Almost as important as the games themselves in some cases is how the games were played. I'm hoping to preserve at least some sense of the community that grew up around QWTF and show off some of the tactics and strategies from the time. I think it also gives people a look at how a game like TF evolved over time.
Federation II was a pretty big one on AOL back in the mid-late 1990s. A text-based space trading game, you could eventually move up to owning your own planet for other players to visit and trade at. Fun times. The company (ibgames) still exists and they've got a new version of the game going that's also called "Federation II," though I've never given it a shot.
Since I think it's completely on-topic, I'll mention my QuakeWorld Team Fortress Archive. Team Fortress was originally a mod for Quake and it had a thriving clan scene in the late 1990s and early 2000s, but it's largely forgotten thanks to the success of TF's later incarnations. I decided a couple of years ago to put up video of every single QWTF match I could find from that era on YouTube since otherwise, these matches and this era would be almost completely forgotten.
It's by no means the most important topic out there (and there's a personal plug here, of course), but online gaming communities have thrived for well over a decade (even longer for some forms) but most of that information has been lost and forgotten. I decided about a year and a half ago to post my old demos of my days playing QuakeWorld Team Fortress (QWTF) on YouTube, a little out of vanity, a little out of preservation, and also because there just wasn't any real footage of QWTF on YouTube. After I got done with my old demos, I decided to start posting other demos that were publicly available on the internet. Some old players found my site and made their own contributions, but I was saddened that a lot of guys would say that they lost their old demos on a hard drive crash or something. Again, not the most important stuff ever, but I think QWTF was a pretty significant part of gaming history because it pretty much defined class-based multiplayer FPS (or at least popularized it), and, as far as I know, there isn't any sort of archive like mine anywhere else. If you're interested, http://qwtf.digitaljedi.com/ or http://www.youtube.com/user/Tickenest.
"The call has already gone out to the animators to put the mouths back on the characters." An Eiffel Tower reference from WWII? The operators purportedly had the elevators working again 10 minutes after Paris was liberated. Very nice.
Gamasutra is running a feature about how the ease of learning new games depends on the types of games a player has seen before. "Pong offers quick pick-up not because it is easier to learn than Computer Space (although that was also true), but because it draws on familiar conventions from that sport. Or better, Pong is 'easy to learn' precisely because it assumes the basic rules and function of a familiar cultural practice." The article goes on to examine how the need to master some games is more akin to the "catchiness" of a song than an addiction. "Familiarity relates to another of Barsom's observations: repetition. Catchy songs often have a 'hook,' a musical phrase where the majority of the catchy payload resides. Indeed, the itch usually lasts only a few bars, sometimes annoyingly so. But games rely on small atoms of interaction even more so than do songs. The catchy part of a game repeats more innately than does a song's chorus. In Tetris it's the fitting together of tetrominoes."
destinyland writes "For decades, people have been asking this brain teaser: 'What's the longest word you can type with only the left-hand letters on a keyboard?' The answer is supposed to be 'stewardesses,' but grepping the standard dictionary that ships with Unix reveals a much better answer. There's nearly 2,000 shorter words that can typed with only the left hand — including one word that's even longer. (The article also quotes a failed novel attempt using nothing but words typed on the keyboard's left side.)"
In a small study conducted at the University of Illinois medical school, doctors and students maintained close to the ideal number of chest compressions doing CPR while listening to the Bee Gees hit, "Stayin' Alive." At 103 beats per minute, the old disco song has almost the perfect rhythm to help keep accurate time while doing chest compressions. The study showed the song helped people who already know how to do CPR, and the results were promising enough to warrant larger, more definitive studies with real patients or untrained people. I wonder what intrinsic power is contained in "How Can You Mend A Broken Heart?"
If your significant other complains that you play too much World of Warcraft, just show them this article about a user named "Prepared." He plays an amazing 36 World of Warcraft accounts on 11 different computers at the same time. He is his own raid group. "It costs me exactly $5711 in subscription costs per year with 36 accounts on the 6 month pay schedule," he writes. "Not bad considering I'm looking at it like it's a hobby and there are more expensive hobbies out there than World of Warcraft."
According to a study to be published in The Journal of Political Psychology, you can tell someone's political affiliation by looking at the condition of their offices and bedrooms. Conservatives tend to be neat and liberals love a mess. Researchers found that the bedrooms and offices of liberals tend to be colorful and full of books about travel, ethnicity, feminism and music, along with music CDs covering folk, classic and modern rock, as well as art supplies, movie tickets and travel memorabilia. Their conservative contemporaries, on the other hand, tend to surround themselves with calendars, postage stamps, laundry baskets, irons and sewing materials. Their bedrooms and offices are well lit and decorated with sports paraphernalia and flags — especially American ones. Sam Gosling, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Texas at Austin, says these room cues are "behavioral residue." The findings are just the latest in a series of recent attempts to unearth politics in personality, the brain and DNA. I, for one, support a woman's right to clean.
vile8 writes "With the high gas prices and ongoing gas gouging in my hometown many people are trying to find a reasonable way to save gas. One of the things I've noticed is people driving exceptionally slow, 30mph in 45mph zones, etc. So I had to take a quick look and find out if driving slow is helpful in getting better mileage. I know horsepower increases substantially with wind resistance, but with charts like this one from truckandbarter.com it appears mileage is actually about the same between 27mph and 58mph or so. So I'm curious what all the drivers out there with the cool efficiency computers are getting ... of specific interest would be the hemis with MDS; how do those do with the cylinder shutoff mode at different speeds?" Related: are there any practical hypermiling techniques that you've found for people not ready to purchase a new car, nor give up driving generally?
freshmoon7 writes: Sony's Playstation 3 game console can be found in over one half of video game retailers, according to a new report, while Nintendo's Wii game machine can be found in a few stores, a sign that demand may be weakening. A report from American Technology Research said on Monday that 58 percent of the 150 stores that it surveyed had Sony's next generation game system in stock, while only 3 percent had the Wii, Paul McNealy of American Technology research said
Dotnaught writes: "In a story about Google's recent security lapse with its anti-phishing blacklist, InformationWeek reports some odd behavior from the Google Toolbar. "Entering two keywords related to Social Security numbers — call them 'x' and 'y' so as not to compound the problem — into the Google Toolbar will produce a keyword search suggestion in the form 'x y John Doe.' Selecting the suggested search terms and name, as might be expected, generates a search results page with the named person's Social Security number. A spokesperson for Google said the company's engineers didn't have an immediate explanation for the auto-generated suggestion, that it was probably an aberration and that the suggestion would likely be removed.""
Aryabhata writes: "Apple is being challenged once again to open up its DRM by consumer groups in Europe. This time, Germany and France have joined the slowly-growing number of countries who are asking Apple to allow the protected songs purchased from the iTunes Store to be played on other music players besides the iPod."