Links, and what I’ve been reading

What I’ve actually been reading lately are C J Sansom’s Shardlake Mysteries (which are great and very well researched if you like historical murder-mysteries).

Also from the web:

  1. evizaer wonders how we can keep track of the ‘real’ histories of MMOs. All the guild drama, and the various interesting things that actual players have done.
  2. Tamarind suffers a brief bout of level-80-phobia. Anyone else find themselves curiously reluctant to actually get to max level once it’s practically within reach? I know I often coast the last level or so, maybe a last ditch attempt to string the levelling game out for as long as possible.
  3. The Escapist reports that a guy in the UK (oh why am I not surprised?) has written a boot fetish version of Pong, the venerable old console game. The boot is actually the controller, you have to grope and fondle it to play the game …
  4. On a not very similar theme, Adele Caelia talks at BrightHub about embarrassing mistells and other ways in which sex can be entertaining in gaming. Well, she says embarrassing but I say there are few more hilarious things in MMOs than a totally inappropriate mistell. (Random factoid: mistells used to be known as ‘mavs’ in MUSH, named after a particularly notorious player called Mav.)
  5. Ysharros saves my EQ2 sanity with a noob-friendly guide to EQ2 addons.
  6. Naamah@Aionic Thoughts (a blog you really should be following if you’re into Aion) asks when Mass-PvP becomes a zergfest, and whether one is more fun than the other.
  7. Andrew Douell, a roguelike developer, posts a very smart article about narrative in games and how some narrative tricks from other media just don’t work. I’m particularly taken by his observation that you can’t tell a story well with repeated play (eg. I killed an orc, then I killed an orc, then I killed an orc isn’t a very interesting story.)
  8. Kirstimah at Rustled Leaves explains why DPSing reduced her IQ, a phenomenon many tanks and healers have also observed!
  9. Syp writes about all the MMOs he could have tried but didn’t, and explains why not. I never played EQ because the only person I knew who played was a really annoying dork and he was really scarily obsessively into it. I knew if I tried it I’d be stuck talking to him any time we were in the same room.
  10. What does it mean to roleplay in a game? Psychochild takes a look.
  11. You’ve heard about the upcoming WoW film? Jess at Pretty in Plate starts wondering about who she’d cast to play her characters. Who would you cast for yours? (I dunno about that but Brian Blessed for Hemet Nesingwary with the help of some CGI is my pick.)
  12. Dusty makes the case for a finite MMO, like a TV series with a beginning, a middle, and an end.
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3 thoughts on “Links, and what I’ve been reading

  1. Thanks for the shout-out, spinks! I’m surprised you picked up on the historians article because it didn’t get any attention comparative to most of the articles mot and I have written.

    (And you misspelled my name! It’s “evizaer”. “Realize” backwards with a couple of consonants switched/changed. :))

    • Oops, sorry about that. Fixed the spelling now.

      I think that post caught my eye because most players and devs just don’t think about that kind of issue, most MMOs don’t really give players enough agency to create their own history in a meaningful way.

      But from my personal experience in MUSHes, it was an incredibly important issue for us. We needed to find ways for new players to come in and be able to quickly catch up with what had been going on, and for players to be able to record their own personal character histories and update them as time went on. We never found a good solution (but we did find lots of additional problems :) ). It’s basically the same problem as keeping new players up to date with what the current best builds are and which old content has been deprecated — if you let players act as historians and give them a wiki, what when they get bored or behind with updating? what if only the biased players write the history etc?

      It is a fascinating issue. And like I say, I haven’t seen anyone really talk about it.

  2. Not that I’m playing anymore (not that it stops me thinking about coming back) but I was talking with an RL friend who I played WoW with on point number 11, but we were thinking more of a Tron like version where the players get sucked into the game and become their characters. I think it would be hilarious personally, maybe I should resub, grab Fraps and do it!

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