User information for Zarathud

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April 6, 2001
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Re: Zarathud
Feb 6, 2002, 00:05
Re: Zarathud Feb 6, 2002, 00:05
Feb 6, 2002, 00:05
> And Zarathud, you're really making final judgements on a
> game based on 2nd and 3rd hand accounts from people who
> played months ago when the servers crashed everyday?

No, I'm not making any final judgements about the game at all. I'm only criticizing the strategy for release, the overreaching scope of the game itself, and excuses made by or for the developers when the game didn't deliver what it promised (not a big suprise).

And my information on the game isn't only 2nd and 3rd hand. When you're at a LAN you can see things and problems for yourself by observing someone else play.

The mere fact that the game was released in an unfinished or unplayable state justifies a lot of the anger at the product by those who were burned at the start. And I don't see why these people shouldn't be voicably unhappy about the experience, no matter what extent the developers have tried to improve the situation by "doing everything in their power to fix that mistake."

Like I said, WWIIO seems to me one of those games that you have to want to love. If people don't like WWIIO even with the patches, I'm not suprised.

Small Shop & Innovation = No Excuse
Feb 5, 2002, 01:52
Small Shop & Innovation = No Excuse Feb 5, 2002, 01:52
Feb 5, 2002, 01:52
Small companies that think big (and promise more) can't use the fact that they're a "small shop" as an excuse for bad product, Sloan.

When I heard about WWIIO, I could think of only one thing -- it was great idea, but even an established company with a lot of money and clout had little reason to think they could pull off everything that was promised smoothly on release.

I think WWIIO's biggest problem was (and still IS) its SCOPE -- it tries to incorporate a large part of the complexity of WWII in a Massively Multiplayer format. As it is often said, to be the jack of all trades is to be the master of none. IMHO, it's a miracle CRS were able to even get WWIIO even SOMEWHAT on track.

I've talked to a lot of people at my local LAN who fell into this game, and it seems like a product you have to WANT to love (as #46 noted): for the subject matter, for the concept, for the variety or even for the chutzpah it took to convince anyone to fund this game in the first place.

I might feel differently if people didn't end up paying $50 for a subscription they never fully used due to technical problems or utter frustration. Maybe the right idea would have been to offer the initial game (infantry) for free and THEN charge a $50 fee for the "add-ons" that would fill out the WWII theme (and don't forget that $10 monthly fee). That's how Everquest helped kick-start this MMORPG craze in the first place: an incremental add-on/expansion strategy. Maybe then WWIIO wouldn't have such a bad rap from gamers because you could look at each stage of "improvement" as value added that you were paying for. In many ways, that's the history of the more popular developers and games with "clout" -- who released a polished, innovative game that was refined in the inevitable sequel (like Europa Universalis 1/2, also a Strategy First title).

CRS is not the victim here and it seems to me that a lot of people have reason to be unhappy. Of course, there's not much to be up in arms about if you download it for FREE in the first place and then don't like it.
This comment was edited on Feb 5, 01:54.
Re: Man oh Man
Jan 2, 2002, 22:34
Re: Man oh Man Jan 2, 2002, 22:34
Jan 2, 2002, 22:34
In a perfect world, the game companies would host their own demos as they are really just ads for their games. They've gotten used to others paying for their bandwidth, like Blue's, so don't expect them to pony up the cash. I'm betting they'll drop demos altogether before they host their own demos.

How true. Many patches for older games these days aren't even available on a publisher's site (or the link is bad). The only place to find many of these files is on gamer sites. I try to keep my games on my hard drive as long as possible (the file size for a 15-30MB game from 1997 is a drop in the bucket compared to a 500-700MB game from 2001) and, after a complete reinstall of my machine recently, I had quite a chore looking for patches on games that have been released only 2 years ago.

This comment was edited on Jan 2, 22:35.
Re: Q
Jan 2, 2002, 22:15
Re: Q Jan 2, 2002, 22:15
Jan 2, 2002, 22:15
I don't see the problem with offering different alternatives, so long as we DO have alternatives. Only a fool would stop offering demos for free on the internet (the cost must be rather cheap for the exposure you get out of a demo). Of course, there are fools at the helm of a number of companies in the game industry (*names intentionally omitted to protect the guilty*).

