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Comment Wikipedia forgot its competitive advantage (Score 1) 533

The two things that set Wikipedia apart were the fact that it was unrestricted in number of pages compared to a physical encyclopedia, and its open editing approach which allowed it to effectively delve into subjects that wouldn't be worth a print publication's time. Wikipedia will never replace professional editors and academic publications for in-depth research, but it does a smashing job of helping get the basics of damn near any subject down in under 30 seconds.

The very fact that I could use Wikipedia as a reference to find at least a stub and a couple links about some obscure Swedish Metal band, or a Spanish-language sitcom that ran in Colombia from 1979-1981 is EXACTLY why I was a fervent supporter (both financially and with volunteer editing) for years.

Sadly, the rampant deletionism and counter-productive notability guidelines have neutered the entire point of Wikipedia. They haven't gotten a dollar or an edit from me in years, and I really can't see that changing.

Comment First Rule of Game Design (Score 2) 178

Players will play the game the way they want to, not the way you intended them to.

That's just plain elementary to all game design (or even anything interactive... remember that awful dungeonmaster who freaked out when you didn't play his campaign "the way you were supposed to"?).
It honestly makes me a bit sad that he took a definitive open-ended sandbox game, and turned it into a bogged down experience where you are arbitrarily expected to do only what the dev (or should I say modder) wants.

Additionally, the tweet where he condemns the guy for doing a charity auction made me lose a lot of respect for Rohrer (as both a person and a game designer). Adding in retroactive expectations of play for a supposedly "organically evolving games-as-art project" shows a distinct lack of foresight and ruins the entire allure of the project for me.

Comment Disliking Twilight doesnt mean you hate Movies (Score 1) 418

Personally, my big mistake was treating gaming differently than my other recreational activities. I don't like Top 40s stations, sitcoms, Twilight or Harry Potter, and yet I never once considered the notion that I'd outgrown Music, TV, Movies and Books; but somehow because I wasn't getting into the new Call of Duty, Guitar Hero and Left4Dead, I was starting to think that maybe gaming wasn't my thing anymore.

What I did to restore my enjoyment of gaming was that I stopped listening to paid-off over-hyped reviews, stopped buying games at release, and started looking towards indie developers first and foremost for my gaming needs. Sure, I'm not a "hardcore gamer" because I play things like Dominions 3 and Dwarf Fortress, and you won't see me talking Black Ops with the bros at parties; but I actually enjoy the time I spend gaming now because I found what I liked to play, sales numbers and media hype be damned.

There's nothing wrong with having tastes outside the mainstream. Play what's fun for you, not what's fun for other gamers.

Comment "Modern DIY Community" not quite what I expected (Score 1) 53

In my experience, Instructables is much more of a Craft site than a DIY or hardhack community. By and large the content and the community were geared towards sharing cheap, 5 minute jury rigs of the type you would see in a Home & Garden magazine. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that Crafts and around the house tips are bad (they're great) but in no way would I associate the community with the statement "Findings highlight creativity, learning and open sharing as key values embedded in modern DIY culture".

Maybe I have a different idea of hardhacks and DIY, but when I'm looking for DIY info it's usually of the "tips for replacing my doorframe", "resources for circuit board etching" or "homemade agar solution recipes" variety.

And now an analogy: Martha Stewart provides tips on putting up plastic over windows to keep cold air out; Ask This Old House provides info on the tools and procedures one would need to replace that window with a new double-paned, insulated window. They're both awesome pieces of information, but only one (imo) represents a facet of the "modern DIY culture".

Comment Slashvertisement (Score 1) 187

This is the worst slashvertisement I've seen in ages. We have two huge privacy scandals from two of the tech world's biggest names (Google and the login/passwords, and Facebook with the targeted advertising fiasco), but the announcement of a new class in Diablo 3 gets a full, unabridged advertis- er I mean press release?

Cmon Slashdot, either come out and admit that this is an advertisement or take more than 5 minutes to make it appear like you're not Blizzard's mouthpiece spewing out verbatim press statements.

Comment I can't wait for PC gaming to "die" (Score 3, Insightful) 235

When people talk about the "death" of PC Gaming, they're talking about the major game publishers pulling out of the platform. Honestly, I can't wait.

The lack of big name heavy-hitters with huge advertising budgets is creating a vacuum that's being filled by innovative Indie developers who would've never had a chance at mainstream commercial success in a "strong" PC gaming market.

It's not the death of a platform, it's a changing of the guard that has the potential to help normalize the gaming industry as a whole. I wait anxiously for more and more Minecrafts, Dwarf Fortresses, Amnesias and World of Goos as the EAs of the industry find the PC platform more and more unsuitable for their $150 million summer blockbusters.

This isn't me saying that big companies always make bad games or telling major publishers to gtfo, this is me saying that we have an opportunity to deflate and normalize the video game industry before a repeat of the Crash of 83.


