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Daily Recap: April 20, 2009

April 20, 2009
I promise, my only LOLcat-related image ever.

I promise, my only Lolcat-related image ever.

Today was 4/20. The irony is not lost on me that during this “holiday” I neither sold nor purchased pot in Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars. It just wasn’t in demand, yo.

Face-mapping could help poor, ugly giants like this guy

Face-mapping could help poor, ugly giants like this guy

Funcom’s Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures (AoC) is allowing players’ faces and voices into its barbaric world. In the near future (read: “soon”), players will be able to inject themselves into the game and, as far as faces go, accessorize their likenesses with items like eye patches. While it’s interesting to think that practically your entire persona can be put into an MMO, isn’t the point of  playing a fantasy to live as an avatar who isn’t you? Also, something tells me that Robert E. Howard would cringe at the possibility of a “Boobienan” hacking down frost giants with a man’s face on a topless female body.

Apparently, 8.5% of American kids aged 8 to 18 are addicted to videogames, or so reports The Washington Post. This story has made the rounds on various websites today, but really this topic is nothing new. As gamers we all experience a particular kind of social stigma, with implications that games cause obesity, promote violence, etc. And although researcher Dr. Douglas Gentile is in cahoots with the sometimes-dubious National Institute on Media and the Family, it’s even more concerning to the sensibilities that a gambling Q&A used on such a small sample size led to this generalization (and is considered “scientific”). Specifically:

To get at gaming addiction, Gentile adapted diagnostic criteria for pathological gambling into a series of questions about video game use. The questions became part of a 2007 Harris Poll survey of 1,178 children and teens. Gamers were deemed “pathological” if they reported at least six of the 11 symptoms.

More of this, Obsidian. Thanks!

More of this, Obsidian. Thanks!

Speaking of civilizations characterized as being so clearly in the proverbial toilet, a new Fallout title was announced for 2010. Called Fallout: New Vegas, this  isn’t a direct sequel to Fallout 3, but a new story set within the Fallout universe. Developed under the tutelage of Bethesda by Obsidian Entertainment, best-known for their Knights of the Old Republic sequel and Neverwinter Nights 2 titles, the game will probably feel a lot like Bethesda’s work with improvements here and there. Obsidian had a habit of tweaking BioWare’s ideas, and their games aped the originals a bit too closely as a result. Could this new Fallout title turn out like Call of Duty: World at War: a safe-bet palette swap? Ironically, Obsidian is the spiritual successor to Black Isle Studios, the devs of the first two Fallout titles.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 21, 2009 10:07 am

    I’m not sure what to think about the Fallout: New Vegas announcement. I’ve always given Fallout 3 a hard time, despite the fact that I enjoyed it enough to, um, do pretty much everything there is to do. Twice. I loved the massive, verdant landscape in Bethesda’s previous game, Oblivion, and The Shivering Isles was a brilliant and rich expansion. But Fallout 3 took place in such a bleak, homogeneous world (and intentionally so) that I had a hard time staying interested in the game, save for some interesting characters and a couple neat surprises.

    Obsidian deserves some real credit for its past work. It has taken established BioWare franchises like Neverwinter Nights and Knights of the Old Republic and delivered solid and distinctive sequels to both. But to think of some old the old Black Isle crew getting a chance to work on a new Fallout game after being shut down more than five years ago? It’s kind of satisfying, in a cosmic-justice kinda way.

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  1. Daily Recap: April 21, 2009 « The Silicon Sasquatch

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