Browsing Category Games

The Mystery of Ancient Hypergates

As long as I can remember, when you enter an Ancient Hypergates game, people gather up at left. Left is default. Both sides are just as far away, you could go either way. (Like in a Voidstar.) Or you could always go for a split, like in ranked. But no. Left is ‘ours’. Right is ‘theirs’.

Why?

In my short career in retail, I was taught that shoppers cruise predictably through a shop. Counterclockwise. And sure enough, once you know this, you see it. All of them moving around counterclockwise. Like programmed drones. Scary.

But, in Ancient Hypergates counterclockwise would mean right…

What is going on here?

So far I have two theories.

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Will The Fallen Empire ‘Res’ SWTOR?

“Knights of the Fallen Empire”, the new SWTOR expansion, was announced at this years EA’s E3 press conference. This was done through stunning CG story telling. The expansion is due this October but has already created a stir within the SWTOR community. Holding our breaths, we are all waiting to find out if this is what will bring Star Wars: The Old Republic back up on its feet.

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Social Identity and Guilds in MMORPGs

As you might have noticed by now I am always keen to know the reasons why people choose to game, especially in MMOs. The answer to this can reveal so much. So please, humour me for a second and answer me this:

Which of the following reasons describes your motivation for gaming most accurately?

  1. I like competition and enjoy pushing myself to be better.
  2. As well as meeting new interesting people, I play to spend time and maintain contact with the friends I have made in game.
  3. I log in order to sometimes get a break from RL by exploring virtual worlds, characters and story lines.

Of course we are most likely effected by more than one of these motivations but it is possible that one of them is more dominant than the rest. Are you an achievement, social or immersion focused gamer? What is interesting in thinking about this question is that it can effect how important your “Online Social Identity” is to you.

How we are seen by others is extremely important to us in real life but it clearly also transcends to online gaming. Let me explain myself.

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Why do we ‘troll’? – Guest writing for Rav!

Good morning fellow gamers! The other day my friend Ravanel kindly asked me if I wanted to guest write on her blog today. Of course I said yes. So since my sleeping routines are getting no better and my addiction for writing you guys new blog posts is getting worse (!!!) I’ve been typing away on a new article exploring answers to the question “Why do we troll?”.

“Everyday users on the Internet—as well as clinicians and researchers1–7—have noted how people say and do things in cyberspace that they wouldn’t ordinarily say and do in the face-to-face world. They loosen up, feel less restrained, and express themselves more openly. So pervasive is the phenomenon that a term has surfaced for it: the online disinhibition effect.” -The Online Disinhibition Effect, John Suler 2004

This is the subject examined in my latest blog post. To read it, jump over to the Ravalation blog and check it out here. Happy trolling everyone!

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In Game Whispers – Narcissus

In Game Whispers” is a series of posts featuring real characters with fake names based on real events.

 

Narcissus: Imps are so bad today lol.
Dalek: should be an easy win
Narcissus: I’ll go make sure we have some damage mid, Noctua you go guard grass
Noctua: sure.
Silence.
Dalek: lol
Silence.
Narcissus: See? lol. Easy win. they are leaving the wz already
Noctua: 3 inc grss
Silence.
Narcissus: WTF! How the hell did we loose mid?! ******* IDIOT CALL INC FFS!

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In Game Whispers – The Player

In Game Whispers” is a series of posts featuring real characters with fake names based on real events.

 

Lamb: Hiya
Noctua: hey
Player: Hi
Tarras: hello
Player: anyone else sick of kdy?
Lamb: First time!
Player: really?
Lamb: Yeah : )
Silence.
Player: mate, why are you pulling all that aggro?
Lamb: Sorry I’m new…
Player: i can tell
Player: and dude, youre in wrong stance for tanking btw
Lamb: I’m not a dude! ^^
Player: dudette then

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In Game Whispers – The Womaniser

In Game Whispers” is a new series of posts featuring real characters with fake names based on real events.

 

Womaniser: I’m so tired of killing the damn prophet of vodal… can’t wait to lvl up.
Noctua: tell me about it
Womaniser: 2x XP FTW!
Garret: That was my last one though. thx 4 the run boys n’ girls!
Womaniser: Wait… are there girls here?
Silence.
Garret: Well I don’t know I won’t assume
Womaniser: Well are there??
Flint: there are no such thng as women in gaming it’s all guys pretending to have tits
Noctua: that’s not true :p swtor especially has lot’s of female gamers I’d say
Womaniser: you are girl noctua?
Noctua: well yeah but point is there are a lot
Womaniser: yeh, back off Flint, you’re being a little offensive m8
Noctua: No it’s fine really, just saying
Womaniser has removed Flint from the group.
Garret: “Err, ok… I’m gonna head off too before I get kicked too”
Garret left the group.
You left the group.
Womaniser: Why you leave the group?

