February 2006

Jeff Freeman: A Free Man

(Well, at least so far as in he isn’t tethered to his blog any more.)

I’ve been getting lots of people searching for Jeff Freeman due to an old post I made with his name in the title, so I thought I’d sum it up here.

Jeff Freeman packed up shop on February 9th at about 1:30pm. He tossed up an image that mimics a World of Warcraft informational item pop-up:

Apparently he wasn’t happy with the amount of blogging he was doing, though it’s a shame he deleted it completely. Sometimes people like to read older posts. But hey, it’s his blog and I’m not going to tell him how to do it. Well, not too much anyway. The very next day on February 10th, at about 5am, he deleted his blog from blogspot/blogger.

I don’t know Jeff Freeman. I don’t know much about his past, aside from what he put in a post about his entrance into the video game industry that ended with mentioning the recent changes to SWG. Of course it turned into a SWG-player bitchfest, and was promptly deleted, which is a shame. It seemed like a pretty good insight to him and his style. And I think that Jeff Freeman has some good ideas for MMOs. Wanna read some of them? Here, read this.

That’s an old blog posting by Ole Bald Angus, (a pal of Freemans.) Worth noting is that back in the day used to go by “Dundee.” So when you see “Dundee,” think “Jeff Freeman.” Of course, on February 5th, at 1pm, Ole Bald Angus quit his blog too. Admittedly I know nothing of Angus aside from reading him on Freemans and others blogs, but he seemed quite a nice fellow. And the two gelled rather well. So, who knows, maybe one day we’ll see a new community blog between them.

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Visiting a Carnival.

I never really post links saying things like “The Carnival of Gamers is up, you can peruse the possibilities at Game.Slashdot this time around. (Though it is, here.) The reason why being that if you’re reading my blog, then you likely either got here from the CoG or Corvus’ Roundtable (here), or at the very least are aware of them. That said, some slashdotters have apparently talked some shit about gamebloggers, one in particular that raised the ire of Corvus (Man Bytes Blog), Josh (Cathode Tan), and Tony (Button Mashing, the CoG creator.) Personally, I could give a damn about the guy. Few people read what I write and I’m perfectly fine with that. And I usually only post when I’ve got something to say anyway, so it’s not very taxing on those who do. But some others took it slightly more personal. Me? I thought it’d be interesting as I more or less am blogging alone over here. :D The original post can be found on Slashdot (here.)

Gaming blogs are for people that don’t actually play the games, and would rather write about them than fire them up and play them.

I get my gaming in with much Animals Crossing: WW and Civ IV, and Guitar Hero should be coming in the mail next week. And next paycheck I’m fixing (and modding) my Xbox. (Though if anyone is rounding up a good group for CivIV, count me in. The one I was with has fallen apart.) Does this meet your standards or should I be playing more Counter-Strike?

I’m sure that there are incentives to being a gaming journalist, but I don’t know any “journalist” that has stayed up 3 days straight camping for an Everquest drop (just to get spawn jumped) or bought 14 different mice before returning 13 just to see which gets you the most headshots. You know, attributes of real gamers.

I’m no journalist. I’m just some guy who’s curious. Have I played Everquest for three days straight? No. MMOs bore me because the player has no impact on the world around them. Now, I don’t even call myself “hardcore” any more, but a ‘real’ gamer? I wonder if you’ve ever spent a weekend in an apartment with nineteen other people for games of Mario Kart, Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles, wrestling games, Halo, Soldier of Fortune, Settlers of Catan, Munchkin, Risk, and then Monday morning you all work your asses off because you didn’t do any of your programming homework? (Occassionally interrupted by trips to Denny’s, of course.)

And fourteen mice? Dude, have you ever bought a ‘real’ gaming mouse? Who the fuck are you to be able to afford fourteen at once? Christ, my credit cards don’t even go that high…

People that play World of Therycraft[sic] instead of actually raiding. Message board campers that brag about thier[sic] FPS skills. They all share commonalities with people that write about games and game design; they arent real.

