basis of Kickstarter is that you give money to fund something you think is cool, and you get something back when it’s done. Usually, what you get back is the thing you thought was cool), but also: his game has already been done, and recently at that (I can’t for the life of me remember the name, but RPS has written a fair amount on it. The one where you’re the UN or something and tasked with balancing economics and environmental stuff in an attempt to save the world, and it always ends badly), and if his pitch was anything to go by, his version was going to be worse than the existing one.

    • Spengbab says:

      From what I can find, it just doesnt have any actual entertainment value in it. Taxing the various types of pollution? Wha?

      Then again, there’s all types. I’m sure there would have been people interested in this game, just like there are people interested in Forklift simulator/Train simulator/fork in balls simulator/doing your taxes simulator.

      • Premium User Badge

        BubuIIC says:

        Democracy 2 by cliffsky (http://www.positech.co.uk/democracy2/) is a brilliant example that this can work. It’s also a simulation game, but not too focused on environmental impact. You have at least 20 possible taxes and hundreds of other policies you can implement. And it’s really compelling! I also learned a lot about while playing it.
        But I think one really important part is the UI (and the amount of feedback you get through it) of such a game. You see at the first glance what effects each policy has and what effects certain statistics in your country. You get a lot of feedback but presented in a very easy to grasp way.
        I haven’t really looked into the Crawford game but the UI looked just horrible and also didn’t really seem too functional…

    • Premium User Badge

      BubuIIC says:

      I think the game you are talking about is “Fate of the World”, which is quite a good game.

      • Dave L. says:

        Yes! That’s the one. I’ve been driving myself crazy trying to remember. Thank you.

      • Premium User Badge

        ffordesoon says:

        Yeah. With all the research Crawford allegedly did, you’d think he’d research the market to see if his game had already been made. That’s like writing a novel about a family taking care of a haunted hotel over the winter called The Glowing, then being stunned and offended when it isn’t an instant sellout.

        He talked about how he did a lot of work and it was really hard, and that was why people should give him money for his free game that happened to share a whole lot of stuff with a game that came out last year and sold fairly well despite being just as complex and depressing.

        This is the guy all these legendary devs look up to? A guy who whines in his blog post that he spent forty hours working on his Kickstarter video, so the people who complained about it being a terrible video were just plain wrong? A guy who’s annoyed because gamers showed up expecting a “legendary game designer” to give them more than a crappy Fate Of The World ripoff?

        I’m sure Chris Crawford is a brilliant guy, but he’s either arrogant or naive if he thinks he can get people to sink $150K into Eat Your Vegetables: The Game: Ripoff Of A Game You Already Have Edition. Which is what he seems to want, or think other people want, or something.

        To be clear, I’m not calling his game an intentional copy-paste ripoff. I imagine he had the idea on his own; he’d have done more to cover his tracks if he’d meant to rip off Fate Of The World. My point is that it comes across as a ripoff, because he didn’t research his market adequately, or even understand that the “environmentalist investors” he apparently was expecting don’t know him from Adam. He has cachet with gamers, so he should be marketing to gamers, not lecturing them on his blog about how his game is more enjoyable than science homework. He might as well say it’s more enjoyable than being shot in the leg.

        • Premium User Badge

          toastmodernist says:

          Kinda confused why no-one has pointed out he’s remaking his own simulation game from the 1990 called ‘balance of the planet’.

          He also tried to do this in his storytron engine too.

          There is no ripping off or cribbing ideas or anything of the sort going on except, y’know, the other way round via his influence in dry sociopolitical simulators over the years.

    • ChrisGWaine says:

      Even trying to look past the issue of whether people are likely to enjoy it and therefore engage with it, and also the poor UI design, I don’t have any confidence Crawford’s simulation itself is a good one.

      I played around with the version linked from his Kickstarter. Enough to have found a way to at least get a positive score (I’m not sure what constitutes winning though): 60$/ton CO2 tax, 25% research and transport, 20% education, 15% conservation and fund.

      Looking through the relationship between the values it calculated, the score was dominated by quality of life, which was dominated by economic growth, vs poor deaths which were mostly malnutrition. So if GDP grows by 1% in a year, this can offset millions of people starving to death…

      I’m not sure what lesson this teaches.

      • marcusfell says:

        If the guy could make an accurate algorithim for this kind of thing, he’d be working for the UN or something.

        • PleasingFungus says:

          So if it doesn’t model reality well, and it’s not fun to play, and it fills a very narrow niche already occupied by a game that did it earlier and better… what’s the point of Crawford’s game, then?

      • Andrew says:

        Probably one the Republican Party would be right behind.

    • Abbykins says:

      I backed Crawford’s project, but knew it would fail and not for the reasons he claims it did. The screenshots he showed were incredibly text-heavy, and to engage schoolchildren in today’s world, that will never fly.

    • Shuck says:

      “I think Crawford’s not really showing the amount of self-reflection he maybe needs to about the failure of his Kickstarter.”
      Maybe, but he’s still right about Kickstarter. Kickstarter was never about “charitable” donations necessarily (that is, tax-exempt, though that has always been part of it), but the whole thing is absolutely a donation system. Anything you get back is a gift for your donation. People have lost sight of that, thinking it’s a pre-order system. It absolutely isn’t. It was set up as a means of getting projects (both commercial and non-commercial) financed that people felt were worthy and that existing funding models didn’t necessarily cover. If you treat it like a pre-order system, you’ll eventually be in for a rude awakening.

    • Urthman says:

      Is Chris Crawford under the delusion that he has the same kind of fan base as Tim Shafer or Chris Avellone? Did he miss the part where most successful indie game kickstarters are a response to pent-up demand for a particular kind of game? What made him think this project was likely to get funded?

  3. Waleebe says:

    RIP Neil Armstrong.

    Slowly, as we lose each of the men that walked on the moon, the moon landings will pass out of living memory. I hope one day in my lifetime we go back.

