Game talkThe taxman DOTH come… in Oz

 Posted by (Visited 6723 times)  Game talk
Oct 312006

Check out the article.

“Your income will not be treated any differently than if you earned it working nine to five in an office.”

If a virtual transaction has real world implications – if it can be attributed a monetary value – it attracts the attention of the Tax Office. Sites such as set rates for swapping Second Life’s Linden dollars for “real” money.

“The real world value of a transaction may form part of your taxable income, even if it is in Linden dollars,” the ATO spokeswoman says. “In addition, there may be GST to consider.”

In other words, if you are turning over the equivalent of more than $50,000 selling virtual jewellery to Second Life avatars, you must get an ABN and register for GST.

MiscEmail go poof!

 Posted by (Visited 7641 times)  Misc
Oct 302006


So there I am in Outlook 2003, about to delete an email unread. Muscle memory kicks in, and instead of hitting CTRL-Q to mark it read, then Del, I hit CTRL-A, CTRL-Q, Del, a sequence I use many times a day when wiping out all the spam in a folder.

So I delete my entire Inbox.

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Oct 292006

Posting the Sunday Poem each week has become an interesting exercise. For one, few of you read them. For another, it’s something alien enough to the game world that I doubt most regular readers of the blog have any interest. I am sure that the various marketing types who hang out here would tell me that it “dilutes the brand” to some degree, because blogs that are tightly focused (and unambiguous, and full of bullet points!) are the ones that quickly get lots of traffic. Ah, the odd ways in which commerce intrudes.

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Game talkWYSIWYG loot

 Posted by (Visited 12047 times)  Game talk
Oct 272006

It’s been a while since I did a straight-up design topic, and both Sara Jensen (at her new blog!) and Brian Green jumped in to reply to Ryan Shwayder’s original post on the subject, so why not perpetuate it?

Basically, the issue is this: when you kill some dude standing around in pink tights, a floppy hat, and elfin chain mail, do you get the pink tights, floppy hat, and chain mail? Or do you get something else, if anything?

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Oct 272006

Here’s a nice way for games to poke a hornet’s nest! MyBrainTrainer is a web-based version of the popular “brain training” style games that have crossed from Japan, notably on the Nintendo DS. The web version offers a wide array of tests, ongoing tracking, age bracketing and other benefits that come from having a large database to make comparisons against.

Now, in the election season, it’s comparing the cognitive function of Republicans and Democrats.

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Oct 262006

I was feeling guilty about not having posted much lately (and what I have been posting is mostly reblogs!) and I realized that I probably had stuff lingering on the hard drive that I’d been meaning to upload to the site. One of the first things I stumbled across was the slides from the PARC Forum I gave (PDF). I previously posted links to the audio download (MP3) and video stream as well as a liveblogged summary, but somehow forgot to post the slides themselves. Oops.

This is a good chance to point to Nick Yee’s PARC Forum from earlier this year, too, entitled “The Blurring Boundaries of Play: Labor, Genocide, and Addiction.” Worth checking out.