Monthly Archives: June 2008

Personal Summer Game update

Finally. Yesterday I bought new computer speakers, so now I don’t have to use headphones all the time sitting at my main computer. At the same time I bought Metal Slug Anthology for Playstaion 2. It just seemed like a must have game. Easy accessble oldschool arcade game.

Battlefield - Bad Company

Earlier this week I also pickedup Battlefield – Bad Company (Golden Limited Edition of cause!). I’ve justed played a couple of hours, but it feels like a good console FPS to me. Its just hard to revitalize after playing Metal Gear Solid 4 – Guns of the Patriots. On my list, that game certanly so far is the game of the year. Eventho the low total amount of accual gameplay hours, I usualy play Metal Gear Solid for the story.

I also have Silent Hill 2 for the Playstation 2 that Stoffe gave me for my birthday. That to seems like a game one MUST own and play. I will save that for the really dark summer nights.

Other game I intend to buy soon is:

  • Bioshock (PC)
  • Super Mario Galaxy (Wii)
  • Grand Theft Auto 4 (PS3)
  • Mass Effect (PC)
  • Lego Star Wars 1 & 2 – The Complete Saga (PS3)
  • Atelier Iris – Eternal Mana (PS2)

Diablo 3 – How to create great buzz

This last week, Blizzards really been stearing up the game community. On their websites front page they’ve uploaded a new background every day, each new day revealing just a little bit more. Blizzard said they will unveil something new at Blizzard Worldwide Invitational in Paris. They’ve hinted at the possibility for a new title to be announced, and this have made the whole gaming community speculation what that could be. And now its out, Diablo 3!

They truly succeed to create a great buzz for this announcement. Much thanks to their reputation as one (if not thee biggest) game developers in the world. With only 3 big franchise to talk about, every game they release becomes a blockbuster game, with fans who continue to play the games years and years after its initial release. A excellent example is how Starcraft is the biggest game in Korea, especially at a professional level. And with the success of World of Warcraft… “when Blizzard speaks, the world listens!”.

I really enjoy when companies make something special around their announcement. One of my favourites are Apple and their “This is the new xxxx, and it will be available…. TODAY!”. But then again, this approach  usually just work for already big companies with a successful back-catalogued. And Blizzard really made me excited this week about their new announcement. I’m a old Diablo fan, so its extra fun. But had it been a game I’m not perticular into like World of Warcraft, I still would had enjoyed the teasing and way they build a buzz.

Day 1
Blizzard

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Day 3
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Day 4
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Day 5
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Day 6
Diablo3

Players(Users) create the game content before release

The new Will Wright game, Spore, have been discussed, hyped and challenged. Its uncertain whether the final game will be a success like The Sims or Sim City. But one thing is clear, it take advantage of user generated content, even before the game is released. Recently they release the creature creations tool, open for pre-players to start create their “animals”/avatars and share them with eachother. And people sure seems to like creating new creatures. In the first week after the release of the creation tool, about a milion creatures have been produced and uploaded.

Some of the sellingpoint for Spore is the strong social community features the game will offer. That includes sharing and connecting with other player and their creatures. Literally a billion different experices and creatures can emerge. What I find interesting is how the players in this example, help with creating a big piece of the content, before the game even is released. Maybe this is a good future concept to cut development cost, to let the player create part of the game. People like to contribute and feel like a part of the game. To in some sense, create an emotional connection with the product. I think this will spawn many new interesting idea within line of the Spore Creature Creator Tool.

[Update]:

Ballmer on the Future of online advertising

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer give his view on the future of digital online advertising and how we users will operate. I found it over at Search Engine Watch blog, and I can agree with their sceptically of Ballmers statement. Some of the things he talk about is already happening and he seems very cocky about Microsofts position in the digital space and their war agaist Google. Historically Google have picked up employers from Microsoft. Where Microsoft is viewed as a old traditional company with strict and tight hierarchy, hated by many users and Google as a good company with their motto: Don’t Do Evil.

To believe people will totally abandon paper and get everything electronically is a bit naive. Especially something like books I think still work best in the classical paper form.

Information addiction

Often news media and websites talks about games- alcohol- and sex addictions. It seems games addiction is the online disease of this century. I don’t consider my self to have any addictions, (just healthy game addiction :) ). But if I would have one, it would probably be information addiction. A simple Google Search directed me to a Wikipedia page about the subject. Not a very common disease it seems, but I think we will see more of this in the future.

