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Monthly Archives: October 2012

Not a new MMO (although I’d be very interested in looking at one with a name like that), but the third ‘proper’ publicly-released album by Two Steps From Hell which was released a few days ago.

Regular readers of this blog (both of them) might recall that I enthused about Two Steps From Hell a little while ago and after listening to the new album, I’d be very inclined to add the title track to that Asura racial playlist. Plenty of other tracks there to add to other playlists too – while they aren’t all instant candidates for one of my gaming playlists, having listened to all twenty two tracks I don’t think there’s a bad one in the bunch.

Naming your character is an important decision

It’s especially important in a “not getting banned” kind of way.

Mind you, after four separate infractions I would have perma-banned this chucklehead already. And probably found out where he lived so I could prevent him from breeding.

There was some buzz around the Internet recently, as one of the GDC panels discussed the ethics of gaming – mostly about how aggressively to monetise F2P games, and how that can slip over from the line from game developers earning a crust to manipulating vulnerable people into parting with money they can ill afford to lose.

The flip side of the discussion for me is that maybe if we want our games to be deigned and developed ethically, we as gamers need to show some ethical behaviour ourselves. On the F2P front, that means being honest enough to admit that game developers need to earn a living (and pay back investors) so we can’t expect “Free To Play” to actually mean “Free To Keep Playing Without Limitations”. If you want to keep playing a game beyond an initial period of trying it out, it’s only fair to pony up a payment commensurate with the entertainment value gained. F2P puts the details of what exactly constitutes a ‘trial period’ and ‘payment commensurate with the entertainment value’ in the hands of the player, which is an enormous act of trust from developers who’ve sunk millions of dollars and years of their lives into making the game.

If you’re enjoying a game and sticking with it, then put your hands in your pockets and pay the developers their due. If you do, then they can be more confident that they’ll be rewarded for producing a quality game and will continue to make quality games – because that’s what professionals who care about their work do (and as I’ve pointed out before, anyone who can program games can make a better salary in a far more secure job in financial services IT, so the only reason to be making games is because they care about them).

If, on the other hand, your ethics boil down to “getting away with whatever I can for free” then don’t be surprised if you get the games you deserve – ones that psychologically strong-arm you into paying up.