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Games Entertainment

The Carnival of Gamers - Slashdot Edition 65

"Welcome, welcome, to the biggest show in town. For today only the Carnival of Gamers appears on your front lawn, and we've got quite a show for you. So, hurry up and step right inside, check out the booths and maybe win your lady a stuffed bear!" Today, Slashdot Games is hosting 'The Carnival of Gamers', a roving blog event that collects together some blog entries on gaming written during the previous month. The entries are all self-submitted, and cover everything from the legalities of online currency to the state of videogame reviews. This is a great opportunity to check out some sites you may not have had the chance to read before, and expand your thinking on gaming in society today. Think of it as a large quickies entry, grab your coin purse, and step inside.
One of the most common themes among the entries for this month's Carnival was the now 'standard' way we as gamers look at things in the game industry. Both gamers and non-gamers alike have specific views on how games are played, what games are, and the coverage of gaming. Perhaps because of the new year's turning, bloggers wanted to reflect on the way things are normally done.

Mu Productions, for example, has a piece on the future of Machinima, a unique way to 'use' games outside of the norm.

Non-traditional use of games is the center of Press the Buttons' reflection on the 'games can control pain' study that was recently covered here on Slashdot. Using gaming to keep your focus and push away distractions ... I think we've all done that from time to time.

The Game Chair laments the mainstream understanding of games on an airline flight. Does he play his PSP near a young person with 'killer games' in the media?

Tea Leaves challenges the 'hardcore' mentality with a reflection on casual gaming. In his view 'big-box dinosaurs' are an endangered species. Younger, faster, cheaply made casual games will have their day.

Speaking of dinosaurs, Design Synthesis is saddened by the lack of respect we give older games, relegating them to the bargain bin. Where are the gaming museums?

Non-traditional gaming doesn't alway have to be fun. Outside Looking In discusses the JFK: Revolution title and what it could mean, if it weren't a puerile exercise in headline-grabbing. Why not a JFK simulation, but one that could inject some fun into learning history?

On the topic of learning: Late Night PC talks about preparing for a trip to the Game Developer's conference (something I'm going to have to do pretty soon as well).

Psychochild wonders aloud what exactly is a game? As some other entries have already noted, they can be use for more than just 'fun', so what constitutes a game?

Cathode Tan considers games as narrative and games as art in a piece cogitating the often discussed dismissal of games by Roger Ebert.

On the topic of fun: Buttonmashing owns up to an on-the job-Nintendo fix. Nostalgia and pure fun combine in Nintendo's titles: how is that a bad thing?

Finally, on the topic of standards, we come to the topic of game journalism. We've been discussing that a lot lately on Slashdot Games, and three commentators bring up the topic this month in the Carnival. Videogame Media Watch author Kyle Orland digs deep into the 1up DO4 controversy. The Curmudgeon Gamer talks about the *1* problem with gaming journalism, and Continuous Play dispairs in a piece on the state of videogame reviews.

Turning now to virtual worlds, MMOFun talks the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to MMORPG communities. Those selfsame communities can turn on the hand that feeds them, a topic Man Bytes Blog covers in How I learned to Stop Leveling and Love the Nerf Bat.

For a humorous look at community gaming, Kill Ten Rats compares real-life work practices to Raiding. Raiding for the win, apparently.

When Julian Dibbell began talking about online currency being possibly taxable, I know many people desperately cried "Shh! They might hear you!" Play No Evil risks government audit by considering the legitimization of the virtual economy.

On a final general note, Virgin Worlds has a great post looking at some of the best MMOG podcasts around. Well worth listening to if you have a spare ear at work, especially to the sublimely amusing Taverncast.

Commentators couldn't resist talking about their favorite (or least-favorite) massive games, and our last selections this month are all about specific games. Heartless, for example, rips the blood-pumper from Dungeons and Dragons Online. The game, still in Beta, disappointed him by falling short of the pen-and-paper roots he was hoping for.

Darniaq talks about the recent Star Wars Galaxies NGE upgrade. He gives the new content and systems a thorough going-over, and finds both good and bad in the changes to the Galaxy far, far away.

