Help Wanted

Please! There's been an accident and we need help from all comers. Gamers across the web, please unite. It seems that after all those close calls, depsite everyone's warnings, the people over at Terra Nova have finally FALLEN HEAD FIRST UP THEIR OWN ASSHOLE.

For those of you who don't know it Terra Nova is a blog about virtual worlds. Fair enough you might say. There's a few of those about. However, the problem with Terra Nova is that they take it way too seriously. The blog is written by various contributors who have tenuous job titles or tenuous connections to 'virtual worlds'. They only ever discuss Second Life, WoW, Guild Wars or EVE online. In addition there are a few crackpots who go on and on about MUDs. Anyway, so what you might say, you do a blog about old capcom games and sex toys. Yes. This is true. But we don't take ourselves so painfully serious and we don't make sweeping assumption about virtual worlds, catalysed by the matrix movies and littered with Alice through the looking glass sound bites.

These guys and girls are so out of touch with games companies and the majority of game players that when they do the classic "what do we mean by computer game" post it comes across as unneccessary wordy bollocks serving to put the MMORPGs that they play and write shitty books about into a special little box seperate from say Gears of War or Halo. And they love referring to pen and paper games like Dungeons and Dragons. Which, they consider the origins of todays virtual worlds. Every two sentences.

However, they seem to be blissfully unaware of the significant body of academic work in this field by the people here at that guy's a maniac that served to define all this crap they like to circle jerk each other about. So here's a summary TNers. Read this list and either go an do some real work or start properly talking about virtual worlds rather than postulating each other stoner philosophy questions about your favourite virtual cyber spots:

1) Pen and paper games were in no way the actual, spiritual or theoretical forefathers or origins of games. They were simply a thing that a strange and lonely subsection of America did in their basements. Just drop it now.

2) Furthermore, following this petition in 1997 it was agreed by 79% of gamers the world over that we are officially to ignore any "computer games" before the GameBoy release of Tetris. By and large they were all shit and not very fun. Get over it.

3) Stop trying to define things. It isn't important. Also stop pretending that you don't just use MMORPGs to get cyber girlfriends. Stop pretending that what you are doing is real work either. Also, stop pretending you have any sway over what the real game companies are doing. Change your name from Terra Nova to Pseudo Academic Circle Jerking and you can carry on the way you are going.

4) Try looking at virtual worlds other than the 4 MMORPGs you always rail on about. When you are writing your latest piece of wank, think "Do these sweeping statements apply to Ed Fedemeyer's excellent Haunted Maze developed on the Net Yaroze?". If the answer is no, kill yourself.

5) Try doing something in these virtual worlds. At the moment the Something Awful Goons are far more creative and interesting with the stuff they get up to. More "people" know them too. Stop hanging on the coat tails of the stuff they get up to by trying to define them all the time. The stuff that you label as "griefing". That is when you can agree on what you even mean by that.

6) Include more screenshots. People like pictures and it makes it more believable too.

These are just for starters. See how you get on. Then we can talk again.

KK THX bye!


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