Making the public wait for a demo should only result in the gaming public waiting a little longer to buy the game (except for those who don't MIND paying $50+ occasionally for a buggy piece of dull garbage).

As for the CD deal with CGW, you can't complain much because PC Gamer has its fair share of "exclusive" deals that keep demos off the CGW CD. Turnabout is fair play, even if you don't like it much. The only way gaming magazines can compete with "monster sites" like Blue's News (who have just as much news, only earlier) is certain of their writers/reviewers and their demo CDs.

Most of all, we shouldn't criticize those gamers who might have an extra $5 handy to purchase a CD copy of the demo from Not everyone has the cash for broadband access on a regular basis each month. The LPBs are probably paying MORE than $5 for each demo (unless they're downloading more than 20 demos a month), if you think about it. I remember the first (extremely expensive and only) time I accidentally used a dial-up account that wasn't considered "local" -- you have to feel sorry for those poor bastards who have no other option (like the British, where I understand internet access isn't cheap).

Time is money, after all. And TANSTAFFL (There Ain't No Such Thing As a Free Lunch)!

This comment was edited on Jan 2, 22:17.
Re: Trying to talk sense into CCGR - Part 37
Dec 1, 2001, 22:48
Re: Trying to talk sense into CCGR - Part 37 Dec 1, 2001, 22:48
Dec 1, 2001, 22:48
(Part 37 and counting)

Can't we enjoy a game just for its entertainment value? That is what really matters.

Honestly, very few games come out that seek the label "Christian," so what's the point of reviewing games from that perspective in the first place? It makes no sense, like condemning a wargame for not having the latest 3d engine. Or judging a first person shooter for "not having enough strategy." The context is so different as to make any "review" meaningless. That's why I think Blue isn't linking to CCGR's reviews.

In addition, I'd place good odds on the fact that most games developed have at least someone on the development team who considers himself a good Christian (and it's a sucker's bet because that term in its true sense encompasses so many different brands of religion). I wonder if these people would be insulted or upset by CCGR telling them their game isn't "Christian" and telling people to avoid it.

(NOTE: NO bashing of religion above, so save the hateful responses. Just some honest questions about the point of it all...particularly when it's about a site that doesn't get any traffic, anyway).

Re: You know
Dec 1, 2001, 13:38
Re: You know Dec 1, 2001, 13:38
Dec 1, 2001, 13:38
#22: If you happen to have bought the game in question, then you either wait more for the patch, or you take the damned thing back. It's that easy and it's in YOUR power.

Wrong, it's NOT in our power. Even stores which allow for the return of a game will no longer allow returns of games after 90 or so days. And many stores don't even allow a game to be returned.

It may be dirty laundry that's being aired that the publishing industry considers routine, but so was Watergate to the politicians. Maybe it's not news to those in the industry who think it's common and don't talk about it to anyone outside, but it's news to anyone outside. If the gamers are wondering why there isn't a patch and the open letters explain why, then it is definitely news.

Such stuff IS everyone's business. One long-standing reason is that many socially-conscious consumers decide to deal only with reputable businesses. Another reason is self-interest, I may not want to buy from a company that might deliver crappy product, which you can often tell from past dealings. And, who knows, gamers might care enough to lose their respect for certain players in the game industry and resolve the conflict in the long run by voting with their hard earned cash.

#22: To post open letters like the one from Buka and Madia is completely unprofessional and just means they are burning that bridge of trust with PRs in the industry

To post something other than sugar coated PR is the job of a responsible journalist. You developers had better lose the notion that game news sites like Blue's News are merely outlets for your PR and controllable by threats and incentives. Gamers read Blue's News (and other sites) because we want information, not a shill for the industry. Anyhow, an open letter is comparable to a press release ... which is certainly fair game for any news hound.

