Friday, January 18, 2013

Game client updates and a violent video game tax?




The Midaged gamer report for 1-18-2013

This week:

Updates, updates, updates, Video games as straw man, hope for PC gaming and the case for a big case!

Origin had another update this week.  The new Version 9.1.10 patch claims to add an additional custom  security question (whether you want it or not), fix streaming to twitch.tv, add the ability to update account settings via the web ( I thought I could already do that??) and of course the ever mysterious..."miscellaneous" fixes.  Once you log in and add another "security" question you'll probably find you have to verify your email address again.  I'm still waiting for the email to show up from EA but it didn't prevent my login. 


Ya know, I'm getting really tired of having to constantly enter my credentials every time EA patches the Origin client.  If you have more than one PC like I do it's damned inconvenient.  Why bother to save credentials if you're just going to ignore the setting!  Interesting to note, by the way,  that this patch is designated a "Beta" Get yours today, like you had a choice...

In mildly related news Valve's Steam client also received an update this week.  Most of the fixes concerned Big Picture mode.  Seems like they update it every week anyway and it's annoying as well.   So there's that..

By the way, EA has a sale on Battlefield 3 shortcut kits and DLC packs.  The ultimate shortcut bundle is down to $20 from $39.99 and DLC packs are down to $10 ea from $14.99.  The sale is on till January 22nd.  It's available through your Origin client and origin.com

There was a time where buying a new game meant getting more than just a cool looking box or another entry in your Steam Library.  Somewhere around the mid 90's even the most complex games started shipping with nothing more than a publicity pamphlet with a direction to a similarly brief PDF file on the game media itself.  That's led to many of us either experiencing a new game for the first time via YouTube or just diving in and hoping for the best in a virtual trial by fire. 

361259_Primer Wireless Headset

If you long for those days of phonebook sized manuals, Steam's trying to meet you in the middle with the official launch of "Steam Guides." These are basically user contributed manuals, walkthroughs and information about Steam games.  It's about time some of that gaming mindshare found a constructive outlet.

You know how I feel about the complicity of violent video games in tragedies like Sandy Hook.  So you also know that I feel that blaming them for some psycho's killing spree borders on the insane.  It's nothing more than a straw man to avoid the uncomfortable reality that a civilized society doesn't depend on laws but rather our desire to comply with them. 

So when I see legislation looking to put a tax on violent video games I can only shudder in my disgust for yet another piece of fluff legislation.  For one thing, what constitutes a violent game?  Do we have to count bullets? virtual pints of blood? If it's a driving game and we bump another car is that violent?  Ridiculous! However, Missouri representative Diane Franklin thinks it perfectly reasonable.  This in spite of the U.S. Supreme court striking down similar measures 18 months ago on 1st Amendment grounds.

In gaming news actually related to a game, there's two developments you should be aware of if you believe the PC is the superior gaming platform with reports of its death premature. 

First, Bioshock Infinite is said to take full advantage of the PC platform and this time around has its own team of developers crafting it instead of just being an also-ran from the console.  Crank your settings to High and apparently no console version can even come close to the graphic goodness.  IGN has the article

If Fallout new Vegas was as disappointing to you as it was to me there may be hope of redemption.  It comes in the way of a mod currently in progress called Project Brazil and borrows nothing more than the core game engine.  Said to be released in chapters the new mod is less about gunning down irradiated baddies as it is unraveling the narrative.  PC Per has a write-up

Finally, in the quest for ever bigger cases to satiate my desires for a chassis that can not only hold any hardware I might EVER buy but also double as a spare room comes the upcoming Corsair 900D.  I'll keep it short.  10 expansion slots, more fans than the walls of a Chinese restaurant and the ability to fit 2 full size power supplies and a huge water cooling setup.  Check it out here.


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