Gaming My Way

06 Oct

Closure of the Gaming My Way Forum and Carnival of Video Game Bloggers

Update: The Carnival of Video Game Bloggers has returned on Sodaware. See my full announcement on this here.

I have removed the Gaming My Way Forum and closed the Carnival of Video Game Bloggers, both for different reasons. I’m going to start with the forum. Basically, I jumped in without knowing enough of what I’m doing to keep the forums active, clean, and a good place for discussion. The biggest issue was that it was so overrun with spam that it was unmanageable and I never found a good system to manage the spam automatically. It was bad enough that the sheer volume of spam broke the forums. Rather than try to repair them now, when there was very little of value posted there, I’m closing them until I have the time to put forums up, protect them correctly, and there is enough discussion through comments that a forum will be a better avenue of communication. If anyone did post anything legitimately cool or valuable, I’m sorry it got lost in the mountains of spam.

Moving on to the Carnival of Video Game Bloggers, I want to say I really enjoyed a lot of the content that came from those who submitted posts regularly and those who stopped by to share something once or twice. Through the carnival’s original home at The Collected Writings of James Newton and when I then took it up here, I’ve found a lot of cool new blogs to visit that I never would have found otherwise, and I hope others have too. All existing carnival posts will remain, and I hope more people will find the work that has become a part of the carnival.

Unfortunately, while the time commitment to the Carnival of Video Game Bloggers is minimal, it’s not something I’ve been keeping up with. Life challenges I don’t plan to discuss have come up, and those challenges require time and attention to deal with. The choice for me is to either keep up with the Carnival of Video Game Bloggers, or carve out some time to play games and occasionally fit in some writing about those gaming experiences, even if only on a monthly or semi-monthly basis for the time being. I’ve opted for the second option for now. It’s not inconceivable that I could someday attempt to bring it back, but it’s not something I am planning at this point in time.

I want to thank those who have participated in the Carnival of Video Game Bloggers over the years, and I’m sorry the ending was as abrupt as it turned out to be. I also want to thank James for creating the carnival and letting me carry it on for a time. I’ll still plan to follow some of the blogs I’ve found since then, and I hope you all continue to put out some great writing.

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12 Jun

Xbox One Is Going Down In Flames

These days, it’s pretty well known the Xbox One has some DRM features that many gamers are none too happy about. The system is actually designed to limit what you can do with the games you have purchased, and gives most of the control over whether you can resell a game to the publisher. It also limits gifting of games, and phones home every 24 hours. Truthfully, aside from the phoning home every 24 hours, it’s not as bad as the typical PC DRM (though really, it’s just barely better, so we’re splitting hairs a bit), but PC games are typically cheaper than console games since they are usually sold as digital downloads. In addition, consoles are also supposed to be simpler to use. Just turn on and go.

So it’s no surprise that Microsoft is getting panned pretty hard. Let’s start with a 2 minute video interpretation of Microsoft’s unveiling of the console prior to E3.

TV. Sports. Halo TV. Call of Duty. Let’s be honest, the first intro was all about what Xbox One does as an entertainment center, not what it does as a video game console. They showed a couple games, but spent maybe 5 out of 35 minutes talking about games, and most of the rest talking about the non-gaming entertainment it does. Really, I just wanted to play games. To be fair, at E3, they actually did go quite a bit more in depth on the games, and the games themselves look pretty cool. Of course, that’s not the highlight. The highlight of Microsoft’s commentary on the Xbox One come in the next clip.

Microsoft’s advice to those who don’t have Internet available? Get a 360, because that’s an offline device. Oh, you wanted next gen? They’ve got nothing for you then. Admittedly, Internet connectivity isn’t a big issue for most people in the U.S., but there are places both here and in other countries where Internet is not always readily available. I’m going to go ahead and suggest they get a PS4 or Wii U, depending on their tastes. I imagine most who were looking at Xbox One will be far more interested in a PS4 though.

Of course, this isn’t the only thing. Remember how I mentioned Microsoft is implementing some very strict DRM in terms of what console lovers are used to dealing with? Well, Sony wants to have their say on this as well. So, they have created a brief instructional video on how to share PS4 games. Yes, here it is.

Very simple, no? Now, to be fair, Sony is leaving it as an option for publishers to require registration of games online, but this is a far cry from the system Microsoft has put in place locking all used game sales to authorized retailers, as well as limiting how games can be shared and gifted. Also, PS4 doesn’t require access to the Internet to play your games (aside from registration for publishers who require it, who, by the way, are lame).

What does the above mean for Microsoft and Sony? Well, I think it means Sony has a giant advantage in the upcoming console war. Probably much larger than the one Sony conceded to Microsoft between PS3 and 360.

Alternatively, Reddit user AWildSketchAppeared summarized it all with the following picture: Xbox One.

I don’t think anything else really needs to be said.

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