Today’s edition of the Top 5 includes the story splashed all over the video gaming-verse: the hackers who claim they’ve cracked the PS3. Without further ado. . .
Hackers may have cracked PS3
I believe the Eurogamer article was the first to break the news (possibly because of the time difference) but, regardless, this is huge news–if it pans out. Mod chips for the 360 are commonplace–enough that Microsoft began an active campaign of banning Xboxes with the telltales of those chips from accessng their Live online service.
That the PS3 is now (possibly) moddable is very bad news for Sony, and game developers already plagued by piracy on the PC side of things. Personally, while I find piracy of software (where the content producers have no other revenue source, unlike music and tv/movies) horrible, I think it’s rather ironic that this comes not long after Sony discontinued its “other OS” feature, ostensibly because one hacker claimed he had read/write access via a custom Linux distro. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if the perpetrator(s) of this hack were people disgruntled by that very change in policy.
Designing the Guild Wars 2 Public Demo
This is a brief, but enjoyable, interview with two of the designers who worked on the playable areas in the Guild Wars 2 demo currently on display at Gamescom (and apparently coming to PAX next month). Worth a read, at least in my book, after the interview which took top spot in the last Top 5 got me excited about this game.
Is your game comfortable?
This Gamasutra blog post by Randy O’Connor starts by relating an experience in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art about getting furniture featured as art. From there it goes into a discussion of how games that are “art” aren’t really games–they’re interactive storybooks that are meant to be viewed, not used. Games are craft, something which we settle into–but just like that comfy chair, aren’t likely to ever be featured as art. This is another brief one–so read it!
From Nothing: why it’s okay to question everything
This, on the other hand, it a very lengthy read–but well worth it. It even features (yet another) chairs as a point in the whole “games as art” debate. Other than that interesting similarity, it’s very difficult to briefly summarize the article–but its main focus is about the psychology of game design, and especially games that manipulate the player (like Valve’s Portal). Worth it if you’ve got the patience (it’s taken me a few days of frequent interruptions to eventually read through it).
This post serves as a nice counter-point to the (almost) universal praise Limbo has garnered. For anyone who intends to purchase but hasn’t yet (like myself) or is on the fence, this is worth the read–especially given that I’ve read at least 15 articles which praise the game and have almost no criticism for it.
That’s it for this edition of the Top 5!
For my more random observations and sharings, follow on Twitter @MKEGameDesign.