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EA Loosens Spore's DRM, Account Restrictions

EA Loosens Spore's DRM, Account Restrictions. That's nice, but those were the least of my worries. I care about what software is being installed on my Mac, and how it might affect its stability. Most Mac applications don't even have an installer, let alone DRM. If I wanted crap like that, I'd still be using a PC.

Can I trust DRM vendors or companies that make use of DRM? No. Maybe this version of Securom for this product on this computer won't cause problems others have had in the past. But why would I even want to spend time thinking about that?

So, still no Spore for me.

The last 'PC' game I played that wasn't a downloadable casual game was World of Warcraft, in 2005. And before that, not counting games I got for free (and didn't play because they were PC only)... hmm... I think it was the original Deus Ex. Bioshock? I'll get it for the Xbox when the price drops and I have time. But just as I was considering getting some games for my Mac, I now realize I would have to do research on what kind of DRM is on there before buying.

Social gaming event at PICNIC 08 in Amsterdam

Oh, it seems there will be a special event about social gaming at PICNIC 08 in Amsterdam on the 26th.

Games go Social is a full day event probing the synergies between games and communities, organized in collaboration with PICNIC, the undeniably most original, pioneering and unusual get-together for creatives. The trend 'Games go social' is predicted to revolutionize the gaming industry, fusing games, communities and networks by playing against your friends, family and people you know (or don't). Unless you've been stranded on a desert island without an iPhone to pass your time, you won't have missed the phenomena of social networking. What started off as niche communities, and sub-culture, has evolved to mainstream social activities capturing all sorts of our online endeavours, from blogging, flickering and digging to instant messaging, profiling, dating and gaming. To this add the latest pass-time of the typical iSocialite, namely Community Gaming. And this is where it gets interesting. Because games fused with social communities turns traditional (console, hard-core) gaming on its head. Now reaching out to anyone out there, instantly creating critical mass, new consumers are being pulled into the game.

To explore this phenomena, from it's roots in MMORPG's to the latest causal [sic] games dedicated communities we have invited a selected number of creatives, visionaries and industry leaders to share their visions, ideas, case-studies and strategies. Meet luminaries from leading companies such as EA, Playfish, Spil Games, Game Entertainment Europe, Social Gaming Network (SGN), Myspace and Hyves, during a jam-packed program of inspirational presentations and dynamic panel sessions.

Robin will be there... but I won't. Bad timing. Damn.

Why I am not buying Spore

It's the DRM, of course. Just like many, many people on


Spore is now apparently the most pirated game ever. The Washington Post has a nice article explaining the issue. Loyd Case gives his personal view, based on his long experience with PC gaming, here. (Thanks Mark for both articles.)

Spore is joining a group of games that I'd like to play, but won't. You know, like Rock Band. I hear there's a sequel.

(Ah, a friend of mine bought it online on Sunday and finished installing it on Tuesday...)

Clive Thompson on Facebook and Twitter

Clive Thompson has written a great article for the New York Times about what makes Facebook and Twitter special. I've tried explaining both to people, and it's very hard to convey what makes Facebook different from earlier social networks, or what makes Twitter different from having a blog. This article explains it quite well.

I've worked on two virtual worlds in the last year, and in both I added features similar to Facebook's News Feed. It's just such a great idea, especially when tied in to buddy lists and easy invite systems. But I think you need to have experienced how it changes how you relate to people to appreciate it.

Even if you keep up to date on this stuff, I recommend reading the article. It goes further than just saying that Facebook has a news feed or that Twitter is cool.

My favorite New Yorker cartoon

This is my favorite New Yorker cartoon ever:


It is a very accurate description of how I ocasionally feel - more so the further I move away from being 30. The cartoon helps me find the courage and energy to avoid ending up in the depicted situation. So far, successfully, I think.

(You can buy the cartoon here. $125 for a print?... Not exactly an impulse buy.)

David Perry corrects GameStop CEO about digital distribution

It seems GameStop CEO Dan DeMatteo crossed the boundaries of sane, well-reasoned discourse while criticizing digital distribution of games. Dave Perry corrects him over at Shacknews:

[...] I hate to think someone this powerful can put out this kind of nonsense in an interview, and confuse professional investors, that might have been interested in the digitally distributed future of the games business. Some developer (or publisher) pitching a digitally distributed strategy might have just been 'thrown under the bus' today by Mr. DeMatteo.

Where to start? Sheesh...

It's a good read, summing up some of the problems with the current distribution system and the current state of digital distribution. Go Dave!

(Via Harvey.)

A look at Stanley Kubrick's archives

The Guardian has a great article about Stanley Kubrick and some of the insane things he did when making movies:

[Long-time Kubrick assistant Tony Frewin] takes me into a large room painted blue and filled with books. "This used to be the cinema," he says. "Is it the library now?" I ask. "Look closer at the books," says Tony. I do. "Bloody hell," I say. "Every book in this room is about Napoleon!" "Look in the drawers," says Tony. I do. "It's all about Napoleon, too!" I say. "Everything in here is about Napoleon!" I feel a little like Shelley Duvall in The Shining, chancing upon her husband's novel and finding it is comprised entirely of the line "All Work And No Play Makes Jack A Dull Boy" typed over and over again. John Baxter wrote, in his unauthorised biography of Kubrick, "Most people attributed the purchase of Childwick to Kubrick's passion for privacy, and drew parallels with Jack Torrance in The Shining." This room full of Napoleon stuff seems to bear out that comparison. "Somewhere else in this house," Tony says, "is a cabinet full of 25,000 library cards, three inches by five inches. If you want to know what Napoleon, or Josephine, or anyone within Napoleon's inner circle was doing on the afternoon of July 23 17-whatever, you go to that card and it'll tell you."


Have I ever mentioned de-makes before? I don't think so. In any case, here is a blog post with info on lots of fun de-makes, such as Bioshock for GameBoy or Metal Gear Solid 4 for NES.

(Via Wolfgang.)