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Research subjects apply here.

Games and Gaming

Metafilter user a sourceless light is working on an undergraduate anthropology thesis revolving around FPSs.  She’s looking to interview  FPS players and modders from Doom onward with a focus on Valve games, online gaming and military-style games. Just the kind of stuff us folks at Lud do every day. Well, ok, she’s a real researcher. And I’m sure in anthropology you’d be way less exposed to unfortunate “incidents” like that time when we – but I digress.

Given the breadth of her project, she’s open to all kinds of experiences and perspectives, which is where you come into play: she’s interested in  hearing them from you (yes, you!).

If you feel like helping, you should drop her an email at cbmckusick [at] berkeley [dot] edu : she’ll be happy to hear from you and will proceed to run wires through yo interview you, either by email or even personally if you’re: a. in the Bay Area, and b. so inclined. But mostly a.

So, please don your radiation suit, remove any metallic objects you might be carrying on yourself and assume position #1145-a required for the application process. Application process will begin in three, two, one…

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WTO rules some EU import duties illegal

News

The World Trade Organisation has ruled that EU import duties on certain gadgets imported from the US, Japan and Taiwan are illegal.

An agreement reached in 1996 removed import tariffs on 72 different products in order to boost trade in technology goods. The European Union later moved some of these items into a taxable bracket because it now regards them as consumer items rather than high-technology devices. This decision led to import duties of between six and 14 per cent being levied on set-top boxes, multi-function printers and flatscreen displays, with VAT then applied on top.

The decision is due to be officially published in August. After publication the EU has 60 days to appeal the decision.

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Starcraft II on sale around the world

Games and Gaming, News

Long-awaited real-time strategy game (RTS) StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty has gone on sale after a 12-year wait. The game follows on from the 1998 release of StarCraft, putting the player in command of a group of humans battling for survival against an insect horde and telepathic aliens. StarCraft II now holds the record as the longest time between sequels. The first edition sold over nine million copies and is seen as one of the defining games of the genre, along with EA’s Command & Conquer.
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Valve Apologises for Wrongful Modern Warfare 2 Bans

Games and Gaming

Valve apologise for wrongfully banning innocent players of Modern Warfare 2 over the last week, which has been a major uproar in the forums. This is also the first time valve have admitted a problem with the valve anti-cheat system and the first time they have reversed account flags that stop people who have been accused of cheating from playing online.

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Zerg Rush!

Games and Gaming, News

Associated Press

North Korea has threatened to use its “Zerg offensive” in response to planned release of Starcraft 2 by the US and South Korea this week.

The regime promised a “retaliatory sacred war” amid increased tensions on the Korean peninsula over the April ban on late night gaming, which Seoul and Washington blame on Pyongyang and their network of 바둑 commandos.

North Korea’s Video Defence Overmind (VDO), headed by Supreme Exalted Bearer of The Sacred and Holy Overmind Bouffant Kim ‘So Ronery’ Jong-il, issued the threat today for what it called a third “unpardonable” provocation, after again being warned they are being very naughty boys.

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Games and Gaming

“I’m lucky enough to be at a company that really values developer happiness, but there are some shops that view non-senior developers as disposable assets. They’ll work new employees until they burn out and then replace them with another fresh face who’s eager to prove themselves in the industry – working harder for less money. This is one of the reasons for the industry’s high burnout and turnover rates, and it means the developers that work their way up at these studios are either the most determined or the most stubborn – but not necessarily the most creative or the most fulfilled.”

There’s an analysis article up at Gamasutra by Leigh Alexander looking at what’s rotten in the state of Gaming – peeling back the lid on an industry built around play, and finding problematic toxicity and unhappiness in the games business, from developers to media to the audience they both serve.

Link
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Play snake on youtube

Games and Gaming

Youtube have added a new easter egg with their latest redesign – play snake on youtube videos with the loading icon! You need to be viewing a recently uploaded video (i.e. one with the video bar icon as three white vertical lines inside a grey circle, rather than a black dot in a dark grey circle) with the video focused – clicking on the video itself to play or pause it will do – and then hold down the left arrrow key. This will skip you back in the video, but it will also start a little game of snake. Guide him round with the arrow keys, eat the dots, all while paused or even playing your video. I tested it myself on the Dexter season 5 trailer, and it does work!