October 28, 2010

The View from BlizzCon

Filed under: Features — Tags: , , , , , , — Chris O'Neal @ 5:08 pm

Blizzcon 2010
Say what you will about World of Warcraft.

Go on. It’s an incredibly derisive, love it or hate it ordeal. On one side you have those who are the dedicated, forging names for themselves online and off, spending countless hours building up characters which represent an alt-reality personality that some come to love and cherish much like one would coddle a small dog or ferret. On the other side, there are those who could care less and maybe have dabbled in it like one would witchcraft.

But what of the actual players? Over this past weekend at BlizzCon, I was lucky enough to meet people for whom World of Warcraft and Starcraft aren’t merely games, but a way in which to keep tabs on friends and live vicariously in two worlds.


August 19, 2010

Review – StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty

Filed under: Reviews — Tags: , , , , , , — Brad Johnson @ 8:55 am

It’s been twelve years since the release of StarCraft, which is something you’ve probably read a dozen times by now if you’ve been following the coverage of the game around the intertubes. It sounds significant, which is probably why people keep writing it—for many, the realization comes with a wave of nostalgia, recalling the days of dial-up modems, shuddering lag, zergling rushes and a million players who really didn’t know how they should set the latency option.

Then you start to realize it’s hard to get nostalgic about a game you were playing as recently as six months ago.

Yes, StarCraft had legs. Players warred with one another for years before the game began to show its age, and even then many couldn’t pry themselves away. Blizzard diligently rolled out patches, carefully adjusting the game for those faithful who still saw fit to log onto what had become an entirely archaic online gaming platform. It was a level of meticulous perfection in the gameplay mechanic that allowed StarCraft to endure far longer than anyone could have imagined, surviving the shift to 3D and certainly other challenges along the way. It had become ancient by the videogame standard when Blizzard finally dropped the StarCraft II bomb in 2007—but people were still playing.


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