Joshua Meadows is a writer who likes video games and hates biographies. He's originally from New York City and lives in Sydney, Australia with his Australian-born boyfriend. Previously a staff writer for GayGamer.net, he has also had articles featured on WoW.com and Massively. He presently publishes an episodic sci-fi/fantasy series, Iyetra, which can be found here. If you're only here for the pictures (perv!) you may find some in various states of inebriation or travel here.
As you may have heard, yesterday Valve (mostly) met one of their rare scheduled dates and released the OS X version of their popular digital distribution client, Steam. While the move to OS X is certainly a welcome one, as it gives access to a subset of computer users often left out when it comes to games, Steam's arrival hasn't been completely graceful.
Last week Wolfire Games announced the "Humble Indie Bundle," a collection of five popular indie games packaged together under one price. The enticing factor was that you could choose to pay whatever you wanted for the package. One might think the lack of DRM coupled with the ability to get a number of stellar games for as little as a penny would mitigate the need to pirate the collection. But on a blog post to their site, one of the co-founders of Wolfire Games posted numbers indicating that he believes around 25% of direct downloads of the bundle are pirated.
No real surprise: the preliminary results of December's public solicitation over an R18+ classification for video games have started to come in; overwhelmingly, the public is in favour of introducing one. Last year the Minister for Home Affairs released the long-awaited discussion paper and gave Australian citizens and lobbyist groups the chance to voice their opinions on implementing a classification for games higher than the existing age-15 limit we have today. Even in February it was clear that the results would be firmly in the for-camp and although final numbers haven't been tabulated yet, so far only a small percentage of Australian citizens oppose the measure.
Funcom has introduced an optional "offline character progression" tool in the latest update to Age of Conan. With this new toy, a player will accrue bonus levels every four days that can be applied to any of their characters over level 30. The bonus levels are granted regardless of whether or not a player even logs in once during that four-day period, but an active paid subscription is a requirement to get them in the first place. Once your character reaches max level, the bonus ones still sit in their progression pool and accrue normally, ready to be applied to a new character once it reaches 30.
You may have noticed some rearrangements around here. First and foremost, I'm trying out running a banner ad up at the top of the website (and within the RSS feed). Knowing how this stuff works I am assuming that most of my readership is actively blocking them, but I tried to make the banner ad as unobtrusive as possible. This is just something temporary as an experiment; having worked at Yahoo! in the past I have a moral predisposition against internet advertising, so I'm only giving it a trial run for a month or two.
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.
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.