Guild Wars 2, and the Player Dynamic of Online Gaming

 

So, lately I’ve been playing Guild Wars 2 (It’s awesome and you should try it out if you haven’t already, by the way). A funny thing happened to me the other day. I can’t recall exactly what I was up against,  but after a certain point in my early wanderings, my luck ran out – I couldn’t take them all on, and my last stand was…less than glorious. I was dead.

A random player happened upon the area: I’d never seen him before, and we’d never had any prior affiliation. He proceeded to slaughter the foes which ended my life. Just as I was about to return to a waypoint, he paused, turned, and revived me, then continued on his merry way without so much as a word.

This sort of thing, I’ve come to learn, is normal in the game world- even if it’s  tacitly unusual in pretty much every other MMO on the face of the planet. Curious, isn’t it?

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Why I Won’t be Upgrading to Windows 8 Any Time Soon

Hey there, folks. long time no see. Sorry for the marked lack of posts on Double Crit. I’ve actually been on vacation (long story, all you need to know is that someone very close to me passed away and the burial was several provinces away on the week of the 19th.). But hey, I’m back now, and ready to jump right back into regular updates. For the time being, I’m probably going to stick to Wednesday updates; I might add Friday to the mix at a later date. We’ll see how things go.

Anyway, this post is going to be a little different from my usual fare (if I can even be said to have a ‘usual’), in that it might not necessarily appear to relate to gaming at first. But trust me, it does – those of you who’ve been following industry news lately can attest to that. So, let’s get right down to it:

I will never, so long as I have the choice of alternatives, use Windows 8.

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The EU Digital License Ruling Doesn’t Change Much

Okay, so first things first…yeah, this post is way too late. My apologies for that. While I’m sure you’re incredibly interested in hearing the reason why I wasn’t able to get this article up and running on time, we’ve something to discuss today. Something fairly important, as a matter of fact. See, earlier this month, a judge in the European Union made a very, very interesting ruling- one can only describe it as fairly progressive.

If you’re in one of the EU’s member states, and you’ve purchased digital content online (such as through Steam or Origin), you are legally allowed to resell it: regardless of what the organization you purchased it from tries to tell you. Pretty good, right?  But what does it mean for the industry?  This could be the basis of a revolutionary new set of laws, right?

Right?

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What Steam Greenlight Means for Developers

First and foremost, my apologies for being absent last Thursday. It was something of a busy week, the latter of which was spent fending off sickness (which I’m still not entirely certain I’ve conquered.) Regardless, I’m back, and with any luck, I can get back to posting regular content.

Today’s fare is going to be rather light, admittedly, but later in the week I’m going to discuss the ruling in the EU earlier this month about the resale of open data licenses (and what it says about the absurd copy protection we’re forced to suffer through.) Similarly, next week I’ll be discussing how the medium of gaming has grown up, and what still needs to be done if it’s to be taken seriously – I’ll be making references to some of my earlier articles here. So, there’s some good stuff on the way. Stay tuned, folks.

For now, let’s talk about Valve’s latest venture.
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EA Still Doesn’t “Get it”

I was debating for some time whether or not to post this article. EA is, after all, an incredibly popular company to bash and hate on, and I like to try to keep my content fairly unique and fresh. At least, I like to think I do. Still, the combination of EA’s irritatingly smug keynote coupled with this interview with Origin’s Dave DeMartini made up my mind for me. It simply has to be said:

Electronic Arts still doesn’t get it. 

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Social Games and Skinner Boxes

Hey there, ladies and gents. Today I’m going to talk about a now defunct social game known as Cow Clicker. It involved, uh…clicking a cow to get points. That was pretty much it. Oh, and you could also customize your cow with a wide array of colorful and unique skins. Sounds like one of the most boring social ‘games’ ever made, doesn’t it?

Developed by Ian Bogost, it was designed to satirize one of the most common- and most distressing- elements of social gaming. Even in spite of this- or, perhaps, because of it, it generated 50,000 players a month and thousands of dollars in revenue at its height. People, it seems, didn’t get the joke. They simply became addicted.

Why? What was it about Cow Clicker that drew everybody in? Furthermore, what does its popularity say about gaming as a whole?

By the way, this post contains some strong language. Sort of. Honestly, you’ll know it when you see it.

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Is The Traditional MMORPG Business Model Dying?

The MMO simply isn’t the powerhouse that it used to be. When it released back in 2004, Blizzard’s World of Warcraft effectively took the industry by storm, gathering millions of subscribers in a matter of months and transforming them into one of the most instantly recognizable gaming organizations in the world (though, to be fair, they’d kind of already managed that with Starcraft, Warcraft, and Diablo.) WoW’s had a good, long run, crushing virtually every competitor that attempted to step up and challenge them, but for over a year now, even they’ve been losing subscribers by the millions.

It would appear that it’s time for a change.

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