Thanks to the web and all its new sub technology’s like Search engines, RSS, Blogs and Communities, regular people have the power to aggregate news and information like never before. Before the web, the best source of information and news was newspaper, books, television and through experience of one self or others. The amount of information and news is limitless now a day, in every subject possible. People interested in different areas, general or niched, have better tools to connect and keep up2date with everything within that area.

I just know myself how long my RSS subscription list at work and home are. My problem is to find the time to read all of the news, which really frustrates me. The circulations of news is faster and wider today, and I think this really contribute to stress already stressed people. If I miss one day of news online, I feel left behind. My generation is raised with this huge amount of information at our fingertips. Spoiled of information and and easy access to the latest (minute by minute) news, we develop new ways to gather and process information. Information breed knowledge, and knowledge is a presumption to power and personal development. I think information- news- and web addiction will be a big disease for my generation. We’re spoiled with constant connection to the web and services like instant messaging and communities. We live on the web, communicate more through computers and other devices like phones. Take that away for some, and their probably go crazy. Many talk about game addiction now a day, but I still haven’t heard or read of anyone with information addiction…. yet!

Apple perfecting the iPhone?

Today I finally had the time to view (or rather just have on in the background) the latest Apple Steve Jobs Keynote from Worldwide Developers Conference held in San Francisco’s Moscone West. Always a pleasure to get the latest news from a successful company that managed to turn bad business around 180 degrees. The big talk this time, which the media and press rightly speculated, was circulated around the iPhone.

iPhone became on of last years hottest products, and with that criticized for lacking many important features, like 3G and enterprise suited features. To really be attracted by the corporation and enterprise area should have included some missing features. Even so, after it’s release, every new phone was discussed if it would be the iPhone killer. It became a phenomenon, and even though the phone wasn’t released outside of the U.S. for a while, fans and early adopters found ways to export and unlock the AT&T lock soon after its release. I’ve had mine sense September last year, and its the best phone I’ve owned.

Now Apple seems to have listen to the critics and added the requested features. They’ve opened it for developer to create new applications and distribute through Apples network. Made some changes so iPhone will appeal more to big and small corporations, so they can compete with other “work phones” like the Blueberry. The new model will be cheaper and have 3G and GPS. And be released on July 11, apparently in Sweden to now! I’m very tempted to by this new version, especially for the longer battery life and new color (white).
It really seems Apple listen to the market, and took a already fantastic product, and made it accordingly after demands. With 3G I think they will once again reshape how we use phones in our social and connected life out in the world.

Its finally here. The first phone to beat the iPhone. Introducing, the new iPhone!

Swedish government begins the creation of Big Brother

A recipe on how governments can get new legislations through:

  • Present proposed law a few days before voting
  • Ignore protests from the people, both in real life and Blogosphere
  • if by some chance you actually listen to the people, change the legislation so it means the same thing, but just look different
  • Hope people forget…

Avlyssning

One of Sweden’s most debated news the last week have been a legislation which allows FRA(Försvarets radioanstalt), a Swedish administrative authority to track and store ALL of the digital communication. That includes every SMS, Mail, Web traffic and more, for every one in the whole country. People have protested, and many big IT companies are now avoiding to invest in Sweden.

Yesterday the Swedish parliament voted for the legislation to come into effect 2009. I have been in chock this whole day… this just feels like the beginning. Funny enough it seems the initiator of the legislation been playing to muchMetal Gear Solid 2 – Sons of Liberty and got influenced by Arsenal Gear and thought it would be a great idea to copy the concept! So the government can gather and “control” information for their own benefit. Not that they would talk about it, but they certainly create the possibilities from them to strengthen their own power. At the same time as they establish a system to scan and store all digital traffic, they could institute who will or will not be scanned. Theoretically they can chose and control so the people behind the system and the people with authority over it, isn’t bugged.

I can somewhat understand how the authorities want to protect (its their job) the country and its citizen, but to what price? Who have most to loose, regular people or people with power and fortunes? I would speculate those with power, still regular people have much to loose to, but don’t have to be afraid in the same way. Those with power only worry about themselves, to not loose that power and all the richness they bring. I don’t think they actually care about regular people and their safety. Like Michel Moores movie Bowling for Columbine:
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The basic for terrorism:

In one modern definition of terrorism, it is violence against civilians to achieve political or ideological objectives by creating fear.

If a government need to bug the whole country, the terrorist and badguys (including regular criminals as well as financial criminality) have succeeded. And little tiny Sweden! I don’t see any need for such a drastically measure. Yes, security is important, but not to the cost of personal integrity! The same way as profit must never precede human value or ethicist. It wouldn’t surprise me if this decision have made the Swedish underground hacking movement (if it exist?) angry, and they already working on ways to crack this system or find ways around it. The news are already reporting of ways to bypass this new system through encrypted software.

