Warcraft [YouTube] [Trailer]
“The peaceful realm of Azeroth stands on the brink of war as its civilization faces a fearsome race of invaders: Orc warriors fleeing their dying home to colonize another. As a portal opens to connect the two worlds, one army faces destruction and the other faces extinction. From opposing sides, two heroes are set on a collision course that will decide the fate of their family, their people and their home. So begins a spectacular saga of power and sacrifice in which war has many faces, and everyone fights for something.”[more inside]
In what would turn out to be a watershed event in the history of viral videos and online multiplayer gaming, footage of the Leeroy Jenkins incident was uploaded to the internet ten years ago today (previously).
Videogames Are Drugs: Dorkly presents a few comics which compare videogames to their analogous drugs.
It's All Games Now: The Convergence of Games and Social Media (video, 61 minutes), is a talk given by Raph Koster, one of the lead designers of the MMO Ultima Online, at the 2011 Game Developers Conference Online in Austin Texas. In it he looks at how digital games have changed as a social experience from MUDs to World of Warcraft, where they are going in the future, and the bleed between games and the real world. Koster has posted a summary here on his site. [more inside]
Prison administrators in China have found a new use for forced prison labour: gold-farming operations, in which prisoners play multiplayer games for hours on end, handing over the gold they acquire to the guards, who sell it online for real money.
This week the BBC broadcast a Panorama special (UK only link, YouTube links here and here) on what it presented as the alarming rise of game addiction. Thoughtful responses from Rock, Paper, Shotgun and EDGE, both of whom point out a number of problems with it.
While it's been noted Obama is the first presidential candidate to run political ads in video games and one of his transition team leaders plays World of Warcraft, there's no real evidence as yet that the coming administration encompasses the gaming experience and mindset. Since future ones undoubtedly will, as video and computer games go mainstream, it's worthwhile to ponder what things would be like if gamers ran the world. (via) [more inside]
World of Warcraft's Wrath of the Lich King expansion involves a quest titled The Art of Persuasion. Richard Bartle, co-author of MUD (and pioneer of MMO gaming), speaks out against this: "Basically, you have to take some kind of cow poke and zap a prisoner until he talks. I'm not at all happy with this. I was expecting for there to be some way to tell the guy who gave you the quest that no, actually I don't want to torture a prisoner, but there didn't seem to be any way to do that..." (via) [more inside]