Friday, September 19, 2008

Mid-September Misc

Gaia Online's getting ever closer to the release of zOMG.   An essential part of that experience, though, was finally unchained - Gaia Instant Messenger.  If you're logged onto Gaia, this spiffy piece of JavaScript can let you instantly talk to anyone on you Friendslist who's currently on GIM, in real time.
This is a really important step for Gaia, I believe, as it now offers something crucial that will really help when Guilds get revamped.  Browser-based chatting is very helpful when you're not able or don't have time to download and install an instant messenger.  I wonder how that thing works on smartphones?  Now if people would actually use the damn thing.

The other thing they released is Aquariums.  People have been asking for pets for a long time now, and this seems to be an extremely clever (if not passive) way of starting that code library.  Being able to take care of your fish, make them happy, and get items for it sounds like a ton of fun, personally.  I can only hope they add Terrariums later, so we can have reptiles, too.

These kind of releases make me confident about Gaia's future.  They make some really stupid mistakes sometimes, but they learn from them.  That, and they're doing their best, and you can tell.  Lanzer's latest journal entry goes into a bit of detail that's nice to see from the head honcho, and apparently it's the first of three entries like that.  It's interesting to note how much loyalty that the administration's transparency brings.  

Just a passing thought, but could this be the seed for future professionals to demand that they see what their superiors are up to?  Considering how many young people are using Gaia (at least a couple million), it very well could be.  So, that earns Gaia even more of my respect.

Giant Bomb posted a link to Bethesda's new Fallout 3 site.  It is epic, to say the least.  A collection of short animations and videos that really drive home the world of Fallout.  Not only that, but current fans are going to love it.   I'm glad they're really making use of the internet with this game's marketing.  They're not the first ones to do it, don't get me wrong; but between Penny-Arcade's comic series and all the other media that's available, they certainly know how to get people excited for a game.

I finally got to play Peggle last night.  I finally understand what all the hubbub was about, when it was released.   Now if only there was loot involved, people would probably never see me again.

Michael Abbott, who writes the Brainy Gamer Blog, also does the Brainy Gamer Podcast.  I'm still rather new to everything the Gamerati Blogosphere has to offer, but I know for a fact that this Blog and Podcast is one of The Essentials.  Especially now that he's doing the Gamers Confab, and inviting different bloggers to chat with him about things.  I'm finding more people to listen to, who are smarter than I am, because of this one single Blog, and it's amazing.  

Here's my takes on a few of the subjects they talk about.  You might be a little lost unless you give the 'cast a listen, which I highly recommend.

On Singstar, and Karaoke in general:
Personally, I'd enjoy it a lot more if I had more practice. At one point in time I was able to harmonize with Brandon Boyd's (from Incubus). Now, not so much - but I feel that I'd really enjoy singing again if I could just sound better. Not that it prevents me from singing along with Paramore's Crushcrushcrush, in the car.

On Team Fortress 2: 
I've been hearing so much about this game ever since it came out, but now it seems like I absolutely must get this game as soon as possible. Everywhere I turn it seems that people are saying, "this is how you make PvP".
On LittleBigPlanet: 
I still don't get the excitement for it. It's probably because the creator tools didn't sell me, they seemed too clunky and they took far too long to deal with. Maybe once I get my hands on it, I'll change my mind. I'm sure some players are going to make some pretty incredible things, but I think they'll also have much more patience than I do for that kind of stuff.

On Pokemon-shame:  
It's really interesting how many older gamers still love Pokemon, but don't really want to admit it. There's a huge undertow that Nintendo has yet to tap into, I believe, of fans wanting something more. Especially a Pokemon MMOG that's beyond what the gameplay currently is. Something similar to the drama that the Anime brings to Pokemon. Being able to make crazy fighting conditions and combos and level destruction. Heck, being able to have an Onyx as a mount would make my day. I'm very curious to know what Nintendo's up to - are they just milking this craze for everything its worth?

On Sporn:
Awhile ago I was thinking about all the news that the Spore Creature Creator was getting, due to people making phallic objects and creatures having sex. I was considering the similarities between some of the creatures being made, and ancient fertility idols.

(Interesting aside, Wikipedia's "Fertility Idol" redirects to Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark)

Is it just a part of human nature to express our sexuality? Given something like Spore, that makes this kind of thing so easy to do - can we blame people for doing it? Is it actually a bad thing? As a culture, I mean.  

On an individual level, I certainly don't want to have my Spore experience plagued by every race I meet having sex all the time. Can you imagine, getting into space, then jetting off to meet your first neighbor - only to find that they're always getting it on whenever you hail them, and they don't even stop? They just keep on going at it, while you talk to one of them. How rude.

Or, having an Epic Penis terrorize my creature phase. In fact, I just don't want to have to deal with an Epic Penis at all.

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