If anything, I believe that Blue's News arguably has an obligation to its readers -- the customers who purchase those games -- to publish those open letters. Certainly after publishing the open letter from MADia, Blue has an obligation to let the other sides respond. That's just simple fairness and professional journalism -- very far from a tabloid. For the industry to associate the stench of the news with Blue is like killing the messenger because you don't like the message. Regular business news often contains details about bad deals and fallings out between former business partners.

Blue is not be bound by a NDA if he hasn't signed it. He's not part of the contract and, in any event, journalists can always rely on the First Amendment in the U.S. to bolster their free speech rights. Any lawsuit for violation of the NDA is against the discloser, not the disclosee (Blue).

Not that I care whether developers have any respect for Blue, but I'm very alarmed by the developer's mentality that the public has no right to know, which has come out in this thread.

This comment was edited on Dec 1, 13:41.
Re: Copying versus Theft
Nov 27, 2001, 02:10
Re: Copying versus Theft Nov 27, 2001, 02:10
Nov 27, 2001, 02:10
#124 (Schwab): The law is plain enough: Copy something without permission, and you'll get stomped on.

That bears repeating. If anyone gets caught pirating games, you're going to be in a world of trouble with the law. And it won't be funny or pretty.

Back to the rational question here -- the questions about the legitimacy of copyright. BTW, I'm still waiting for that court citation saying that copying isn't theft.

#124 (Schwab): I'm arguing ethics, and the plain realities imposed by digital media and the future it portends. In thinking about digital media, copying, and the rights of the artisan, I've found it helpful to disregard copyright law (as it is currently understood) and think anew.

That would be convenient if you could, Schwab. But you can't. Copyright is fundamentally a legal concept of balancing individual rights of authors, economic incentives for society to encourage expression, and public interests of fair use. This will make more sense when you read further.... The digital age creates interesting and difficult questions, but law has adapted to the printing press and I'm certain that it will survive the computer.

#125 (Vergs): Good luck separating ethics from law; that's a slippery slope. Lest you forget that laws generally seek to embody social mores, moralistic overtones, and to generally promote social welfare.

I agree with Vergs. Let's revisit the arguments in favor of copyright.

John Locke argued that individuals have a natural right to control their own works and be justly compensated for their contributions to society. The author enriches society for their creation (in other words, more video games are a good, moral thing) and deserves to obtain the full reward for their efforts. To promote video games and technology, we give limited monopolies to those who create such benefits. On a utilitarian moral or economic calculus, copyright becomes a moral and beneficial law.

Add to the utilitarian morality in favor of copyright the argument championed by the French (and embodied in the Berne Convention) that copyright protects an extension of the artist's personality (in other words, stealing the hard work of the game developers is like violating the integrity of their art). Infringing the artist's copyrights is an attack on their person (you can almost taste the anger and frustration felt by the developers who have posted here). This French idea of moral rights provides a moral backdrop for authors to have greater control of their works.

If you don't buy the economic losses from copying, there remains the moral ones. Put aside all the above arguments for a moment, and you should be able to see that any unlawful appropriation of another's property is by "common sense" theft -- as most moral codes consider stealing wrong, generally. There is no moral system that says "Thou Shalt Not Steal, but Copying is not Stealing so it's OK." At least, not an organized one that I'm aware of.

#136 (Schwab): And lest you forget that the legislative process has been almost completely corrupted by corporate interests. Where ethics and law coincide is almost entirely by chance these days.

Actually, the foundations of copyright are enshrined in the social compact of the U.S. Constitution. Article I, Section 8, Clause 8, which grants Congress the right to enact copyright and patent statutes. The underlying policy of this constitutional scheme is to promote the public welfare through private market incentives, because "encouragement of individual effort by personal gain is the best way to advance the public welfare through the talents of authors and inventors in science and useful arts." Mazer v. Stein, 347 U.S. 201, 219 (1954).

Whatever you think about how Congress has encouraged incentive and protection of copyright, the copyright laws cannot be simply dismissed as a "coporate tool" that the "man uses to repress the people." Such anarchistic or socialistic arguments have a difficult time being acceptable in a fundamentally free market, capitalistic society such as the United States (and by extension, the world economy).

