Game Eaters

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Hollywood is Doomed.

I saw the trailer for the Doom movie today.

You know... it really says something about Hollywood that they felt they had to dumb down the story for Doom.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

My World Just Got Stupider.

I am defeated by reality.

I was going to post yesterday about Jack Thompson's moronic accusations against EA. I never thought I could be embarrassed for such a scumbag, but Thompson's claims about The Sims 2 were so absurd I wanted to turn away from my monitor. I mean, claiming that The Sims is *worse* than Rockstar just because their game can be hacked to make the characters naked? Does this man LIVE? Does he breath? Does he walk on two legs, and converse with homo sapiens?

I get the feeling if I went to meet him it would be like meeting Yul Brynner in Westworld. Like in the middle of a conversation he'd start sputtering like a broken record "videogames-are-evil! videogames-are-evil!" and suddenly smoke would start coming out of his eyeballs and his face would peel away to reveal a circuit board.

So yesterday, as I was reading this, I was thinking that this might actually *help* defend videogames against censorship. Because it's easy to go after Rockstar, but I doubt even Lieberman, Grossman, and Clinton would go after The Sims 2 so eagerly. So by sticking his neck out that far Thompson would obviously get burned once EA clearly explained the difference between fan mods and official content, that this is how games have *always* been, and there have been nude mods of The Sims since the moment the original game was released.

But then I woke up today, and saw the headline "House Backs Federal Investigation of Rockstar Games."

So apparently the House voted to investigate Rockstar to see if they were "intentionally trying to deceive the rating board" by leaving their Hot Coffee code in GTA. And this is just great folks, because now the U.S. government gets to set a precedent for deciding, according to their own game-ignorant criteria, what constitutes "deception" when it comes to modding, unlocking, and otherwise tampering with game content.

So what could happen here? Could the government walk in to Rockstar and actually *decide* that locked content in a game, which is always technically reachable by anyone who wants to spend the time to hack the game, constitutes "deception" of the ESRB? Are we on the verge of seeing the government make decisions about what is "official" and "non-official" content in games?

I'm not saying there should be no definition or legislation about this, but I for one don't want the government deciding what constitutes the primary "text" of a videogame... especially not as a knee-jerk reaction to something like GTA.

So yeah. Maybe Thompson will get lucky, and because of this Hot Coffee bullshit the government will decide that anything moddable or unlockable constitutes a content risk too big to not regulate. Hooray for Rockstar. Hooray for Thompson. Hooray for the government.

My world just got stupider.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Wow, I agree with Greg Costikyan

Truthfully, I don't have anything against Costikyan's opinions, although I often take issue with the way he presents them. However, anyone who's been reading my rants against Rockstar Games (mostly in LiveJournal) can probably tell that I agree wholeheartedly with the concept of bitchslapping Rockstar Games.

I don't really believe the alleged "Sex Minigames" are actually in GTA:SA, though, and it's certainly within the realm of possibility that the sexual content has been added by the mod. Then again, I haven't actually tried installing said mod. Even then, my lack of sympathy for Rockstar arises more from its approach to violence rather than sex. Rockstar's games just don't seem to have much to say about violence besides "it sells more SKUs." Sure, freedom of speech and all that, but it's a lot easier to make a case for it when there's some clear public benefit from pushing the envelope, and Rockstar's gratuitous-violence-just-for-the-heck-of-it doesn't help.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Chinese World of Warcraft Ad

Here's a World of Warcraft ad for China. Looks like there's some cross-promotion with Coke going on over there. The ad itself is pretty funny. Requires QuickTime.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Free Second Life accounts

Second Life is the MMO that I've been playing the longest and most consistently. It's not really a game, more like a chat room with lots of player-made content. It's been running for almost two years, and they'll be giving out free basic accounts to new members between 12am July 7th through 11:59pm July 13th. (PDT)

It's an interesting place to visit, even if you don't want to stay, and now you can visit for free. Staying costs you no money at monthly fees, nada, and you can play as often as you'd like. You can do anything that anyone else can do in the game, except own virtual land. Owning land requires a premium account, which basically charges you a monthly fee based on the amount of land you own. What can you do with land? Uh...decor, and...set up stuff that keeps running while you aren't logged in, that's basically it. Lots of people make stores to sell their content creations. The company even permits you to sell your in-game cash for real money on a floating exchange. I currently make about US$8 of money a week, even when I don't log in.