I'll own up to it: I do some extra-curricular blogging myself. I couldn't resist making some doomcasting remarks about the original Everquest. The changes Sony Online seems to be working into all of its games leave but one option for the near future; In my opinion, a graceful shutdown of EQ Live has to be in the cards.

I've said before '5.5 Million people can't be wrong', and our last submissions this month are all about World of Warcraft. Top of Cool concurs with Blizzard's decision about gay guild recruitment in a commentary piece called 'Why Blizzard is Right'. Tobolds talks more traditional games with a Warcraft twist by reviewing the World of Warcraft board game. AFK Gamer has a great, humorous, piece about what he would do if given GM Power in Azeroth.

As you leave the Carnival, for the time being, one last post to consider: Scott Jennings takes a long hard look at the gap between casual players and hardcore raiders in Blizzard's hit MMOG. In his view the only way to fix the gap will require some major surgery. Read the post to find out what sort of stitching it will require.

Many thanks for reading, and I hope you find some of this month's contributors worth adding to your regular browsing habits. If you liked today's post, make sure and make the Carnival of Gamers a part of your monthly reading. Next month the Carnival will be setting up shop at the VirginWorlds blog, on March the 2nd. Until then, the midway is closed.

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The Carnival of Gamers - Slashdot Edition

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 02, 2006 @03:16PM (#14628605)
    "Welcome, welcome, to the biggest show in town."

    "Nothing for you to see here. Please move along."

    Wow, that was cool! When's the next one? :P
  • by Kesch ( 943326 ) on Thursday February 02, 2006 @03:16PM (#14628607)
    ...but I'm too busy gaming.
  • by winkydink ( 650484 ) * <sv.dude@gmail.com> on Thursday February 02, 2006 @03:18PM (#14628632) Homepage Journal
    Step inside! hello! we've the most amazing show
    You'll enjoy it all we know
    Step inside! step inside!

    We've got thrills and shocks, supersonic fighting cocks.
    Leave your hammers at the box
    Come inside! come inside!
    Roll up! roll up! roll up!
    See the show!

    Left behind the bars, rows of bishops' heads in jars
    And a bomb inside a car
    Spectacular! spectacular!

    If you follow me there's a speciality
    Some tears for you to see
    Misery, misery,
    Roll up! roll up! roll up!
    See the show!

    Next upon the bill in our house of vaudeville
    We've a stripper in a till
    What a thrill! what a thrill!
    And not content with that, with our hands behind our backs,
    We pull jesus from a hat,
    Get into that! get into that!
    Roll up! roll up! roll up!
    See the show!

    Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends
    We're so glad you could attend
    Come inside! come inside!
    There behind a glass is a real blade of grass
    Be careful as you pass.
    Move along! move along!

    Come inside, the show's about to start
    Guaranteed to blow your head apart
    Rest assured you'll get your money's worth
    The greatest show in heaven, hell or earth.
    You've got to see the show, it's a dynamo.
    You've got to see the show, it's rock and roll ....

    Soon the gypsy queen in a glaze of vaseline
    Will perform on guillotine
    What a scene! what a scene!
    Next upon the stand will you please extend a hand
    To alexander's ragtime band
    Roll up! roll up! roll up!
    See the show!

    Performing on a stool we've a sight to make you drool
    Seven virgins and a mule
    Keep it cool. keep it cool.
    We would like it to be known the exhibits that were shown
    Were exclusively our own,
    All our own. all our own.
    Come and see the show! come and see the show! come and see the show!
    See the show!

  • Holy Crap. (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 02, 2006 @03:19PM (#14628653)
    I have tremendous respect for anyone that R's TFA.
    • ditto

      Zonk: Yes, but no.

      There's waaaaaaay to many links in there. I counted 26 links which is about 1/4 of a what Fark posts in one day.