#136 (Schwab): One-off software tools are being put together to meet specific needs, and many people are making a handsome living doing this. It isn't anywhere near as glamorous as computer games, but it's a reliable living

Of course, we're not talking about piracy of corporate software. The issue here is the Wolfenstein copy protection system (cd-keys) and the warez-ing of entertainment software. Pirates wait for these games to be produced, so they can be ripped before they even hit the shelves. I don't see the warez community creating their OWN computer games at all here, and it would be a TRAGEDY if everyone in the computer gaming industry were to quit and start doing corporate programming.

Bottom line, copyright has a moral, economic and legal justification. Pirates have just lamerz excuses and dreams of a free society. As Robert Heinlein said: TANSTAAFL!

"There ain't no such thing as a free lunch!"

cd-keys are a small price to pay. I remember the damn dongle, which was nothing but a major pain in the behind.

CAVEAT: None of the above should be treated as 100% true or as legal advice. If you have questions, read the suggested FAQs and materials linked from post #105. You get what you pay for (or don't if you're a pirate), and TANSTAAFL!

This comment was edited on Nov 27, 02:10.
Re: Reply on 101
Nov 25, 2001, 18:09
Re: Reply on 101 Nov 25, 2001, 18:09
Nov 25, 2001, 18:09
bottom line - if warez situations for pc continue, i'd say it's very possible that in another 10 or 20 years either everything will be set up like microsoft's pay for use system, or else pc gaming will be gone altogether, and it'll just be consoles...

Warez has been around since floppy disks and the days of the Commodore 64. I remember people passing around floppies of games at lunchtime at school during the infancy of the game industry. The industry is still around, so warez likely will not kill the industry.

The true effect of warez is that game developers are much less willing to take risks, because the overhead of warez takes too much of the reward out of innovative titles. Also, many companies are less willing to spend that extra money to put that final polish and bugfixing on games because the economic payoff is much less.

In other words, the industry is much less healthy as a result of warez. There are so many titles that COULD have been created, but haven't, as a result.

Yes, many of the warez monkeys and script kiddies wouldn't buy the game. But they're still enjoying illegally the benefits of someone else's work (as well as breaking the law). Pirates cannot justify their actions as "not hurting anyone" because it involves the taking of someone else's work.

If even 10% of the warez copies were to be purchased legitimately, you could see the prices of games drop by $5-10 at the store. The industry treats warez as "overhead" that they make up by charging higher prices. Game companies know that anyone who warez has purchased at least a few of their games, so only the most dedicated pirates can avoid the consequences to their pocketbook.

Re: Copying versus Theft
Nov 25, 2001, 05:50
Re: Copying versus Theft Nov 25, 2001, 05:50
Nov 25, 2001, 05:50
Schwab's post on copyright law is so misleading, I feel compelled to reply in detail. A point by point response by a lawyer who doesn't even practice in this area:

#90: Let's consult Mr Webster:

Copyright isn't defined by Webster's Dictionary, but by law. Arguments over a dictionary definition are not only meaningless, but misleading. The Copyright Act defines "infingement" occurs when "anyone violates any of the exclusive rights of the copyright owner." Among the exclusive rights of the owner is to "reproduce the copyrighted work in copies" under Section 106. Violation of right by making copies = infringement. End of story.

Your arguments about "carrying away" are so misleading as to be DANGEROUS, Schwab. Copyright protects expression, which may be damaged or violated even without a physical "taking." That's why the area of copyright law is called "intellectual property." Don't get caught up in the idea that copyright violations involves any movement of a physical object. Copyright involves RIGHTS regarding the making of a COPY.

#103: Let's not. "Licenses" are bullsh!t

Maybe you feel so because the consumer has no real "power" to negotiate or change the terms of the contract (as in the shrinkwrap license is a "contract of adhesion" that is suspect and unfair to consumers or whatever), but the concept of a "license" has significance because that's how the owner of "copyright" permits another to legally use certain exclusive rights otherwise protected by copyright. Software companies tried to draft the "shrinkwrap license" in order to take advantage of an existing legal system of contract. Whether you think they go too far or are fair has nothing to do with their legal effect, or what world you'd like to be living in.

