Tag Archives: Gaming

Farmville, Social Gaming, and Addiction

Facebook has been trumpeting the fact that Farmville, the most popular game on its site, has more users than Twitter, with 69 million playing over a month and 26 million playing each day. Combined with Facebook’s announcement that they have hit 350 million users, that means one out of every five people on Facebook is playing Farmville. Gamasutra has a post taking a critical analysis of Farmville, its deceptively slow level grind, how a number of gameplay features end up as simply decorative since they aren’t balanced with the benefits of raising crops, and discussing why Farmville succeeds so well in virally spreading itself and addicting people.

Second Gaming Assault

It was only yesterday that we reported about a Utah hammer attack that arose from resentments over a D&D session and a love triangle (see “D&D, Love Triangle”). Today brings news of a second attack, also in Utah, arising from a game gone awry, clearly demonstrating that any game in the hands of the right person from Utah can lead to violence; it’s not just D&D.

An Orem man was drinking and playing Uno with his nephew and his nephew’s wife when he struck the woman in the back of the head, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. In the ensuing dust-up, the man fought with his nephew and eventually threatened him with a knife. In addition to the aggravated assault charge, the drinking, violent Uno player was also arrested on outstanding warrants for aggravated assault, simple assault, and DUI.

Xbox Gaming Platform To Span Web, Console, Mobile

"According to a job posting from August 10, 2009, Microsoft is looking for a LIVE Community Director in the Entertainment & Devices Division. The job posting seems to suggest that Microsoft is looking to bring the Xbox Live, Windows Mobile, and other similar properties closer together. More specifically, there’s talk of a ‘casual and social gaming platform’ that would be available via more than just one device: ‘The LIVE Engagement Team is looking for a LIVE Community Director to manage its LIVE community strategy and execution across a range of properties, from Xbox LIVE to Windows Mobile. This senior position will play a vital role in the community space as the LIVE Engagement team builds and program’s Microsoft’s next-generation, LIVE-enabled casual and social gaming platform across the Web, the console, mobile and beyond.’ The first key responsibility listed in the job posting is to ‘[d]evelop a community strategy that leverages all parts of the LIVE Services team to deliver scenarios and engagement across three screens.’".

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Left 4 Dead 2 at Comic Con

Valve announces plans to show off Left 4 Dead 2 at Comic Con 2009 (albeit the Xbox 360 edition), which gets underway today in San Diego, CA.

Left 4 Dead 2 (L4D2), the sequel to the best-selling and critically-acclaimed co-operative multiplayer thriller, is being shown this week at Comic Con, San Diego.

The game is available to play, by the press and public, at the EA Gaming Lounge presented by Xbox 360 (from 2-9 pm Thursday-Saturday, and 12-5 pm on Sunday) and the Xbox 360 booth, (booth 5225 Hall G) all day on Saturday July 25th. The EA Gaming Lounge is located in the Hilton San Diego Gaslamp Quarter Hotel, 401 K. Street.

After debuting "The Parish" campaign (set in the New Orleans’ French Quarter) at E3, the Comic Con showing unveils "Swamp Fever", the second of the five campaigns shipping with L4D2 this fall.

Valve is also unveiling a new Boss infected monster coming in the full version of Left 4 Dead 2. Known as "The Spitter" this is the second new Boss infected from L4D2 revealed thus far (the Charger was revealed at E3). The female Spitter has an area attack that can split up Survivors or flush them out of their hiding spots. At least one more new Boss infected is expected to be revealed before launch.

In addition to the new campaign and boss monster the Comic Con showing of L4D2 also includes the debut of the "Mudmen," the "uncommon common" exclusive to the Swamp Fever campaign, and a few more of the 20-plus new items coming in the full product (cricket bat, AK47, and grenade launcher).

Coming exclusively to Xbox 360 and PC on November 17, Left 4 Dead 2 promises to set a new benchmark for co-operative action games and become one of 2009’s marquee titles.

Mobile Xbox Gaming A Matter Of ‘When’ Says Kim

SHane Kim, Microsoft VP of XBox, has revealed that MS is not forgotten about the handheld market. In fact, according to Kim, Microsoft’s entrance into the portable market is not a matter of "if," but a matter of "when." Now, what this means exactly is anyone’s guess, but Kim said: "We’ve chosen to focus on the living room experience from a hardware standpoint, if you will, but we’re building a service in Live that will extend to other platforms. No question about it." Once Project Natal is up and running, we may start to hear about the portable Xbox plans. A MS handheld, oh boy.

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