      I enjoy the Games section, but this is too much.
    • It's 22:52 GMT+1 atm. I've read 2/5 of TFA :-/ Good content.. Tho.. I'm not sure if my will to live is this strong :P
  • Anyone else having issues with multiplayer support with Call of Duty 2 for 360? Tremendous lag, 8 players maximum, no lobbies and other issues. The Xbox 360 is supposed to be a next gen console and the premier game is making it look like a relic from the 90s.
  • by Joe U ( 443617 )
    Everquest will eventually wind up with the EQ2 engine and servers, it might take them several years, but it will happen. It won't help save EQ, but it will make a pretty corpse.

    EQ2 will basically be the training ground for changes to occur in the next EQ expansion.

    SWG - I think NGE stands for Not Good, Everywhere. Fix the outstanding issues and you might have a game. Call it PlanetQuest.

    Planetside - Here's what happens when you take a decent game and ignore it. Wait 6 months then say, 'oh, we're not ignorin
    • I don't know. If they keep updating Everquest with more modern graphics, etc., it might just live up to its name. I've come back after a 3 year hiatus and am enjoying the game again.

      • Oh, it will take years, and it will outlast MxO, and most likely PS and SWG (at least SWG under sony) But EQ is in a slow decline. The key to EQ is how slow of a decline.
  • Unexpected admission by top Microsoft boss about Playstation 3: "They'll launch, let's face it. They'll launch and it'll be very successful."

    Read the entire thing at Spong, here [spong.com].
  • Games dull Pain (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TubeSteak ( 669689 ) on Thursday February 02, 2006 @03:52PM (#14628959) Journal
    While I'm sure games dull pain (they did prove it in a study) but then again, pretty much any distraction works for males

    They've proved that men have a much higher ability to shut out the world no matter what they're doing. Reading the newspaper, a book, playing a game, studying... anything that requires concentration.

    I remember reading about it in one of those Ann Landers style articles. The question was "Why does my husband ignore me when I try to get his attention while he's reading the newspaper?"

    Personally, I listen to my music loud, but when I'm reading a book, everything (music included) fades away into the background and I'm dead to the world.

    Obviously, reading a book isn't feasible in an operating room, which is why I think games work much better to engage the mind & distract from the pain.

    And yes, games help more than a family member to reduce stress/pain.
    • You sure it's just males? I need a SLEDGEHAMMER to get my partner off ebay.
      • Heh, shopping is an entirely different matter.

        They've done studies that show women have a wildly different neurological response to shopping than men do.

        It lights up the pleasure centers in their brain and a whole variety of other mental changes happen. They lose some of their rational thinking abilities (which is why a lot of women buy stuff they don't need).

        Personally, I hate shopping for clothes/shoes and I hate even walking through dept stores. Especially with anyone female. I keep up a running dialogue
  • by g_adams27 ( 581237 ) on Thursday February 02, 2006 @04:06PM (#14629083)

    For those of who like these kinds of articles, don't miss the final link that takes you to the Carnival of Gamers HQ [buttonmashing.com], where you can visit past Carnivals as well.

    I love articles like these that take a step back from the reviews and mechanics of a game and discuss some of the larger issues surrounding gaming.

    Looking forward to more next month!

  • The blogger writes that WoW is rated T for Teen, and therefore any discussion of sexuality at all is inappropriate, because the minimum recommended age for this game is 13.

    Personally, this just (once again) proves to me that this country was founded primarily by sexually repressed fanatics that were kicked out of Europe for being killjoys. (It wasn't that they were being persecuted because of their religion, it was mainly because they were obnoxious - if you live anywhere near the Bible Belt, you know exac

    • Dude, you needed a random blog article bitching about a video game to reaffirm for you the FACT (not belief, fact) that the US of A was founded by Puritans? Unfortunately the sexually-repressed culture of that group continues to stamp itself on America, but dude... come on. Old news much?

      Somewhat offtopic, whateva.
    • The thing I find most ridiculous about this is the constant amount of "gay-bashing" found in general chat everywhere. I personally believe it is a bit of a double standard to allow general chat along the lines of "Someone come kill this fag NE Rogue that's camping my ass", but then don't allow advertisement or even acknowledgement or a guild designed to allow players to avoid it. But i guess it's 'acceptable' these days because everyone says it and it doesn't mean anything anymore... right... Ahh, who am I
  • by Anonymous Coward
    This is in response to MMORPG Communities - The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly [mmofun.com].

