MiscJeff “Dundee” Freeman

 Posted by (Visited 20729 times)  Misc
Sep 302008

jeff_freemanYears ago, when I was a young punk kid on UO, there was this really sharp, really witty, really annoying guy named Dundee on the r.g.c.u.o newsgroups. He challenged everything I said, and I got into epic discussions with him. He was an avid opponent of the PvP and PK structure that UO used, and had no patience for all of my endless reasons why it was important to allow player freedom and agency, saying that I was allowing jerks to run roughshod over everyone (and in the end, I came to agree with him).

His reasoning got more and more sophisticated as we argued. It was clear he was very knowledgeable about games. So eventually, I dared him. I don’t recall what it was in regard to, but I suggested that he go grab a mud codebase and just try his ideas.

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The Sunday PoemThe Sunday Poem: Watching a Play

 Posted by (Visited 6443 times)  The Sunday Poem  Tagged with:
Sep 282008

From afar, the patchwork paisleys, tights
and robes, gaudy gowns
a glitter, the ladies

all a carnival, a sumptuous play, riches
on display until full light
hits her full force and then we see

the sawdust backgrounds, painted bright
to eye fool eyefulls, add horizons,
set the stages

gap between surreal, unreal, and real
and really, do they know
the way they fool us themselves?

and then the way the light hits
their saddened eyes
the lacework lashes

such pride in paisley promises
stony pride
in teetering at proscenium’s gap

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Sep 262008

Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout, stalwart plucky young Southern Gothic reporter,  has landed a prized interview with one of the first vampires to go public…

Sarah had fretted quite a lot before the interview; photos of Renaldo Angelicus Dramatico had revealed him to be exactly the brooding type that she used to dream about as a teenager. Which was only a year ago, before ths small-time local station morning show gig. But now that she was under the lights and before the cameras, she felt better about it. The assistant producer, Jodi from Minnesota, had tried to get her to calm down, but they couldn’t help but giggle about it, trading off-color remarks about long… fangs.

Until he walked in. A blousy white shirt, revealing smooth and hairless pectorals. A confident stride and a firm handshake, even as his eyes flicked up and down her body as if she were just meat. Which she supposed she was, in a way. His hand was dry but not clammy, smooth and uncalloused, and his skin sparkled under the lights.

As the cameras ran, Sarah felt like she babbled through the introductions: “unusual opportunity,” “learn more about these creatures of the night” whatever. The vampire merely looked on her patiently until the formalities were complete. Finally, the preliminaries were done, and he gave a little half-bow from his chair as she was introduced.

“I do hope you aren’t here to eat me,” she said, as her opening gambit.

“Ah no, senorita, I could never do such a thing. You are far too lovely to make that sort of meal.”

“You really aren’t from this century, are you,” she said, looking down at her notes. “So, tell me about yourself. I understand you’re a pacifist vampire–”

“War is such a waste,” Renaldo interjected. “All that blood running in the streets.”

“–A pacifist vampire who only drinks synthetic blood or blood taken humanely from animals under PETA’s supervision, and you are not evil but in fact are cursed to live forever with a remorseful soul to atone for horrific deeds in the past until you meet your one true love. Isn’t that a little unusual?”

“Not at all. In fact, that’s the case for about one in five of the vampire population.” Continue reading »

Game talkJack Thompson disbarred

 Posted by (Visited 17650 times)  Game talk  Tagged with:
Sep 252008

Well, it finally happened — Jack Thompson has been disbarred. Naturally, he’s not taking this lying down.

For those who don’t know, Thompson is either the crusading lawyer who fights to keep adult entertainment out of the hands of kids despite persecution from his own profession and the government; or a witch-hunting publicity hound who targets the game industry with outrageous claims.

It’s unfortunate that people with nuanced takes, like Jim Gee or Henry Jenkins, get a fraction of the ink.

Sep 222008

There was a fair amount of coverage of this panel, despite the relatively small attendance. This was the one where we announced the Metaplace TOS. Some of the coverage:

The discussion has been quite lively, and many excellent points were raised for possible revisions, many posted right here on the site in the discussion thread. I plan to reconvene with the lawyers and this feedback and present another draft for the Internet to argue over. 🙂

Sep 222008

Gamasutra has coverage of the other panel I was on at AGDC.

Finally, why did all of these developers leave their jobs at major MMO studios for the world of the web?

Koster’s response seemed to sum up a lot of the inspiration among developers who have come to love the web as a platform.

“It isn’t so much about the size of the market, though that’s important,” he said. “And it’s not even about the six year long [traditional MMO development cycle]. To me, it’s about the greater capacity for personal expression. There’s a great capacity to touch people. it was about empowering everybody. Working on the web now reminds me of working on the internet before the web was around, where it was much more community-driven and participatory and exciting and end users have their say. It feels like you can accomplish everything.”

Game talkExitReality

 Posted by (Visited 7172 times)  Game talk  Tagged with: , ,
Sep 172008

ExitReality launched in open beta today and there is coverage in a few places. Virtual Worlds News has detailed coverage with lots of interview questions, while CNet has a slightly more critical article.

What does it do? It automatically grabs web content and sticks it into a 3d space. You can shape the 3d space if you want, but it does it by default — no work for the site owner. It also slurps 3d content of all sorts from basically anywhere to let you build with it. I don’t know what the scripting is like, and it (like most all the 3d solutions) is based on a plugin, and one that as of yet is still limited to Windows. But that seems like an obvious thing to want to remedy.

I haven’t tried it out yet, but it does seem like an important transitional step in some ways. It’s still the notion that people want to see websites in 3d, which I think is basically wrong, but it does it in a manner that is much more like the web than past attempts.

It will be interesting to see where this one goes.

Game talkAGDC: Bruce Sterling keynote

 Posted by (Visited 13242 times)  Game talk  Tagged with: , ,
Sep 162008

Again, sorry for typos.

Bruce Sterling, Future of Entertainment

Hello, thanks for having me into your event today, and thanks for that intro. Though there is a problem with that, I am not Bruce Sterling. He couldn’t make it, he sent me instead.

The reason he couldn’t make it is that in 2043, Bruce is 89. Dr. Sterling is too frail to get into a time machine to talk to game devs, so he called on me to do it. I am one of his grad students. I volunteered, sort of, to journey back in time using some of our new technical methods. It wasn’t exactly easy, and I am here and fully briefed.

Before I get started about computer entertainment 35 years from today, even though that is a very interesting topic and I am writing my thesis about it, I think I should level with you. I should tell you a few things first confidentially.
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Game talkAGDC08 / WiM: Google Lively keynote

 Posted by (Visited 7203 times)  Game talk  Tagged with: , , ,
Sep 162008

Liveblog, hurried and it was hard to hear and muffled so lots of typos and elisions.

Kevin Hanna, Creative Director, Google Lively

About a year ago the first rumors hit about Lively. My favorite was one where some bloggers decided to debunk the rumor, presenting arguments as to why Google would never go into this space. At the end the question is why would Google do this?

So we are here to answer the question of why is Google in this space?
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