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. 

I’ll explain.  Continue reading

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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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Taking a Break Today

Sorry folks. I worked somewhere around a fourteen hour day yesterday, and I’m absolutely exhausted. I’ll have posts for you tomorrow and Thursday, but for now, we’ll count this as a missed update.

EDIT: You’ve probably noticed that no post went up yesterday. The errands I was running earlier in the day took me far longer than expected, and as a result, time was scarce- and I was unable to update. You’ll be seeing two updates from me today, however – keep your eyes peeled.

Five Amazing Video Game Inspired Web Series

Hey folks, guess what? More writer’s block from me! I’ve staring dimwittedly at my PC for some time now, trying to formulate an article that sounds both educated and coherent; desperately attempting to put together a piece that doesn’t read like I threw it together by headbutting my keyboard and giving myself a concussion.

No such luck, I’m afraid.

As a result, I’ve put together yet another list for everybody. Don’t worry- there’s actually some good content here, to make up for the fact that I’m pretty much showing up to the table empty-handed today. Let’s get started, shall we?

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Seven Indie Games you Need to Play

I’ve been on a bit of an indie gaming kick of late, so this post made sense to me when I started writing it. You’ll have to forgive me if it’s less coherent than what you’re used to- I’m essentially running on fumes at the moment, so my mind isn’t exactly functioning at its best.

Today, we’re going to look at a few awesome indie games which, if you’ve not done so yet, you should make the effort to play. With the advent of Kickstarter and the Humble Indie Bundle, independent developers have really come to the fore lately. And why shouldn’t they? The very nature of their development means that they can go in new, unique, and innovative directions which larger publishers might often shy away from, they’re inexpensive, and they’re made just as well as any AAA title you might see.

Coupled with Baldur’s Gate 2, they’ve been consuming much of my leisure time of late. Here are a few titles from my own personal list of favorites, sans Minecraft- everybody knows about that game by now. Same deal with Amnesia.

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Teamwork, Morale, and Trash Talk

I’m not sure how else to start this post, so I’m just going to come straight out and say it- League of Legends has one of the most toxic, hostile, and hateful communities I’ve ever seen- it’s nearly as bad as DotA’s. On some days, I can’t even go one game without being cursed at, or hearing somebody cuss out somebody else. Even The Tribunal isn’t fully addressing the issue. Even though they’re faced with the possibility of losing their accounts, these adult-sized children will throw a temper tantrum if someone so much as moves in what they feel to be the wrong direction.

Of course, this problem isn’t unique to League of Legends- or even the MOBA community. As Extra Credits pointed out in one of their earlier installments, harassment in online games is an ever-present cancer, and I don’t think I’ve met a single person who’s not encountered at least one individual that made them re-evaluate their faith in humanity.

We’re not going to talk about the gaming community at large- Extra Credits already did an excellent job addressing that issue. Instead, we’re going to zero in on games where teamwork is necessary- games such as HoN and LoL.

Continue reading