Tag Archives: Opinion

Play it now – Academagia: The Making of Mages

Play it now!I’d seriously sweated for my midterms. Astrology, dialectic and calligraphy, I felt I had in the bag. Arithmetic and geometry, well, I figured I could get by on geometry with the extra-credit work that I’d done.

Incantation, though. Why had I taken incantation – one of the toughest branches of magic – this year instead of something like botany? Pride? The lure of being able to bend the forces of nature with a well-tuned wand? Whatever it was, I just knew I was going to make a poor showing on my midterms, and I had a lot to make up before the finals. I didn’t dare wash out.

All in all, I’m glad I picked up Academagia: The Making of Mages. I played it right through, and I had an awesome time with it.

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Both unjust and unfair

Today was to be the announcement of an Australian R18+ rating for games – or lack thereof. Today it is a lack, because unanimity is required, and one State Attorney General held back.

If we accept that a ratings system for films, television and suchlike are necessary to protect children, then it is likewise necessary to have parity by applying the same ratings categories to games. The average age of gamers is now 35 – the same average age as that of film-goers.

Every month a number games that would rightly earn an R18+ rating (if one were available) and be restricted from sale to minors are instead categorised as MA15+ and permitted to be sold to under-18s.

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Play it now – Three mercenary company simulations

The appeal of mercenary company simulators is somewhat more broadly-based than other gaming genres, as they tend to (more or less) successfully blend strategic, tactical and logistical tasks into an appealing framework. Choose your work, or your targets, select your personnel, make sure everyone’s equipped, fed and getting paid, fight your battles – and maybe get some looting and pillaging in on the side.

Here are my pet picks from the genre, in no specific order.

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Play it now – Winter Voices Prologue: Avalanche

Play it now!This is sort of awkward. I don’t want to tell you about this game.

That’s because I don’t want to spoil it for you.

Let’s pull some adjectives out of the bag. It’s refreshing, surprising, haunting and surreal.

Got that? Good. Play it now!

For the rest of you who are still here, I’m wondering quite how to describe this without giving you the wrong impression.

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It’s the DLC, darnit

I’ve been thinking about The Sims 3 and Bioshock 2, and Dragon Age and other titles which I just haven’t picked up (and it doesn’t look like I am likely to). I know why that is. It’s the DLC/addons.

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Recommended reading: keeping and gaining users in the long haul

It actually isn’t as common as you might think that an MMOG makes it to five years. At GDC this year, six panelists from among the survivors got together and talked about their strategies for keeping old players and acquiring new ones.

And there’s sound advice in there for more industries and enterprises than just MMOGs.

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Play it now – Hoist Sail for the Heliopause and Home

Play it now!Something a little unusual this time around. One that you can play right away.

From the very skilled – and I might even be inclined to suggest ‘artistic’ and ‘spectacular’ – Andrew Plotkin comes a sterling piece of short interactive fiction. It’s compact and lovely, and not too difficult.

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