Beta testing” one of the more prevalent terms among gamers and internet users, may take on new meaning with the recent use of Everquest II to study real economies in action. There are millions of players in Everquest II, and other Massively Online Multiplayer (MMOs) online games like it, and each one has similar currencies and economies, but also provide a number of other studyable transactional systems between players that are ripe for study. In response to and article in Popular Science, I look at some of the many possibilities in using MMOs as a data pool for research.
One of the most dynamic industries in the world right now, both in terms of growth and innovation, is the video game industry. As the industry grows, companies have found new ways to be more competitive, and although the conventional pricing plans still reign supreme with $60 retail console games, new models are beginning to take over. With that in mind, Nexon America CEO Daniel Kim criticized other companies about not moving on faster.
While many video games find their most iconic imagery in their protagonists, the BioShock series has always been all about the enemies. You were never really curious as to what Jack looked like in the first game, but you'll never forget the first time you saw a Big Daddy. In keeping with their love of creeptastic monster designs, Irrational Games has just released sneak peeks at the fantastic new bosses that players will encounter in BioShock Infinite.
Gaming is mainstream. No longer relegated to the basements of parental housing units or the lonely apartments of developmentally arrested adults, no longer the sole province of the anti-social and teenaged misfit, gamers are mainstream and gaming is the fastest growing industry in entertainment. Further proof of this paradigm shift is in Nielsen’s U.S. Gaming: A 360 Survey, which shoes that now over half of all households in America own a current generation gaming console (Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Ninetendo Wii). This is a 50% increase over last year, meaning a lot of people are jumping on the console gaming bandwagon, and as new hyper-popular gaming franchises like Halo, Call of Duty, and others are drawing millions of customers, other companies will be looking to get into the market.
It's been too long since we gamers have been able to play God over a metropolis. Sure, we've had the digital dollhouses of the Sims and its sequels to amuse us (and really, there's little more amusing than setting your beloved Sims on fire or impregnating them with alien spawn), but if the idyllic confines of Pleasantview have made you feel claustrophobic over the past decade, worry not. Maxis is bringing you back to SimCity.