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IMGDC: BioWare's Walton Talks MMO Creation Essentials

IMGDC: BioWare's Walton Talks MMO Creation Essentials -

At the Indie MMO Game Developers Conference in Minnesota, BioWare Austin co-studio director Gordon Walton parsed out some essential lessons for indie MMO developers. The Kesmai, Origin and Sony Online Entertainment veteran - one of the most experienced MMO creators in the industry right now - addressed issues such as how indie efforts should differentiate from AAA online games, at every stage of the process from development to launch. "I've made one one-hundredth of the ...

[Gamasutra - News]

It's an interesting read - especially if you want some insight into the way some of the players in the MMO space are thinking. That being said, I'm not convinced I agree. I suppose I have to think on it a bit, but a few things strike me as maybe not the best advice: Read more»

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Boston Globe Columnist’s Dream World Doesn’t Include GTA

Boston Globe Columnist’s Dream World Doesn’t Include GTA -

In today’s Boston Globe, columnist Alex Beam zings Rockstar Games and the Grand Theft Auto series:

What if there was one day a year when people all over the world decided to behave in a manner worthy of the species? What would they call that day?


…It’s bracing to imagine the day when video-game manufacturer Rockstar announces: “We don’t want to make money off a game that encourages elementary school students to kill ‘hos’ and assassinate grand jury witnesses. We’re taking Grand Theft Auto off the market.”

…What if there were one day a year when everyone behaved in a manner worthy of the species? What would they call that day? They would call it April Fools’ Day.

The Massachusetts Legislature, of course, is currently considering a proposal which would treat violent video games in a manner similar to pornography.

[Game Politics]

I imagine that day would be something akin to the day when so called journalists stop claiming that the GTA series was made for, and marketed to, kids. Of course, the likelihood of that ever happening is far, far, lower than the chance that R* would stop making GTA. Too bad, too - That would be a day when we start behaving in a manner worthy of the species, don't you think?

Funny, that.

- Snipehunter

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Australian Advocate: Violent Games Will Turn Troubled Kids into “Lethal Killers”

Australian Advocate: Violent Games Will Turn Troubled Kids into “Lethal Killers” -

The national spokeswoman for the Australian Family Association told ABC.net that violent video games can make existing mental health problems worse in teenagers - much worse.

Angela Conway said:

If there are problems with that young person already, then this technology will turn them into a lethal killer.

Conway’s comments came as Australian officials gather in Adelaide to discuss adding a new R18+ rating for games. Currently, games with content exceeding the MA15+ level are banned in Australia. 

The Melbourne Herald-Sun has more on the current political debate over games Down Under.

[Game Politics]

I could sit here and talk about how there's no real proof of games causing violence at all and I could point to recent studies or to Grand Theft Childhood and ask why these tired old stereotypical opinions persist, but today, I'm not going to do that. Instead I'm going to ask a simple question:

If the people you're talking about are already "troubled" - who takes responsibility for what they do, if they're set off?

I mean, there are disturbed people who get enraged at the site of a woman and will attack her, right? Is it the woman's fault? Do we blame the woman when she's assaulted by the crazy woman-hater? What about the child that is abused by its parent? Is it the child's fault?

At what point did the human race abdicate personal responsibility? I think we need to seriously examine ourselves and the direction our cultures are heading if this type of misplaced blame is going to continue to be suborned in our legal systems and prevailing attitudes. When this type of thinking was applied to gender or race, we were diminished as a people, were we not? Here in America we felt so strongly about it that we amended our constitution to make this type of thinking illegal.

I guess it only matters when we're talking about people. I guess I can even see why, from a real abstract level, but it seems to me that prejudice is bad no matter what it's aimed against - that it demeans us; not just those who have a passion for the thing you prejudge, but the entire damned species. It offends me, how small minded these prejudices make us humans look. It really does.

- Snipehunter

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Roleplayers Seek Removal Of Nerf Gun Ban

Roleplayers Seek Removal Of Nerf Gun Ban - An anonymous reader writes "LARP fans at Bowling Green State University may have to contend with a crippled game of Humans vs. Zombies after the University banned Nerf guns on campus. In the live-action game, players are either humans or zombies. The goal of the game is to change all the humans into zombies, or for the humans to evade capture by zombies for a certain amount of time. To defend themselves against zombies, humans may use Nerf guns. Players (most likely the human ones) are petitioning the University to lift the ban. The game had troubles back in 2006, when participating students were arrested. That issue has since been cleared up."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

[Slashdot Updates]

In true /. fashion I haven't RTFA, but the premise here is a little absurd. I mean, really... nerf guns? That's where we're at, now? Freakin' nerf guns?

Everyone knows guns won't stop zombies! You need nerf bats! (Double damage to undead, you know!)
- Snipehunter

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To my friend Kelly Wand - Don't be hatin man! Don't be hatin!

In response to Kelly's Piece:
Kelly! Damn man! Mass minsunderstanding of the year! I never said working with you was a problem. In fact, I thought we had a really good process that worked - something I mentioned in my original blog, that I guess got edited out in the reprint. Ah well. You're a damned good writer - one of the few I've worked with in the last 13 years who really understands the role of writing in games, even if the requirements of the project we worked together on really didn't let either of us explore that, all that well.

Despite the respect I have for you, I do think you've got some misconceptions of your own that I hope you don't mind if I address: Read more»

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