#103: You are misinformed. Copying is not theft. Moreover, copyright infringement is not theft. Again, the courts are very careful and consistent in making this distinction.

THIS STATEMENT IS FALSE AND MISLEADING! Copyright infringement is theft in that it is an "unlawful taking" or "improper appropriation" of property rights belonging to another. I challenge you to name ONE court opinion which distinguishes copyright infringement from "theft."

I can't point to any particular case (as I said, I don't practice in the area), but copyright violations are not mere "technical" violations of an arcane law. In 1690, John Locke justified copyright law as the protecting against the theft of an individual's right to control their works and be justly compensated for their contributions to society. See Chapter 5, Second Treatise of Government. The French believe that unauthorized copying not only infringes the author's legal rights, but also his or her moral rights (against mutilation and false attribution). This sentiment resulted in the Berne Convention acknowledging an author's moral rights to the integrity of their work, which the U.S. accepted in 1989.

"Theft" is a legal term, as is "infringement." Violation of either the theft statute or the copyright statute is illegal and can result in the appropriate statutory punishment after a trial. Although a copyright violation or infringement is not always considered a "breach of the peace" that would always qualify for criminal penalties (see below), copyright is a serious matter -- especially when you're caught and facing legal action. Courts have the discretion to charge statutory damages from $200 to $100,000 per act, plus any actual damages (such as lost sales) and the repayment of any profits from the violation. Then you add on the legal fees, which is no laughing matter, lawyers aren't cheap! Getting hit in the pocketbook will usually hurt as much as being placed in prison.

#103: No, I would not, since the bookstore would still have the original copy to sell

Your example is incorrect. The bookstore is not harmed, but the owner of the copyright (the author of the book) is harmed. Essentially, you took the author of the book's expression without paying for it. Your "carried away" analogy is false and misleading (see above), because the copyright statute prevents any violation of an "exclusive right" protected by copyright law. By copying the book without permission, you have violated the copyright statute.

#103:However, it's interesting to note: Until recently, copyright law only enabled civil action, not criminal proceedings (the two are separate areas of law).

Again, THIS IS INCORRECT. Under Section 506(a) of the 1976 Act, anyone "who infringes a copyright willfully and for purpose of commercial advantage...or private financial gain" is subject to felony or misdemeanor punishment." The provisions were overhauled in 1992, with the motive of deterring the business of computer software copyright infringement. House Report No. 102-997, 102d Congress. Unfortunately, I don't have any materials about the pre-1976 statute. Let's leave the propaganda on both sides about the DCMA out of simple fact, shall we?

#89: Copyrights are not property. (Nor are patents or trademarks, for that matter.) They are limited term monopoly rights conferred by the government. Hence the term: Copy right

Property is nothing more than a bundle of rights. That's why there are leases (someone owns the property, but sells the right to use property to another for a period of time) and trusts (one person owns the title to property, but another person owns the ability to benefit from the property). And so on.... The form of property ownership in certain ideas and expressions is protected by copyright, trademarks and patents. Many rights in property are limited by the legal system (which is why there are rights of way for utilities and roads, for example).

Whatever your experience with programming, Schwab, you are severely misinformed about the copyright law.

For those who are confused by the previous poster and want to make up your own mind about what copyright really covers, I suggest the following links:

Brad Templeton's Copyright FAQ (A MUST read!)

US Copyright Office FAQ

University of Texas Article on Copyright Law in the Electronic Environment

Stanford University Copyright & Fair Use Links

CAVEAT: None of the above should be construed as legal advice or be considered to create a client relationship. If you have questions about the above personal comments, read the suggested FAQs and materials (none of which may be 100% accurate or correct) or contact an attorney in your local jurisdiction. You get what you pay for, and don't believe everything you read or eat yellow snow.

This comment was edited on Nov 25, 06:22.
The Original RtCW...
Nov 20, 2001, 03:01
The Original RtCW... Nov 20, 2001, 03:01
Nov 20, 2001, 03:01
Was the title "Beyond Castle Wolfenstein" by MUSE Software:

I can still remember the clicky-click of the S.S. goosestepping as I crept up behind, pulling out my gun....