    • subedii says:

      At the current rate? Looking doubtful. As it stands I don’t think there’s any current project in the works to go back, and they’d need a new shuttle project to do it. Well maybe not the latter, but they need something to get people back up there, but I’m not sure how much value private entites would see in developing a project for anyone. The only State actor I can think of that might be interested is China, but who knows where they want to go with their space program.

      For some reason the media seems to be constantly harping about Mars instead, I guess because of Curiosity. That, or the potential of “ASTEROID EXPLOITATION FOR HUGE MONIES!”.

      • Corrupt_Tiki says:

        Well, why would we go back? It’s just a rock.
        Unless we established a penal colony or something. But I would rather see the serious convicts shot into the sun. It would have much more comedic value.

        • subedii says:

          Exploring (and yes, exploiting probably. And maybe eXpanding possibly. But hopefully not eXterminating unless we happen to find giant bugs on Pluto) the rest of solar system would probably be made a lot easier if we had some kind of presence on the moon.

          Heck I’d settle for a robotic Kevin Spacey.

          • Premium User Badge

            Lacero says:

            Well, no. The moon has gravity and exploring is easier with a base somewhere in space without gravity.
            The ISS is a good start, although really we want to be at a lagrange point.

            Also we really want this base to have no people on it as people are fragile and get grumpy. But if we can’t automate it all just yet perhaps one or two people could maintain the robots turning asteroids into something useful and providing a refueling hub.

          • Corrupt_Tiki says:

            There is nothing up there to exploit really worth the cost.
            I would rather see a mars base, I mean, c’mon totall recall and such.
            As for the robot, I’d prefer Bender.

          • subedii says:

            @ Lacero: I’m guessing you never saw the film “Moon”, that’s basically what it was about (hence the Kevin Spacey joke), except it was based around He3 extraction on the moon. And before the next comment, yes I know that’s also unlikely, I just really loved that film.

          • Tom OBedlam says:

            I rewatched that last night. We did a triple bill of Dark Star, Moon and Sunshine :)

        • Premium User Badge

          RedViv says:

          Helium-3, possibly.

        • Waleebe says:

          If we always said why bother, what’s the point? We wouldn’t achieve anything. We don’t need a financial reason to go back. Pushing science to it’s limits should be reason enough, that and because it’s there.

          • LionsPhil says:

            Going to the moon is more PR than science.

            Science is busy sending robots to Mars.

          • mckertis says:

            “Pushing science to it’s limits should be reason enough”

            Name ONE time in human history when it actually happened.

          • Waleebe says:

            The LHC, Hubble space telescope, international space station, the Voyager probes and all the Mars landers and rovers. We don’t need any of them they exist to increase our knowledge of the universe around us.

            I’m sure there are more, these are just the ones that came to me first.

          • Nate says:

            I believe that space exploration is actually one of the few areas of scientific research where it’s easiest to drum up public support, at least, on a dollar-for-dollar basis. The problem is that it is extraordinarily expensive, with no anticipated benefit.

            We have money for research. The question is where we spend it. Hubble is relatively cheap, when compared to a moon landing, with dramatic (already demonstrated!) potential for discovery. Spending money on a moon landing can only be done at the expense of other projects– would you rather we land on the moon once, or launch ten Hubbles?

            One can argue that science spending should increase across the board, with the budget coming out of your least-favorite part of government spending (defense is always a popular choice, but some prefer medical programs, and a few want higher taxes). I would be fine with gutting defense budgets, but it still leaves the question of where to spend the money, when social programs are being slashed, and research still has to be considered on a bang-for-the-buck basis.

            I’m coming at this from the perspective of a US American, but I don’t see why it would be any different for people working under other governments. There will never be enough money to do everything we want, and any space exploration needs to be considered in the context of, “What could we do with that money instead?”

          • dE says:

            Just spread some rumours that you’ve found a way to create weapons of mass destruction from moon rocks. You’d be surprised by how many nation would suddenly find themselves in a rather awkward grouphug – on the moon.

        • Premium User Badge

          Stellar Duck says:

          Part of me weeps that I live in a world where we no longer go to the Moon just for the hell of it.

          Do you really need a reason to go to the Moon? That’s like saying Rice needs a reason to play Texas.

          • Premium User Badge

            Crimsoneer says:

            Well, every time you want to go to the moon, you have to give up the opportunity to give up a few hospitals. Seeing the moon is pretty much just a rock in space, it’s a tough call to make.

          • Premium User Badge

            Stellar Duck says:

            I’m sure current hospital tech benefited the last time we went there. It’s possible they may again.

            Aside from that, I just think we should push some limits instead of always being constricted by us selves. Instead of wasting so much money I can’t even imagine it on stupid wars we could go to the Moon thrice over and build a hospital with golden beds to boot.

            We should never be satisfied that we’ve been there! We should go back time and again. Because the Moon!

            Man, I miss Kennedy on days like this.

          • LionsPhil says:

            I’m sure current hospital tech benefited the last time we went there. It’s possible they may again.

            Instead of wasting so much money I can’t even imagine it on stupid wars…

            Funny thing is, it’s war that has pushed medical technology further, thanks to it creating the pressure to find better ways to stop people bleeding to death after they’ve just had bits of them blown off.

            War: more useful than visiting lifeless, resourceless rocks.

          • InternetBatman says:

            @crimsoneer That’s an over-simplification. There are far better ways to save money and create hospitals than cutting off money to NASA or lunar flight. Not that I think Lunar flight is the best way to spend that money, but healthcare expenses in this country dwarf NASA.

          • Kaira- says:

            NASA’s funding throughout time combined is less than US Army Budget for this year. Last year there were news that the air conditioning in the US Army cost more than NASA’s budget.

          • tetracycloide says:

            Well, every time you want to go to the moon, you have to give up the opportunity to give up a few hospitals. Seeing the moon is pretty much just a rock in space, it’s a tough call to make.

            I’m sorry. I couldn’t read this. I only read words that build hospitals.

