Meta-gaming is what happens when people take an online game outside of the game. Typical examples are clans setting up forums to discuss their devious tactics and strategy outside of the game. Wiki’s containing player’s tips and tricks and a deeper insight into the game, or even inventing a zombie language dictionary for example. A second facet which is quite interesting is when players start role playing in the meta gaming universe and start publishing detailed character bio’s of their game characters or writing fan-fiction based on the game.
Urban Dead is a free zombie apocalypse game which I’ve been playing for a while now, and this browser-based game has a huge amount of this additional meta-gaming information outside of the game. In fact, the wiki is probably the main resource for any beginning and advanced player of the game. Some of the players got into some of that fan-fiction writing I mention in the form of a webcomic, but this one I recently ran into really tops it.
It’s a mini-graphic novel based on the UD game but you don’ t have to play to game to be able enjoy it. The graphics are simply pro-level and the story unfolds nicely. I’m sad to see there are only 2 chapters so far and I can’t wait to read the rest. If you’ve played the game you’ll definitely dig this comic. If you haven’t, but like zombies and some graphic violence, this could be right up your alley.
It’s called Necrophobic by Craig J Spearing, and it’s too damn short. Grrrrr.
Check out the wicked art in the Gallery on the main site as well. This guy sure has some talent.
I like free games. If you hate them however, you might want to stop reading right here. If you hate racing games, or online games, this might also be where you should stop reading. Cause this is all about a free online racing game called TrackMania Nations. Well, you can play it off-line as well, and it’s still fun to play on your own really, but it’s more fun online.
So how does that work? Well it’s pretty simple really. At first I thought it was a bit lame. You see, it’s not about toasting your opponents with rocket launchers or shredding them up with a chainsaw. It’s about reaching the finish line in that formula 1 car or yours the first. That’s it. Pure racing. Racing on tracks that make you jump through hoops. Literally. Huge jumps btw. Over fifty feet gaps and water and stuff. And there are loopings and big walls to crash into. No ramming each other, no crashes. All about racing skillz.
The game modes are simple, but once you get into them they can be quite addictive. For instance in one mode the goal is to drive a single lap, and whoever does it the fastest wins. Really addictive stuff. This one is a lot of fun to play off-line as well with multiple players. Geek party anyone?
The graphics are pretty damn good too, and it runs smoothly on my now older machine, which is sweet. Oh yeah, and it’s completely free, so it you hate it after trying it out, you only wasted some bandwidth on it.
So go ahead and see how high you get in the local or international rankings with your pink car with big dots and stars on it. Well, you can paint your car if you want. I painted one like that, seriously. Doesn’t even look half bad too.
Stuff we came across recently, not worthy of a full post but fun, interesting or sweet enough to get stuffed together in an orgy of hyperlink goodness.
- Lemmings the oldskool computer game rewritten for the web. If this gets you excited you are probably old. If you’ve never heard of it, it’s probably something you won’t really get thrilled over. Move along youngsters, nothing to see here. (via Angelo)
- The story of stuff is a 20 minute online video about how our consumer society is eating up the planet, and the people with it. You will have heard most of these facts before separately, but when the puzzle is put together it sheds a new light on the situation. Well worth the 20 minutes of your time IMO. Makes you think, or at least, it should (via Ine).
- Another one, on a much lighter subject is The Nerd Handbook. If you have a nerd around, or are a nerd and feel like people might benefit from reading the manual, then this is something for you. The funny thing is that it’s actually quite accurate when it comes to nerdish interaction and logic. Hell, I can tell. (via Lifehacker)
- Face On, a photo exhibition occurring in cyberspace and meatspace at the same time. Browse through the virtual exhibition room and check out the portraits or add your own to the mix. (via Pietel)
- Rat Trap, an interesting article about drug addiction, and how the drugs are not the problem, but our enviroment. (via Jungletrain.net)
Yes. It’s that time again.
We have been too busy screwing around with all sorts of everything and nothing much that we didn’t have time to spend on a proper blog post. So we end up posting a bunch of links to nifty sites that we’ve come across in the past few days. Or weeks. Or time…
There’s a bit of everything, so let’s get down to it shall we?