Re: Give me a break
Nov 20, 2001, 02:54
Re: Give me a break Nov 20, 2001, 02:54
Nov 20, 2001, 02:54
it's a totally different game now than it was at release.

And this is a GOOD thing? I disagree...

Ambition should always be tempered with reality, especially when you're selling such moonshine to the unsuspecting public.

Re: Weeeeeeasels!
Nov 20, 2001, 02:52
Re: Weeeeeeasels! Nov 20, 2001, 02:52
Nov 20, 2001, 02:52
The only problem is that the publishers would try to blame their poor sales on the effect of terrorist attacks on the economy.

I'm fondly remembering the days of my Commodore 64 when the games took up less than 64k, were not only fun to play but innovative, and patches didn't exist.

Re: wtf??
Nov 20, 2001, 02:33
Re: wtf?? Nov 20, 2001, 02:33
Nov 20, 2001, 02:33
I wonder when some smart lawyer is going to start a class action lawsuit on behalf of gamers against publishers and developers for delivering defective product. It's time for gamers to start asking for refunds.

A big problem is that the publishers can shaft the developers without fear of retribution (at least directly - any indirect bad PR and loss of sales can always be blamed on the next project). Don't forget that Volition/Parallax and Bioware are suing Interplay for screwing them, too.

Gamer's websites like Blue's News have the capability to shift the power in this industry back into the gamer's hands. Dirty laundry like this needs to get out into the air, so that the responsible gamer (and other newbie developers) can stay away from those with bad reputations.

As for myself, I had a bad taste in my mouth with Bethesda Softworks due to the buggy piece of software called Daggerfall. Still, enough time had passed that Morrowind was looking good enough to buy. No more.

I understand that when you're screwed as a developer, you don't have a lot of incentive to release what little leverage you have left. Of course, realizing this a little earlier (like, before the gold CD was sent to the USA) would've made a big difference. Maybe there's a creative alternative that can help the developer, like offering the patch in exchange for registration so that the next title could be shipped direct? There has to be a better way than to walk away from the gaming community. A bulletin board full of posts about bugs in the game would only help Bethesda argue that the game had flaws that justified holding back payment. Of course, if the game was THAT bad, Bethesda shouldn't be trying to peddle it, should they?

::boot to the head of Bethesda Softworks::
This comment was edited on Nov 20, 02:45.
Re: No, he said..
Nov 18, 2001, 01:40
Re: No, he said.. Nov 18, 2001, 01:40
Nov 18, 2001, 01:40
Now we're all just bitter and we complain and bicker about everything.

No, we don't.

This comment was edited on Nov 18, 01:41.
Re: Weeeeeeasels!
Nov 18, 2001, 01:38
Re: Weeeeeeasels! Nov 18, 2001, 01:38
Nov 18, 2001, 01:38
The job of a responsible owner of a game developer in this situation would be to have another project lined up BEFORE the end of the line and the release, so that all the hard work and money getting the team together isn't wasted at the end of a project. Not to mention that it's the humane and decent thing to do.

What disturbs me is that this holiday season has a disproportionate share of titles that seem to be shipping "on-time" or "sooner than expected" -- along with more than its share of buggy and glitchy titles (in some cases, games that are unplayable on many systems). Now we're seeing the fallout -- titles shipped too early, so the development team is all "let go" so there is no one left to FINISH the product. I was a fan of Myth 1 & 2 and loved the idea of Myth 3, but I'm not so certain that I have faith in the quality of the game.

With this awful taste in my mouth, I'm planning on buying less games this holiday and, when I do buy a game, I'm waiting for word of mouth and reviews more than in the past. I'm tired of buying games that SHOULD have been great, but either never get finished or had to be patched so many times that I lost interest. I'm sure the publishers are going to blame warez, consoles or the economy (or all three), but they should realize that their customers are finally getting sick of getting screwed when buying unfinished products. The game industry isn't in good shape, and it shouldn't take a rocket scientist to figure out why!

