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  1. Funcom Wades Into Sexist Waters With Mankini-Gate Costume Goof


    Recently Funcom has found itself the center of attention in a discussion over sexism. It came about after an April Fools' Day joke went wrong in The Secret World. The joke itself wasn’t the issue. Not directly, at any rate. In fact it had originally meant to be a jab at themselves. I’m talking about the drama around mankini-gate.

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  2. Learn About Video Game Economies Worth Millions of Real Dollars With PBS Off Book

    Who said economics couldn't be fun?

    Massively Multiplayer Online games (MMOs) like World of Warcraft have become a huge force in gaming, and many of them foster their own economies that gain real-world value through what players are willing to spend real money on. PBS Off Book asked some experts to share their knowledge on the massive virtual economies.

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  3. Jane Austen MMO Ever, Jane Promises Social Strategy And Probable Scandal

    Cautiously Optimistic

    “What are you writing about this week?” my friend asked me over breakfast this morning. I sipped my tea and smiled. “A Jane Austen MMO.” My friend, who has a master’s degree in comparative lit and years of hardcore raiding under her belt, raised her eyebrows. Skeptically. “No, seriously,” I said. “It’s a thing. It cleared its Kickstarter goal by almost $10,000 a few days ago. It’s got a playable prototype — well, okay, more of a proof of concept. Lots of bugs, not a lot to do. But I tried it out, and, honestly…I think it could be pretty cool.”

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  4. A LEGO Minifig MMOG Is Coming Our Way

    And I'll Form the Head!

    If you're a fan of the LEGO video games, you might be interested to know a massively multiplayer online game is next. We've got details and a trailer after the jump! 

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  5. Grand Theft Auto Online Just Announced, Will Be Playable October 1st

    Take to the streets with your pals for the first time.

    Today Rockstar revealed the first gameplay video of one of their new titles: Grand Theft Auto Online, a long-awaited MMO set in the GTA universe. Specifically it'll be in Los Santos, the location of Grand Theft Auto V. It looks just like the regular GTA games, only now you can play online.

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  6. EVE Online Features Biggest Space Battle Yet as 4,000 Players Clash

    Star wars... what are they good for?

    Yesterday, two fleets of starships waged the biggest battle in history, and it might only be the beginning of the war. Massively multiplayer online space simulator EVE Online saw thousands of players engage in a titanic struggle over a strategically insignificant star system called 6VDT.

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  7. New Marvel Heroes Trailer Shows Off Hell’s Kitchen at PAX

    Couldn't make it to PAX this year? Yeah, us neither. We can still get all the trailer-iffic goodness the show has to offer, via the magic of the Internet. Case in point, the newest trailer for the Hell's Kitchen section of the upcoming Marvel Heroes MMO. On the one hand, yeah, it looks pretty darn F2P. On the other hand, it's totally F2P, and we're simply not joyless enough individuals to not be excited at the prospect of rampaging through an open world as Hulk, Daredevil or Deadpool. Maybe give us another year and the lights will have dimmed in our eyes. For now, though, all we have to say is "Hell yes, playable Punisher."

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  8. Report: Iranian Government Blocking Due to Promotion of Superstition and Mythology

    When it comes to Iran and the Internet, we never quite know what to expect, but we can usually assume that it's never anything good regarding digital freedom. A Tehran Blizzard player posted to the forums that Blizzard's online service is now blocked from the Iranian Internet. The user posted a screenshot of the government's message that lists reasons for the block, which includes the "promotion of superstition and mythology."

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  9. Hilarious Bug in Star Wars: The Old Republic Prevents Damage When You Dance

    Yes, every single MMO nowadays has an array of dancing animations, but BioWare's venture into the kill-ten-rats arena, Star Wars: The Old Republic, is the only MMO where that simple, intended-to-be-benign dancing animation prevents a whole bunch of damage by consistently interrupting an enemy's casting. Not working as intended, as you may have guessed, and BioWare was rumored to be handing out bans for those caught abusing the exploit, but BioWare has responded to those claims saying that no, they aren't banning anyone.