          • mckertis says:

            “Man, I miss Kennedy on days like this.”

            Yeah…and then you remember that he was the cocaine-snorting idiot who almost started the nuclear war.

          • Premium User Badge

            Stellar Duck says:

            I don’t actually care that he snorted cocaine. Each to his own. The war bit is more serious, but I’ll leave to other historians than me to judge.

            He did manage to bring about some sorely needed passion though and that’s no mean feat. I think we could use a guy these days that said ‘Let’s go to the Moon/Mars! Let’s do it because we’re great like that and we can do what we set our minds to.’

            I think we’re too jaded these days. If all one sees when talking about flying to the damn Moon is how many hospitals that will cost it feels like something is missing. We need idealism, dammit! :)

          • Josh04 says:

            What may be missing is an adequate number of existing hospitals.

        • Tommando says:

          I think such a big deal is made of Mars because it looks like the best candidate to have potentially had life at some point, at least out of the places where that notion can be explored.

          It’s also the most terraformable planet in the solar system. Long term, in centuries or millenia, Mars is the most likely place to serve as a home away from Earth. In the extreme long term that’s the key to survival.

    • Synesthesia says:

      RIP Neil. Sit tight, you are going back!

    • dsch says:

      Also: ‘I have a strong feeling that the rest of us failed him.’

      What is that supposed to mean?

      • Premium User Badge

        Stellar Duck says:

        I won’t talk for Jim, but I agree on his stance.

        Since these guys got to the Moon in a decade, risking their lives in the process, we’ve basically invented reality TV, better ways to kill people and Facebook. And yes, I do like hyperbole.

        It’s like the time for dreaming is over. And that, I think, is failing guys like Armstrong.

        • LionsPhil says:

          That’s not hyperbole; that’s just bollocks.

          Ending the Cold War (and let’s not forget that the “in a decade” rush-job was due to political posturing for it). Commercial supersonic flight*, and partially re-usable space vehicles (both since gone, and both a bigger loss than making footprints on the moon—the latter in particular was infrastructure). Private orbital spaceflight. The Human Genome Project, from start to finish. The personal computer revolution, World Wide Web, and associated pervasive Internet access (don’t even fucking begin to claim it begins and ends at Facebook and lolcats).

          (* Concorde actually beat the moon landing by a few months, but persisted after they had ended for three decades.)

        • InternetBatman says:

          We’ve created Wikipedia, which contains a vast amount of human knowledge and distributes it for free to anywhere with an internet connection. I really can’t think of a more noble project than trying to democratically educate everyone.

          Speaking of wikipedia, reality TV has been around in some form or another since Candid Camera.
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reality_television#1940s.E2.80.931960s

          Oh, and we found the Higgs Boson, the life’s work of many physicists. So there’s that.

          Also, we haven’t really done great work (that we know about) with advances in killing people. In fact, most of the weapons we’ve recently made have been designed to kill more precisely, with less casualties, like Stuxnet or Drones.

  4. GameCat says:

    Inb4 “moon landing was fake and gay!”.
    It wasn’t.

    • Corrupt_Tiki says:

      We have moon dust to prove it!

    • subedii says:

      I think you were “Inb4″ something that wasn’t likely to happen here. Until you just said it.

    • Mollusc Infestation says:

      Obviously an Illuminati shill. What about all of the things which i’m not smart enough to understand? They prove that it must have been fake.

    • Kaira- says:

      Even if I don’t deny it, can I still keep my tinfoil hat on? I kinda like the design.

    • Premium User Badge

      Crimsoneer says:

      My girlfriend of 3 years, who is otherwise perfect, thinks it was fake. It’s what I’m eventually going to dump her over.

      • SuperNashwanPower says:

        When you do it, stand outside her house and announce it over a bullhorn, and claim she is part of a global banking cartel trying to enslave the human population. Call her a sheeple as well, that always works.

      • LennyLeonardo says:

        I would be more concerned that she is only 3 ye… oh god, I can’t do it.
        I’m so sorry.

      • Premium User Badge

        yoggesothothe says:

        Maybe just show her this. Mitchell and Webb, brilliant as always.

      • Premium User Badge

        Llewyn says:

        I’ve never quite been able to decide which is more amusing – conspiracists who argue that the moon landings didn’t happen because at least some of the footage is clearly faked, or otherwise sensible people* who argue that all the footage must be genuine because the moon landings clearly happened.

        And to borrow from Umberto Eco: one organisation was in a position to know, with reasonable certainty, whether the moon landings were genuine. If they weren’t the Soviet space agency would also have had a strong propaganda motive to try to provide proof that they were faked, and yet have never done so.

        *No, I’m not interested in maintaining objective impartiality here!

      • Mrs Columbo says:

        Note to Department Clovis: Crimsoneer’s girlfriend knows too much. Open a red file.

  5. Mollusc Infestation says:

    That article on scientifically plausible aliens really struck a chord with me. Can anyone recommend any decent sci-fi novels with interestingly exotic aliens?

    • GameCat says:

      Mike Resnick – “A Miracle of Rare Design: A Tragedy of Transcendence”

    • Premium User Badge

      blind_boy_grunt says:

      Stanislaw Lem!
      another exclamation mark just to show you i mean it: !
      – Solaris, i like the films but Lem said something like “if i had written a book about human relationships i’d have called it ‘love in space'” or something like that
      – Fiasco, it has strange aliens, maybe not as strange as Solaris but different at least.

      edit: and just because i spent 5 minutes googling for the name: Mission of Gravity by Hal Clement, “scifi book highgravity creature from the point of view” is the google search with which i found it.

      • Ignorant Texan says:

        Seconded!!

        Lem’s books, while being cracking good reads, are also incredibly thought provoking.

        I’d also include Eden and The Cyberiad(bonus points for the protagonists being sentient robots!) Eden ends on a hopeful note. The Cyberiad is very funny.