Re: Poor EA...
Nov 6, 2001, 20:56
Re: Poor EA... Nov 6, 2001, 20:56
Nov 6, 2001, 20:56
Someone get out the axe, it's time to get rid of the schmucks who manage publishers while there's still an industry left! We've lost Interplay, God Games, EA looks as if it's lost touch with reality and in danger of collapse. Publishers can't afford to keep releasing crappy games or cancelling ones that have nearly completed development.

I saw someone in the beta of MPBT and it looked quite interesting. I'm not a big fan of the massively multiplayer movement (I like to OWN my toys), but there has to be some niche in the market for "semi-massive" online gaming where there is a negligible fee ($1-2 monthly). Or rather than trying to follow the UO-EQ herd, it's time for creative publishers to carve out new market niches with their products! If a monthly subscription model didn't look feasible, what about releasing it as a standalone product? The more I follow this industry, the more convinced I am that its management has rocks in their heads.

The decision to re-evaluate this product was suprising in the first place - see

This comment was edited on Nov 6, 20:59.
Re: No subject
Oct 30, 2001, 21:13
Re: No subject Oct 30, 2001, 21:13
Oct 30, 2001, 21:13
Let's look at the statute, as cited in the Seventh Circuit opinion at

The ordinance forbids any operator of five or more video-game machines in one place to allow a minor unaccompanied by a parent, guardian, or other custodian to use "an amusement machine that is harmful to minors." The ordinance defines the term "harmful to minors" to mean "an amusement machine that predominantly appeals to minors' morbid interest in violence or minors' prurient interest in sex, is patently offensive to prevailing standards in the adult community...."

The restriction is based on content, in other words, speech. That's according to the statute itself, as passed by the Indiana legislature! No need to argue this point further.

Here's one of the best lines in the court opinion:

"Common sense says that the City's claim of harm to its citizens from these games is implausible, at best wildly speculative. Common sense is sometimes another word for prejudice, and the common sense reaction to the Indianapolis ordinance could be overcome by social scientific evidence, but has not been. The ordinance curtails freedom of expression significantly and, on this record, without any offsetting justification, "compelling" or otherwise."

"Age ratings are a valuable tool for letting parents know whether the game / movie is likely to be suitable for their kid."

Parents should take more time to evaluate what their children are being influence by rather than relying on some label stuck to the product. If parents were more active in their children's lives, we wouldn't have such problems with our youth. Parents should take responsibility and action, rather than forcing someone else (the government, self-censorship) to make the decisions for them.
This comment was edited on Oct 30, 21:14.
Re: No subject
Oct 30, 2001, 00:00
Re: No subject Oct 30, 2001, 00:00
Oct 30, 2001, 00:00
And what good parent just lets their kids wander around freely doing whatever they want? If parents don't like what their kids are doing, they *themselves* have the right and responsibility to teach their kids what they believe is correct. Parents can ground their kids for playing games, can watch what their kids play, can take away all the money that their kids use to play the games (last I saw, games don't just take a quarter anymore).

Government isn't the answer, for down that path lies tyranny. The First Amendment is about making sure that certain views and ideas aren't censored in a reactionary crusade to punish or brainwash everyone into believing or doing what some legislature thinks will be a stopgap measure to "do something" that satisfies a special interest. The First Amendment is our safety valve to keep the freedoms that made this country when a tragedy or crisis convinces some that they have to trample individual freedom (especially "in the name of common decency and the children").

Let's put this law into perspective: these laws were put on the books was in reaction to the *disproven* possibility that video games cause children to kill each other with guns. That problem isn't due to the media, no matter how much people villianize it. These children have severe emotional and psychological problems because of the way they were raised or who they are (nurture or nature, no other opions). Instead of blaming the parents and other people in the community who didn't realize these children needed help or didn't notice what these kids were doing, or even the children themselves, it's so much easier to create a faceless scapegoat to blame. The kids didn't do it, the Devil (aka the Media) made me do it. Hogwash!

The gaming industry (and the movie industry) was forced to create age ratings because certain parents don't actually want to do the hard work of raising their children. That takes a lot of persuasion, discipline and, most of all, attention. The gaming industry isn't supposed to be Big Brother, they're there to make a buck by filling a desire with a product. We want it, they give it to us for a price. If you don't like what they sell, get off your high horse and control your kids. The police have REAL crime to deal with and shouldn't spend their time with this silly law.

