Posted by Shannon O'Grady on December 9, 2008
So a friend of mine sent me this link to a BBC story about a Muslim oriented virtual world. Think Habo meets The Sims. I love the idea and the execution of it all, don’t get me wrong but I’ve got one question:
Does this need to be seperate?
I understand the whole idea behind starting a Muslim only community, but to me making such a separation seems strange to me. Adding a prayer mat to The Sims would have much the same effect. If you’re playing any other online game you could create a community for Muslims who play their characters according to Muslim customs.
Now I admit, this could be all my perception, and the whole reason I wrote this was to start some discussion. I was raised Irish Catholic and have tried on various religions over the years. Currently I’m undecided. I just don’t see the big deal about religion and flaunting it or seeing it as a dividing factor.
The creators of Muxlim Pal say that the game is for those interested in Muslim culture, but to me, it seems like an excuse for people to cut themselves out of society and create even more of a mystique around themselves. The developers also mention that Muslims don’t live a life all that different from non-Muslims. If that’s true, then why create a seperate game?
I’m not saying this is bad or anything, please don’t get me wrong. I just question this continuing need for “cultural diversity via separation” that I’m seeing everywhere.
Posted in Buzz, Digital Culture, Groups, H/S Buzz, Hardware/Software, Interaction, Video Games, Web Buzz, Websites | Tagged: Culture, Discussion, Habbo, Muslim, Muxlim, Muxlim Pal, seperation, Shannon, The Sims, Virtual World | 4 Comments »
Posted by Susan on December 1, 2008
Marge Simpson Playing Earthland Realms
The time has come – With these posts coming to an end, I thought I would share how mainstream WoW has become in popular culture.
Aside from the internet, the other vice that people seem to be addicted to is television. Personally, I find pretty much all I want online, so my television sits and collects dust. But that is beside the point. Last season two major network television shows aired parodies of the World of Warcraft player.
Warcraft and The Simpsons
Marge has played it – Will you? The Simpsons aired an episode in which Marge begins her foray into the Internet and plays a game called “Earthland Realms”. She creates her character in her image (don’t expect to see that in WoW cause most of the girl players are actually male, or so its been said). Its pretty funny cause she begins to learn how to interact with the other players like Apu, a vendor in the city, Moe, and Chief Wiggam. The episode is relatively clever, with a slight understanding that is actually WoW they are trying to depict. Others say that it is a mocking of Everquest, another MMORPG, the similarities are interesting, and there is a slight joke that while others go outside to enjoy the world, Marge decides to stay inside and play the game – feeding into her own new addiction. I will not divulge the episode, you should watch it for yourself online at http://www.zath.co.uk/world-of-warcraft-simpsons/
Warcraft and South Park
Well, Blizzard actually gave the writers of South Park authority to write their episode, and allowed them to actually use the game on their show. The characters
South Park Episode "Make Love Not Warcraft"
of South Park make actual players, and are attempting to defeat a superpowered player, who threatens the game itself. Its actually very humorous to watch this unravel, and a little discusting since the boys become what people seem to think are the stereotypic WoW player – you know, the troll that lives in the basement and sits infront of his/her computer all night. This one is a cult phenomenon for the WoW player, the detail to the game is amazing, and since Blizzard gave rights to it, makes is authentic. There is even a picture of Azeroth in the background, and the boys party up like a real group. Yes, WoW players actually do that, we bring PCs over and all play in the same room. It actually makes for a fun night! The small things in this episode make it cool – However, the animation in the episode is modified from the gameplay of World of Warcraft, and contains elements that do not exist in the game: talking animations, controlled NPCs, Humans in the Hunter character class, the ability for a player to kill another without restrictions, and increased gore. But other than that – Totally Cool. Check it out at: http://videoutopia.smartvideochannel.com/media/playvideo.aspx?f=flash7&cid=28D323DD11C14FDB9BDCF21BC876A1F1&v=mostviewed
I will admit it, I started playing WoW – from a commercial. But not just any commercial, I saw it from a clip of a cult classic movie – Office Space. The commercial got me so intrigued that I was like – wow, I can try this for free? Why not give it a shot! So I started playing, and actually come to think of it – that was 2 years ago today! Yup, thats right my little Druid is 2 years old. Anyway, I am heddging bets that most of you, if you watch any cable television, have seen a WoW commercial – and man they have some cool ones now – With people like William Shatner, Ozzy Osbourne, Verne Troyer, Mr T., Jean Claude Van Damme, Steve Van Sandt, and Vic Mignogna – I think that the cult base is growing. Now, I know that these are commercials designed to promote the game – but come on, we have Coke commercials with WoW in them and Toyota Tacoma commercials with WoW in them. World of Warcraft is a cult phenomenon with millions of players and its growing everyday! Ok, wanna see those commercials? So Do I – So I will post em all!
THE ONE THAT GOT ME HOOKED!!
