In an unexpected turn of events, it was revealed late Thursday afternoon that Stephen Conroy, the Australian Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, has been arrested on charges of animal abuse and creating a public nuisance for buggering a red-neck wallaby near the front entrance of Parliament House in Canberra. Eyewitnesses on the scene report that the Minister appeared to be “no more intoxicated than usual” as he molested the marsupial, and that he seemed in high spirits, singing “Tie Me Kangaroo Down” at the top of his lungs until removed by police.
Archive for June, 2009
Hair Fair 2009 opened this weekend in Second Life. Hair Fair is an annual event that raises money for Locks of Love, a charity that provides wigs to children suffering from medical hair loss. In the interest of full disclosure, I’ll mention that I helped with the theme, textures and freebies for one of the booths — but I won’t say which one, because you should visit them all. Lag is a beast at Hair Fair, so knocking all graphics settings down to minimum and detaching all your lovely prim accessories and scripted AOs is a must. In addition to helping charity, this is an opportunity to see the state-of-the-art in SL hair design (and given the limitations of the engine, the ingenuity and creativity of the designers is pretty amazing). The show ends July 4, so don’t miss out!
Free Realms is Sony’s entry into the free-to-play space, and it’s an impressive one. With well over three million users since launch, the game has proven immensely popular.
Since I started MMO gaming shortly after the release of Ultima Online, I’ve been engaged in a variety of discussions regarding PvP (such as this exchange on Raph Koster’s blog last February). And as a result of my various postings, some people have come to the conclusion that I hate PvP – to the point that at one time, somebody actually went to the trouble of creating a entire web page devoted to insulting me (with the paradoxical effect that I was actually rather touched and honored).
Well, here’s the deal; beyond ducking into PvP zones time and again and rabbiting at the first hint of trouble, I haven’t done much PvP in MMORPGs since I left UO. And it actually kind of bothers me, because I’ve done quite a lot of PvP in games like Battlefield 1942 and Planetside, and been good enough at it to have been accused of using a bot/cheat (for the record, I didn’t — turns out I’ve got a knack for shooting moving vehicles from another moving vehicle).
So why not enjoy the thrills of PvP combat in my favorite MMORPGs? A number of factors, actually:
Microsoft grabbed a lot of air time at E3 with Project Natal, but Sony and Nintendo both have cool new approaches to motion-sensing technology. Which leads me to wonder: what about the PC?
The advantage of consoles is uniformity. If the console creates or approves a controller, it will conform to the standards put forth by the manufacturer. A game publisher can bank on that. I fully expect that there will be cool motion-sensing technologies (beyond what have already been released) for the PC. The question is, will any of them be dominant enough for a game publisher to invest time and effort in designing for?
And this I’m less than optimistic about. It’s more the pity that this approach towards interfaces has the potential to really bring a big influx of new people into gaming. If the PC can’t find a way to catch the wave this time, do we risk becoming a backwater for a handful of titles too esoteric for the consoles?
I’ve been a vocal advocate for gay rights (including getting rid of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, under which able men and women are being discharged, not for conduct but simply for letting slip a personal fact about themselves).
I hate the whole tone of the debate, which assumes 1) anybody who supports gay rights is gay, and 2) anybody who’s gay is a crazed flaming stereotype whose orientation may be contagious.