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Op Ed

StarCraft 2- help us mourn the death of content freedom. Thanks Mike Martinez.
StarCraft 2 comes with a powerful set of tools for making your own maps and game modifications, but there is no local storage; you have to upload your content to Battle.net and let users grab that content from Blizzard's servers. If your content is considered inappropriate or obscene, Blizzard can take it down. The story is making its way around the gaming press, but this shouldn't be a shock... gaming content has long fallen under the control of the company that created the tools.

Does this hurt us as gamers? Absolutely.

The 'FarmVille' Ruse- How Zynga's Creation Ruins Gaming and Steals Your Time. Thanks Ant via Digg.
There it is: Zynga's dirty technique for making its $500 million. It ropes players into the game with the promise that absolutely anyone can play. It will even float you coins the first time you run out, not unlike the casino that gives a high-roller luxury accommodations in anticipation of making back the house's stake. It dangles the prospect of a bigger, prettier, better farm; as the game loads, you're faced with idyllic images of well-off farms, not unlike the glossy ads for high-end residences. But it's nearly impossible to get some of those goods without ponying up a buck or two here and there. When Zynga's got a user base of 61 million digital farmers, it's easy enough to make ends meet, to say the least.

The Escapist Extra Credits - The Future of MMOs. Thanks Morris.
"This week we explore why most modern MMOs fail and what the future of MMOs might be..."

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