I could (probably not) accept the new legislation, if it weren’t by the way they handled the whole situation…

Young people want to multitask at work

According to a survey reported by Sky News, some young people actually consider quiting if certain website were baned at work. Amongst these Facebook and YouTube, social- and downloading sites. Here in Sweden the question of Facebook surfing at work have been discusses and viewed as a serious problem. I can understand in some way how employer view personal web surfing as a problem when people are there to work. Still the new (my) generation do things differently and view it through a new perspective. This generation, labeled Millennials, have been raise with the explosion of technological development and learned to embrace these new changes and challenges in new ways the older generation can’t comprehend or understand. I view my self as a “learning by doing” type, while my father start by reading the instruction book.

Also as we’ve been raise along side and with new technology we’ve developed multitasking on a whole new level. Video game is a good example of a multitasking training simulator.

I like this new changes, and hope to see more of them. How we work and change the way and places we work. How we dress and the relationship to working. It seems like in old times work equals hard booooooring sadness which people only did for the money. My generation on the other hand view the possibilities to work with something fun and rewarding. And to do in on our own terms! I don’t like the notion of dress codes or how we judge other working people depending on how they dress. We don’t work with our cloths, we could do the same work naked, almost.

The social site are not just for personal relationships and connections. If used right it can be an effective work-tool. Just the other week I had one new partner at work who added me on Facebook. Its been reported how company’s who tries to implement those new social “tools” in the corporate structure have failed. Probably cause people don’t know how it work, don’t see the need. Or that you simply can’t take a successful concept online and just copy-paste it into the company and except people to use it.

I’m really looking forward for new work landscape, were old conventions and norms becomes updated by us, the new generation. We are the future, let us shape it the way we want! Our future, our rules :)

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=2045409869900094371

The shock doctrine – not good for me, still…

During my studying years in Karlstad, one of my teachers recommended a book by the name of No Logo, which made the author Naomi Klein famous. I bought it (it felt like one of those books you just had to own) but sadly haven’t read it yet. But its on the “to-read”-list.

Always when I’m out traveling I scan through bookstores on whats new. And a few weeks ago I found her latest book, the Shock Doctrine. It seemed like a book I would appreciate, and attached it to my “to-buy”-list.
Today I read about her and her new book in the newspaper sense shes in Sweden at the moment. And my interest rose again for the Shock Doctrine. The funny thing is that the new book is a typical book I would like, yet thats the problem. I know those kinds of book always isn’t good for my little head. Still I held it in my had in a bookstore today… but it have to wait.

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Battlefield Bad Company demo

Today I got a much appreciated gift or surprise. I pre-ordered the Limited Edition of the new Battlefield Bad Company for the PS3 a few weeks ago. I made the order from one of the regular shops I order games from. And today I received a mail from that store, that told me I had been given access to download the demo, before it goes live for everyone. A very pleasant surprise!

So now I’ve finished the demo, except trying to play multiplayer online that is. But it seems to have much potential. It will be perfect for rainy summer nights or weekends. That and Metal Gear Solid 4 Guns of the Patriots, that I much look forward for at the moment. Recently bought Haze to, despite all the bad reviews and talk in podcasts about it. I got an offer from the same store I talked about above.
One of my favourite store, maybe not always for their prices, but rather their great service and costumer relations. They’ve really created a great costumer system, which have made me a loyal, returning costumer. I often get offers and price reductions on new or old products, and I can any time I want look at my past orders and my total statistic. And they have a great “product” or service too of cause.
It must be really hard in today’s connected world to create loyal costumers, when the competition hardens all the time by an increasing new players who want in on the action and money circulating online. You must have an up-to-date product catalogue, competing prices, top notch service and costumer system that helps you create good relationships and communication which results in returning happy costumers.

I can’t recall how many e-commerce site I’ve bought products from, but I know how few I actually return to again. Not many really. Usually I just want “that” special product at that price one time. Yet I have to register, create a account that I forget the moment I got my stuff. But for some stores are great at creating value for me, that transform me into a returning and loyal costumer, like this “before access” demo! Now I’m even more eager to pre-order here cause you never know that one can get next time?
Still, this nice gesture can get the opposite effect… that people try the product and don’t find it as compelling as the anticipated, so they cancel the order. But that isn’t the stores faults if the product don’t live up for the costumers expectation. It’s the company behind the product. In any case I got more hyped up over the offer to play the demo before the “public” than the feeling I got from playing. Yet, a demo is a demo, and I’m still very excited.