        My only caveat about Fiasco is that it is a very depressing book. I remember not being very proud to be a human being when I finished it(The ending is sadly, all too plausible). Still, one of my favorite books from my favorite author.

        • Mollusc Infestation says:

          On the basis that i appear to have a copy of Solaris knocking about, i think this will be my first candidate. I fully intend to work my way through as many of these suggestions as possible though (incidentally, thanks for all the suggestions folks).

    • onetrueping says:

      Larry Niven’s creatures tend towards the plausible but improbable, such as the Outsiders, fragile beings resembling a cat-o’-nine-tails who primarily live on the outsides of esoteric spacecraft and derive sustenance by having half of their bodies in direct starlight and the other half in shadow. He also created the Pak, as a thought experiment along the lines of extrapolating signs of aging as part of an aborted next stage of human life. Fascinating stuff.

    • Premium User Badge

      Varanas says:

      ‘The Gods Themselves’ by Isaac Asimov has aliens that are completely different to anything I’ve seen before, mainly because they’re from a parallel universe where the laws of physics are slightly different. Definitely worth reading the book just for them, though unfortunately the other two thirds of the book aren’t nearly as good.

      • Zaxro says:

        I’m going to second the recommendation for The Gods Themselves, it’s one of Asimov’s best books and the aliens are really alien.

    • MadMatty says:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Black_Cloud

      which i think was his reference of “intelligent plasma flying through space” in the article.

      • MadMatty says:

        dont read The Black Cloud wiki, or even the back of the book cover * CONTAINS SPOILERS*

    • SkittleDiddler says:

      Pretty much any of Lovecraft’s sci-fi/horror amalgams, particularly At the Mountains of Madness. Seriously.

    • Premium User Badge

      Lacero says:

      Blindsight by Peter Watts
      (He used to be a biologist of sorts)

      • Bobtree says:

        I will second Blindsight every time, and you can even read it free on Watts’ website.

      • Shuck says:

        I third the Watts recommendation. It’s very much a contemporary hard sci-fi take on Lovecraftian alienness and cosmic horror.

    • Hastur says:

      Vernor Vinge’s “Fire Upon the Deep” has as a protagonist an intelligent wolf-pack hivemind. Because the personality of each pack is determined by its individuals, the story explores what happens when one leaves or is killed, or other wolves enter the pack.

      • Mollusc Infestation says:

        I actually started reading that a couple of months back, since i massively enjoyed “Across Realtime” but i ended up putting it down again for some reason. I keep meaning to have another crack at it.

        • SPCTRE says:

          You definitely should. I admit, the parts depicting the Tines do drag a bit, but as a whole it’s worth a read. I love the intergalactic version of Usenet.

    • phelix says:

      Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke. The aliens themselves don’t really show up, but it’s a blast to read nevertheless.

    • Nate says:

      I wasn’t very impressed with that article. It didn’t so much say how aliens might be different as say the ways in which they’d be the same. And the author didn’t seem to much understand the science that he or she was invoking.

      If you look at just the life that exists or existed on Earth, you see a tremendous variety. For most people, all they care about is shape, and Earth gives you more shapes than you’d probably be able to imagine.

      One important thing that the article doesn’t mention is temperature. Temperature varies a lot out there, and it determines things to a greater extent than even gravity. The idea of a circulatory solvent (eg blood) is pretty important to most life on earth, but water only works within a certain (relatively wide!) range of temperatures. When people talk about things like ammonia-based life, they’re talking about creatures that work in very cold environments. That cold has a larger effect than what compounds are solid and what compounds are liquid! As temperature goes down, energy goes down– you see life with less frequency, with a larger ratio of plants to predators, with life moving and thinking more slowly.

      Most people are relatively uninterested in life in other planets– after all, like I said, you can get your kicks just examining the diversity on Earth (and the diversity that used to be on Earth). Most people are interested in technological life. The factors required for technological life are subject to a shitstorm of disagreement. For instance, one theory of intelligence is that it arose as a byproduct of humans exploiting the ecological niche of throwing things. That niche wouldn’t exist on a world with much higher gravity than Earth’s. Some kind of communication is certainly vital to technological life, but communication exists, on a wide continuum, throughout all life (seriously, bacteria do it), so it’s probably not a big limit, and the real development that’s vital to technology is something like writing– relatively permanent communication.

      There’s a lot to read on this subject, if you’re interested. I just started with Wikipedia and worked my way through links. It can be fun.

      • Post-Internet Syndrome says:

        I sort of liked the article, but your criticism is valid too. It was a bit rambly and incoherent and didn’t really get to the point. One thing in particular that stood out to me was “All life on Earth gains its energy from the successive chain of consumption: sun → herbivores → omnivores → carnivores.” That is just plain wrong.

        • Sparkasaurusmex says:

          Maybe if you used the word “calories” instead of energy?

      • Mollusc Infestation says:

        I’ve lost months of my life to wikipedia and its seductively interlinked knowledge.
        I think you’re right that it was written by a lay-scientist. What grabbed me was the general theme of challenging basic “terracentric” assumptions about life. It quite aptly encapsulates the majority of my experience with sci-fi and its tendency towards aliens which are mostly an amalgam of, or at least heavily inspired by terrestrial life. This has always bothered me, so it was nice to see these ideas get a little bit of a probing (pun definitely intended). It certainly left me in need of some further reading though, which is not entirely a bad thing.

  6. Godwhacker says:

    “Eurogamer’s podcast post-mortem of Planescape Torment only adds to the clamour for a remake.”

    Does everything brilliant have to get remade? It’s fine as it is.

    • subedii says:

      I think it would be more accurate to say there’s a desire for a “spiritual sequel”. It wouldn’t be set in the Planescape universe for a start (for a lot of reasons), but this is mainly about creating a very story-led RPG in a similar style to it, minus its limitations.

