Blogged Out: 'Married To Games'

In his latest 'Blogged Out' column, veteran UK writer Jim Rossignol takes a look at the world of developer blogging with views on art and Marriage, allegations of corruption in EVE Online, and one brave soul questing his way through the enti
Welcome to 'Blogged Out', the news report that looks at the world of developer blogging and the conversations being had with the community at large. This week: exploring Ultima and making Art. Games Are Really Art Readers: do you think that games are art? Do you care? Rod Humble does, and he's not afraid to make games with that in mind: “The Marriage is intended to be art. No excuses or ducking. As such its certainly meant to be enjoyable but not entertaining in the traditional sense most games are. This means I am certain to be perceived as being pretentious by some who read this, my apologies.” No apology necessary, Rod. In fact, I think we need a few more gamers to stop apologizing. Anyway, what's interesting here is that Rod's game is a game with a meaning. It's a kind of playable metaphor. See what you think. The Jumpgate Scandal The continued wrangling over accusations of in-game “corruption” on the part of Icelandic MMO developers CCP in its EVE Online continues unabated. CCP have recently posted a rebuttal of many of the claims made against them, as well as pointing out how far the critics in question had taken their campaign against the company. “Since last Friday, an unnamed corporation posted over 4000 times on EVE's message boards concerning these allegations. In addition, 1046 posts were made on; 235 comments were added on Slashdot; and made multiple EVE-related edits on Wikipedia. Each of these sites was hit within a few hours of each other, at the start of the three-day Memorial Day weekend in the US and a three-day weekend in Iceland, all referencing unfounded allegations — now proven to be false — that occurred three weeks ago or longer.” “The volume and timing of these near-simultaneous references is no coincidence: we were the target of a carefully constructed and well-timed social engineering effort by one of the largest player groups in our community. The intention? To undermine EVE Online and the credibility of CCP Games.” CCP are not faultless – they admit that one of their staff did act out of turn last year – it does seem as if this prior weakness was blood in the water for gamers frustrated with the game. Distinct Sound Events Remember the Second Person Shooter? Well, it's creator has continued to work on the concept, now with a multiplayer game. “I've decided to replace the visual radar with a sound-based system. You can hear where you are in the scene in relation to the view of your opponent - the view you're looking through. Events like walking into walls and picking up items are distinct sound events. The orientation of yourself out there in the scene is represented as changes to the pitch and harmonics of a continuous signal.” The Leg Comes Off Finally, although not strictly development blogging, I've been enjoying reading some game-player's blogs, particularly Ultima-Blog. Yes, it's a blog of a chap playing his way through the entire Ultima series. Brave, brave soul. “On the way there I saw a big nasty nest full of garbage, a dead kid, and one of my favourite disgusting corpses in Ultima VII--and this is in a game that's got plenty of disgusting corpses. Yes, it's the crushed skull man, where it's just one big bloody grey lump where the head used to be. There's also a body where the leg comes off, and Iolo gets completely severed in half when he dies! Ew.” And hey, there's some insightful stuff about game mechanics and story-telling too. [Jim Rossignol is a freelance journalist based in the UK – his game journalism has appeared in PC Gamer UK, Edge and The London Times.]

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