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Balancing Choice With Irreversible Consequences In Games 352

The Moving Pixels blog has an article about the delicate balance within video games between giving players meaningful choices and consequences that cannot necessarily be changed if the player doesn't like her choice afterward. Quoting: "One of my more visceral experiences in gaming came recently while playing Mass Effect 2, in which a series of events led me to believe that I'd just indirectly murdered most of my crew. When the cutscenes ended, I was rocking in my chair, eyes wide, heart pounding, and as control was given over to me once more, I did the only thing that I thought was reasonable to do: I reset the game. This, of course, only led to the revelation that the event was preordained and the inference that (by BioWare's logic) a high degree of magical charisma and blue-colored decision making meant that I could get everything back to normal. ... Charitably, I could say BioWare at least did a good job of conditioning my expectations in such a way that the game could garner this response, but the fact remains: when confronted with a consequence that I couldn't handle, my immediate player's response was to stop and get a do-over. Inevitability was only something that I could accept once it was directly shown to me."

Scientists Advocate Replacing Cattle With Insects 760

rhettb writes "Scientists in the Netherlands have discovered that insects produce significantly less greenhouse gas per kilogram of meat than cattle or pigs. Their study, published in the online journal PLoS, suggests that a move towards insect farming could result in a more sustainable — and affordable — form of meat production."

The 10 Worst Tech Products of 2010 203

Barence writes "PC Pro has a count down of the ten worst tech gadgets of the year. Included in its hall of shame are: iPad Made Simple, 'a book containing 704 pages of advice on how to use a device that's universally acknowledged as being ridiculously easy to use'; the Dell Inspiron Duo, 'a tablet that leaves you longing to return to a keyboard and a touchpad'; and the £99 Next Tablet, the highlight of which was the 'eight-page Quick Start Guide.'"

Comment I for one... (Score 1) 335

...think that porn is too easy to "stumble" upon. Most of the time you'd have to be looking for it. But yes, it CAN be accidental, regardless of any filters or proxies I might use. Short of blocking all pictures or something retarded like that.
Here's what I'm NOT saying:
- We need everyone to verify their age via CC or SS to browse the web
- Parents have no responsibility in this matter
- We can make it impossible for kids to access this

I'm fully aware that age verification for online access would be a nightmare, that I need to raise my own child and my kids could find it if they really wanted too regardless of my actions. But this accidental sh*t that comes up could be prevented if websites are also given at least a SMALL part of the responsibility in keeping their stuff behind some kind of age verification - even a simple "are you 18" would be sufficient and many websites don't have this. Also, much of the accidental crap comes from image searches (even with the safe filter enabled) which could easily be prevented if the website owners took care of their content.

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