      • LordOfPain says:

        Actually there’s a bit of a bug where the framerate drops right down and you have to turn off hardware acceleration or something. Plus the bugs that need fan patches and work arounds.
        But the original artwork is definitely awesome to see with the high resolution mods.
        So a remake would be very welcome for me provided they didn’t mess with the original material in any significant sense.

    • Sparkasaurusmex says:

      Don’t care for a remake, but simply put: I want more stuff like that

  7. benh128 says:

    An Ending (Ascent) and the video that accompanies it are simply wonderful.

    Incidentally it’s also the music from the elevator scene in Drive (which is also wonderful), which I had been searching for the last couple of weeks in vain. So thanks for that Jim!

    • LennyLeonardo says:

      It will always make me think of this:

    • a.nye.123 says:

      The music during the elevator scene isn’t “An Ending (Ascent)”, though it does sound similar. It’s “Wrong Floor” by Cliff Martinez, the film’s composer:

      • benh128 says:

        That’s what I thought too, but I couldn’t help but feel “Wrong Floor” wasn’t as nice as I remembered when I listened to it. Rewatching the scene, I’m almost certain that “An Ending” is used, at least in the versions I’m watching!

        Here’s the scene on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UgNt_oJnZpA

        • SelfEsteemFund says:

          a.nye.123 is correct. The track is clearly “Wrong Floor” by Cliff Martinez (track 15 on the official soundtrack), I just compared the BluRay (Region A) with it.

          • SelfEsteemFund says:

            Just realised that youtube link might actually be the theatrical version, sorry I don’t really bother with those. My DVD & Bluray both feature “Wrong Floor”, yeah I like the film that much hah.

  8. Premium User Badge

    jezcentral says:

    “The Indie community is in deep trouble?”

    Rubbish. Ignoring the fact this premise is jaw-droppingly baseless, if a game that you like gets made, you win. Who cares if it its made by a huge studio, or one/two/three/four/…. (keep going until you get to a number that you believe disqualifies it from being an indie) people in a bedroom.

    Gaming is now mainsteam (although it could still be moreso). People seem to be clinging onto old hierarchies (hardcore, casual, indie) in a way that older entertainment media, like film and TV, have long forgotten. We could do with doing the same.

    • LionsPhil says:

      But but but I have to fret about these labels to make sure I still look cool!!!

      It’s a bit annoying to lose the short terminology for “independently funded”, but it never worked particularly well for that in the first place (see: people arguing that that’s not what it means, man), and the long form isn’t desperately arduous.

    • hello_mr.Trout says:

      hey, when you wrote ‘People seem to be clinging onto old hierarchies (hardcore, casual, indie) in a way that older entertainment media, like film and TV, have long forgotten. We could do with doing the same.’ what exactly did you mean? or could you please elaborate some? for example, aren’t there film buffs and film critics who presumably have more ‘informed’ ideas about what constitutes a ‘quality’ movie as opposed to mr joe average? and also, what are some of the advantages of a lack of hierarchy as regards gaming? increased creative output? less time debating semantics? genuinely curious, and think i may have missed your point :/

      • Jason Moyer says:

        The entire idea that indie doesn’t mean anything in relation to film is kind of hilarious, really.

        Anyway, indie has multiple definitions. Yes, there is the real one, which is used to describe the way something (film, music, game) was made, especially in regards to how it was funded. There’s also the way it’s used by marketing people (who should all be shot, but that’s another subject) to make people want to buy their games, and as with all marketing terms is probably related somehow to focus-testing, market research, or some other nonsense.

    • InternetBatman says:

      I don’t think indie is a hierarchy thing, at least not for me. I would just like to see the rise and wide-scale adoption of games independent from publishers, and the word is useful shorthand for their business model. Its dilution limits its utility.

      Not that I thought the article was that great or anything, but it does touch on a common annoyance of mine.

      • Azradesh says:

        People forget that indie does not mean small. Valve are indie and rolling in the cash.

        • woodsey says:

          That makes them independent, not indie. The word Indie has some obvious connotations – even Notch has said he doesn’t consider Mojang indie anymore.

        • InternetBatman says:

          I don’t care about the size of the company. I always used indie as a short for publisher independent. InXile has 55-100 people and they’re making Wasteland independently. I’m sure Doublefine has a similar situation. I think the real issue is when a separate entity from the developer also controls the purse strings.

    • Premium User Badge

      RobF says:

      Yes, thing is, I and others like me are very much the mainstream now. Trying to cling to an -exclusionary- term in order to… erm, feel special is it? I don’t know. I’ve never quite understood what you get from thrusting your indie in people’s faces anyway, seems an incredibly backwards step from where we’ve been heading.

      It’s a useless and rubbish word at the best of times and Craig’s definition is not one I really care for, hinged as it is at shouting at Double Fine and telling them they can’t be INDIE because INDIE ISN’T YOU, OK? I don’t want to keep people out, I want more people in!

      Tiresome stuff really. I write games. I’m a maker of games. In 1983, people made games. I’m just keeping with that tradition. It’s really not my fault if others decided to deviate from that along the years but more power to them! More games!

      • Craig Stern says:

        Great strawman attack here, Rob. I’ll quote Internet Batman, since he seems to have actually gotten the point of the article:

        “I would just like to see the rise and wide-scale adoption of games independent from publishers, and the word is useful shorthand for their business model. Its dilution limits its utility.”

        • Premium User Badge

          RobF says:

          Except it doesn’t. At all. You’ve invented a crisis where there is none, melodrama up to the nines and all. So back atcha. Melodrama up to the nines and all.

          Indie, as used by the press, is a label. A handy catch all to go along with neo-retro, bedroom coder and all the other quickfire throwaway labels that have little to no substance.

