Op Ed

Edge Online - The Harder They Come.
Nevertheless, developers who try to come up with unique solutions to this problem can quickly find themselves under fire from gamers who not only want to climb a sheer rock face, they want everyone else to do so as well. Take a look at the response to the news of Nintendo’s Demo Play patent, which proposed three solutions to assist players when they get stuck. The first, ‘Game’, lets players bring up video-recorded hints. The second, ‘Digest’, allows players to see video of the game being played; what’s more, they can jump into the actual game at any time, thanks to game saves that are downloaded in the background. The third and final solution, ‘Scene Menu’, lets players navigate through sections of the game in a manner similar to the chapter function on the DVD. The responses on a number of blogs and message boards were fairly negative, and that only intensified when a USA Today interview with Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto suggested that players could use Demo Play to have the AI to take control of the player’s avatar, then resume play at the moment of their choosing.

Gamasutra - Would You Kindly? BioShock And Free Will. Thanks Mike Martinez.
BioShock effectively toyed with players' perceptions of free will, all within the confines of a linear narrative. In this spoiler-inducing piece (warning!), Gamasutra looks at how the game gave players a feeling of control without actually handing it over.

Ten Ton Hammer - Overgeared and Underskilled.
To make matter worse there has been a steady increase in the number of players that have highly geared characters but have very little skill in the game. Does the term ‘Overgeared and Underskilled’ really apply to most players in the World of Warcraft? Find out as Byron “Messiah” Mudry wades into this delicate topic with his usual not so delicate manner.