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5:33 PM on 01.12.2012

Nintendoesn't any longer or why the Wii U might fail

Recently widely known (and "loved") market analyst Michael Pachter stated that Nintendo made their upcoming WiiU "sufficiently different that they are all but assured of limited third party launch support, which ultimately will lead to modest hardware sales.". Widely know (and "loved") garme jurnalizt Jim Sterling responded in his characteristically calm fashion by declaring Nintendo "DOOOOOMED". If for some inexplicable reason you wanna know my take on the topic, keep reading.

Personally I tend to agree with Pachter on this one. At least, I don't see them tie in with past successes. Whereas in former years Nintendo always had state of the art hardware (i.e. N64 and Game Cube) coupled with a stellar first and at least decent thrird party software support, that business model seems to have changed during this current generation. They went for a strategy of differentiation. By focussing on innovative controls and neglecting computing power, they were able to stand out among their competitors and still sell their product at a low price.
This worked because it was specifically marketed to and cashed in on an up to that point unknown and therefore unexploited market...the "casual gamer". Declining sales figures indicate that by now this market is almost saturated and if the average casual user is willing to take the next step into another console generation is rather questionable.

Larger than average decline of Wii sales

The major flaw of Nintendo's recent approach, to me, is the lackluster first and third party software support for the Wii, which consists mainly of shovelware. Casual customers might not mind that because they either don't know better and buy them anyway or are pleased with the few decent games that are released. The core gamer on the other hand does know when a company tries to sell him poor-quality games for the full price and isn't amused about it. Making the core audience beg for an US release of games like 'Xenoblade', that already have been localized for an English audience, doesn't help to improve the company image either. In my opinion, Nintendo lost a lot of cedibility with loyal customers during this generation. It's unwise to underestimate the damage an unsatisfied customer can cause for a company. Economists assume that on average one wronged customer will tell 8-16 people about the experience and with a probability of 91% won't do business with that company again should his complaint keep unresolved. Therefore customer satisfaction normally is one of the main objectives every company tries to achieve.

On the mobile market we have a similar development. The marketing for the 3DS focussed heavily on its glasses-free 3D effect. Considering the 3D effect is impossible to show in advertisements and about 10% of people can't even perceive it in the first place, they did an extraordinary job. The problem in this case again seems to be the premature release in order to boost short term revenue and with that a lack of first and third party software. Developers simply don't seem to know how to implement the 3D capability into their games. Sales figures dropped rapidly after the initial rush, when customers realised there were no games worth playing on this overpriced piece of hardware. A few month later Nintendo was forced to drop the price in order to push sales, because there still were no games for the system. Not until about 10 month later, sales figures increased due to christmas sales and the release of 'Super Mario 3D Land' and 'Mario Kart 7'. Recently, sales are declining sharply again. Without consistent support from new AAA game releases, which seems unlikely to me, this trend will continue.

Semaine = week; Noel = Christmas, Baisse de prix = price cut

The 3D capabilities themself turned out to be more of a gimmick. Tiring to the eyes, proclaimed potentially dangerous to ones health by the mainstream media and rather expendable when it comes to gameplay, the 3D effect becomes less and less of a selling point. What's left is a slightly improved DS with poor software support and low battery life. It might have had the most successful Nintendo handheld debut in history but in the long run, like the Wii, it will probably disappoint loyal customers.

The WiiU's unwieldy tablet controller seems to fall into the same category of "gimmicky" accessories. It makes game development and portability unnecessarily difficult. Nintendo announced that the WiiU "will definitely bring back the core gamer". But what exactly does it really offer to the average gamer? As far as we know it again will be less powerful than Microsoft's and Sony's upcoming hardware. It will most likely have fewer third party games than the other consoles. First party games may be of a high quality but usually are limited to a handful of franchises like the obligatory Mario and Zelda games. There are 23 Zelda games and apparently over 200 Mario games already. Where is the originality Nintendo shows regarding their hardware, when it comes to games? When it comes to online services like digital distribution, multiplayer gaming and community Nintendo is even further behind its competitors and doesn't seem to be able to catch up with them any time soon.

The outstanding marketing of their "otherness" was a major factor of Nintendo's success during the last years but so far they failed when it comes to the WiiU. Many people still think it's some kind of additional controller for the Wii. Even if they are able to step up marketing-wise, they won't be able to achieve the same success they had with the Wii. There won't be another Wii-hype, that led to Nintendo's long lasting dominance. Most casual users are either satisfied with what they have or already over with their "gaming phase". Those who aren't find similar products with superior motion control technology in 'Kinect' and 'Move'.

It seems to me that Nintendo is well aware of their current problems and again acts rashly. What they are trying to achieve is a headstart of at least one year before the other next generation consoles are released. With hardware that is slightly better than the recent generation, which already is 6 years old, but low-priced compared to the present state of the art, they could offer the most powerful console for a competitive price in order to gain back a share of the hardcore market. That strategy again would be one of short term revenue and probably leave customers disappointed in the long run. Does this work out for them? I don't know, it seems to depend on how high of a frustration tolerance the loyal Nintendo customer has.

