The Best Of The Rest: Sales, Turkey & Patches Edition

Black Friday

It's amazing what lengths people will go to to get a $2 discount coupon

Another exciting week has come and gone, this time seeing the celebration of Thanksgiving for my American cousins, the Black Friday sales (Amazon UK did it for the first time this year but I gotta say I was quite disappointed with their selection) and of course the big ol’ shattering patch 4.0.3a for Warcraft that has got just about everyone talking. Exciting stuff, for sure.

The past seven days have also seen some excellent articles grace the MMO blogosphere. Here’s my pick of the week:

  • Jamie looks into the psychological nature of nostaliga. A real gem of an article by psychologist Jamie as he explores not only the draws and reasoning behind nostalgia but the benefits of indulging in it too. His conclusion? Being nostalgic makes us happy so feel free to go for it (with some modicum of realism of course).
  • Syp asks the question if being social is MMOs is the duty of the developers. A great article that asks such a simple yet thought provoking question. Personally I’d never considered it before and always assumed that being social was simply another aspect of any MMO but, when you think about it, it doesn’t have to be and there’s no written rule saying that devs should or shouldn’t design them to make us engage with each other.
  • Syncaine compares the pricing structure of a bunch of games. A funny little article by Syncaine that highlights the oddities of pricing in the gaming market. It’s very strange to think that for the price of a single sparkly spony in WoW you could get about 10 iPhone games. I guess value truly is relative, tying into that old adage of supply and demand and that something is worth as much as someone is willing to pay.
  • Raph explains how rares were born. A fascinating article by veteran MMORPG designer Raph Koster as he explains and reminisces about the birth of rare items in Ultima Online. Emergent behaviour, that’s what MMOs are all about for me and it just goes to show how much of a living, breathing social world these little online hubs can be and why it’s important for designers to cater for that fact. Hmm, I guess this article both invokes Jamie’s nostalgia theory and answers Syp’s question about social design. It’s almost as if I planned it…

-Gordon

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4 Comments

  1. Carson says:

    “for the price of a single sparkly pony in WoW you could get about 10 iPhone games”

    Or, as TAGN pointed out, for less than the price of a single sparkly pony in WoW, you could get WoW and both current expansion packs. :-)

  2. amcl says:

    … Hey! The pony was worth it, wasn’t it, Gord?

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