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Best of Member Blogs: From Replayability to Side Projects

Showcasing highlights from Gamasutra's Member Blogs, we look at an exploration of game replayability, viability of developer side projects, German politicians targeting violent games, and more.
In our weekly Best of Member Blogs column, we showcase notable pieces of writing from members of the game community who maintain Member Blogs on Gamasutra. Member Blogs can be maintained by any registered Gamasutra user, while invitation-only Expert Blogs -- also highlighted weekly -- are written by selected development professionals. Our favorite blog post of the week will earn its author a lifetime subscription to Gamasutra's sister publication, Game Developer magazine. (All magazine recipients outside of the United States or Canada will receive lifetime electronic subscriptions.) We hope that our blog sections can provide useful and interesting viewpoints on our industry. For more information, check out the official posting guidelines. This Week's Standout Member Blogs - The Tenets of Replayability (Josh Bycer) Replayability, or the lack of it, is frequently tossed around as a factor in reviews and a point of praise or complaint on message boards. Freelance designer Josh Bycer attempts to categorize that broad descriptor into some concrete mechanics and design directions. For his effort, Josh will receive a lifetime subscription to Gamasutra sister publication Game Developer magazine. - Side Projects and Quality of Life (James Steele) Game development side projects can provide an important outlet for creative release as well as the opportunity to further hone one's skills, so why are they often implicitly discouraged by employers? That's what James Steele would like to know! - The More the Merrier (Kimberly Unger) How are MMOs like playgrounds? Veteran artist Kimberly Unger explains, with a surprisingly salient metaphor that speaks to the frequently unspoken nature of MMO population balance. - Left 4 Dead - FPS or RPG? (Stephen Chin) The title says it all. In his debut Gamasutra blog post, Stephen Chin wonders whether the purely mechanical descriptor of the "first person shooter" actually applies to the inherent structure of Valve's zombie-killing Left 4 Dead. - Germany's Video Game Politics and Why it Matters to the US Market (Alex Covic) Gamers worldwide have read news reports about German politicians and legislation targeting violent video game sales, but there has been little discussion as to the potential ramifications they could have in other markets. IT freelancer Alex Covic wants to remedy that.

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