She begins by stating the obvious: we are a gaming culture that flees the "broken" world to a virtual one that offers a better and more rewarding collaborative environment. "When we're in game worlds I believe that many of us become the best versions of ourselves," she said. "The most likely to help at a moment's notice, most likely to stick with a problem as long as it takes, to get up after failure and try again."
While the game is still in its infant stages, the community has established itself quite nicely so far. There are wikis, podcasts, fansites and social media hubs to help you get started on your way. If you're a high-level player, you might find yourself starving for complete information at this point, but that's why this guide will be continuously updated as the resources grow. Follow along for our guide to Fallen Earth's community.
Registrations are presently open for SL Pro! a two day conference being run by Linden Lab for 'serious' professional Second Life content-creators to take place in late February this year, in Second Life itself, with a bit of help from NMC (the New Media Consortium).
Unfortunately, it's a conference with more than one track, where the two tracks generally have a fair bit of overlap, so that's a bit of an issue. The two tracks are building and scripting, each with eight sessions.
MMOs are complicated beasts. In most games you have at least a detailed set of game mechanics and combat systems to learn. That's not even getting into things like Fallen Earth with its maddeningly expansive crafting, or EVE Online and the detailed economy, or Champions Online and a costume creator that some find more engaging than the actual gameplay. There's a reason why most popular games spawn countless websites, forums, chat channels, and so forth -- because there's a great deal to learn, a large number of mysteries, and often a limit to how much useful information the game itself gives you.
So how do you learn your game? Do you browse forums and ask questions, building up advice from a community? Do you read the numerous sites devoted to the games, such as databases and wikis? Do you buy print strategy guides and try and adapt to the changes as they come, piece-by-piece? Or do you eschew all of the above, preferring to just let yourself amble along and learn things by example and inference? There are a lot of resources out there, and we all have our preferred ones, but today we want to know about yours.
Much like America's Army, the goal of the game is to try and give players a taste of what it's like to actually work in the field being simulated. While the game is focusing on creating enjoyable gameplay first, players can expect to see landscapes and tasks grounded in solid scientific principles and based upon actual astronaut missions, complete with the real and tangible challenges of exploring inhospitable worlds. The article also discusses the MoonBase module, which is set to be launched as a free standalone component on Steam in January to serve as both a preview and a testbed for the game. Take a look at the full article for a closer examination of what the game could mean, and what it might be like to play a space game where you were less concerned about arming weapons and more concerned with understanding the world around you.
(Or, if you have to, start imagining an expansion set in the 1980s adding the Soviet space program as a new faction. Which is only slightly less realistic.)
Those of us that have been playing MMOs for quite some time have probably developed more than a few skills in the process. It's pretty much inevitable, after all -- while you might not be able to learn to dance from a boss fight, you can at least get a good sense of how to move and work as a group, just by way of example. And we all know that learning to play the holy trinity of MMO roles (tank, healer, and DPS) can be ported over to a variety of other games, since odds are high there will be an equivalent.
Today's question, however, is asking about when you've reached beyond other games and have been able to apply your game skills to a real-world problem. Do you have an easier time handling budgets from all the time spent stat crunching? Are you able to be more diplomatic from dealing with random party members over and over? Maybe you just have an easier time reacting in stressful situations, or a better system for remembering obscure details. Whatever the skill, let us know about how it's boosted you in real life. (Of course, the ability to actually shoot fireballs or fly would be pretty useful in real life -- and if you've figured out how to bring over some of those skills, please share.)
Gamers will argue almost endlessly over which games are the best, which ones were most important, what the proper way to play is... but one thing we almost universally agree on is that we are not addicted. We all know the arguments -- the guy who plays sixteen hours a day in his parents' basement would have acted like that anyway, it's just a game, he doesn't have a substance addiction. Why even bring it up?
