Claiming a space in new games

I abhor pristine hotel rooms.

Whenever I arrive in one, I have a compulsion to dump my case in the middle of the bed, put toothpaste in the bathroom (even if some is already there), hang clothes up (even when I wouldn’t bother at home), throw the pillows around and generally place my home-brought stuff on their nice hotel tables. It is a compulsion. Once I’ve put a few things out, I can go out and grab a coffee and do other things. But it doesn’t really feel like MY hotel room until stuff is removed from my travelling bags and put … somewhere.

I call this a kind of ‘claiming’ behaviour. There are (random) things I have to do before a new space feels as though it is mine. I’m sure part of the desire for housing in MMOs is just to have a space where you can strew some stuff around to make it feel more like your own place.

And of course for games which allow UI customisation/ addons there is a nearly limitless variety of ways to make the playing space feel like your own. It’s something I sometimes miss in single player games – although a well designed UI is probably better than anything I could do anyway.

Similarly on new social networks. I joined google+ recently and I obediently filled out some profile details and added a picture, just because it makes my profile page feel more ‘homely’ and less sparse and pristine. If you’d like to be added to my g+ gamer circles, just leave a message on this post with your favoured email address (if you’d like to be added to my social work/ sociology circle can you also say cos I try not to spam disinterested people with that.)

So it’s interesting to me that there’s really very little you can do to claim a new character other than picking a name. Sure, in games which allow cosmetic gear you can work on customising it later on. You may later be able to use different titles also. Some games allow the player to generate a profile page if they want (or generate one for you a la WoW’s armoury).

Do you like to customise your own space in games/ social networks?


Make your Google background awesome


Anyone checked out Google yet today? They’ve gone all bing on us, with eye-bleedingly bright backgrounds.

But it is possible to swap in something altogether better, like the Guild Wars 2 Warrior wallpaper shown above.


This is a screenshot of the google homepage, showing the ‘”change background image” option on the lower left of the page.

If you select this you will be given the choice to pick your google background from a selection of pre-approved images, or you can pick something that is on your computer (as long as it is at least 800×600 in size).

Once you have done that, the background will switch over, and the tag on the bottom left will change to show, “remove background image” for whenever you get sick of it.

Or until Google gets sick of messing around with backgrounds and goes back to plain white.

Yes but what about the Guild Wars 2 Warrior?

The GW2 team has been releasing pockets of information lately and this week’s info concerned the warrior class. I don’t have a huge amount to say about either the game or the class yet. Except that the warrior will make every plate wearing, weapon swinging, warrior at heart happy.

Abilities that change depending on what weapon you are carrying, battle shouts, plate armour, shields, everything is in there.

Guild Wars has always had a good reputation for artwork, and the GW2 art certainly doesn’t disappoint. Check out the other backgrounds if you don’t like the warrior one (this one is a female warrior in plate btw, she has a waist.)