I was originally going to write about the new ideas for death penalties the folks over at Sigil are implementing for Vanguard. However, triggered by Moorgard’s thoughts on landing a job in the industry and spurred on by Michael French’s recent opinion piece on Next Generation I decided the time was right for my “Breaking into games” rant.
When I first started watching soccer, football for the rest of the world, I had no clue about the rules or the nuances of the game. I started out catching BBC America’s weekly recap/preview show and eventually started watching full English Premier League matches on what’s now the Fox Soccer Channel. The thing I liked most about the match commentators is that they didn’t feel a need to talk down to their audience. They would show the offsides, with a yellow line on the field, and sometimes give you a “obviously offsides”, or “close call” type comment but they just assumed that if you were watching you understood. The same with penalties, the most you’d usually get was something like “obvious penalty but I’m not sure it warrants a card” and it was left up to the viewer to decide what the actual infraction was.
As I said, I knew nothing about the rules of the game so you’d think that this kind of coverage would have been frustrating but in reality it allowed me to learn the subtlties of the game much faster. I had to watch what was happening, think about what the commentator said and try and relate the two to figure out what was going on. This kept me much more engaged in the match and I started to see plays developing. As a result I now find soccer much more entertaining than, say, American football.
This weekend I found myself experiencing that same engagement watching people play a video game that I have very little interest in actually playing myself, EvE Online. This weekend, and again next weekend, CCP is running a series of in-game PvP matches and they’re streaming live coverage of them over the web via a service they’re calling EveTV.
It’s been a week since E3 and I’ve been going over my notes to finally put together my review of the games, besides Hero’s Journey, that I had a chance to look at.
This was my first experience at E3 and while it was a lot of fun it was also very tiring, I think my feet started proceedings to disown me on Thursday, and loud. I understand that they had some strict noise policies in place and this year they were enforcing them but still, when you’ve got 100’s of games playing at even normal volume the din can be overwhelming. I heard that the NCSoft booth got fined for one of their bands being to loud and I can believe it, lets just say that watching someone playing Aion on a system 10 feet from the stage is NOT where you want to be when the drummers started up.
The demise of the booth babe was also overly exaggerated, they were still out in force and there were still lines of gamers lined up to get their picture taken with them…kind of sad really. There were also quite a few women gamers/developers there too which just goes to show it’s not strictly a “boy’s game” anymore – a good thing if you ask me.
And now on with the reviews…
Over at MMORPG.Com there is an editorial debate on Death Penalties. While I’m a strong believer in the theory that challenging MMO’s will have a longer lifespan than those with little or no challenge and that death in an MMO should be something that the player is encouraged to avoid I don’t agree that this requires the harsh death penalties advocated by Frank Mignone in this article.
a speech by Suzanne Freyjadis-Chuberka, the Conference Director, at the Women’s Game Conference being held in Austin this week. In it she claims that there are plenty of games out there that women would find enjoyable if they would just sit down and play them. According to her, the issue isn’t the games and their content but in how they’re marketed and how the gaming press presents them.