          Indie, as used by developers, was a label. Before TIGS, it was all about the business, everyone else was a hobbyist or a homebrew or an amateur or whatever. It was a handy catch all for people to gather under with similar interests, scarily too often under the banner of worshipping at the foot of Pavlina. It was about contract work under and for publishers to survive, it was about working with partners to survive,it was a banner for bringing folks together be they makers of casual games, be they Popcap or be they Cliffski. It was a convenient catch all to rally and strengthen and it was an expansive term. And yes, there were precious little fucks who chose to spend their time deciding whether something should or should not be indie but ultimately, the power was out of their hands. It’s not a choice you get to make as an individual. Those people couldn’t continue to use “indie” as an exclusionary term either because along came some people and stole it from them…

          Do you even recall how TIGS as a community came to be birthed unto the world? Fost losing his fucking rag with that other community and then all the so called amateurs, all the layabouts, all the hobbyists had an even more expansive banner to gather under with Indie. One nation under TIGS except the other nation over there but that’s OK because we can all co-exist. Because then it meant that it was no longer just the business, indie was a more thing, a bigger thing, more expansive than before. The term, the people, the community, videogames evolved. And lo, there was a bit of pissing and whinging and petty yaddering over yonder as to what is and is not indie but fuck, it did not matter in the end. The term, the scope expanded and no-one died. No great crisis emerged but more people got to feel confident in themselves, more people got a banner under which they felt comfortable describing themselves and more people got to make games.

          That was good. It did not dilute the term then, it strengthened it. Those who clung to it for exclusionary purposes looked faintly embarrassing as time moved on.

          And it’ll continue to happen, Craig. And that’s a good thing. The term, the usage thereof, whilst it’s expanding, whilst it’s reaching ever further and encompassing more things, it’s doing so because more people are making more things in different ways. Indie isn’t in crisis, indie as a term isn’t in crisis, no-one is teetering on the precipice here, nothing is going too far.

          We’re hitting the mainstream, we’re hitting it where it matters. We are the mainstream now as much as an AAA publisher. We might not sell the numbers because we don’t have the ad spend but we share the same space, we share the same column inches. We don’t need to protect the term, let it fucking blossom or just ignore it and make games. Stop pretending there’s some sort of trouble on the horizon and we need to roll the fuck back, dial this down before it gets out of hand because we absolutely don’t. We’ve already diverted the term away from where it lay originally, we can do it again.

          We’re doing amazing things, man. And if Double Fine want to identify as indie, why stop them? We don’t need the label! It’s a label. Let it burn. Fuck it all. It’s all bullshit terms and bullshit words. It’s not important.

          The games are important. The personalities behind the games are important. A shitty label isn’t, that can only ever hold us down. Unless you take that label and you use it to empower people, use it for tolerance and understanding, rather than trying to be precious about it.

        • PopeJamal says:

          If you’ll excuse the horrible analogy:

          There are the people who make the sausage, and people who eat the sausage. I don’t make the sausage and the dillution of the term “indie” is clearly a “sausage maker” problem. RPS is, as far as I can tell, a “sausage eating audience” (Zing!) so don’t be surprised when not everyone see it your way.

          Intellectually, I agree with the argument about dilluting the term indie, but honestly, I just don’t care anymore. I’ve got guys with suits trying to ruin the industry I work in, so I don’t have the time and energy to gnash my teeth and moan about what happens in YOUR industry. You know what I care about? In order of preference:

          -Playing a fun game
          -On Linux
          -DRM free
          -Cheap
          -Open Source

          That’s it. I don’t care if Tim Schaefer isn’t indie, I don’t care about anything that comes out of the mouths of those goofballs at Epic, and I don’t care whether or not the games in these bundles are “indie” because it’s a nebulous, bullshit, “marketing speak” term anyway.

          An quite honestly, how many of these “indie developers” are going to turn down a decent publishing deal once they’ve gotten some credibility by moving units in a HIB? Probably not many. And besides ALL of that, isn’t HIB practically a “big publisher” now considering how many units they move in a year and how many different titles they sell? So if the defacto champions of teh word “indie” don’t care about the term, and the majority of the devs don’t care about the term, why should I?

          It’s all sematics, and I got tired of arguing semantics with people 15 years ago. As long as they offer me Fun, DRM free games that run on Linux, I’m more than happy to throw money at their lying, insincere faces. If I stopped interacting with people who were full of shit (besides myself, obviously), I’d be in a cave somewhere in the mountains eating moss and mushrooms.

          The only real say I have is how I spend my money. I do so deliberately, and then I move on to the next order of business. That’s all any of us outside of the industry can really do.

  9. povu says:

    Wonder if we’re going the same way as indie music with indie games. Used to mean being part of an independent record label or whatever, now many people just see it as a style of music.

    We’re already seeing stuff like indie bundles from EA.

    • Shuck says:

      To be fair, the “indie bundle” from EA was developed by independent studios and simply distributed by EA.

  10. SuperNashwanPower says:

    Re: The BrainyGamer article – has anyone managed to get Xenoblade Chronicles running on Windows 7 64-bit with the suggested Dolphin Emulator? If its as simple as buy disc, rip and emulate then I would be interested to see what the fuss is about. I just don’t want to end up with a useless Wii disc and some downloaded software that just scowls at me :)

    • Khalan says:

      I’ve got the game and tried it in Dolphin, but only to test so far. Runs perfectly, but I have an i5 3570k @ 4.5ghz, so YMMV. Could be wrong but I *think* it requires 3.5-4ghz to run smoothly.

      • SuperNashwanPower says:

        Ah ok cheers. I don’t fully understand the difference, but the wiki page says requirements are indeed 3GHz or higher DUAL core. I have an i7 2630QM QUAD core (I have a Medion ERAZER gaming laptop) which turbo-boosts up to 2.9GHz. So I have no idea if that is sufficient or not.

    • Premium User Badge

      Vandelay says:

      It should also be noted that I had to get hold of a very specific DVD drive in order to get Wii discs detected. With the one I originally had, it just said no disc was in the drive. I believe there are ways to use a hacked Wii in order to copy the discs, but this can damage the drive, as they are not designed for continuous reading.

