Id like to interrupt this MMO blog with a brief message about something that I believe is far more important than a video game or MMO — the future of the United States of America.
If you live in the U.S.A. you may be getting tired of the election and all of the commercials you see on television. Electioneering fatigue aside, this election is probably the most important one in recent history for both America and the world.
Despite lofty promises, the Obama administration has failed to put this country back on track. Americans are suffering. We have record levels of unemployment, 47 million people on foodstamps, an anemic housing market, few jobs for college graduates, erosion of religious freedom, record levels of people on disability, record high gasoline prices, increasing healthcare costs, a $16 trillion national debt, we have crippling regulations, botched foreign policy and we are losing our influence around the world.
The numbers don’t lie. The USA is swiftly heading toward financial ruin. If nothing is done to tackle these problems head on, the children of America will become slaves to the debt this generation incurred.
It must stop now.
I watched an inspirational and shocking video just today that I want to share with readers of my blog. The video is an adult conversation about the state of America and how to fix the problems. It’s also about a mindset and worldview called conservatism. We’ve tried socialism for 4 years — it has utterly failed. I believe conservatism is the only way we can fix the mess this country is in. We need to change the leadership in this country.
The recent drama and subsequent bankruptcy of Curt Schilling’s 38 Studios has haunted me these past few weeks. Although I was just a bystander, I was living somewhat vicariously through Curt and his dreams to create a revolutionary fantasy virtual world. With his celebrity status, myriad of connections and considerable wealth, I figured if someone could make my perfect MMO it would most likely be Curt.
When it all came crashing down, the not only did the dreams of Curt and his employees end, it had the side effect of forcing me to confront my own dreams of creating a MMO. Most game designer have a secret video game project that they guard in their heart of hearts; designing a MMO was mine. It is these dreams that are the inspirational fuel that keeps us going when we are involved in video game projects we don’t particularly like.
What happened to 38 Studios was a jolting reality check for all aspiring MMO developers because it forced us all to ask a crucial question:
If a multi-millionaire celebrity with all of his resources and hired talent can’t even finish a MMO after spending over $150 million dollars, realistically, what hope is there for the rest of us who share similar dreams?
No one can deny that this past week has been a catastrophe of near biblical proportions for Curt Schilling’s 38 Studios and their proposed “Copernicus” MMO.
By now most avid MMO watchers are familiar with the story of how on May 1, of 2012, 38 Studios defaulted on a $1.1 loan payment to the Rhode Island Economic Development Council. Once that transpired, a series of meetings between the Rhode Island government officials and 38 Studio how to resolve the default. A comprehensive financial timeline of this matter has been studiously complied by Atropos over at AmalurFoundry.com
Eventually 38 Studios came up with the $1.1 million in funds to cover the default but they failed to meet their payroll and the company is teetering on the edge of insolvency. The latest news is that Curt has returned to talk to his team and the layoffs have begun with fired workers attending a Turbine job fair nearby.
Guitarist Kevin Eubanks is primarily known for his 15 year tenure as the leader of The Tonight Show Band. When I watched Jay Leno on late night TV show, it was always interesting to see the back and forth repartee between Jay and Kevin. Given Kevin’s stature and likable personality we figured it was a safe bet seeing him live at the venerable Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley here in Seattle.
I admit we were not familiar with any of Kevin’s music before hand. To remedy this omission I fired up Spotify and listened to his latest album Zen Food. This 2010 release by Kevin was standard modern jazz faire and quite listenable. In the past 10 years we’ve been to many Jazz Alley concerts and seen a wide range of acts from Chris Botti to Pat Metheny. Only on a few occasions have we been truly disappointed with the shows.
Recently I became exposed to an interesting idea called the Gartner Hype Cycle. It’s implications might be useful to those of us still interested in the future viability of virtual worlds and MMOs.
The Gartner Hype Cycle is a graphic that depicts public expectations of new and emerging (often not so new) technologies in the form of a graph. It is updated annually and produced by a research and advisory company called Gartner, Inc.
Although I’m not a very big sci-fi or Star Wars fan I figured I’d take a gamble on purchasing and subscribing to EA’s and Bioware’s Star Wars: The Old Republic MMO. After focusing on WoW for all these years, I felt it was time to take a break and try a new AAA+ MMO.
I have played about 20 levels of SWTOR and this review is by no means complete or comprehensive. It is just my thoughts based on my limited experiences. However, I’ve spent enough time playing MMOs to know if I’m going to like a MMO within short order.
Naturally there has been a lot of buzz and hype about this MMO over the past few years due to Bioware’s stellar reputation along with a massive budget of an estimated $300 million. With that hype and budget come grand expectations. So after 7 years of waiting, the good news is that I’m pleased to report there is a AAA+ MMO to rival WoW.
I try to avoid delving into the realm of politics here at WolfheadOnline but there is a very important issue that affects almost everyone here in America and in the world. The freedom of the Internet has come under attack by big corporations that have managed to influence American politicians under the guise of “stopping piracy”.
If we don’t stop this bill the U.S. Government will start blocking offending sites using the same draconian techniques used by totalitarian regimes and human rights violators such as China, Iran and Syria.
I know there are some of my readers involved in various forms of indie video game development. I wanted to share with them an amazing bundle of indie dev items that is currently being offered by 3D Ocean which is a part of the Envato family of websites.
For $20 you can get $500 worth of art assets! Knowing how tough it is for indie developers to get assets in their games I figured I’d give 3D Ocean some free publicity.
It’s been a while since I posted anything on my website. I feel that I owe my loyal readers an explanation of why I haven’t been posting as much.
I have been blogging and championing the cause of virtual worlds and MMORPG’s since 2004. I’m not a big fan of the word “blogging” and its fellow partner in crime “blogger”. You might consider me a snob for saying this, but I would prefer to consider myself a writer and an essayist.
If you could ask God one question what would it be? Would you ask a deep question such as what is the meaning of life or would you waste your question on something trivial like how to remove bubble gum from a sole of a running shoe?
If you happen to be a disciple of World of Warcraft and can make the pilgrimage to BlizzCon, you actually can ask the virtual gods of Azeroth a question. This was the case at BlizzCon 2011 held this past weekend in Anaheim where thousands of true believers assembled before the thrones of the gods of Azeroth. In fact one player actually praised Greg Street Lead WoW Designer and outright called him “a god”.
What did I think of BlizzCon 2011 and the Mists of Pandaria preview and what does this mean for WoW?