Archive for the ‘virtual worlds/video games’ Category

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The state of iPad gaming, or: Joshua plays FarmVille
The state of iPad gaming, or: Joshua plays FarmVille

This past week I began looking through the iTunes sales charts and review websites to check in on what iPad games were popular and how well they ran on my device. The same staples of the iPhone are still in place on the iPad: tower defence games and turn-based strategy titles really excel on the iPad where pin-point precision and accuracy aren't needed for a great experience. What I found most surprising, however, was the level of depth on the iPad versions of titles. It has nothing to do with screen real estate, either: iPhone games give you a sense that you're really playing a short, mobile experience, while iPad games are generally much longer, more polished and have a far more epic "feel" to them.

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19 July 2010
Boggling choices: Mass Dragon Age Effect 2?
Boggling choices: Mass Dragon Age Effect 2?

BioWare's Mass Effect franchise was one of the studio's more successful ventures, selling an ungodly number of copies for both the original game and its sequel across a number of systems. Stunningly, Dragon Age managed to outsell not just that franchise, but according to BioWare's Rob Bartel the game has apparently beaten sales records of all their other titles as well. That makes it all the more confusing as to why they've apparently decided to heavily emulate Mass Effect while creating Dragon Age 2, out next year.

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13 July 2010
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Piracy is not killing PC gaming
Piracy is not killing PC gaming

Last week, Yahoo!'s Plugged In site ran an interview with Epic Games' president Mike Capps detailing why his company has decided to leave the PC platform and switch focus to console games. Inevitably, his claim of rampant piracy has been picked up on a number of news sites and thrown up as validation that PC gaming is somehow "dying."

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23 May 2010
Prima Guides arrive on Steam, but why?
Prima Guides arrive on Steam, but why?

Steam announced yesterday that they had partnered up with Prima, long the purveyor of official "strategy guides" for games like Mass Effect 2 and Prince of Persia, to offer downloadable versions of their guides through Valve's platform. At first glance I liked this idea a lot, but after buying one of them it seemed like a waste of money.

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21 May 2010
Steam comes to OS X: a bit bumpy, but welcome nevertheless
Steam comes to OS X: a bit bumpy, but welcome nevertheless

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.

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14 May 2010
Pay-what-you-want indie games bundle proves piracy is inevitable
Pay-what-you-want indie games bundle proves piracy is inevitable

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.

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11 May 2010
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98 percent of Australians support R18+ classification
98 percent of Australians support R18+ classification

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.

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10 May 2010
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