Retail Blues: Lamenting The Demise Of Game Stores

Writer Jon Morcom sent us this elegy for physical game boxes and physical game shops, and its very British, melancholy portrait of the older habits of our hobby was too lovely not to publish.

The spidery writing on a sign that’s been stuck to the whitewashed windows of what used to be my local GAME store tells me that the nearest still-operating branch is in Vladivostok. Actually, no it doesn’t, I’m lying. But it is somewhere far-flung enough from where I live to make me baulk at the trip. Now HMV too has, in its reduced circumstances like GAME, closed many of its outlets up and down the UK and I’m starting to wonder where I’m going to go to buy boxed PC games in the years ahead.

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Dote Night: BTS and joinDOTA On Fixing Match-Fixing

Arrow taking a tower, not yet aware of their disqualification

Part of a miscellany of serious thoughts, animal gifs, and anecdotage from the realm of MOBAs/hero brawlers/lane-pushers/ARTS/tactical wizard-em-ups. One day Pip might even tell you the story of how she bumped into Na’Vi’s Dendi at a dessert buffet cart.

Last week I went into detail about the match-fixing scandal which affected three teams from the South East Asia region. For this week’s Dote Night I’ve been in touch with David ‘GoDz’ Parker of Beyond The Summit (BTS) whose tournament was affected by one of the teams, and with Dennis ‘HolyMaster’ Schumacher, who’s responsible for the joinDOTA organisation’s tournaments. I wanted to talk to them about how eSports organisations handle match-fixing allegations as well as why doing so is important.

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Space Whir: Elite Dangerous Beta 3 Out, New Trailer

Frontier have been adamant all along that Elite: Dangerous would be in final form before the end of the year, but floating around its fun-but-feature-sparse galaxy made me think a delay was inevitable. Then beta 2 hit in September, vastly expanded the playable area and added new exploration mechanics. And now beta 3 has just arrived, bringing mining, an even larger galaxy, new ships and much more. Watching the new trailer below, suddenly it seems like this might really happen.

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Wot I Think: Civilization – Beyond Earth

“They should have sent a poet,” says astronaut Jodie Foster, struck dumb by wonder upon encountering alien intelligence at the end of the film Contact. It’s easy to feel the same way about Civilization: Beyond Earth, the latest iteration of Sid Meier’s venerable and mighty Civilization franchise. C:BE takes the player to the ostensibly virgin soil of a new planet, but it’s not long before one questions exactly how new this new world really is. Just to mix up the out-of-date science fiction references – is that the Statue of Liberty’s head protruding from the hex-grid ahead? You maniacs! It was Civilization V all along!

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Endless Legend More Endless With Modding Tools

Endless Legend isn’t quite as big a misnomer as the Neverending Story, but it still seemed likely that you’d eventually grow tired of playing campaigns in the inventive 4X strategy game. Today’s announcement may yet stave of the cartoon lawyers, as modding tools are coming which will let you create and tweak factions, skills, items and damn near everything else.

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The Elitist, Part Three: Picking A Fight

Brendan’s misadventures in deep space continue in our Elite: Dangerous diary. This week, he gears up for some risky bounty hunting and runs into his old foes, the space police.

It was the silence that worried me. I had dropped out of warp into a pocket of space marked on my navigation chart as a ‘High Intensity Combat Zone’, and yet when I looked into the distance there was nothing but empty, quiet space. The only thing on my sensors was another lonely player, floating through the noiseless void, probably just as spooked as I was. It did not make sense. Where was everyone? Then we heard it. The instantly recognisable sound of trouble.

WHOMP.

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Ural ‘Orrible Deaths: First-Person Spooker Kholat

No.

The Dyatlov Pass incident is one of those strange and horrible tragedies you’d read in a book filled with tales of spontaneous human combustion, the Mary Celeste, ball lightning, Roanoke Colony, the Lead Masks Case, star jelly, and other mysteries that the author’s not saying aliens did, right, but aliens probably did it. Nine hikers died in Russia’s Ural mountains in 1959 after cutting their tent open from the inside and scattering barefoot into the snow. Their corpses were found weeks and months later, some with strange wounds. And first-person horror Kholat is inspired by that tale. Kholat’s not saying ghosts did it, but a beautiful new trailer shows ghosts probably did it.

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