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Comment Play mods. (Score 1) 854

I hate how people claim that games are too easy, yet they refuse to really dig into the internet and see what mods are popular that might enhance their experience of any number of games. There are great mods out for many major titles and since they're developed by gamers instead of large companies, you get more of the things you want and fewer of the things you're made to think you want. I can name dozens of mods that have more enriching, engrossing multiplayer than their host games to the point where I don't even buy new games anymore.

I haven't bought a new game in a year yet I'm constantly playing new and more enthralling stuff. I recommend taking a few hours and looking at MODdb.com to see what's out there for you, unless you're a console gamer... in which case, there is no hope.

Comment Re:Maybe it wasn't timing, but milieu (Score 1) 235

The problem is that PC gaming is dying as online console gaming gains ground.

Most new exciting games are being released for consoles. There are only a few really hot titles for the PC.


I'm going to start from the assumption that you know very little about modern PC gaming and work my way back.

If you were to say: "major titles being PC exclusives" I'd agree with you. That is relatively true. A combination of a large console market with the fact that most major titles are released on the PC as ports has a lot to do with it. A big part of the reason for this is that PC games are pirated so often that developers don't seem to put much effort into creating a unique PC experience anymore. Consoles are squarely in the spotlight here.

I'd only say PC gaming loses out to console gaming in this one area. Consoles get all the "big" titles. PC gaming, on the other hand, gets all the user-made content (modding), the community, MMOs (very few on consoles) and most developers who will one day make games for consoles start out on the PC. I guess a valid analogy would be between Hollywood blockbusters and independent/Cannes films. If the consoles get all of the former then the PCs get most of the latter.

PC gaming has only lost out to console gaming in the sense that it doesn't generate nearly as much revenue. Creativity wise, PC gaming kicks console gaming's ass.

Also, take a trip to Korea or China. Notice how those countries produce a ton of PC games for the domestic market and in both countries, consoles have hardly made a dent. PC gaming is far from dead, it's just adapting.
Space

Submission + - SpaceShipTwo completes first manned glide flight (virgingalactic.com)

incognito84 writes: Good news for anyone interested in future space tourism ventures. From the news article: "10th October 2010, Mojave, CA. Virgin Galactic, the US company developing the world’s first commercial manned space flight system and tourism business, is delighted to announce the successful completion today of the first piloted free flight of SpaceShipTwo, named the VSS Enterprise. The spaceship was released from its mothership at an altitude of 45,000 ft
(13,700 metres)." I look forward to buying a ticket on one of these flights when they become affordable for run-of-the-mill dreamers.

Comment That'll be the day. (Score 1) 104

I can see this happening for casual gamers as most of the games they play can already be played on a smaller, handheld device. Like you really need a PS3 to run Tetris, The Sims or Farmville.

For serious gamers? Unless by "mobile" you mean a VR device I can mount on my head/stick in my retina, I don't think I'm going to be switching over to any "mobile" device any time soon. Gaming is important enough to me that I'm content having it as the main attraction in my living room.

Comment Stay away from... (Score 2, Informative) 121

I just made my fifth or six trip to Akihabara over the weekend.

Stay away from any store that says "PC game" (in Katakana). Chances are, by "game" they're referring to softcore-porn DVD roms... They're usually B1 level and full of otaku perverts. I went into a few looking for a specific PC title and it took me a bit to realize what was actually going on.

I highly recommend taking a couple thousand yen to a big arcade like Club Sega. Fun times.

Comment I think parents are to blame... (Score 3, Interesting) 477

I was talking to my folks recently about whats going on in my hometown.

I grew up on a dead end street where lots of kids live. Lots of kids still live there. There is hardly any through traffic. When I was a kid, we'd play games on the street pretty regularly. Anything from street hockey, to improvised soccer, to water gun fights... you name it.

Recently a new generation of kids on that street started doing some of the same things. The police were called, parents fought and eventually it was decided that it was beyond inappropriate for the kids to play there. One of the main reasons that seemed to be cited was a large fear of child abductors and the fact that they couldn't always be supervised.

So thanks to years and years of pampering and isolating our children from fears both real and manufactured, a new generation of kids won't have any memories of the street I grew up on. Instead they'll all stay inside and get fat in front of their Playstations and we'll blame the Playstations for all their problems. Might as well put them on Ritalin to keep them from using all that pent up energy, too.
Earth

Nuclear Energy Now More Expensive Than Solar 635

js_sebastian writes "According to an article on the New York Times, a historical cross-over has occurred because of the declining costs of solar vs. the increasing costs of nuclear energy: solar, hardly the cheapest of renewable technologies, is now cheaper than nuclear, at around 16 cents per kilowatt hour. Furthermore, the NY Times reports that financial markets will not finance the construction of nuclear power plants unless the risk of default (which is historically as high as 50 percent for the nuclear industry) is externalized to someone else through federal loan guarantees or ratepayer funding. The bottom line seems to be that nuclear is simply not competitive, and the push from the US government to subsidize it seems to be forcing the wrong choice on the market."

Comment Re:Has anyone considered... (Score 1) 185

Quite frankly I see this whole casual craze as a bubble that's going to pop.

I don't think casual gamers are going anywhere. If they really enjoy it then they've probably been sold on the idea of having some form of video gaming in their lives and the vast majority of them will still continue to play games casually, just as the vast majority of people who were introduced to the internet continue to use it (and most of them aren't even "casual" internet users anymore).

I also don't think there is a such thing as "casual gamers" and "hardcore gamers" to begin with. I've seen people spend entire days addicted to a "casual" game. It just comes down to preference. Some people like puzzle games they can figure out in 30 seconds, other people (like me) enjoy simulator titles that take days or weeks to learn how to play.

Submission + - MIT-led team designs planes that use 70% less fuel (mit.edu)

incognito84 writes: From the article: "In what could set the stage for a fundamental shift in commercial aviation, an MIT-led team has designed a green airplane that is estimated to use 70 percent less fuel than current planes while also reducing noise and emission of nitrogen oxides (NOx).

The design was one of two that the team, led by faculty from the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, presented to NASA last month as part of a $2.1 million research contract to develop environmental and performance concepts that will help guide the agency’s aeronautics research over the next 25 years. Known as “N+3” to denote three generations beyond today’s commercial transport fleet, the research program is aimed at identifying key technologies, such as advanced airframe configurations and propulsion systems, that will enable greener airplanes to take flight around 2035."

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