Tag future

Sunday Multi-Subject Post!

Rebel Walker from Star Wars Galaxies

The Galactic War is on in Star Wars Galaxies this week. So many Jedis for people to get upset about!

Multi-subject post! I don’t always have time to blog that much, so here’s a summary of the stuff I felt I should have written about, but didn’t.

Star Trek Online - Seems like everyone on my Twitter-list are playing STO these days. I am not, since my review code has yet to materialize. Not sure if there’s been a mix-up, if they are simply not sending out review codes (I am not the only one that have yet to get one) this time around or if they want to sort out most of the problems during head-start before letting the press in. I am bouncing up and down here, there’s a new MMO on the market and I’m not playing it. I feel naked.

Mass Effect 2 – The other game on everyones’ lips right now is Mass Effect 2. While I still feel a bit uncomfortable about some of the changes they’ve made to the gameplay, I am completely in love. If  you loved the first game, you must get Mass Effect 2. If you haven’t played the first game, then you are not a real human being and should get it right now. I love seeing Commander Shepard again, it’s been too long. So long that I’m actually playing through Mass Effect 1 as well.

Dante’s Inferno – The review copy of Dante’s Inferno turned up this Friday. It’s complete and utter madness. I adore it. Gameplay is solid enough to be entertaining on its own, but DI is all about the design. And the madness never, ever let up. I’ve played for around 8 – 9 hours of it, and it manages to keep the intensity up at all times. Good going, Visceral. You guys make me proud.

Mining copper in Lord of the Rings Online

Redthir the Rune Keeper, proudly stealing hobbit copper since 2010.

Lord of the Rings Online – I’ve really started to love LotRO. My rune keeper is a lot of fun to play, I love the atmosphere and the environments. While the quests are pretty standard, and I have to go into complete leveling-denial to keep myself going, I’m really enjoying myself when playing. I have fun, which is great, and I managed to get my first mount yesterday. I’m also starting to enjoy the crafting, having emptied the Shire on copper and animals dropping light hides. Sadly, the sub ran out today and since my economy this month is as bad as it more or less can get, I don’t feel like I have the funds to re-activate a P2P-account right now. I’ll be back next month, if not sooner, when everything looks a lot more stable.

Star Wars Galaxies – The Galactic Civil War update, also known as the more exciting title “Game Update 15″, was released this week. Haven’t had much time to play around, since I’m only level 47 and can’t really do much during the attacks on various cities, but I logged in and took a bunch of screens. Guild chat had some people complaining, but there was quite a lot of action going on from what I could see. Hope it works out and gets some people back to the game. It deserves it.

The future - The future does indeed look a bit brighter right now. It seems like I’ve fixed a stable freelance cash flow over the next couple of months, hopefully longer, so I should be OK economically for the moment. We’ll see how everything works out, but I feel more positive right now than I’ve done for a long, long time.

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Gender, feminism and their future in virtual worlds

Disclaimer: This post is all about my experiences in MMOs. It’s about what I’ve seen and should not be seen as a statement on how things look in virtual worlds in general. It’s not 100% truth, it’s all subjective and not very academic. It’s written in a rambling style because I’ve had too much coffee. Remember, please, that this is a blog, not a classroom or an academic institution. With that said, feel free to criticize me and my ideas. I always, always reserve the right to change my mind if I believe I’ve been proven wrong. Thank you.

Gender-play in MMOs is hardly a new subject. We’ve known about it for a long time – people like to play characters of the opposite sex. Sometimes they even roleplay members of the opposite sex. That last part has been the main interest of academics, especially the ones with a gender-slant, for a long time. For an obvious reason, it’s  interesting and fascinating. But it’s becoming old and for most MMO-theorists it’s old news.

That does not, in any way, make Sera Brennan’s recent post on Massively any less interesting. More often than not, the theories about why people gender-play in MMOs are written by heterosexual males or females from a distanced viewpoint. Sera, on the other hand, identifies himself/herself as a transgendered, as a female stuck in a male body (while still being heterosexual, mind you – far from all transgendered are gay). Not only does it take a lot of guts to write a post like that, it also brings a fresh perspective, written in the first person for once, about the subject of gender-play.

It got me thinking about my own experiences with gender in MMOs over the last couple of years. I believe I’m heterosexual, as far as I know I’m not attracted to men enough to call myself bi-sexual but I’ll keep an open mind, but I almost always play a female character in games when given the option to do so. It’s not about the old axiom that men like to play female characters because they would “rather stare at a female behind than a male for hundreds of hours” (that’s really getting tiresome, guys). It’s generally about female characters often being better designed than male (with a few exceptions, including EverQuest II and Lord of the Rings Online), probably because the designers are often male and have more fun designing females, or that it is much more interesting to identify with a virtual female than a male. After all, I’m male in the real world, something that I won’t be able to change until Kurzweil’s reality-bending nanomachines become a reality, so why play one in a virtual world when given an option to try something else?

Before we go any further, let’s take a look at feminism. That word is usually an invitation for trolls to come crawling out of the woodwork, stating that males and females alike are all burdened by gender stereotypes (usually wrapped in more or less veiled insults). That’s indeed very true, but feminism (for me – remember that this post is all subjective) puts the focus on the submission and oppression of women and how that relationship between male and female creates a reality in which everyone suffers. Men are supposed to be dominant, and many suffers from that, while women are supposed to be submissive, from which they suffer. By eliminating that dominance-submission relationship, feminism is able to deconstruct the gender-roles inherit in that particular relationship for the benefit of all. It’s all about where you look and (for me, again) feminism strikes from below, while other views on gender-problems looks at the problem from another direction. Read more

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Virtual worlds, massive multiplayer games and assorted ramblings

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