You Have Been In Community Too Long When:

– You are speaking, live and in person, with someone. He says something vaguely off-color. You react with faux-outrage and say aloud “LALALALA, I CAN’T HEAR YOU.” And you cover your eyes.

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Add To The Chaos!

Top MMO list at F13.

Please follow the damn directions. I’d be disgusted if one of my seven readers didn’t get his list counted because he could not READ.

Someday I’m going to write a Defense of LOTRO post, though, because if one more person makes fun of me in IM, I’m going to go totally nazgul.

My Dream Patch Day, And The Junk.

This exercise is taking place entirely inside my head, since I don’t know any software company that actually does it this way. Also, since this is MY dream, everything has been set up for the convenience and peace of mind of a community weenie. But I admit… I’m being a bit disingenuous when I say that. See the question at the very bottom of this post.

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Nice Typo!

I really am trying not to laugh.

Full disclosure: I have worked with, and quite like, several people at this PR firm.

Side note: Raise your hands if you thought a PR firm was supposed to do anything BESIDES generate positive buzz for their clients. Lordy. What a non-issue this is. Even if it’s not a typo, and the PR kids were going to get bonuses for actual positive reviews, I still refuse to clench my underpants up to my lungs in angst. A positive review, even from a perfectly honest journalist, is often a function of the environment in which they reviewed the product. The PR firm that places a pre-armored, pre-buffed character on an account (and possibly arranges to have an actual developer helping the reviewer over the rough spots) is merely being proactive. ESPECIALLY with MMOs, which are impossible to review in two hours. Don’t like it? Make sure you only read reviews by someone who played through the whole beta in their own basement instead of playing for two hours at a press event. Caveat emptor.

Oh, Bugger.

Who gives a shit about Ike Turner, Terry Pratchett’s still with us. But that sound you heard this morning was me going Aaaa-OOOOOOOH!!! Oh yes. Multiple exclamation points. I believe that in this case, multiples are called for.

True story:  After I read Monstrous Regiment, I realized I could occupy myself at game conferences, interminable meetings, and podcasts by imagining the sort of socks the speaker had. Tennis anklets with little pom pom balls on them came up a really disturbing amount of the time. (Do they still make those?) One person, who thinks he is The Man but I generally question whether or not he is even *a* man, given his propensity for whining, totally has gold toe space age fiber wicking action socks with padded heels and reinforced arches. And when I’m feeling generous, I kind of want to say, listen, they’re just socks. You don’t have to prove anything. You could probably just have cotton crew socks. They’d be just as comfortable and you’d worry less about losing them, or having people laugh as soon as you walk away.

Unfortunately, these days I’m usually feeling a touch petty (not knowing where I’m going to live in sixty-eight days will do that), and I snicker a bit at what a small little package these supposed socks of the future are when they’re rolled up.

For the record, I have black cotton socks with little red Scottie dogs knitted in. No idea what that MEANS, really.


I Know How This Ends!

In 1991, I worked for a temp agency along with my best friend. He and I both got assigned to work at AOL. Customers had the choice of either renewing their credit cards online or calling a human. My buddy and I were two of the humans. There was a giant LED “scoreboard” on the wall letting us know how long an average call was and how long an average caller had to wait. One person busting ass really could make a difference in the daily score. It was kind of… fun. I know, a CS pit, fun, crazy talk.

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“For instance, he gives the game studios that are part of Activision the ability to lease their own office space, control personnel decisions, choose their own technology and set their own deadlines.”

Well, technically, so does everyone. Technically. The devil sure is in those details.

I am not sure this is a good sign for community people and the profession. None of the parts of this megacorporation have seen a need for any community management besides a) message boards, and b) telling people what they want to hear… and if those things turn out to be not true, well, the explanation pacified everyone at the time, so it’s all good. Besides, “there’s no money in it.” (Until there IS, and suddenly I have to listen to people who argued with me for years telling the NYT that they were right all along. It’s bound to happen, but that doesn’t mean I’m not irritated in advance!) Now, with the sheer size and accompanying expectations of the new beast, there’s little reason for this giant to innovate in the area of social connection. Sounds like they’re after their own Madden. I guess it’s good to have goals. But until they have their Madden on top of their Warcraft, and are therefore more settled, I suspect they’ll leave the social aspects to Pepperidge Fucking Farm.

It certainly is interesting, watching business cycles repeat themselves. Wonder when the next wave of small studios will start.