MMO Anthropology Livestream After Action Report, July Week 3

Posted by | July 22, 2013

The MMO Anthropology livestream went off with the crew hitting up NEStalgia on Friday and Minecraft on Saturday.  Playing the odd 8-bit MMO that is reminiscent of Dragon Warrior and led to editor-in-chief Nelson Williams to make a lot of puns about “balls” due to the in-game nation being named Balzackia. Meanwhile, on Saturday, Minecraft led the intrepid fan base across a deep, and wide ocean to a new land to colonize—and colonize they did. For more details see the full After Action Report.

Gamers Say the Strangest Things—but They Shouldn’t be Arrested for It

Posted by | July 19, 2013

The end of June brought the news that a League of Legends player had ended up in jail over comments he posted on Facebook. Early July and we heard that he’d been finally bailed out of jail on $500,000 bond. Justin Carter is charged with “terroristic threats,” a special form of threatening speech that includes attempting to terrify people by threatening to do something horrific. According to his parents and his attorney, he’s been charged with this for jokingly threatening to “shoot up a kindergarden” and “eat a still beating heart” with “jk” and “lol” added to the comment.

Gamers already suffer a great deal of odd, black sarcasm in our everyday culture—and some trolls and malcontents add a lot of noise—but some do rage and joke and make commentary that has

Zynga Bug Sends Customer Support E-mails to Random Stranger

Posted by | July 5, 2013

A bug on the Zynga customer-support servers mistakenly sends support request e-mails to a total stranger. Eric Mueller, who owns the domain name, but doesn’t work for Zynga (instead he runs a web design firm) tried to contact Zynga about the error—who didn’t respond. Instead of ignoring the support needs of customers, Mueller decided to do Zynga’s job for them and started responding to the support requests. With hilarious results.

One example,

I know that For Canada Day, the engineering department wraps the ".ca" servers in Canadian flags, and then sets a plate of poutine on top. This sometimes can cause the server to overheat, and sometimes even get gravy into the login/logout module. I thought that might be what was going on, but I checked with the Canadian server techs and they are telling me that Canada Day passed without incident and

The Problem with Digital Distribution and DRM: Reduced Value

Posted by | July 3, 2013

In the most recent Extra Credits, published by Penny Arcade, Daniel Floyd talked about some of the issues strangling the community over used games and how they collide-and-explode with digital distribution. This is especially problematic when viewed in light of the Xbox One attempt to saddle the community with grossly disrespectful DRM as well as restrictions on trading used games.

He points out, correctly, that digital clearinghouses like iTunes and Steam represent the same problem but gamers have less of a problem with these than they do with used games being impossible to return. He may have covered it in a previous video, but for the most part I have less problem with Steam because most of the games that I buy there happen to be in their 50% off sales