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  10. Sorry Guys, the Firefly MMO Developer Closed Down

    In news that might've been expected due to the lack of news regarding the developer or its products, Multiverse, the developer behind the Firefly MMO, has unfortunately closed down. Though they've raised over $7 million in funding throughout their lifetime, they were unable to raise enough to continue the journey forward. Though Multiverse created some brand-based games, for instantly recognizable companies such as McDonald's and Coca-Cola, the Firefly MMO they've been working on will probably be most missed.

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  11. Star Wars: The Old Republic Gets Dated, Priced

    What BioWare hopes to be the next big thing in MMO land, Star Wars: The Old Republic, has finally received an official release date and price. Announced at the Eurogamer Expo in London, the game will see release on December 20, 2011 in North America, and December 22, 2011 in European launch territories. For those in Australia and New Zealand, those launch dates have not been set as of yet, though BioWare isn't planning on region locking the game, but players outside of launch territories may experience lag when attempting to play a version of the game that has not officially released in their territory.

    Each purchase of SW:TOR will come with 30 free days of subscription time, with a one month subscription costing $14.99 (£8.99/€12.99); pretty standard fare for MMO territory. The game also offers a three month subscription for $13.99 per month, or a one time charge of $41.97 (£25.17/€35.97), and a six month subscription for $12.99 per month, or a one time charge of $77.94 (£46.14/€65.94). Those who pre-ordered the game can head on over to the game's site and enter in their pre-order code to be eligible for Early Access, which doesn't yet have a date for when it will begin, though BioWare assures everyone that there will be multiple days of Early Access. So, only a few months until everyone can play the MMO version of Knights of the Old Republic, only one of BioWare's best games.

    (via Massively)

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  12. Bioware Will Allow Same-Sex Romances in Star Wars: The Old Republic… After Launch

    So here's the order of events: Bioware announces a Star Wars MMO. Bioware announces that each player will get NPC companions, much in the same way that "Han had Chewie, Luke had R2-D2 — even Jabba had the cackling monkey lizard Salacious B. Crumb," and here, perhaps, is a place where Bioware maybe didn't pick the best canonical examples to highlight, because the player can also romance some of their companions. Because this is Bioware. But unlike many other Bioware games, this time the romance was to be strictly boy, girl, boy, girl, with no option to vary the seating arrangement, so to speak. That is until yesterday, when an announcement was made on the SW:TOR forums that homosexuality will be patched into the game after launch. And now we're not sure whether to facepalm because it wasn't included at launch or laugh with delight because we live in the future: where acceptance of homosexual relations can arrive via software patch.

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  13. Free-To-Play Games Will Only Get More Prominent, More Awesome

    To some developers, it’s become a dirty curse. To others, it has become a venerated phrase, something immediately associated with excellent growth and revenue. To the common gamer, it is instead a promise of gameplay without immediate monetary investment. Considering the typical console game has a sticker price of $60 whether the player ends up liking the game or not, this can be the point that pushes their curiosity over the edge. Regardless, we are living in a free-to-play gaming revolution. But that’s a good thing. It means that developers and publishers are aware enough of their customers’ wants and needs to provide them with tailored content specifically for them.

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  14. Kim Jong-il Hired a Team of Hackers to Farm Gold in Asian MMOs

    The New York Times is reporting that North Korean despot Kim Jong-il has put together a team of hackers to farm gold in popular South Korean MMOs. Police in the region said that the team created software that allowed them to breach the servers of MMOs, such as Lineage and Dungeon and Fighter (which seems to be Dungeon Fighter Online, possibly either named with the "and" in Korea, or a translation error on someone's part), which granted "round-the-clock play by 'factories' of dozens of unmanned computers."

