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Column: 'Blogged Out: Locking the Door to Your Virtual World'

In today's daily column, regular columnist Jim Rossignol presents this week's 'Blogged Out', a news report that looks at the world of developer blogging and the conversat...
In today's daily column, regular columnist Jim Rossignol presents this week's 'Blogged Out', a news report that looks at the world of developer blogging and the conversations being had with the community at large. This week, Rossignol explores the possibility that MMORPGs aren't actually games at all, The Secret of Monkey Island creator Ron Gilbert's reaction to Starforce DRM, and a look at compulsion. In this extract, Rossignol first quotes: “Give me an easily accessible counter. I want to know how I'm doing; I want to know how many things I need to find in your level or area or what have you; I'm completely willing to run all this stuff down, but you need to give me a little help. Sly 2 did a good job of this -- just pressing down on one of the analog sticks would give you an explicit count, at any time, of how many message bottles you had found and how many there were left to find. The original Metroid Prime was rather poor about this -- other than telling you what 'percentage' you were through the game, you had no feedback whatsoever how many items were left -- I quit looking for missile powerups when I got to 150 missiles, only to later learn that there were more than 200.” ...and then responds to a blog post by Brett Douville with tips for game designers on bringing out the compulsive nature of game players: "Stop, Douville! We don’t want these games to become more compulsive. I personally feel a sense of relief when I realise that I’m going to be able to resist/avoid going into infinite hoover-mode. Honestly, we don’t need any encouragement." You can read the full Gamasutra column on the subject, which includes - free of charge - two instances of the French language and two pictures of dogs (no registration required, please feel free to link to the article from external websites).

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