Hillary gets political on computer games

Grand Theft Auto is under political attack again. Hillary Clinton has publicly announced video games as a ‘major threat’ to moral health in The Sunday Times(subscription). I sigh and shake my head and think ‘oh no Hillary! Don’t make nice with the republicans over computer games!”. And I really don’t understand why we’re talking about kids playing games that were designed for adults, anyway. What is that all about? These games were never intended to be played by 10 year olds, and for a reason. Maybe the discussion should be more about how we enforce the age limitations on games. Wouldn’t that be more realistic?

Advertisements

Real Ones

This is great!!!! An absolute must in anyone’s collection!!!
The Real Ones

Absolutely brilliant band and they have also generously posted an incredibly easy way to download their music for almost nothing!!! Try Bratislava and if you’re not hooked by then, try Oh My! (ever so slightly more clean and poppy’er but still 100% pure quality)!!

If you are ever near this band live it would be a sin to ignore them! Yes!! They’re that good or I wouldn’t have bothered to post this!!! :-)

Halo 2 players BEWARE!!!

I’ve stumbled on to a few oddities when it comes to gaming lately. I’ve noticed Dungeons and Dragons gets a lot of heat both by Christians and of all weird things, the Israeli army. I suppose it doesn’t really suprise me that things and meanings are being read into games, after all, I grew up in the ‘play music backwards and kill yourself’ age, I’m kinda used to it. But I had to have a nice little chuckle when Watercoolergames introduced me to another gaming aspect the Christian fundamentalists are baptising themselves into. Yes! Preaching in online games. And when you first realize what an amazing channel to evangelize through, why not pick Halo 2!!! Yes!! I’m sure they’ll reach a lot of trigger happy satanic kids in the middle of playing war and will definately convince them to lay down their weapons and join the power of the Lord! It looks like it may become a good old fashioned good vs. evil fight!! I wonder how long they’ll be able to continue!
Ha ha ha ha!!!! I’m sorry but seriously(?):

“Here, the article goes into detail on Jesus as the
hero in the Bible, analogous to the hero of Halo 2.
“Jesus came to this planet to save the planet
from a group much worse than
the Covenant (the aliens) and from a” fate much worse
than physical death”

Intellectual Property Rights granted and Goldfarmers Thrown out. What will the future reveal?

Second Life has granted their players Intellectual Property Rights which one resident, Kermit Quirk, is reeking the benefits of. He has designed a game called Tringo within Second Life which captured an active audience and several participants. Infact he has just sold the worldwide licensing rights to Donnorwood Media who will now focus on commercial success outside Second Life. And then on the other scope of the MMORPG industry, Blizzard has just banned over 1000 accounts in World of Warcraft because of gold farming.
I can completely understand Blizzard for imposing these rules to keep WoW a game a.s.o. at the same time I do feel that intellectual property rights within MMORPGs are definitely an issue. I don’t think that what Linden Lab has done in Second Life can be properly done or enforced in WoW, but if you spend over 30 hours a week playing the game and actively participating in it’s evolution, you have to have some rights. At the very least, I feel that the so called ‘gold farmers’ deserve some form of ‘virtual trial’ so we are completely sure that these are troublesome to the game or actually helping it evolve. Am I making sense? I feel that it is too brutal to just cut someone out without justification or a chance to explain oneself. We are completely dependent on Blizzard’s own judgment on this, so they can expel anyone they see fit. This is where I feel they are a bit to harsh. What do you think?

The Sims Online

About a year ago, I stumbled across a really interesting case. Most people know about the game The Sims, but very few, specially here in Europe have heard of the game The Sims Online. Here we are not dealing with simulations. The players have an avatar which has to socialise with other avatars in order to build communities, businesses and culture. The case I speak of is the one of Peter Ludlow. He was a journalist within the game and started his own blog/newspaper reporting on events in Alphaville, a city in The Sims Online. In one of his stories, he uncovered the presence of teenagers selling cybersex for money. Soon after this he was thrown out of The Sims Online by Maxis. Suddenly we are emerged in a debate about Avatar’s rights to free speech. Although Maxis has rebuted the claims that he was thrown out because of this story, the question still remains of what rights an avatar has to practice free speech. When a game completely evolves around communication and socialisation, do they not have a right to defend themselves when the corporation decides to just cut them out. It is not an easy question. Of course the standpoint of the designers goes more on the “its just a game” principle, but academics have started to recognise that this statement is not justified. Considering Simoleons (the online currency of The Sims Online) to be just monopoly money is false. And when you think of players spending more than 30 hours a week building and actively participating in a community, saying something is ‘just a game’, doesn’t feel right! Where does The Sims Online stop being a forum for socialisation and start being ‘just a game’?

Digital Gaming a Sport?

We had a discussion in class the other day about gaming and sports. The day after, this article was published in Dagbladet.no about a norwegian guy playing at the World E-Sports Games. Now it seems a bit extreme what is happening in Korea in particular when e-games has their own popular tv show. I’m sure our pathetic Spillmagasinet on TV2 isn’t even comparable! But I feel this is a perfect definition of when e-gaming crosses over to sports territory!!!

So here comes the personal

So much for keeping this blog completely involved with gaming stuff. I just saw on the news that Rebiya Kadeer is free!!!! This is amazing! Last fall I was involved with the Rafto Foundation and it looks like our work is about to pay off!!

I’m off to celebrate a national holiday that means nothing to me (St. Patricks Day) and I heard this amazing information! Definately a reason to celebrate!!! I can’t express the pride I feel of being a part of it enough!!! This is just amazing! Definately recomend volunteer work for human rights to all of you!!!

Welcome!

So now Linn enters the Blogging world!! All my friends and my fellow students are constantly being bombarded by mails from me regarding interesting things I find in my research! So now, I thought I’d stop harrassing them and give them a forum to volunteerily come into my strange world. Haven’t quite decided yet if I’m going to include some personal crap as well (frankly I find my life too boring to share), we’ll see what life this blog chooses to lead!!

Everquest documentary

Researching Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games leads me to a lot of interesting finds. I sent this documentary to a friend of mine telling him that it would make him laugh, because I was in hysterics. He acutely pointed out to me that “laughing at nerds doesn’t necessarily release you from the label!”. Quite right! Honestly, though, I consider myself a “wannabe nerd”. Who knows! Maybe I’m on the right track to becoming one! :-)

http://homepage.mac.com/zampzon/dvdocumentaries/everquest.html

If anyone is interested, the guy admitting to playing 30 hrs a week isNick Yee, who’s writing his PhD on the ‘psychology of high-techmediated interactions’ at Stanford. He’s also done some intense andencompassing research on the demographics of MMORPG players:http://www.nickyee.com/daedalus/

An Avatar’s Rights in Virtual Worlds

This is basically the theme I’m working on at the moment! When I figure out how to create a links list in my new blog world, there will be a lot of interesting things to find! It seems tedious to put them all in this posting. I also feel kind of ridiculous since most of my information comes from the Terra Nova blog. Plagerism seems to be a thing I should be thinking about now!