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Sometimes mockery is the best response.

Gaming Culture

Actually

A castle uploaded by Redditor karmanaut.
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Minecraft and Microsoft: A Story of Hope

Games and Gaming, Gaming Culture, News

I’ve been playing Minecraft since before multi-player existed. I’ve spent thousands of hours hunting for diamonds, building make-shift dirt huts, and shouting expletives at creepers. Some of my best gaming memories happened in Minecraft’s voxelated environments. I appreciate the vital role Notch played in all of that.

That’s why I couldn’t be happier to hear that Notch has sold Mojang.

Minecraft’s success has come (and stayed) in spite of the work Notch and Mojang have done recently, not because of it. Minecraft and its community have been badly mismanaged for years; the sale to Microsoft is an opportunity to change directions and make things better.

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Mojang’s EULA Problem

Gaming Culture, News

Last week, Marc Watson, Mojang’s Customer Support Manager, dropped a bit of a bomb on Twitter:

Mojang seems to think that their EULA gives them the authority to regulate anything related to Minecraft. It’s true that a well-worded EULA can confer tremendous power (in the U.S., at least), but that power is not unlimited.

Regardless of the legality of it, Watson’s interpretation is hostile to Mojang’s customers. It’s time for Mojang to do some soul-searching. What kind of company do they want to be?

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mass effect 3 pistol
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Chasing the dream of “The Perfect Loadout”

Games and Gaming, Gaming Culture

I wish there was a magic formula for setting up the perfect loadout in any game, but there are far too many variables. Including what you like to do, and – in some sense – who you are as a person.

Do you enjoy the satisfaction of rushing right up to an enemy and pummeling them to the ground? Then you’re not going to be happy with a sniper rifle, no matter how good it is. Conversely, if you enjoy peering off the edge of a high ledge and picking enemies off one by one in a courtyard far below, you’re going to hate a shotgun, even if it is the best shotgun. Continue reading

Games and Gaming, Gaming Culture

Inside the disintegration of a game jam reality show

“Every side was pulling for what they wanted, and in the end the side that mattered most got burned. We can’t have that,” Rosen writes, in a post that details the behind-the-scenes evolution of a modest game jam into a “terrifyingly enormous spectacle.”

Inside the disintegration of a game jam reality show at Gamasutra

Gaming Culture

Lord of The Flies

This is where things can get unpleasant. You can handcuff people. You can break people’s legs with axes. You can force them to eat tainted food or drink bleach. These are mechanics coded into the game with the presumed intention of making the game more fun for players.

Let’s think about that what that means for a moment. The game designers believed that their game would be improved by the ability to kill other player characters by forcing them to drink bleach.

The New Statesman worries about the Meaning of DayZ.

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This Is What You Want, This Is What You Get

Games and Gaming, Gaming Culture

“Do you hate children, stav?” folks have been known to ask me, all quizzical-like, expecting me to demur, because come on, what kind of monster could hate children?

I tend to respond, as Mickey Rourke did, playing Charles Bukowski in the underappreciated 1987 movie Barfly, when asked about people in general: “I don’t hate children, I just feel better when they’re not around.”

But the truth is, at least in the limited time I have available for playing video games on my computer machine, that I actually do hate children and I wish they would just go away. With one small addendum: the children that raise my ire range in age, I suspect, from maybe 13 to, say, 33. So technically, I guess, they’re not children at all, except in one important way: like all humans with underdeveloped emotional intelligence, they can be complete assholes.

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Saxxy 2013 Winners

Games and Gaming, Gaming Culture, News

The winners of the Source Filmmaker competition — aka The Saxxy Awards — have been announced. Enjoy the fine Valveriffic goodtimes, below. All the nominees are here, and you can watch Valve’s honorable mentions here.

Best Short: The Mann Co. Symphony

Best Action: Chinatown Getaway

Best Comedy: Disruption

Best Drama: Till Death Do Us Part Two

Overall Winner: Lil’ Pyro Guardian

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Inside a North Korean video arcade. FUN IS MANDATORY REPORT ANYONE NOT HAVING FUN IMMEDIATELY.

Gaming Culture

Mandatory Fun

Gaming Culture, News

Whore comma Orient

“It’s the use of the word ‘Orient’, more even than the word ‘whore’, that is the issue,” Lo said. “The O-word is very similar to the N-word for African-American communities. It’s a 19th century racial-colonial conception and it’s especially painful for older people in the communities. That was a very bad time in China, and people don’t want or need to have that dragged up.”City of Monash councillor Jieh-Yung Lo

It is my personal opinion that this man is an overzealous dolt, but you know: red media meat makes politicians’ pants moist, and then they start to say stuff.