Neils Clark, author of Game Addiction, wrote up a post about ten fallacies in addressing game addiction. The point of the piece, rather than concluding whether or not it's worth discussing, is to point out the ways in which many of the arguments on both sides are inherently flawed. The first point, for instance, is taking on the oft-quoted stance that "well, games aren't drugs" by laying out the many kinds of repeated behaviors that psychologists already recognize as potential addictions and treat accordingly.
MMORPGs, more than perhaps any other genre, are usually replete with tales of utter addicts and non-stop players. The article is worth reading if you care even the slightest bit about the topic, because it reminds us that the elephant is not a part of the furniture. It's an elephant, and it's the sort of thing that needs to be addressed -- especially as the genre expands its appeal and its user base.
[ via GamePolitics ]
When news broke about Linden Lab sending a takedown notice to the core Second Life education community Web-site, our colleagues over at the Metaverse Journal put a number of questions about the matter to Linden Lab.
The Linden Lab response to those questions yesterday seems to have generated a reaction among educators akin to pouring gasoline on a blaze, coupled with a vigorous fish-slapping. While there's a undeniably a spectrum of reaction to the Lab's response, most of what we've seen seems to cluster around the livid end.
Jokay Wollongong, one of the premier promoters and supporters of the educational uses of Second Life, and keeper of the largest single resource for Second Life educators, suffered something of a reversal this week, when Linden Lab decided that that very same resource, sleducation.wikispaces.com, infringed on their SL trademark (which has now only been registered for nine days), and sent Wollongong a takedown notice.
That's something of a surprise considering Linden Lab's ongoing endorsement of the site on the Second Life Education mailing-list. The site, which has been up since late 2006, documents over 100 case studies of educational projects in Second Life, as well as providing key community resources and information for educators who are just getting started with virtual environments.
The Virtual Goods Summit has been an annual event since 2007, and features speakers from organizations all over the world, all focused on virtual goods, and virtual economies. This year's summit in San Francisco features quite a lineup, including the delicious Steve Meretzky, Turbine's accomplished Fernando Paiz, the engaging John Smedley of SOE, and plenty more.
Through the Virtual Goods Summit, developers and publishers share knowledge and get a deeper understanding of virtual goods and economies, how they function, their challenges and how to maximize the opportunities inherent in them. The Virtual Goods Summit runs on 30 October (with an optional half-day seminar on the 29th, covering the fundamentals and drivers of virtual economies, called Virtual Goods Summit University.
Want to get to the summit with a 15% discount on general admission? Register for the summit and use the code MASSIVELY at the checkout, and save! There's also discounted early-bird registration until 29 September.
In Fallen Earth, characters may advance in rank and abilities regardless of their class or faction, and they can do so steadily. For each rank a character gains, players earn 2 AP (20 AP per level). Some APs can also be gained by completing missions, and all APs are spent however the player desires. The resulting system allows players to raise the skills and stats they think are most important for the character they play.
Over the last couple of weeks, a larger number of our readers than usual have decided to give Second Life a try (in some cases, a second try after some years). It seems appropriate therefore to lay out some essential tidbits to help you get to grips with your first few hours in Second Life.
From quick graphical tune-ups to how to get help, we've got the stuff you need to know first.
My corporation (Pillowsoft) were among the first to launch their expedition, having previously prepared an Orca with a medium POS, fuel, equipment and everything else we thought we'd need. We set up in an unknown system and explored this new frontier with a cautious optimism. Over the months that followed, we learned a great deal about EVE's new wormhole systems and the Sleepers that lived in them. After striking gold many times and making each of our expedition members over a billion ISK richer, we began telling our story and giving up those secrets we had been so careful to protect. Today, a great deal is now known about the "unknown" wormhole systems and with ever more corporations launching their own expeditions, it's now more important than ever to research the Sleeper menace before venturing into the abyss.
Join me for this extensive three-page article where I dole out the fruits of my research on wormholes and begin to untangle the mystery of the Sleepers.
In this article, I examine the importance of good audio in an MMO and explain the underlying psychology involved.
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