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Comment Color me skeptical (Score 1) 399

I'm glad for the experiment. However, I cannot see how Universal Basic Income would not simply lower the nominal value of money. Once everyone has X, that X is no longer worth anything. If you get $2,000 per month for nothing, and you rent an apartment from me, guess how much I'm going to charge you for it? More than $2,000.

Comment Re:Many people have had this idea before (Score 2) 33

Pieces of this exist already, and have for years. The "create your own server" model works great in NWN, but that game is ancient now, and few others have been able to mimic its versatility. Some have tried. The "make and sell your own objects" is pretty vibrant on FPS games like Team Fortress 2 and in sandbox games like Second Life, obviously. As you said, the execution is what matters.

However, when it comes to execution, I don't even think the game needs to be the latest and greatest as far as graphics go. An indie studio will never match the multi-tens of millions spent by studios on graphical assets, voiceovers, etc. By contrast, people still play MUD's even today, and those are just text. Why? Because some of them are executed well. I don't think good execution relies too heavily on eye-popping graphics. As long as the UI is good, the toolset is good, and the EULA is workable, it will be great.

Bioware's NWN really shot itself in the foot with its EULA which forbade making money from a player-made server, btw.

Comment Re:Probably the future of online RPGs (Score 1) 33

I agree, and more than just for financial reasons.

Commercially-run servers by the big game houses need to make money to stay around.... lots of it, enough to please stock holders. Consequently, that precipitates a certain kind of atmosphere in the game: one of level treadmills and content micropayments. For the most part, these aspects are contrary to roleplaying and immersion, IMHO.

Do not get me wrong. I play DDO currently as my game of choice and I love nothing more sometimes than to jump in and kill shit so I can get XP. The fact is probably a huge majority of gamers are the same in that regard. However, there is a smaller subset that likes the character development and roleplaying aspects of a server. These are likely the evolutionary descendants of MUSH players from the 90's, and they are still around. The problem is they can never find a home online with a commercial game server. When we made the Avlis PW over a decade ago, this was our target demographic, and arguably it was and still is one of the most successful NWN PW's ever.

I think that Shards will be good for this niche as well. Obviously people will make mostly hack'n slay servers running Monty Hall scenarios, but there will be rich platform material for folks like us that want to create a real live functional fantasy world. Definitely looking out for this.

Comment Warning: Do not waste your money (Score 1) 69

Taking the science for what it is, I plunked down the $42 for the super test and have received nothing yet. It has been 2 days and my screen still says "90% done". When you go onto the forums and ask about it, you see there are numerous people with the same problem. The company has replied simply saying, "This is because of some person's DNA files have exceptional features.", but noting more. Calls for support go unanswered, even though the "super" test is supposed to give you priority support.

For the people that HAVE gotten results, all you get for the money is a point on a Google map. If you are a pure-bred ethnic whatever, that point means something. If you are the child of a parent from Fiji and an aborigonal Australian, the point on your map will be halfway between those locations: useless information. Considering that a lot of us are children of parents from quite different locations these days, the odds of you getting a point on your map that means anything are not high.

If they don't get back to me by this coming Tuesday (2 business days), I'm charging it back via PayPal.

What a bunch of crap.

Comment Re:I agree with the guy (Score 1) 683

I'm not remarking on the industrial/economic/political aspects of the Nazis so much as their racism. Racism, hatred of people for their biological makeup, is analogous to the hatred of people solely for their financial makeup. The same kinds of generalizations are made based on a small number of stereotypical individuals, and then applied to the whole population. It's wrong, whether it's racism or discrimination against rich/poor.

Better to rage against the system that created the imbalances in opportunity than to go after the character of those people.

Comment I agree with the guy (Score 1) 683

He does have a point if you think about it (even though he automatically loses his argument through Godwin's Law.) The media has a habit sometimes of picking on the money and the people, and not the system. It demonizes these rich folk as if making them rich automatically makes them bad people who got their money through illegal means. Most of them are guilty of nothing except success. They are just people like us. If you can't accept that thought, you are guilty of the whatever-the-term is..... It's sort of analogous to racism, in a way. Hating someone simply because their skin is a certain color, versus hating someone simply because their bank account has a certain balance. It's just as pointless. Again, the problem is the hate. If the media would focus on the problems with the system, and not the "evil rich people", they might have the moral high ground, but they don't. They could pick on the existence of lobbying, and tax breaks, and unequal opportunity.... and sometimes they do, but often they don't.

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You should never bet against anything in science at odds of more than about 10^12 to 1. -- Ernest Rutherford