Yeah, bloggers are a bunch of assholes because they theorize on gameplay. Go tell that to Raph Koster, Brett Douville, Jamie Fristrom, or any of the game developers listed on the right.

Now, non-dev bloggers? People like me? Sure we talk about what we’d think we like. If you’ve never started a sentence with “Wouldn’t it be cool,” then I guess you have a point. I’ve already said that I no longer consider myself ‘hardcore’, but ‘real’? Man, fuck you. People like you are why Slashdot has become like Fark. Everyone does their best to troll like it’s a good thing, and that any attention is good attention.

But this persons complaint boils down to (what I think) the idea of the Carnival is. It’s a good way to find new blogs that may interest you. If you like my little corner of the internet, then great! Glad to have you reading! I hope you comment some time if the feeling strikes you. But if you don’t the look of a ride at the Carnival, don’t get on it. You don’t have to click a link just because it’s there.

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JFK: Revolution

Remember JFK: Reloaded?

It was the game by the company Traffic in which you became Lee Harvey Oswald and shot Kennedy. Well, Gamecloud.com had a news story about it the other day (here) and in it Traffic’s Kirk Ewing said “We did not expect that the game would have that kind of reaction,” and I believe him. In this day and age where more virtual World War II soldiers have been killed than there are real ones left alive, who cares if we kill Kennedy a few more times? Apparently many people as the game caught massive flack not only from the mainstream, but from gamers also, who on the news linksite EvilAvatar.com said things like:

“Tasteless.””Who even thought this shit up?”

“Apparently this company is run by a bunch of crack whores and druggies who give nothing they do any forethought.”

“Heck while there[sic] doing that they should create a sidescroller about gassing innocent people and then incinerating their bodies! The faster you can get the chlorine gas cannisters[sic] from storage, the more points! And remeber[sic] folks, PITCHFORKS work great against dead people, when it comes to cleaning up fast.”

And this gem: “The fact that they launched it around the anniversary of the JFK killing and offered 10,000 dollars to “whom ever” could reproduce the event closest to the actual killing is in fact tasteless.” I point that one out because it could almost be taken seriously if not coming from a guy who calls himself ‘SATAN’.

But why would people get so angry about this? Well, okay, maybe the Kennedys have a right to be a bit disconcerted, but that’s it! Traffic had an idea that Oswald did it, and that a lone gunman could have easily done it, and wanted to share that idea in the form of a game. Oliver Stone took the exact opposite idea, that there was a larger governmental conspiracy, made a movie of it, and won a metric shitload of awards. (Yes, a shitload is a metric unit. Go metric system!) Of course, Stone also made assloads of cash. (Assloads are a standard unit of measurement.) Because this guy makes it for a different artistic medium, we crucify him. So what if he wanted to cause a little controversy with it? You think Stone didn’t?

I not only think that they should still offer the game (that they took down, due to legal threats from the Kennedys,) I want an updated version of the idea with a multitude of famous historical events. I want the ability to become anyone there, and try to interact any way I could. I want to be a bystander at JFK’s assassination and trying to run and take the bullet for the President! Could you make it in time, or would the secret service take you out first? Would Oswald still get the shot off? What if someone modded it to give an alternative idea, that of there being a ‘second gunman on the grassy knoll’ and you were able to be him or take him out?

Yes, it all builds up to the eventual goal of a reality simulation (and the unreality simulation,) and the limitless things that can be done within. But far before we get to that point, we as gamers need to acknowledge the simple idea that games can be used to exhibit and share ideas/arguments, even if we don’t like the ideas, the artists behind them, or their execution. Otherwise we’ll end up as “Comic Books II,” a beautiful medium with amazing potential that is almost completely looked at as childish. We’re damn near there already. But hey, maybe other gamers want our artistic pinnacles to be Madden and 50 Cent: Bulletproof.

Y’know, I think this would be a fantastic game for the Nintendo Revolution. It would be great beside my fishing sim, matador sim, and kayaking sim.

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