      Once the game is on my hard disk though, I’ve had no real issues with Dolphin. The odd sound bug here and there, but Goldeneye, Super Mario Galaxy and Twilight Princess have all played great and at 1080p. Not too sure how will games will play with mouse and keyboard though. I initially used my Hydra motion controls with moderate success, but have since moved onto getting a wiimote to work (worth bearing in mind, motion plus games require the controller, as there is no emulation currently.)

      Seriously considering getting a Wii U now, my first console since my brother’s Master System many, many years ago.

      • subedii says:

        I remember doing similar with Final Fantasy: Tactics way back when. The original PS1 release, not the new version. Bought the disc in a store, took it home, ripped it, ran it in an emulator. The way I figured it, Sony was even making more money off of me that way since they were selling the PS1 at a loss.

        People still called me a pirate when I mentioned that. Having ripped it and all. Still got the disc too.

      • Baines says:

        The Wii uses a non-standard layout for its DVDs, just as the Gamecube did.

        Theoretically, Nintendo’s disc should have been unreadable by any “proper” DVD player. The DVD format was intentionally designed to prevent creating raw disc images, with a drive keeping all raw data internal and only supplying the cooked data. Nintendo took advantage of this by shifting around the blocks, so that some of the game data was found in the error blocks and some of the error data was found in the regular data area. (That is a bit of a simplification.) Any proper DVD player should have failed at this point, and that would be that.

        What people found, however, was that there was a line of DVDs that dumped the raw data to a buffer when it failed, and that buffer was readable. So someone wrote a program that “read” the entire disc, repeatedly copying the raw data from the buffer, and letting them construct a full raw disc image. From there, it was only a matter of reading the right blocks from the image to get a GC/Wii disc image.

        When this was found, all the drives were fairly quickly snapped up. From my own experience of comments at the time, a lot of the buyers were buying them with the intention of pirating Nintendo games. Many admitted to not owning the consoles, and even not wanting to own the consoles. And pretty much no one talked about actually buying the games.

        There is, of course, an alternative. After all, anyone who owns a working Gamecube or Wii has a drive that reads Nintendo format discs. And both systems are compromised to allow people to run homebrew code. (Sega’s security blunder with PSO compromised the Gamecube, though other methods were eventually developed. And while Team Twiizers tried to hamper piracy efforts when they compromised the Wii, some others openly embraced and sought piracy, and for a few it just happened to be a side-effect of other things that they were doing.)

      • Premium User Badge

        emertonom says:

        For the specific case of Xenoblade chronicles, I wouldn’t bother trying to get the wiimote working–I found the classic controller pro controls way better than the wiimote controls. I haven’t actually tried Dolphin yet, but I’d assume there’s a way to use a standard dual-analogue controller for that.

    • Premium User Badge

      AlwaysRight says:

      Exactly my dilemma. Heres what I did:

      I downloaded an iso of the game disc, played around with the setting and configurations on Dolphin until I got it working to a satisfactory quality (this involved downloading a modded version of the software to get the sound to play correctly) and once I was happy I bought the game.

      I don’t know where this fits into other peoples ideas of piracy or whether this is considered moral or not. But I personally dont’t feel bad about it (I do own a wii too).

      • Premium User Badge

        AlwaysRight says:

        Also I’m using an xbox 360 controller configured as a nintendo classic controller and it works just lovely.

      • Grape Flavor says:

        You know, if you can’t get it to run right, I don’t think playing this on an actual Wii would be as terrible as some are suggesting, either. I’ve seen the videos and screenshots, Dolphin sure is beautiful. But graphics aren’t everything, and I’m sure the reviewers were playing on actual hardware when they wrote about what a fantastic game this is.

        Maybe I’m just telling myself that because my computer isn’t up to the task of emulating Wii in HD, but I doubt my game experience is going to be RUINED FOREVER because I’m stuck with jaggy old 480p.

        • Baines says:

          I’ve seen a few people complain that Xenoblade looks worse at higher resolutions. Their argument is that the models are too low poly and the textures are too low res to find the graphics appealing even with a real Wii outputting to an HD TV, rather than the more blurred result you get using an SD TV.

          (Personally, I think Xenoblade has quite attractive low poly models. And I’m sure part of the reason they are low poly was the cost, not just hardware limitations of the Wii.)

          • RegisteredUser says:

            Seems there is a HD retexturing project in existence(on the Dolphin forums).

            I find it pretty sad that we have all these closed off platforms.
            Even more so when clearly the PC crowd has the highest affinity of optimizing the crap out of the games they enjoy themselves if need be.

            Games should be more free.

          • Veracity says:

            even with a real Wii
            Maybe I’m not understanding what you’re getting at, but the Dolphin recommendation is because it can render at a higher internal resolution than a real Wii. It’s higher fidelity than the real thing, which is straightforwardly better to most people’s eyes. I’d agree in principle that low-poly stuff isn’t necessarily improved by rendering it more accurately, though. Descent is, Okami isn’t. Also, 3d models aren’t charged for by the polygon. Keeping the count low enough not to choke a Wii probably cost more.

  11. Hoaxfish says:

    BBC world service has part 2 of its “The Culture of Gaming” up:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00wq5l5

  12. Robin says:

    “Under this definition, Infinity Ward was an indie studio back when it developed CoD because it was independently owned and operated, thereby making Call of Duty an indie game.”

    I have no problem with that statement. Independence doesn’t mean making something a specific audience likes.

    “If you answered “yes” to both of these questions, congratulate yourself: you just killed indie games.”

    What a precious moron.

    • Unaco says:

      I answered yes to them both! I feel terrible now.

      • Hoaxfish says:

        Murderer! Didn’t you know that being bought by a big studio is retroactively non-indie!

        • Premium User Badge

          elderman says:

          That’s exactly what the article doesn’t say. Craig Stern plants his flag on the idea that it’s the way a game is developed, not who owns the studio that makes a game ‘indie’.

          Not sure I see the point in protecting the term myself, but at least mock the article for what it actually says.