Submission + - What EA Should Learn From Activision (

donniebaseball23 writes: Gamers love to hate Activision, which has replaced EA as the top "super evil" publisher, but the recent Taliban removal from Medal of Honor shows that EA's strategies aren't on par with Activision's. IndustryGamers writes that while "Activision was willing to let Infinity Ward push the envelope," Electronic Arts simply "upset or disappointed many of the very same people it hopes will buy their product to accommodate a group of people of who likely will NEVER buy Medal of Honor or any other game for that matter. How does that add up at all? Activision has demonstrated that you don't have to compromise your creative vision to be successful – maybe EA should take notes."

Comment Re:What "hardcore" games? (Score 2, Interesting) 185

Agreed. The definition of "hardcore" games has morphed from "difficult, with steep learning curve" into "manly, and ego stroking". The reason why "casual" gaming has taken off like a rocket is because it isn't explicitly targeting young males who need an M-rating on a game because they wouldn't be caught dead playing a "kiddy game" (except for football games. Dudes groping eachother is manly as hell). The vast majority of modern "hardcore gamers" are casual gamers who are afraid to buy anything other than "manly" titles. In the same way that they secure their ego by refusing to play "kiddy" titles, they use the title "hardcore" to make themselves feel superior to the unwashed masses.

The most telling moment for me personally was when my Bro friends lambasted me for playing Dwarf Fortress and ArmA because they were "kiddy casual" games. They then proceeded to go play some Madden, Modern Warfare and Guitar Hero. They are the modern "hardcore gamer".

The point is that Hardcore and Casual don't exist in modern mainstream gaming. The sooner we stop obsessing over them, the better.

Comment Re:Dear Playboy, it happened to me (Score 5, Interesting) 495

When you ask for a raise or a promotion, you are upping the ante and entering into a haggling situation. You are implicitly saying "Scrutinize me and you'll find that my skills and contributions to the company far exceed my level of compensation, to the point that there's a real chance of another company offering me superior compensation". Remember, the vast majority of companies won't give a raise because it's the fair thing to do, they give a raise because it's a better value to secure that employee's skills in the workplace than to risk having them hired up by another company. That said, the best advice I've been given is to never ask for a raise unless you have a job offer from another company in hand.

Beyond that, all the companies I've worked at as an adult have had an unwritten policy of saying "No, why?" to anyone's first raise request. This makes sense because for a good portion of people requesting raises you will be calling their bluff; they will either back down and take the same pay they had, or show through their actions that they weren't worth a raise at all. A select few will come back with a bargaining chip and an ultimatum ("This is what the market says about my value, and these will be the consequences of you not giving me a raise"), and ask for a second raise... In my experience, these are the people who actually have a real chance of getting a raise. Additionally, some of the companies I worked at had policies in place that required both HR and the employee's direct management to approve a raise, so there was no way they could say 'Yes' the first time someone asked.

As it stands, you asked your company to intensely scrutinize your contributions to the workplace and then immediately showed them that your job at their company isn't important to you.
If I were your manager, I probably would've fired you too. My logic would have been: "Hmm, so he asked for a raise because he must have received a job offer, and after the initial meeting he's no longer doing his work... That would indicate that he has accepted a position at another company and was using the raise question here as leverage for negotiations at his new job. He has no intention of staying, and his continued presence in the workplace is a risk to the company".

Comment Re:Interpret it correctly (Score 1) 676

You have an unrealistic view of the world if you can't see why a single sentence from over 200 years ago must be interpreted within the context of our modern society. The founding fathers planned for that, which is why the Judicial Branch exists within the checks and balances of the government. The Judicial Branch's job is to interpret laws and the constitution in the context of a given situation.

Additionally, you skirted around one of the biggest examples of ambiguity in the entire constitution: What does "Arms" mean?

The second amendment was important because it gave American merchants in the 1700's and 1800's the explicit right to equip their ships with cannons and, if they could afford it, escort their merchant ships with fast, heavily armed ships equatable to military warships. Remember, getting jacked on the high seas was such a threat back then that the US had to go to war with the Barbary States because of rampant piracy out of Tripoli. Thusly, we have no doubt that the original definition allowed for artillery and emplaced guns. We've just opened the door to a legitimate conversation about whether I should be allowed to install mortars, AT guns and AA guns in the backyard of my suburban home.

Beyond that, "Arms" is short for "armaments" and, by definition, that includes ICBMs, chemical weapons, and nukes. These are doomsday weapons that were never covered by the original intentions of the founding fathers.
And there in lies the reason for interpretation: If we take the 2nd amendment word for word and apply it to the modern day without any sort of interpretation about the original intent of it, we should all be able to have have our own personal nuke stockpiles.

Now you might say I'm being ridiculous and that my logic is outside common sense. I would agree. But if "Arms" doesnt cover all armaments, where do we draw the line?
Tanks? Well, the original use did cover war vehicles...
Just firearms? Only if we take the modern definition of the word.

You cite the 2nd amendment and say "I should be unrestricted in my ability to own and carry a handgun", but the guy down the street cites the 2nd amendment and says "I should be unrestricted in my ability to own and carry chemical weapons". If that's not a compelling argument for interpretation, then I don't know what is.

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