Mr T’s World of Warcraft Commercial
William Shatner’s World of Warcraft Commercial
Verne Troyer (Mini-me) World of Warcraft Commercial
Ozzy Osbourne- World of Warcraft Commercial TV Ad
Steve Van Sandt (Silvio) World of Warcraft Commercial TV Ad
Posted in Buzz, MMORPGs, Reviews, Video Games | Tagged: Blizzard, Blizzard Entertainment, Commercial, Druid, Earthland Realms, Jean Claude Van Damme, Jenkins, Make Love Not Warcraft, MMORPG, MMORPGs, Mr T., Ozzy Osbourne, Popular Culture, South Park, Steve Van Sandt, The Simpsons, Verne Troyer, Vic Mignogna, William Shatner, World of Warcraft, World of Warcraft Expansion, WOTLK, WoW, WoW in Television, Wrath of the Lich King | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Rod Leland on November 26, 2008
Just about everyone nowadays is using the Bittorrent protocol for filesharing. Whether it be to distribute nightly builds of a Linux distro legally, or to “accidentally” obtain software or movies, Bittorrent is arguably the most popular way to share files online. Client software is an important part of the Bittorrent experience and now one of the best clients out there has finally been released for Mac. The μTorrent team (well, guy) has taken three years to code the Intel only Beta, but its here, and its awesome. Download Here: http://mac.utorrent.com/beta/
Posted in Buzz, Digital Culture, Tech News | Tagged: Apple, Beta, Beta Software, bit torrent, bittorrent, file sharing, filesharing, Linux, mac, OS X, OSX, torrent, uTorrent | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Shannon O'Grady on November 20, 2008
After a year of waiting Eternal Sonata made it's debut on the PS3 in Oct.
As I said earlier I’ve been spending a lot of time playing Eternal Sonata lately after I rented it for my PS3. Though it’s been out on the XBOX 360 for a year now I’ve been religiously avoid propaganda and information on the game to keep my impression of the game pristine.
Now there are many reviews of the content of Eternal Sonata so I’m gonna gloss over that a bit, but there’s some new content for the PS3 version of the game that I found really fun!
So Eternal Sonata is a J-RPG based loosely around the life of pianist and composer Frederic Chopin. Don’t worry aside from some educational cinematic there’s very little in the game that is directly related to the life of Chopin. Instead the gameplay takes place in a dream had by the character Chopin as he lays dieing in Paris. I haven’t finished the game yet so I don’t know if this is true or not, but it makes for a neat premise.
Prince Crescendo is now playable and joins the party wielding a Mace and Shield.
Anyway, the usual multiple characters from different backgrounds with different purposes make their appearances and eventually you have a nicely balanced crew to choose you battle party from. The characters are a little stereotyped but all have compelling stories and personalities. Eventually you have to go and defeat evil and change the world and save everyone. The usual hero story with a romantic subplot or two. This particular game features strong overtones of nationalism (this being based on Chopins life in exile) and personal integretity.
Like I said, I’m glossing over the storyline quiet a bit. I’d love to review it, but it’s been done before. So on to the new PS3 content.
Princess Serenade has also become playable fighting with a staff and magic
Prince Cresendo and Princess Serenade are key players in the game’s storyline as thier titles suggest. In the orignal realease of Eternal Sonata these characters were not playable but that has been changed in the PS3 version. So far I’ve spent about 3 hours playing with them (that includes a lot of leveling up and the like) and though they didn’t stay in my party I have a feeeling they’ll be back.
There are new dungeons too; mostly quick levels with pretty backgrounds and have a few helpful items mixed in. I’m having a hard time seeing which are original and which are new, which is impressive that they blend so seamlessly into a complicated game. These new levels also give us new scenes which further explain character origins and the mechanics of the game world. I’m somewhat surprised they weren’t in the games first version because they’re really helpful and expand the game quiet a bit.
- Polka looks great in green!
The look and sound of the game got a tiny tweak for the new system with new musical versions of Chopin’s music being put in and new character portraits. Of course there’s all the new art seen in the new levels, which shouldn’t be sold short. Graphically this game is PRETTY!
Lastly, and staying in line with the PRETTY look fo the game, you can now but three of the game’s main characters in to new costumes. I’ve only found one so far. 😦
So that’s the run down. Pretty major stuff eh? Almost makes it worth the year wait. Almost… I’m not a patient woman Namco-Bandai. Don’t let it happen again, or there will be no dessert for you.
Posted in Reviews, Video Games | Tagged: Allegretto, Bandai, Beat, BP, Chopin, Chopins Dream, Eternal Sonata, Eternal Sonata PS3, Eternal Sonata PS3 costumes, Eternal Sonata: Reprise, Music Game, Namco, Namco-Bandai, Polka, Prince Cresendo, Princess Serenade, Shannon, Tri-Cresendo, Trusty Bell, Trusty Bell: Chopins Dream -Reprise, Video Game | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Rod Leland on November 19, 2008
Google has just started rolling out a new feature in Gmail Labs that adds Theme support to gmail. Many add-ons and plugins have added this feature previously and now google themselves have stepped up. For so, so, so many people who use gmail in the browser as an online web-app this is great news. Hopefully Google will add a feature that allows user-submitted themes as well. The rollout has already started but google tends to roll things out slowly to balance server load and detect bugs early on. Check for the Themes tab under settings and if you dont have the setting yet, It should drop soon. Some Samples Via Google:
Posted in Buzz, Digital Culture, Geekdom, Tech News, Websites | Tagged: Customization, Design, G Mail, Gmail, google, Google Labs, Labs, Rod, Skin, Skins, Tech, Theme, Themes, Web App, Web Apps | Leave a Comment »