Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Starcraft II, WoW Addicts, and Deadly Torches

Starcraft II, First Look at the Zerg

The original Starcraft was perhaps one of the most influential RTS of all time. I'm not a huge RTS fan, but Starcraft had my attention for hours comparable to Civilization, Championship Manager, and CounterStrike. If my Interwebs are truthful, South Korea still has gamer television channels showing Starcraft matches. Either Koreans are nuts or Starcraft really was a bloody good game, and considering the following it still has outside of the land of chien cuisine, I'm going to go with the latter. To this day, the phrase "Just curious, why am I so good?" sees regular use in my HashMap of victory lines.

So, with that in mind, you can imagine the tempest of joy that exuded from gamers all over the world when news of Starcraft: Ghost started to circulate. We waited a long time for that game, only to hear the project got canned a few years back. No matter, said Blizzard, 'cause we're working on Starcraft II. Starcraft motherfucking II.

Shit yes, the cries came forth, this is going to be epic. Well, here's a first-look at the game:

The Zerg look awesome. I was always a Terran man myself, for the Seige Tanks, Ghosts, and Wraiths, but I'm looking forward at slamming the glorious-looking Zerg good and proper when this game hits the shelves. Fuck yo' rush, nyuggah!

WoW Addiction: How a desperate father fought demons

Massively Multiplayer Online Games get a lot of good press. More than any other game, since they tend not to draw the ire of the shit-eating body of pure hate that is anti-gaming evangelist, lawyer-wannabe Jack Thompson. One MMO that does receive negative press every now and then is World of Warcraft, because, in the wrong hands, it can destroy lives. I should clarify that by saying that it isn't WoW that destroys these lives, it's all good MMOs, and by "good" MMOs I mean those that can keep you coming back for more. Warcraft gets the bulk of the heat because it has, by far and away, the most subscribers: ten million people play the game.

I play EVE-Online, which I consider to be the best MMO out there at the moment, by virtue of the fact that it is a challenge. For the benefit of WoW-players, I have linked that word to the Wiktionary definition. I'll not go into the details of why I consider EVE to be a better MMO than WoW -- it's a blogpost in itself -- but it's essentially a question of risk vs. reward. I am addicted to EVE-Online not just because it's a great game, but because I have people who depend on me in the game, and projects and goals to achieve that can't be described in level numbers and static raid locations. For some people, however, level grind and static raiding is addictive to the point of tragedy.

The linked article does not focus on the morbid life-sucking aspects of games, and does a good job of contrasting the commonly-accepted image of online gamers with how it really is. Gamers don't spend all their life playing games without any social interaction. Some may not have any good friends outside of their online worlds, but it is hardly common enough to make it stereotypical. Myself, I feel you'd have to be a serious recluse, or someone affected by circumstance, to have your entire social network exist only within the realm of your online gaming, but friends online are not just relations of bits of bytes.

During the course of my time playing online games, I have met people who have become some of my closest friends outside of the game, despite being huge distances apart. These huge online games can function like background networking exercises. I'm not foolish enough to say that everyone who plays MMOs becomes brilliant social interactors - that's simply not the case - but the vast networks of contacts I've developed in EVE-Online help me to realise ways of maintaining these networks. These are real people, and they function in the same way.

So let this be a lesson to all those who believe that MMOs are always soul-destroying, life-sucking succubi. Try it sometime, you'll find it's simply another avenue of the same social suburb.

A Torch With Some Stopping Power

I saw this gadget earlier last week, and it made me smile. It's nothing but a concept unit, not intended for sale at all, but it's a neat idea even if no one's going to have a practical use for it besides covert robbery. It's a torch, that unfolds into a submachine-gun that uses a Glock upper receiver and takes Glock magazines. Very swish, very... excessive.

"Gits nasty? Git dahn'er biznis."

That's all for now.


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