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Comment Re:Duh (Score 2, Funny) 96

This whole situation does explain why my mother appeared to be sick on the couch at my parent's place on Thursday afternoon when I paid them a visit. With all the shaking and huddling under the covers and looking pale-faced I presumed she had come down with the flu or something.

Then again we're dealing with farmville addicts and you can't reason with addicts.

They aren't addicts, that's patently unfair. They can stop any time they want. What is most admirable about them is that they are simply so time-savvy that they coincide those times at which they wish to stop with the periods during which their crops have to be left to grow. Once the crops are ready for harvest, they desire to play again. It's really very simple and implies no addiction whatsoever.

Seriously though, 2.5 hours? The experience I have with Farmville gives me vague recollection that there are a fair few crops that have a growth period of a hour or less, and given that the crops wither and become unusable in the same time they take to complete their growth makes me wonder how many people petitioned Zynga for free ... well, the game is free so technically (and literally) nothing of value was lost, but still, I'm sure they were crying about something.

Now shut-up, it's nearly 4:01 server time and my rogue still needs the Brewfest boss' dagger to drop for it. 5 times and all I've seen is the mace which I can buy for fuck all anyway. My warlock has had two daggers already; maybe it's payback for the Midsummer event when my rogue got the staff twice and my warlock never saw it. THIS IS SUCH BULLSHIT.

Comment Re:Lovely. (Score 1) 276

Say what you want about Steam's DRM model

As per your request. It's a bloated* DRM platform which strictly speaking is worse than something like TAGES (ugh) which at least only calls home during installation.

*(love it or hate it, you can't deny that it's not a clean client)

they don't have this level of open contempt for their customers

A valid point I guess. The implication that you're a pirate via a persistent call home (less periodic if you use offline mode, yes, but still never non-existent) is clearly a much more subtle contempt than a link to a completely DRM free executable that installs a game that simply runs from it's own executable as opposed to being wrapped in a Steam-requiring header.

Steam goes down, and no-one in offline mode can play anything. GOG "shuts down" for a lame marketing stunt and it's only the people who hadn't already downloaded their games that didn't have access to them, everyone else can play regardless. It goes without saying that when Steam goes down people that hadn't downloaded their games don't have access to them either.

It sucked, yes, but it was a joke, and however pathetic a joke it was, it's over, so the time for internet drama has officially passed.

Comment Yes, Facebook games suck, but seriously ... (Score 5, Insightful) 96

Opening admission: I'm coerced into playing Farmville and Fronterville by my Mother and a couple of friends who want me to send them gifts and occasionally do crap on their farms. Also, I willingly play the D&D Adventures FB game, and I've tried the 'just barely a game' type stuff like Mafia Wars.

To my knowledge, all the Facebook games are free. Lets assume that Farmville was an 'indie' game. If the game provides you with some level of enjoyment, how is dropping $15 once off for some extra game content any different from paying $15 for some indie game that you might play for a week or two on and off before finishing it or being done with it. I suppose once you start to spend a substantial amount of money it's a different issue, but then that's not specific to Facebook games. It does make me wonder if anyone I know has spent money on these games, I must admit.

Is the fact that the goods are 'virtual' such an issue? This will start an argument, but how tangible are any of the mp3s that you purchase from say, iTunes, or books via Kindle? Yes, it's an mp3 or a glorified text file, that provides entertainment, or whatever you want to define it as, but it's still entertainment in virtual form. Really, how different is it to purchasing goods for some subjectively entertaining virtual farm; at the end of the day is it still not simply entertainment in an intangible form? How is this not just a digital way of buying extra dolls for a dollhouse or some other real world to virtual comparison that might have not implied that I own dolls?

Each to their own, seriously.

Also, you can walk in and touch swampland in Florida. That's way more effort than dragging some fences and cows into a virtual lot on my PC. It's a totally different market ;)

Comment Re:What about server admins? (Score 1) 671

As the parent of three still bright, wide-eyed-at-the-world decks of cards, I was highly distressed to see a 'game' freely packaged with every single copy of Microsoft Windows that rewards the player, after dismembering and spreading out over the playing field children much like my own, by flipping those body parts carelessly all over the screen. Last time I watched that I almost cried. I can't bear seeing it again. I definitely didn't find it, as one heartless observer noted: "Ace".

Comment Re:Is there any such thing as negative publicity? (Score 1) 671

Whoa whoa whoa. BMX XXX had actual video of strippers as rewards. Stripping and everything. Bewbs. And one of them was smoking hot.

And to be perfectly honest, the game actually wasn't that bad. I even err ... tested the theory by using a cheat to unlock all the stripper videos, and found myself still compelled to actually play the game properly, even though the 'rewards' were already ... 'revealed'. /rimshot

Comment Re:Dale Earnhardt, Ray Chapman, Len Bias, et al. (Score 0, Offtopic) 671

However, I'm pretty sure that does not destroy your capacity for thinking and rationality. This woman is like those crazy parents whose child dies in a freak drowning-in-a-bucket accident and then go on a lifelong crusade to ban buckets.

You know, it kinda does. A real world analogy to your bucket story: there was an incident in Australia where an inattentive couple lost a daughter in their pool because they either left a gate open or had a crappy gate, I forget which. They immediately started a crusade to demand the government begin mandatory pool gate monitoring by a government agency. The fact that it was their own lapse in whatever (responsibility, attention, take your pick) that caused their own personal tragedy was apparently lost on them. Their initial grief caused them to act in a way that would, externally, appear irrational, and also, quite frankly, in a way that would imply an attempt to remove the guilt resulting from the fact that they were responsible. I have no idea what they're like now; this was a couple of years ago I think.

These people have lost a child. And yes, it's a different kind of loss because of the fact that it was to a war, and a child that might have volunteered for it. But regardless of circumstance, it would stil have to be a heartbreaking experience. Unfortunately, as you say, it doesn't grant them any greater influence or control of the right to develop this game. The problem is though, again, exactly as you say even if you don't appreciate it, for now at least they have lost the capacity to think rationally, and just like the person stuck in the middle of a cyclone who thinks this could be the end of the world when a couple dozen miles in any direction someone is admiring the bright sunny day, it's a personal experience and one which greatly and undeniably affects the mindset of the one in the middle of it.

It just makes it hard because while it can be understood that they are obviously struggling, at the same time we can't simply pander to their demands simply because they are in an emotional state. Although I would presume that it would be difficultly to politely get the point across. If that's you're style, at least. To be honest I'm personally of the mind to put forward the arguments raised right at the beginning of the posting; that it's not just Americans that are dying. How many heartbroken parents in Germany have been upset at the long list of Medal of Honor games up until this point that have been purely about slaughtering the sons of German mothers and fathers. I can't remember when their voices were ever heard. Not on the other side of the pond from them, at least.

Problem is, these people can't be ignored, because there are plenty of people like Fox News who will be willing to listen and paint the soft devs or publishers as the bad guys who aren't taking the considerations of the suffering into account. But they can't be conceeded to because, well ...we're talking video games here, and we need to look at this realistically. You mourn the dead, you fight for the rights of the living. Unless we're talking about rights that would endanger said living people, but again, we're talking video games. But Fox will paint the picture using their skewed brush, and sadly enough the completely valid point that EA make about someone having to be the bad guy etc will fall of deaf ears of the "video games are evil" brigade. And at the end of the day, how was that ever not going to be the case. As always, we're on a hiding to nothing.

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