Archive for 2010

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Belated news: Microsoft finally reverses policy against saying you're gay on Xbox Live
Belated news: Microsoft finally reverses policy against saying you're gay on Xbox Live

Completely escaping my attention, in the beginning of March, Microsoft reversed a long-standing policy against the inclusion of qualifiers for sexual orientation within Xbox Live profiles. Though there were several cases of players having their accounts suspended over this, the issue really came to a head last February when The Consumerist ran a story about "Teresa" who allegedly had her account banned following habitually abusive behaviour by other players because she said she was a lesbian in her profile.

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23 April 2010
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Quickie: drone
Quickie: drone

drone is a short freebie game by David Wilson. Mixing ideas, drone is a hybrid top-down shooter combined with a tower defence game in a way that works really well. Your character is a little sprite, the titular "drone," who has to kill enemies to collect money– this money is used to finance the weapons and ammo you need to go on and kill bigger and badder enemies. However, there's more than one way to play the game.

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11 April 2010
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Diversity, and the obligations of game developers
Diversity, and the obligations of game developers

BioWare is again being questioned about the lack of same-sex love interests in the Mass Effect franchise. When 1UP writer Tracey John spoke with project lead Casey Hudson and BioWare head Ray Muzyka, she just wanted to know, in a game built so much around choice, why couldn't her female Shepard have a romance with the female quarian Tali'Zorah vas Neema. This is the paradox that studios like BioWare find themselves in: the more choices you give players, the higher expectations those players have that more and more diversity will be available as a choice.

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10 April 2010
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Review: Plain Sight
Review: Plain Sight

When it comes to multiplayer death-match games, the typical goal is to avoid getting killed for as long as possible, taking out hostile players along the way. You run around closed maps collecting power ups and avoiding your enemies, sneaking up on them to kill them before they can kill you. Plain Sight, a new indie release by Beatnik Games (available now on Steam and other digital-distribution retailers), takes this traditional concept and twists it around to create an innovative experience– instead of avoiding death, the objective is to suicide yourself on your own terms in your own time.

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9 April 2010
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ctrlclick.com interview with Love's Eskil Steenberg
ctrlclick.com interview with Love's Eskil Steenberg

Love is a MMOG that has piqued my curiosity ever since the first hints of its future existence began to trickle down the internet. Eskil Steenberg, the sole developer behind the procedurally-generated game, managed to release a full MMOG with a budget and time frame smaller than what takes teams of hundreds substantially more effort. While I am still meandering around the luscious and alien environment he has brought to life, preparing a more in-depth review of the title, Eskil graciously allowed me to give him a brief interview over email about the game he's created.

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8 April 2010
Apologist says Ubisoft's DRM "isn't that bad"
Apologist says Ubisoft's DRM "isn't that bad"

A Hooked Gamers editorial published last week and making the blog rounds today makes the claim that Ubisoft's always-on DRM plan, which I've discussed here already, is actually pretty cool or something. Through a rambling escapade of analogies and references to electrical plugs on planes and the 360's common red-ring-of-death, in the end the final judgement is that Ubisoft's DRM is both progressive and "ahead of its time."

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31 March 2010
Beta impressions: R.U.S.E.
Beta impressions: R.U.S.E.

R.U.S.E. is a upcoming RTS developed by Eugen Systems and published by Ubisoft. While a private beta has been under way for some time, Steam users were treated to a free open beta test earlier in March, continuing through until April 9th. Set in the time period of World War 2, R.U.S.E. takes the traditional RTS and gives it an interesting spin through the form of the eponymous "ruses," wildcards that allow a player to trick and deceive the enemy in a variety of ways.

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26 March 2010
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