          • Hoaxfish says:

            I’d argue his “CoD isn’t indie” is at least partially influenced by the idea that it’s not “Indie” now (probably the biggest example of “the big game industry” in fact)… had he asked the same question when CoD originally came out, I’m not entirely sure he would still proclaim that idea “kills” anything just by accepting it.

            Of course his actual “this kills” question involves a theoretical abomination of everything he doesn’t like, that is overdone and generic at this point in time.

            Frankly, for me, “is it indie?” goes in the pile with “is it art?”

            The issues surrounding EA/Activision/Ubisoft/etc are not particularly related to whether they make “indie” games or not, as much as the indie movement is an attempt to reclaim the industry from “The Man”.

      • Premium User Badge

        RobF says:

        You did us all a favour so it’s OK. It was for the best.

    • Jason Moyer says:

      I consider studios like Double Fine and Obsidian to be indie studios. They just happen to work on a lot of non-indie projects.

  13. Tom says:

    Rest In Peace Neil Armstrong.

    You are the man.

  14. BrokenSymmetry says:

    That Eno piece is perfect. Thanks, Neil Armstrong.

  15. Bobka says:

    Whenever somebody shows up yelling “X doesn’t mean Y, and it’s a huge problem that people think it does!”, I always wonder what the huge problem is, and they never provide a satisfactory answer.

    • Jason Moyer says:

      The reason it matters is because the purpose of language is to communicate ideas to each other, and if a word exists in order to describe something and then later is used to mean something completely different it is confusing.

      • Bobka says:

        And yet every word we have, in every language, once either meant something else or had a different form…

        It’s not confusing to have terms that have ambiguous meaning and little practical use outside of valuation and marketing; it’s a fact of life. The art world hasn’t collapsed because people can’t universally agree on a 140-character meaning of the word “art,” and the indie gaming scene will not implode if some people use “indie” in a way that includes even larger studio not affiliated with a publisher, or even if they use it to describe a certain artistic/mechanistic design style. All that happens as a result of these “confusions” is that a fraction of the people bicker about the proper definitions while the rest continue using vague understandings of a given term and get along splendidly.

        When it actually does matter that definitions be precise, because we use them to coordinate action in the material world (as opposed to the myriad other uses we have for language), definitions tend to crystallize and stay that way, barring scientific discoveries. That’s why the definition for things like “hydrogen peroxide” or “lung” aren’t particularly vague.

      • choconutjoe says:

        Except that, outside of technical definitions in science and mathematics, words don’t get their meanings because somebody sits down and decides what a good definition for that word would be.

        Attempting to do so is as pointless as it is delusional.

    • Veracity says:

      The huge problem is that being indie adds value to Craig Stern’s product, and now you might buy Psychonauts instead.

  16. phenom_x8 says:

    Very informative review comparing all generation of CPU with today AAA game,
    http://techreport.com/articles.x/23246

    Read it, if you considering a new CPU, its pretty useful.
    Meanwhile in my conclusion, AMD are still the best for sub-$100 gaming CPU. The rest, rather sucks.

    // still love my phenom II x4 though. Best bang for the buck!

  17. rockman29 says:

    Final Fantasy XII was Xenoblade before Xenoblade, and Final Fantasy XII is a better game, imo.

  18. alundra says:

    -On gaming reality series, if the little guy is not comfortable, abandoning important things and is having trouble bringing it into control, he certainly has an addiction situation which definitely needs taken care of.

    -Craig Stern/Chris Crawford, while the second man obvisouly has a bleeding wound, had he been succesful then he would be talking wonders about the kickstarter movement, both individuals have a point in implying the indie/kistarter concepts are not what they used to be, something needs to be done to take care of ‘em, many, including some big names out there, felt about it as if it was the next gold rush and have damaged both names.

  19. Shuck says:

    The CNN article is interesting in how it completely ignores the cultural context of “gaming addiction” in Korea. The crazy, self-destructive work ethic that puts them at the greatest average number of hours worked each year of any country in the world. Working with Korean publishers, I’ve seen multiple employees of theirs work themselves into the hospital from exhaustion. Korean colleagues are eager to not return to Korea because work conditions are so poor, and I hear stories about office workers routinely putting in 20 hours a day at the job. With a dysfunctional work culture, I can easily see how the play culture could be equally dysfunctional.

  20. noom says:

    I loved Xenoblade Chronicles briefly, but grew very tired of it eventually. Baffled at the author of the Brainy Gamer piece stating that there was no grind in it; the sidequests at least were nothing but grind, always coming down to “kill/collect X amount of Y” . I eventually concluded that perhaps the optional sidequests were really best left ignored, as a huge contributer to my becoming bored of the game came down to my finding myself several levels higher than the monsters in new areas I reached. The game had become so absurdly easy that I could literally win most fights without even being in the room.

  21. cutegirl says:

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    cou’garK’iSSi n g . C°_♡._°M°.——it’s- the- most effective— site in the world to connect- with,- date and marry— successful, beautiful– people.-Meanwhile, . It’s— worthy a try. You do– not have to be rich or famous. !—
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  22. unununun says:

    Wow! Really cheap! Tablet PC can be purchased for $ 149! Andriod 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich your Tablet! Dual Core Cortex-A9, 1.5G CPU, 1G Ram + 16G Rom, 1080p Video, HDMI, Ultra Thin, Fashionable Design! Friends, I believe you’ll love it! Go and see http://www.buy3buy.com :)

  23. Christian O. says:

    It took Crawford a full minute to even mention the game he was kickstarting and a full three minutes, before he described it. He flat out states that the game isn’t fun (thereby connotating it to something negative), he spends a full minute simultaneously making himself sound important and undercutting it, he acts like a children’s host in the video while wanting to make a serious game mostly intended for adults and he doesn’t describe what the extremely high price tag is for.

    I’m not saying that it’s solely the case of failed marketing and failed rhetorics, but he didn’t do himself any favors by not pitching it properly to his audience or making it sound even vaguely appealing.