Original here: http://www.annathered.com/2009/11/01/tricked-or-treated/
It all went downhill after this.
Manhattan. A restaurant with a Korg. Man starts playing ‘Hava Nagila’. Kieron and I take to the floor with the other dancing tables, grasping at more and more people as we circled the room. The rest of the night… ? Kind of a blur.
Dramatic sky of… drama?
5 things I’m thinking right now
Inspired by Alice’s post, just some thoughts swirling around my brain box.
1. Social network games don’t take advantage of the medium at all. Well, obviously they’ve taken advantage of the userbase and that friends share situations. But, y’know, there’s not much out there that uses the reasons social networks exist, sharing what you’re /doing/, in a meaningful way: using the photos and text to create meaningful, playful interactions between friends. Send dares through the networks, challenges that can be scored on (“wear three hats”, “do a handstand in front of the Eiffel Tower”). Public and private challenges. Make a game out of the things people do on social networks. I’d make it if I knew where to start.
2. Digital cameras should come with achievements. Most camera manufacturers, quite rightly, focus (pun!) on making camera easier to use for the public. But cameras are about getting people out in public spaces, visiting important sights, recording amazing things. Come. On. They could teach people the basics of photography, or otherwise reward people for being somewhere amazing. Tying it in to Flickr would make me happier than Charles, here.
He’s never had a bad day in his life.
3. That more people know me as “Buck” than my given name.
4. DLC has been poisoned:at an event a few months ago, a blogger asked a developer if his future game would gave DLC. I don’t begrudge his question, but the assumption was that it would and that the company had already planned it. It used to be that post-release game content was a treat, an exciting and freeing way for the developers to explore what their game could do and reward their users with the content. For free. Now it’s a marketing tool (not got anything to say? Announce DLC before the game’s out: “2K Games Makes Another Hit with Mafia® II Downloadable Content”), and a weapon in the war between publishers and retail.
5. Minecraft! It’s like the action/adventure Dwarf Fortress. Every Friday the developer releases a new version, and doesn’t tell the players what he’s done to the game. He’s sold nearly 35,000 copies at 9.99 euros a pop. At quiet moments of the day, when I’m not at my PC, my mind drifts to the underwater glass dome I’ve been building.
Greek gods and free will.
I got very excited when EA’s Rod Humble walked on stage during their E3 conference. He looked uncomfortable, and he was clearly nervous. The silence he walked on to was telling: no raucous musical intro, and it was so quiet you can hear an audience member shout encouragement to him. He talked about Free Will, Greek gods, neurological experiments, and how this all applies to The Sims. He walked off stage quickly, leaving a video of his game playing. This is his presentation.
The presentation almost didn’t happen. E3 is not a place for such discussions. It’s a show, an advert. You could almost hear the record scratch as Humble walked on. The conference did stall, but in a wonderful, beautiful way.
So I sent Rod an e-mail. I’ve never even talked to the man before, but my name and position holds some weight. I told him how well I thought he’d done, and thanked him for doing it. I told him I was reinstalling The Sims 3. He told me I’d made his day.
I heard today how my e-mail has gone all over EA. All the way up to CEO John Riccitiello, the man who walked on stage after The Sims video. It was used as proof that they’d done the right thing, an unsolicited thank you that landed in an inbox.
Next time a developer does something that makes you happy, let them know.
OK GO’s new video, allegedly all one take. Beautiful stuff.
I took off, and it was awesome.