Metaplace.com farewell party and concert

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Dec 312009
 

To say goodbye to Metaplace.com in style, there’s a party scheduled at noon tomorrow January 1st, probably running all the way until the lights go out at midnight. Please come on by and hang out!

I am also going to do one last, final farewell concert, after some users asked me to. It will be at 2pm Pacific (or Metaplace time) in The Stage, and I will embed it here as usual.

A turntable for Xmas

 Posted by (Visited 6195 times)  Uncategorized
Dec 252009
 

…means reading those crazy crazy liner notes, full of pretention and affection.

…means finding Jim Kweskin’s Jug Band and Steve Martin as a wild and crazy guy.

…means wondering why my wife had so much Barry Gibb when she was a young teen. And uh, Crystal Gayle?

…means laughing over the albums that we gave each other on CD this year that suddenly we can also play on vinyl.

…means marveling over the 25 cent stickers on them, remembering being broke in college and tracking down obscure stuff in bins in used record stores.

…means blasting Joan Jett & the Blackhearts.

…means rediscovering our classical and jazz collections.

…means, unfortunately, hours and hours and hours of “ripping” the vinyl, because the romance of the record will probably only last another few hours. :)

Metaplace.com closing

 Posted by (Visited 33900 times)  Uncategorized
Dec 212009
 

Today we announced that the consumer-facing Metaplace service, the one you all know as the user-generated worlds website at Metaplace.com, is closing on January 1st. There’s a FAQ and an official letter on the site.

The reason? Well, it just hasn’t gotten traction. I have many thoughts on why, but I hope you’ll forgive me if I don’t go into all of them right now. It is a sad day for us here, and I know many users are going to be very disappointed by this turn of events.

Metaplace Inc isn’t going away – in fact, we have some pretty exciting plans. But those plans are best shared on a future day.

If we have to sunset the service, we want to do it right. So for the next two weeks – come visit, and enjoy and celebrate all of the amazing creativity and work users put into their worlds. We’re providing a way for users to grab the data that makes up their worlds. We’ll be opening a website for the community so that you don’t lose touch with your Metaplace friends. And we’ll have a big party on the last day – because Metaplace.com will not go quietly, but with the sound of meeps and music and laughter.

It was a wonderful world full of wonderful people, and I will miss it more than I can say.

The Sunday Song: Holidays

 Posted by (Visited 4231 times)  Uncategorized
Dec 202009
 

Another guitar instrumental… it’s in open D, capo IV. I sorta-tabbed it, after the break.

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download “Holidays”

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Terra Nova: Gender differences in MMOs

 Posted by (Visited 4810 times)  Uncategorized
Dec 172009
 

The latest results from the giant EQ2 data research project came out a few days ago, and this time they center on gender. I’ll just point straight to the summary from Terra Nova:

  • Men are more driven to achieve within the game space, and women are more driven to socialize, although these differences are not as large as one might expect.
  • Female players fall into two distinct categories: stereotypically feminine players, typically brought into the game by a partner, and very hard-core players.
  • The hard-core women are more intense than their male counterparts: “The top 10% of male players played an average of 48.86 hours per week, while the top 10% of female players played an average of 56.64 hours per week.”
  • Female players are healthier offline than the males. This is especially true among older players.
  • When males and females play together within a romantic relationship, the males are less happy and the females more happy. When not playing in a romantic relationship, these outcomes are reversed: the females are less happy and the males more happy.
  • There are a surprisingly large number of bisexual females playing, but not males. While male bisexual players stuck to the national average, females were about five times higher than the national baseline rate.
  • Females under-report their playing time more than males.

via Terra Nova: Gender differences in MMOs.

The full paper can be gotten here (scroll down a bit) but you have to register or purchase it.

WebGL reaches draft standard form

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Dec 112009
 

Khronos has announced that its standard for deploying OpenGL in JavaScript has reached “draft standard” — which means that it is inviting comment from developers. There’s still a ways to go:

But don’t hold your breath for Web-based first-person shooters that rival native applications. First, even if 3D is accelerated, there are plenty of other processing and user interface constraints on Web applications. Second, even after WebGL is standardized, it must be built into browsers, people must upgrade to those new versions, and programmers must learn how to support the technology.

With draft standard, 3D Web closer to reality | Deep Tech – CNET News.

That said, all the browser makers except Microsoft are backing the potential new standard (though Google has O3D going as well, of course).

It might also breathe new life into VRML/X3D — there’s efforts afoot to marry the two.

Social & Online Games Summit at GDC

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Dec 102009
 

I’m the Summit Chair for the Social & Online Games Summit at GDC this year — what the old Worlds in Motion Summit has evolved into. Gamasutra has posted an article on the recently announced initial line-up.

We’re trying to sit at the convergence of a few trends here: casual games moving online, online games moving social, and social games moving virtual, all of which are sort of happening at once, albeit at different speeds. It’s going to be a couple of years, I suspect, before this all shakes out, but it’s fascinating to watch. The Summit should be a lot of fun and highly interesting. We’re making a big point of trying to build bridges across these silos, with lectures and panels on things like adding social gaming elements to virtual worlds, migrating from AAA games to social games, migrating casual games to Facebook, etc.

You can read more about the Summit here.

A few neat little games

 Posted by (Visited 4496 times)  Uncategorized
Dec 082009
 

Just a quick post to note some games that have caught my eye lately. If you follow me on Twitter, you may have seen mention of some of these already.