This comment was edited on Oct 30, 00:05.
Mech Series
Oct 29, 2001, 23:39
Mech Series Oct 29, 2001, 23:39
Oct 29, 2001, 23:39
Frankly, I'm suprised at the decision to re-evaluate this project. The Battle Tech universe has always been a draw to the gamer crowd. In fact, my first LAN experience was Virtual World's Battle Tech pods. We barely knew what a LAN was at the time and still occasionally pay $8 or so for 10 minutes at D&B's to relive the experience. Mechwarrior 2 is an acknowledged classic, spawning an entire genre. This should be a no-brainer, folks!

Yes, Mech 4 might offer multiplayer for free...but the holy grail in the Battle Tech Universe has been to see the effects of your battles in the grand scheme. None of the Mech games have done much with that aspect of the game. Gamers have been exposed to so many parts of this universe, I find it hard to believe BattleTech wouldn't be worth launching.

This isn't a "noname" multiplayer game, but a classic. And not just for a small, die-hard group that's betatesting. So many people have been exposed to the universe, a good marketing campaign could make BattleTech a smash success. Of course, someone in EA's management has to have the steel ones to do what is necessary to bring this game out of obscurity (economics tells you that rewards often come from taking calculated business risks). Of course, EA unfortunately doesn't have a particularly good track these days of being inspired and actually doing their part to market/publish titles aggressively. I'd like to keep the faith, but EA seems to have lost its way IMHO.

Re: I've played some more...
Sep 17, 2001, 02:29
Re: I've played some more... Sep 17, 2001, 02:29
Sep 17, 2001, 02:29
Two responses to #100.

4. I agree that your ammo runs out way too fast. More clips would do the trick. It seems silly that an Allied solider in WWII attacking an enemy bunker would only have one spare (if that) ammo clip. Same for the Nazis, because they'd have a bunch of it lying around at base.

8. The Engineer has many uses. For the Allies, even after you breach the base wall and bunker, Dynamite serves as an excellent distraction when you plant it in the barracks ... right where the Nazis respawn. It might be "cheap" but they're Nazis... For the Nazis, how about choosing an Egineer to defuse the bombs? Yes, you'll die shortly after defusing, but even defusing the bomb(s) once will allow base defenders to get set up on the gunner positions and really wreak some havoc. After the wall is breached, booby trapping the hole in the retainer wall is a handy stopgap defense...every 30 seconds or so, the hole in the wall gets plugged. It's downright evil when you team up with a solder/flamethrower to plant the dynamite in the bunker, then blind the Allies and pin them down until the explosion clears them out. Retaking the bunker has never been so easy! Very amusing to see an Allied solider rush into the bunker at the moment of detonation. Oops. It might be helpful to have the Engineer give some sort of ammo, though.

I've also seen some good uses for Lieutnants. There have always been one or two on my teams (that's enough IMHO). A good Nazi Lieutenant can pin an enemy down at the wall, buying critical time. A good Allied Lieutenant can clear out the trenches very effectively. Ammo packs can make a soldier on the turret/rocket launcher very effective, and a few people realize this already.

As for both Lieutenants/Engineers, their other weapons are similar to a solider, but they have more gernades -- which come in very handy. Rather than using the standard Soldier's weapons, why not take a Lieutenant or Engineer?

A few points of my own:

I've noticed that players can get "stuck" on each other too easily. Not fun at all. That needs to get fixed badly, as well as the lag spikes. Even on a 56 ms xdsl connection, there seemed to be periodic stutter and degredation of connectivity over an hour of games. Other than that, I'm really looking forward to this game now!

I enjoyed the voices. Please use the line "daus pass" (Your pass?) somewhere! I remember the original Castle Wolfenstein/Return to Castle Wolfenstein on my C64, and that was one of my favorite video game lines. (My most favorite was Mission Impossible..."Another visitor, stay awhile...stay forever!")

This comment was edited on Sep 17, 02:39.
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