Archive for the ‘virtual worlds/video games’ Category

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Preview: Allods Online second closed beta test underway
Preview: Allods Online second closed beta test underway

World of Warcraft is the 300-pound gorilla at the top of the MMOG pyramid; seeing the oodles of cash being raked in by Blizzard, most other developers are understandably interested in getting a piece of the same pie. Allods Online is an upcoming free-to-play MMOG from Russian developer Astrum Online Entertainment; at first glance it would be easy to dismiss Allods as yet another carbon-copy of WoW. But Allods has some strong originality going for it that could present it as a compelling AAA title once it gets its Western release.

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11 December 2009
World of Warcraft Patch 3.3: Icecrown opens its doors
World of Warcraft Patch 3.3: Icecrown opens its doors

Exciting news for everyone still invested in World of Warcraft – patch 3.3 is out at long last, one year and one month since Wrath of the Lich King was released. The big event for this patch is the opening of Icecrown, the citadel of the Lich King himself. Finally, the culmination of WoW's second expansion nears as players will be able to face Arthas, the "Big Bad" of Wrath, in final confrontation.

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8 December 2009
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Conservative WorldNetDaily criticizes gay Dragon Age sex scene
Conservative WorldNetDaily criticizes gay Dragon Age sex scene

While the escapades of Zevran and Leliana in BioWare's Dragon Age: Origins have been featured positively in a lot of gay media, it was presumably only a matter of time before their inclusion would show up in negative depictions as well. WorldNetDaily, a popular conservative news site ran an article last week with the ridiculous headline of "Players have dirty 'gay' sex in hit game".

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5 December 2009
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Review: James Cameron's Avatar: The Game
Review: James Cameron's Avatar: The Game

Video games based on movies are often a disappointing affair, on par with movies based on video games or movies based on almost every book. The mediums themselves are so disparate with such stark divisions between them that finding a common method of telling the same story often leads to failure– movies are presentations where we're a spectator, watching as things flow past; games are inherently interactive to a necessary degree, and a game that divorced itself from this interactivity would be as absurd as a movie that expected the audience to control where the film goes. The problem is that so often, attempts to bridge the gap between these constructs fall flat, less an emulation and more like a sad copy.

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3 December 2009
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No u!
No u!

Last week Ars Technica ran an interesting article discussing ways that PC gamers can make their voices heard to game studios when they're upset about decisions those studios have made. I'm not sure why they narrowed in specifically on PC gamers, since I think their advice would work equally well with respect to console releases or even customer/company interactions that have nothing to do with gaming whatsoever. Perhaps it's because the majority of what they touched on was regarding anonymity within internet communities that led them to keep their focus on PC players– I'm not sure.

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30 November 2009
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World of Warcraft turns 5/Warcraft series turns 15
World of Warcraft turns 5/Warcraft series turns 15

Blizzard sits at the apex of a legacy that few companies in the game industry share in; creators of not one but three influential franchises, they are also responsible for the defacto MMOG. Whether you love it or hate it it's hard to deny the impact World of Warcraft has had. World of Warcraft has just celebrated its 5th anniversary but more than that, the Warcraft franchise itself has reached the 15 year milestone.

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24 November 2009
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Review: Dragon Age: Origins
Review: Dragon Age: Origins

BioWare is a developer with an extensive history in roleplaying games. One of their earliest titles, Baldur's Gate, is often lauded as revitalizing the computer RPG genre entirely as well as introducing the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons ruleset to an audience that had never been exposed to it. When their 2007 sci-fi RPG Mass Effect was released on the Xbox 360, it had amassed a million in worldwide sales in its first three weeks. Dragon Age: Origins is BioWare's latest release, returning to their roots as fantasy aficionados after their forays into science fiction.

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13 November 2009
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