I spend an interesting hour+ this evening watching Raph Koster’s Keynote from the Living Game Worlds 2008 Symposium. Direct link to the video is here, but get comfortable because it does run 85 minutes or so (I’m so glad the PS3 has a robust enough web browser that I can watch stuff like this on it). He has a lot to stay about changes in the industry of virtual worlds and MMOs, and what was pretty interesting was that at the end, someone called him on his apparent pessimism, which was good because it gave him a chance to clarify that he didn’t really feel pessimistic about the future of virtual worlds.
I dunno, he sounded kind of — I wouldn’t even say pessimistic so much as dismissive — towards a lot of products that bring great joy to millions of people. But of course bloggers tend to be just as dismissive, so maybe that’s just part of the critical thinking and future speculation process. We almost have to knock the current products or else why think about changes. Maybe? Anyway, it was definitely an interesting talk and worth listening to. There are slides but you won’t miss a lot if you just listen.
As for me, this is the second weekend in a row where I spent more time reading and playing with guinea pigs than I did gaming. I get into these gaming slumps from time to time. I’m still struggling with feeding that urge to create rather than consume.
I did jump into Warhammer a couple of times, playing it as a pure PvE game. Got my Witchhunter to level 20. I picked Warhammer mostly because it’s still active for a few more weeks more than due to a burning desire to play it. Use it before I lose it and all that. Now that I’m using two pairings to level, it’s a much better PvE game (than when I tried to stick to one pairing) but it still isn’t $15/month good for me.
I also wandered around Middle Earth a bit, played some Valkyria Chronicles, and, laugh if you will, but I played that freebie Amazon casual game BuildALot for a long time.
Oh, and after reading an article about Bill Budge and Pinball Construction Set, someone linked in the comments to Future Pinball. This is a modern version of a Pinball Construction Set, totally free (though donations are accepted) and while I didn’t get around to trying to build anything yet, I did download some pretty amazing tables. Here’s a video of one of ‘em in action (I picked this video because it best showed off the system, but this particular table is a bit seedy in theme.)