So I bought SimCity – Limited Edition on Amazon for $40 after the $20 promo credit (great deal, eh!?) and tried to play it last night–it wouldn’t even let me join the tutorial. Today I tried again, with the following hilarious results. It looks like those (currently) 1,135 1-star reviews on Amazon are well deserved, despite reassurances from EA on twitter that everything is well and good:
@SimCity: We are working on the servers 24/7 – expect performance fluctuations. Our fans are our number one priority. Thank you for your patience.
First it wouldn’t let me connect to the server:
Then it lost its connection (North America East):
Then we go into the “blank loading screen, failure, retry” loop:
Finally it loads the tutorial!
Only to fail on the “click on the feedback balloon” quest, probably lost connection yet again. I’d hate to be in my real city and lose hours of play at this point … and I am only 5m in!
Trying to go back to the main screen, just blackness
Is anyone having a good experience with this at all?
How slow is your BF3 update? Mine’s coming down at nearly 2 MB/s, but the thing is huge! A whopping 4GB, there’s a few cool new things in the patch:
- Performance improvements
- Better spawn protection
- Nerf for G3 and SCAR-H 7.62mm, buffs for 9mm and p90
- Totally redone squad mechanism
The New York Times has a great article Rich Tax Breaks Bolster Makers of Video Games about government tax subsidies used by video games companies:
For example, Electronic Arts of Redwood City, Calif., shipped more than two million copies of Dead Space 2 in the game’s first week on the market this year. It shows a total of $1.2 billion in global profits the last five years using an accounting method that management says captures its operating profits.
But largely because of deferred revenue, deductions for executive stock options and a variety of accounting requirements, the company officially reports a net loss for the period. And the company reports that it paid out $98 million in cash for taxes worldwide in those years.
That’s a nice 8.2% tax rate captured through tax deductions available for software development. But, things are a stalemate, as Canada offers a 37.5% of payroll deduction to video game companies. Have we entered the tax wars?
A couple screenshots from the upcoming Valve/Steam game DotA 2 came out not too long ago:
It’s said that these screenshots are of a development build up to four months old, so no doubt the game will look many times more polished before then. And since Dota2 is free to play, you can bet the Hon/LoL communities are going to be totally destroyed by its release. The Dota 2 Gamescom Trailer below shows off its true beauty:
According to Anders Behring Breivik’s Facebook profile, now deleted but immortal in an archived PDF form, the Norwegian terrorist was a gamer, playing World of Warcraft and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. The terrorist was responsible for killing more than 80 (the number continues to rise) youth camped on the island of Utøya. While his motives are unclear, Anders Behring Breivik tweeted a John Stuart Mill quote, “One person with a belief is equal to the force of 100,000 who have only interests,” days before the attack, and uploaded a YouTube “manifesto” (see 2083 A European Declaration of Independence.zip if you want to read the plagiarized document) including the following image:
According to his manifest/diary, he viewed “Call of Duty, Modern Warfare” as “a good alternative as well” to marksmanship training:
I just bought Modern Warfare 2, the game. It is probably the best military simulator out there and it’s one of the hottest games this year. I played MW1 as well but I didn’t really like it as I’m generally more the fantasy RPG kind of person – Dragon Age Origins etc and not so much into first person shooters. I see MW2 more as a part of my training-simulation than anything else. I’ve still learned to love it though and especially the multiplayer part is amazing. You can more or less completely simulate actual operations.
While the link between violent video-games and real-life violence is subject to much debate, the use of ultra-realistic games as effective simulator trainers, either for flying airplanes, carrying out military missions, or learning other skills, is indisputably an issue. In today’s world, when one can lookup how to make bombs online and practice shooting in Call of Duty, anyone could become a one-man-terrorist.
Kotaku has more commentary on the role of Video Games in this act of terrorism . For more general information, see At Least 80 Dead in Norway Shooting from the New York Times and Follow Up of the Day: Norway Attacks Suspect Identified.
Update: Slashdot has published The Oslo Massacre and Violent Video Games: the Facts, decrying “media hysteria” about the role of videogames in committing this act of terrorism.