You know how every time somebody points out sexism in games, people point at the traditional, stereotypical audience composed of horny frustrated boys? Never mind those are now a minority of people who play (no, I won’t use the ‘g’ word). But as it turns out, even that audience is bothered by sexist games. So much for that myth. I’m beginning to suspect the real brodudes in gaming are in fact part of a very specific (and older) age group. Identify it, and you’ll know where they come from.
In other news, Jimmy Maher writes about an 8-bit, 2D game that was essentially like Second Life, except 15 years earlier. It’s a fascinating read, both for people who don’t get what’s so hard about making a MMORPG, and for those who think anarchy is a good idea.
While it’s all about old games, it turns out there are people who still make arcade-style pseudo-3D racing games. Note the remarks on cutting features to fit the target system. Gee, turns out I wasn’t crazy after all.
And if people still making games like in the 1980es blew your mind, wait until you read about this developer who ported his brand-new game to DOS. Cue more writing about optimization, and cutting stuff when nothing else works — also in order to fit a game on a mobile device with limited resources.
You see, making games like in the old days isn’t about nostalgia. It’s about all the hardware we have right now that people actually use, for all kinds of reasons, and that’s not a multi-thousand-dollar gaming PC. Not to mention that the latter aren’t getting any faster these days, either, while software keeps getting bulkier.
Code smartly, folks.
You know, this was supposed to be the newsletter’s last issue, but a lot of things happened since I made that decision. For one thing, I asked my readers to chime in with opinions, and my site promptly went down for eight days. Not exactly conducive to dialogue. Besides, when I made that decision, my interest and confidence in games were at an all-time low. In the mean time I started turning this blog into a book (coming soon!) and started a new one as well, with a different focus. To top it all, I’ve been writing new articles here as well.
So here’s the deal: the newsletter isn’t needed as much nowadays, but it is a good reason for me to keep up with the world of gaming. So I’m going to keep it going, just with a lot less commentary. That will free my Sundays to do more productive stuff, while still keeping the blog updated weekly. Stick around.
Now, on to this week’s news.
I learned a lesson these past few days.
Starting something on the Internet has become frighteningly easy.
You can create a Google Code project, or a Google group, or an Yahoo group in seconds. Or if you have your own hosting, you can set up any number of Web applications in minutes. WordPress, MediaWiki, you name it: with practice, you can do it essentially without thinking. All the infrastructure required to launch an open source project (or the next great Web empire) can be set up literally on a whim.
And therein lies the danger.