Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Role Playing (Games)

Free Realms Approaches the Five-Million-Player Mark 77

Posted by Soulskill
from the price-is-right dept.
A few days ago at Comic-Con, Sony Online Entertainment president John Smedley spoke about the success of Free Realms, their free-to-play MMORPG that relies on microtransactions for a business model. The game was released at the end of April, and by mid-June there were upwards of three million registered users. Now that total is approaching five million, with no sign of slowing down. Min Kim, another panelist at the discussion, said, "When people started talking about it back in 2003 or 2004, people said Western games would never want to do this, to play a game for free and then buy items. And now everybody is saying, 'We're going to have microtransactions as part of our business model.'"
Image

Even Faster Web Sites 171

Posted by samzenpus
from the read-all-about-it dept.
Michael J. Ross writes "Slow Web page loading can discourage visitors to a site more than any other problem, regardless of how attractive or feature-rich the given site might be. Consequently, many Web developers hope to achieve faster response times using AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML), since only portion(s) of an AJAX page need to be reloaded. But for many rich Internet applications (RIAs), such potential performance gains can be lost as a result of non-optimized JavaScript, graphics, and CSS files. Steve Souders — a Web performance expert previously at Yahoo and now with Google — addresses these topics in his second book, Even Faster Web Sites: Performance Best Practices for Web Developers." Read on for the rest of Michael's review.
Games

On Realism and Virtual Murder 473

Posted by Soulskill
from the joyride-down-a-slippery-slope dept.
Gamasutra has an interesting article about how the push toward realistic graphics and extremely lifelike characters in modern games is making the term "murder simulator" — once laughed off for referring to pixelated dying Nazis — a concept to take more seriously. The author is careful to simply explore the issue, and not come to a specific conclusion; he doesn't say that we should or shouldn't prevent it from happening, only that it's worth consideration. (One section is even titled "Forget the kids," saying that decisions for what children play fall under parental responsibility.) Quoting: "We should start rethinking these issues now before we all slide down the slope together and can't pull ourselves back up again. Or, even worse, before governments step in and dictate what can and can't be depicted or simulated in video games via legislation. ... Obviously, what makes an acceptable game play experience for each player is a personal choice that should be judged on a person-by-person basis (or on a parent to child basis), and I believe it should stay that way. As for me, I'm already drawing the line at BioShock — I can barely stomach the game as it is. Sure, I could play it more and desensitize myself, but I don't want to. And that's just me. It's up to you and a million other adult gamers to decide what's best for yourselves and to draw the line on virtual violence where you feel most comfortable."
Image

Japan Launches 'Buddha Phone' 212

Posted by samzenpus
from the the-eight-immortal-numbers dept.
CNETNate writes "The Japanese Odin 99 handset isn't a regular video-enabled phone. It's geared, perhaps somewhat ironically, towards the Buddhist geek. Aside from regular cell phone features, a dedicated button loads a private, customizable, animated altar on the phone's screen. The idea is to allow Buddhists to perform their dedications conveniently on-the-go. You can simulate incense burning, purification rites and play music to help you meditate wherever you happen to be. The question is, does such a device somewhat negate the values a Buddhist would stand for?"

Anyone can do any amount of work provided it isn't the work he is supposed to be doing at the moment. -- Robert Benchley

Working...