Articles of Interest

  • Joystiq draws attention to the plight of the color-blind (10% of all males), noting that a fair number of games are difficult-to-unplayable for people with this common condition. Something for designers and artists to think about.
  • More information about E3’s future, if you care: the details and why things changed.
  • Via Slashdot, a study finds that integrating some games with commercially-available eye-tracking devices dramatically increases feelings of immersion. This worked in a range of contexts, including RPGs like Neverwinter Nights and sports titles like Madden.
  • Rockstar has successfully defended itself in court against a real-world strip club that sued over its virtual appearance in Grand Theft Auto. I mention this only because the judge’s rationale was interesting: he noted that the Pig Pen wasn’t used in TV or print ads, didn’t appear on the packaging, and didn’t play a role in the game’s missions. As designers incorporate ever-more real-world landmarks into their games, they should be aware of these potential pre-conditions to “artistic license”.
  • Lots of interesting China-related information this week:
    • Henry has posted an analysis of “the largest political protest gathering in a virtual world game ever” (he also discusses the Chinese game market and related politics, in general.)
    • Gamasutra has posted a series of articles on the Chinese game market. They cover piracy, the MMO market, gamer preferences, outsourcing, and more. Definitely worth a look.

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