    His general concept is that PvP makes for bad communities. I disagree - lack of PvP doesn't magically improve the community. What determines what makes a good and bad community comes down to what resources are available and the competition for them.

    If it were not for the horrible level grinding the game requires I would easily proclaim Final Fantasy XI as the greatest MMORPG ever made, simply because of the sense of community it c
  • by fsh ( 751959 ) on Thursday February 02, 2006 @05:36PM (#14630023)
    Every time another AD&D ruleset game comes out, you see the same thing:

    The game, still in Beta, disappointed him by falling short of the pen-and-paper roots he was hoping for.

    I don't think some people will be happy until the games start printing out character sheets after every round.


    Play the new AD&D ruleset based online game! Follows the rules so closely that you'll think you were playing with pen and paper!

    Features for the new AD&D online game:
    -Use your webcam to scan the number from the actual die you just rolled! (dice not included)
    -Must wait 5 minutes after every command to see what happens next!
    -Get actual PrintOuts(tm) of your updated character sheet after every round, showing your new hit point totals along with everything else that didn't change!
    -Electromagnetic hex board moves your crappy little miniatures for you! (crappy little miniatures not included)
    -GameMaster personality plugins! Watch your computer grab it's stuff and walk out of your house in a big huff! (What happened to all the Cheetos?)
    And so much more!

    • Please tell me where to purchase said game, but wait until I stop laughing. That is hilarious.
    • AD&D and D&D are 2 different entities. If you want to play a great AD&D game play Baldurs Gate 2. The point made about DDO is that it doesn't feel like D&D at all... not even close. It is so far off that the D&D needs to be removed from the title. Games can be set in the D&D world, but that doesn't mean they deserve the D&D in their title.
  • for heavens sake - out of 27 stories on the front page, ten of them are about games. That's just too many. Slashdot editorship: could we have a bit more balance please?
  • I think we've had enough 'news' about games to last us several weeks.

    Has 'Zonk' been given some sort of mandate? Are Slashdot's advertisers not feeling confident in their reach for some sort of imaginary target audience?

    For goodness sake.

    There's an utterly fascinating real world going on out there. Talking about video games leads to video game addiction. What is Slashdot trying to become?

    Computer games are masturbation for the mind.

    Can we drop the games stories, already?


    • So as I understand it, you are saying "I don't like games so slashdot shouldn't report about them".

      I'm pretty sure games fall well under the "news for nerds" subtitle for slashdot. In addition, there are a lot of computer enthusiasts out there (a major audience for slashdot) who rather enjoy playing and reading about games. Therefore I don't see any reason for slashdot to stop reporting about games.
      • So as I understand it, you are saying "I don't like games so slashdot shouldn't report about them".

        Try understanding it this way. . .

        Of the 160 or so topics and categories available on Slashdot under which a story might be posted, only twelve have to do with games. That's about 13%. However, during the last few weeks, it seems that more than 30% of the stories on Slashdot have been dwelling on games while all those other categories have been ignored. This is very unusual for Slashdot and it also looks li
  • The anti GLBT-friendly teambuilding decision from Blizard sounds like blaming a woman for the fact she was raped based on the clothes she was wearing at the time.
  • A big thanks out to Zonk for organizing this ... I've hosted a previous Carnival before and it's a decent amount of effort coordinating all the incoming submissions and making sure everything gets set up correctly. Great job, and hopefully we'll see your moonlighting blog ways show up on future CoG's.
  • If you're going to allow explicit heterosexuality (what? I'm just talking about characters marrying other characters!) you can't forbid homosexuality without being bigoted. “Given that this is a game which Blizzard expects to be played by teenagers as young as 13 years old, what place does a discussion of gay sex have in such a game?” is a straw man argument.

    Blizzard's basically saying, “Sorry, but our customer base has a high percentage of bigots. We'd rather lose your custom than theirs.

As of next Tuesday, C will be flushed in favor of COBOL. Please update your programs.