Monthly Archives: September 2012

Cato’s Catharsis: The DLC Delusion

If there’s one thing I remember about gaming in my youth, it’s the mods. Playing with a flamethrower in AvP2 or Weapons of Destruction in Quake II are some of my fondest memories of way back when. I realize that we’re living in a different world now, but it’s hard to believe these things didn’t survive natural selection.


From where I’m standing it perplexes me. Here we have an almost unlimited workforce. Droves of individuals who work tirelessly to improve the experience of the original game, and they are snubbed. At this point it seems pretty clear to me that people like building things just as much as playing with them. Games have an amazing ability to bring these communities together, I only wish the corporate side of things would see it that way.


They seem scared. They try to silence the masses and force prepackaged content down their throats. It’s confounding. Why would you not take advantage of such a golden opportunity. In a community inundated with content creators, the people at the top classify these dedicated individuals as plebeians. “These modifications to our games are an affront to our business model and must be contained/controlled.” I imagine them saying. Why not take advantage of the momentum?


Whenever these content creators are given license to work within the business model, it works out for everyone. When we give tools to builders, more things get built. Period. It’s not a difficult concept. If you give these people the tools to build amazing mods, they will build amazing mods. If you give them the ability to charge for their services, they will charge for their services. If you then take a percentage of the sale, where’s the harm? What’s the downside? Who’s being hurt? Is the intellectual property somehow deluded just because someone added an awesome feature to the game? Can they not be paid for adding to the experience in a way you failed to?


How many copies of ARMA2 did DayZ sell? How many people wouldn’t touch Skyrim without the modding community supporting it so heavily? How many Minecraft mods helped steer the final direction the game has taken? Where in Gods name is the console mod marketplace? How can this not exist?


You can keep selling us expansions all you want. We’ll keep buying them. Season pass? Great. Sure. Why not? If you ever want to see a market explode, let these communities sell their productions. It will only improve everything, for everyone.


The sooner we push past this the better everything will be. For all sides.


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Encyclopedia Muranica: A Serious Joke

I’ve speculated a great deal on what makes fun, having so much of it without trying. For this reason, I’m always present as an observer of reality, whichever one I’m currently existing in. I continue my search for this unattainable truth, on foolish premise I may walk away with a definitive answer. Perhaps the reason games work so well is that indelible vastness of working design. Fun has no beginning nor end, and can be the difference of a running joke and a dead hooker.

Pictured: A Running Joke

As just noted, the equation can be of absurd measure. The two great examples just previously mentioned exist as such,  speaking of course in regards to Sonic the Hedgehog and Grand Theft Auto. Both, in many respective gaming circles, considered to be the top o’ the line in terms of fun factor. As a note, I refer to the original trilogy on the Genesis for Sonics’ sake, but I’m sure you were already leaving behind the possibility of the more recent Sonic games as a running joke.

Seen Here: A Dead Hooker

Sonic and GTA have very different speeds, aims, and purposes. Hell, the two experiences even possess a different number of dimensions, and they still have that commonality I speak of. This beating heart of game design that perpetuates a flow of entertaining momentum. Spin Dash, loop de loop, fly through the air. Steal car, pick up Hooker, retrieve the money with a bat.

Both having some innate humor about them, a practical joke pulled by The Devil followed by your last laugh.

Your Last Laugh

Maybe this perplexity I draw analysis from is intrinsically linked to my sense of style. Most games operate on this heavy reliability of player involvement, and I speak beyond just the simple action of command inputs. A perception of what’s going on, how to solve a problem, the interpretation of what’s worth striving for, all in the sense of finality. The final goal usually representing the end of fun.

The End of Fun

I thusly include myself as heavy flaw in a robust theory, another contradictory piece of an already solved puzzle. Perhaps, my problem with analyzing design is my impossibly involved nature. Maybe to some, the idea of a swinging bat or blasting right past is already apparent. The product of a players self posed question, the thrill of them answering with their own curiosity.

A strong suit of this medium, may in fact be it’s rhetorical mindfulness. When creating a game, fun, and by essence, what’s funny, plays major factor. From the beginnings of Crash Bandicoot, to the ends of Silent Hill, humor can persist a certain truth. When you end up with a good idea becoming real, you’ll often find it often starts as a joke.

Design may just be funny that way.

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A Virtual Odyssey

Greetings game fans, and welcome to the wide world of retorts.

Here with you today, I, Pashford S. Murano, embark upon a voyage with my dear compatriot, Cato C. Caolan. Our purpose is one of nobility, as we act as conduit between you and video gaming euphoria. We hope, in the wide ether of entertainment and debate, to deliver a slice of relativity, a piece of space, and above all, never ending taste. With this, we plunge one more flag, deep into the soils of the internet, and begin to forge our mark of excellence. Toe to toe with intolerance, and eye to eye with the blind, we journey to the center of the infinite, for the purpose of re-discovery…

…and what it means to be a gamer.

Pictured: The only Active Time Event you’ll ever need to pay attention to.

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