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  15. Push to Talk: The Tricky Business of Being a Woman on Vent


    Like many folks, I first used Vent in conjunction with World of Warcraft (for those not in the know, Ventrilo is a VoIP client beloved by gamers). Before I even left Shadowglen, I ran across an article about one girl's unfortunate experiences in Vent. I was simply going to reference it here, but my mad Google skills have turned up the actual article, which hearkens back from the year 2005:

    I made the mistake of speaking one day, out of the blue...People got loud, people were talking on top of each other, the channel got laggy from all the chaos...I very suddenly got flooded with in game tells: "Was that you?" I didn't reply to any, I just kept my mouth shut, very quickly realizing my mistake. A few people took it to the next level, making some extremely harsh comments about girls, and girls playing the game. I didn't talk for the rest of the raid.
    That was how I thought Vent was going to be: a never-ending misogynistic gauntlet of harassment and requests for pics. It sounded awful. See, at this point, I hadn't made any gamer friends, and the only female gamers I knew of were strangers writing articles like the one above. I avoided Vent as long as I could, making up excuses about not having a mic. My interaction with other players was minimal. But by level twenty, my gear was pathetic, and it was clear that I was missing out on a lot of game content.

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  16. World of Warcraft, the Last Bastion of Wildly Successful Subscription MMOs, Partly Goes Free-To-Play

    Regarding World of Warcarft, there are basically only two groups of gamers: Those who play it and those who know they won't like it. Both groups are fairly large, but with the latest patch, Rage of the Firelands, Blizzard is attempting to turn that latter group into "those who know they don't like it, but play it anyway." Now, rather than the free 14-day limited trial, WoW has shifted over to a limited free-to-play trial: Instead of 14 days to test out the game, players will be able to play some of the content forever, but with a limiting level cap of 20 that will only be removed once they upgrade to the full version of the game.

    Dubbed the World of Warcraft Starter Edition, the free-to-play "trial" includes the base game and some content from the first expansion, The Burning Crusade, namely the two added character races. So, not exactly a massive shift to a free-to-play model like every other game seems to be doing lately -- even games that never had a subscription to begin with -- but still, a step in what many people would call the right direction for WoW, a game that needs to reach a new audience, but is so widely known that most of that potential new audience already knows it doesn't want to play WoW. At least if the game moves to some kind of free-to-play model, all of those people who wouldn't want to play may give it a shot. It's entirely possible that this free-to-play trial could be the first step in that direction.

    (Blizzard via Joystiq)

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  17. Man Prepares to Ship Himself Across Country in a Crate Equipped to Play MMO

    Performance artist Jordan Wayne Long is preparing to ship himself from Bald Knob, Arkansas to Portland, Oregon in a crate over the course of one week without a connection to the outside world, except for a rig which allows him to play Lord of the Rings Online. Long claims the project relates to his study of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and related coping mechanisms, but we all know he was just looking for way to grind some levels without being bothered by the outside world.

    Long's friend Bradi Roberts will be transporting him on her truck, so he won't be going through any kind of actual postal system, nor have to sign up for an Amazon credit card in order to get free shipping. Long plans to update the interested masses via his Twitter and has also created a blog to cover his week of playing LOTRO in a box, which should barely be any different from playing it in his room. I kid, MMO gamers, because I love. Long's experiment is planned to take place between July 1 to July 7, and end at a Portland art gallery.

    (via Kotaku)

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  18. Man Plays MMO on World’s Second-Largest Screen, Is a Hero

    On November 21, 2010, a man drove under the 7,500 square meter LED screen at The Place (which seems to be a mall) in Beijing, sat down on a prepared lounge chair, whipped out his laptop, connected to the world's second largest LED screen above, and played an MMO for ten minutes. According to MMO Site "insiders," renting the screen for that amount of time cost the man around $15,000.

    The screen normally features fairly useless scenery, such as underwater scenes or an assortment of coins, wasting what many gamers would consider to be the second-holiest of gaming grails. Reading through various comment sections, the identity of the MMO is yet to be discovered, even though the video features a load screen. It's over in Asia though, so it must be of the grindfest variety, am I right?!

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  19. Battlestar Galactica MMO Coming This Fall

    if you didn't like the series finale of Syfy's Battlestar Galactica, maybe the new Battlestar MMO will give you a chance to kill Mitochondrial Eve before it all happens again. NBC Universal and Bigpoint have announced their new MMO based on the television series Battlestar Galactica.  Unlike World of Warcraft or Star Trek Online, the Battlestar MMO will be completely free and browser-based, eliminating the need to buy additional software or pay a monthly fee to play.  We like free. What will gameplay be like?

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