Newsflash – The Old Republic is Big

23 09 2011

It’s late and I haven’t had time to write a decent-sized post for today, so here’s a picture of a Jawa with a rocket launcher.

Where was he hiding that?

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I Wish I Could Reload Reality…

21 09 2011

Let’s get the boring stuff out of the way quickly: after an extremely small-scale study (sample size: 42 people) by Nottingham Trent University into Game Transfer Phenomena, a headline in the Metro newspaper declared ‘Gamers can’t tell real world from fantasy’. The study looked at moments when gamers start thinking about real-world situations in terms of game mechanics. One subject thought about using Half Life 2‘s gravity gun to get something from the fridge without getting up, and another thought briefly about using World of Warcraft‘s /who command to locate a relative they’d lost in a crowd.

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Proof

19 09 2011

This is a most enjoyable headline: “Online gamers crack AIDS enzyme puzzle”. Now, I didn’t get this until after several reads of several articles, because I am a thick-skulled artsy type whose only knowledge of science comes in the form of dodgy chemistry jokes. I would tell you one now, but after racking my brains all the good ones argon.

Why, why did I just type that? Read the rest of this entry »





Why are Valve So Generous?

16 09 2011

First it was endless free Team Fortress 2 updates. Then it was Team Fortress 2 becoming free to play in the first place. Then there were the little things, like making the Portal 2 soundtrack available for nothing. People complain about Valve’s download platform, Steam, holding a massive share of the digital games market, but at least it’s made them so rich that they don’t even have to bother charging for what could be otherwise lucrative content.

So simple, but so clever.

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Battle of the Bats

7 09 2011

The award for ‘weirdest news story of the last 24 hours’ goes to this one: Batman: Arkham City is getting an album. Of the musical sort. And it’s not the game’s soundtrack. Instead, Warner Bros. have put together a bunch of random songs that bear no connection to the Dark Knight aside from the fact that they are, well, dark. You know, noisy, broody, guitary.

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Timewasters

5 09 2011

I’m sorry to do this to you all, but after spending the last twenty minutes or so playing a rather snazzy little minigolf game that, as ever, Rock Paper Shotgun sent me to, I’ve decided to ruin your days by telling you about my favourite internet timewasters. These are games of potent arcane power that tamper with the laws of physics; play one for what you think is five minutes and in fact you’ll lose half an hour, maybe a whole one if it’s a good’un.

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Pre-Order Ponderings

2 09 2011

This man speaks the truth. In ‘Pre-Order Penance’, published today over at Gamesindustry.biz, columnist Rob Fahey explains the reason why he’s being put off from pre-orders: the various bits of bonus content that can only be bought from certain retailers. The case in point is Batman: Arkham City. We already know that certain shops have been allotted exclusive skins for the game: buy from one and you get a bonus 1970’s Batman costume in-game, buy from another and you’ll get a version based on his look in the animated series. Then there’s big chunks of exclusive content like new levels and scenarios which are also being dished out. Whilst these promotions are meant to encourage pre-orders, Fahey rightly points out that it creates a strange situation where consumers are pushed into deciding which piece of extra content is worth more to them rather than shopping based on price, which can make the process seem ‘exploitative and unpleasant’.

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