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The Psychology Behind Character Creation – Part 2

A little while ago I wrote an article about why we make our characters look the way they do. To follow up on this I have conducted a few interviews with SWTOR players asking them questions about characters they’ve made. Something I quickly picked up on was the relationship with the players motivation for gaming and the attitude he or she had towards character creation. There’s a very clear connection between these two which you will be able to see for yourself below. If you haven’t already read the original article about the psychology behind character creation I would recommend you follow the link and do so first.

The Psychology Behind Character Creation – Part 1

Here are the summaries of four interviews highlighting some different attitudes to character creation and it’s importance:

 

Aaree
The Harbinger

Aaree tells me that the first character she makes in a new game generally is a slightly idealised version of her self. It’s got similar features as that of her own physical self. The alts that come after can differ a lot but tend to unnamed (2)have one or two things in common like the eye colour or make up. She gears her characters to suit the role they play.

“As in the case with my healer sage wearing robes, ect” she explains.unnamed

Almost all of her characters are female and have always been since she started gaming years ago. Aaree does have a male character that she is very fond. She tells me she has spent a lot of time getting his appearance just right.

From talking to Aaree it is obvious that immersion is important to her when playing a game like SWTOR. This is clear from looking at everything from the way her character looks to how she gears them and even makes choices in the story fitting the personality traits she has assigned the character. Her main is female and so are most of her alts. They look either very much like her or are very different but with one or two similar characteristics (such as being human, same gender or even eye colour). If she goes for other species then these tend to be human like in their appearance, marialans or cyborgs for an example. Similarities such as these will make it easier to feel a sense of immersion into the story. It is also a way for us to explore different sides of our own personalities within the safe environment that gaming provides.

 

 

Snave
The Red Eclipse

Snave tells me that he spent more time making his main character but then modeled the other characters that came later after that. This due to a combination of limited character design options in the games he plays and him “being pretty lazy about this stuff”. He has spent much more time customising his characters outfits ect than he did in the initial character creation he informs me.

When asked if he finds his main resembles him in any way he answers: “Unfortunately I am not blue, nor do I have red eyes. I guess we have similar hair at a push but to answer the question; no I do not model characters after myself normally.”

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Couples in Huttball II

‘Pvp, 1 spot’
‘inv,’ I whispered.

The entire party was on ts, including a couple. A long distance couple: not the internet MMO version, they just were not living together at the moment. Playing wz’s, the usual things going on, until – during a boring moment at mid in Huttball – the girl suddenly lashed out at the guy. Over nothing.

So, something was wrong.

‘Is something wrong?’ the guy asked, in a clueless voice. No! Don’t ask that! Don’t ask that one question!
‘No,’ she replied. In that tone that meant that yes, indeed, everything is wrong. Very wrong. Very, very wrong. It is such a cliché that it is a miracle that anyone still uses that type of no. But it happened.
‘Ok,’ he said. And now he decides to try to pretend nothing happened! Was he serious? He went there, with his first fatal question. Now he had no other option than to go all in; question her, state that obviously something was wrong, and what it was, etc.

In a semi-awkward-silence we finished the game.
‘Sort of tired, gonna log,’ she said.
‘Nn.’

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Couples in Huttball I

‘Want to join for some lowbie wz’s?’
He didn’t specify; he didn’t say want to join me and my gf for lowbie.
‘Sure,’ I said.

He introduced her, we talked a little, and very quickly we got a pop. Huttball. And then the emoting of the lovers began. She blew a kiss to him. He blew a kiss to her. She blew another kiss to him and ran in a happy circle around him. He tickled her. She giggled. She bowed for him. He loved her. She blew him another kiss.

Two minutes pre-wz can be a long time.

They were living together, at least, that was the story I was told. So I pictured them, both behind a screen, facing one another, blowing kisses. I started to picture it in slow motion, their heads moving slowly away from the screen, with exaggerated smiles, and a slow hand movement to send the kiss. Maybe even a wave. They would swing back and forth like a slow paced metronome. Endlessly blowing kisses to each other.

‘You guys should stream,’ I said. ‘With cam, definitely with cam.’

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