- www.mp3-spider.com : I came across this one while looking for mp3 dj sets using Gooogle. I have no idea who runs this, but apparently it contains a huge, and I mean HUGE database of music previews. Search by artist or genre and you’ll probably find that CD you’re looking for in 64k preview mp3 format. Nice if there are no samples online for that CD you’re willing to buy. Yes, you should buy CDs from artist you dig. So they don’t starve to death, the poor sods.
- DNAStream : This is the web-rip off of the Joost internet TV app. I have to say that I haven’t really been using Joost too much since I tried it out in the beginning. For some reason I tend to watch TV on the TV and not while I’m sitting in front of my PC. You mileage may vary however, so if you dig it, you can now do it without having to install the client software. It even works through firewalls. Yes. Watching TV at work is now an option. Getting fired as well.
- This Bioshock game review is probably the funniest game review I’ve ever heard. That’s not too hard really because I’ve never heard a game review before. I usually read them, and then still, I hardly read game reviews anyway so there isn’t much competition. But this one is really funny. Check it if you have a few minutes to spare.
Ok, here are some links I’ve come across recently that I found worth sharing. I’m not into posting lots of “link only” posts, since I find those to be a bit blog polluting, but I’ll make an exception now and then. It’s also an easy way to get a post out. I know, hehe.
Rebekka, who you could call a VIP on Flickr, has recently been the target of copyright infringement. She posted about it on Flickr, but they made a bad call and deleted her posts, and with that all comments made by other users.
Not a very nice thing to do, but they sort of fixed that now.
Lots of related posts for this, but it all starts here.
- Feeling swamped in emails and not getting anything done? Well, before you stop surfing and actually get some work done you might also want to read these helpful tips in downloadable PDF format: The Low-Information Diet: How to Eliminate E-Mail Overload & Triple Productivity in 24 Hours.
- What is breakcore? Find out all about it in this video documentary featuring the most popular breakcore artists currently breaking their beats. Bigup the wood crew btw. Damn right they had to be in there.
- Don’t follow this link if you want to get some work done. It’s too damn addictive. They should outlaw flash games like this. Desktop Tower Defender is dangerous for your productivity. Don’t say I didn’t warn ya!
Global hotkeys is something I discovered in Winamp a while ago, and have been using ever since. After activating it in the preferences you can perform all winamp controls using a bunch of keyboard shortcuts.
“Too lazy to use the mouse ey”, I hear you think, but no, that’s not it, I swear. Have you ever been stuck inside a full screen online first person shooter and suddenly some lameass mp3 that snuck it’s way into your playlist starts blasting through your speakers and you have to sit out 3 minutes (if you’re lucky the song is that short) of some pop diva’s latest hit because you felt like doing a breakcore remix of it but never got around to it?
Maybe not the breakcore thing, but still, something simular must have happened at one time, and those nifty hotkeys are there to save your game when it does. Instead of having to CTRL-ESC your way back to the desktop (slowly, you’re machine is swapping it’s ass off right now), activate Winamp, click the next button and switch back to your game (slowly, cause it’s swapping it’s ass of again now) and see your corpse appear as you’ve been fragged about 3 minutes ago already… you can simply press CTRL-ALT-PAGEDOWN to switch to the next song in your playlist while remaining ingame.
How cool is that?
I’ll tell ya, it’s supahcool… and rather geeky, but the heck with it.
Online gaming is something that’s here to stay, and the fact that people spend a lot of time in a complex virtual world that basically has it’s own laws of virtuale nature can have some pretty fun and interesting results.
Take World of Warcraft for instance. A game played by millions of gamers around the globe recently got hit by the plague, virtually. Corpses all over the place, and the infection spread like a real world disease across the servers.
Funny stuff (if you are not infected I guess).
This BBC article gives a pretty good rundown of the events. But basically the plague was intended to stay inside a single dungeon until high level players found a way to transfer it onto a virtual pet, and unleash it into the wild. You gotta love dem haxx0rz!
You can read more about it all over the net but this video gives you an idea of how the plague manifests itself in game. People running and dying apparently, pretty much what would happen in real life I guess.
There are some more detailed screenshots over at flickr as well.
Too bad there isn’t a Monty Pythoneske character rinning it’s deathbell walking around rounding up corpses on his cart innit.