Homepages of interest:
WiiU introduction

What's your take on the next console generation? Do you agree/disagree with me? Do you think Nintendo will be competitive in the future?   read

8:51 AM on 02.09.2011

Won't somebody please think of the children or a German's guide to censorship

Time after time, violent games are the target of bills trying to regulate their availability especially to minors. The latest attempt in that regard is the "California gaming law". This article dips into the matter of censorship in games and what it means to the industry and gamers. The second part explains how games are rated and censored in Germany, the country with the strictest regulations when it comes to gaming.

Why should I care?:

You, my valued reader, are most likely US American...if that is the case, congrats, you live in the "Holy Land of Gaming" far. Those of you who are from Australia might feel the pain, that is living in a country where gaming is considered childsplay and therefore under strict regulation by youth protection laws. In the US, Canada and UK games are rated by the ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board), a self-regulatory organization administrated by the game industry whose ratings aren't mandatory.
But even in the USA the freedom of gaming seems to be threatened lately by the California Gaming Law. This law was meant to prevent the sale and rental of video games that came with content that's deemed "offensive to the community" or "especially heinous, cruel, or depraved", to underage consumers. Under this law, retailers would need to ask customers for valid ID when selling a "violent video game" or otherwise would be fined 1000$ per infraction. The law most likely gets rejected by the supreme court due to being "unduly restrictive" and the use of "overly broad definitions.". The final decision in this case will be released in June 2011.

It leaves the question, what if the next law appeal contains more precise definitions and gets approved?

What would change?:

Probably not that much in terms of youth protection. Most game retailers already try to prevent minors from buying games with "M"-ratings. From my own experience, there is always a way to get your hands on games like that as long as parents don't care what their children are playing. Even me, growing up in Germany, the country with the strictest gaming laws, was able to play violent games like Doom and Mortal Kombat. The fact that those games were forbidden for someone my age, provided even more of an incentive to play them.

I in no way support the distribution of mature games to minors. Even though it probably is far less harmful to their mental developement as some media channels make it out to be, I totally see the reasoning behind institutions like the ESRB. Higher restrictions by the government don't seem to be the right way to prevent it, though.

Besides not being helpful, I'd say a law like that even harms the industry. Germany is the 4th largest country when it comes to game piracy. One of the reasons for that seems to be that minors just download illegal copies of games they are not allowed to buy.

The major downside would be that, should a law like that get approved, games no longer are a medium protected by the First Amendment. That means they wouldn't come within the provisions of protected speech, which leaves them vulnerable to other anti-gaming bills. That might result in a restriction of creativity for game designers, or force game publishers to dilute content due to the threat of government actions and fines.

A better way probably would be to raise awareness of the issue and teach parents in dealing with this topic. Even consoles themselves are able of setting an age restriction nowadays, the only problem is the parents' lack of concern and/or technical understanding.

Let me give you a short overview about what it means to live in a country where censored games are a daily fare, how games are rated here and what gets censored for what reason.

Censorship in Germany:

Judging by the amount of misguided comments I read, many rumors seem to circulate regarding this topic. For example, that we would live in some kind of police state without freedom of speech, what is simply not true.

New games get rated by the USK (Unterhaltungssoftware Selbstkontrolle), the German equivalent to the ESRB, before their release. Those age restrictions are mandatory, that means it's a punishable offense to sell e.g. a "ab 16" game to a 15 year old.

USK tags

Games who are considered "severely liable to corrupt the youth" don't get a rating by the USK. In those cases the BPjM (Bundesprüfstelle für jugendgefährdende Medien) will "index" them. Indexed games aren't allowed to be advertised or even displayed in stores but can be sold to people over 18 years of age.
The government does not directly censor media...publishers are allowed to sell highly violent games but that would severely reduce their customer base because they wouldn't be allowed to advertise them. That's why they often make sure to get at least an "ab 18" USK rating by altering them. Altering involves removing of blood textures and parts of violent cutscenes, vanishing of dead bodies after a few seconds, removing of ragdoll physics, removing of options to mutilate bodies, removing of Nazi-symbols, etc.. From time to time those alterations get ridiculous and even involve changes of the storyline.

What exactly got changed in the German version of a game you can look up on: (cut reports)

Here are some examples:

1. Original Half-Life version 2. German Half-Life version...soldiers replaced by robots

1. Original Team Fortress 2 version 2. German TF2 version...yep, that's a rubber ducky instead of body parts (wtf!)

1. Original MW2 2. German MW2 lose when shooting innocents

Some say, Germany censors violence and Nazi-symbolism in order to repress or even deny World War 2 crimes...that's ridiculous. 'Holocaust denial' is an official crime in Germany (and 15 other countries) and is punished with imprisonment up to 5 years. German schools are under obligation by law to teach children in detail what exactly happend during the Nazi era (1933 - 1945)...and school attendance is compulsory for all children. Homeschooling is not an option.

It is however true that the use of certain Nazi-symbols and paroles in pubic is illegal and is punished depending on the facts of the case with a financial penalty or up to 3 years of imprisonment. The reason is, that those are considered as "Volksverhetzung"(incitement of popular hatred) or as bringing the memory of the deceased into disrepute. Even in the USA there are categories like that, which are not protected by freedom of speech, such as obscenity or fighting words.

1. Original COD:BO Version 2. German COD:BO Version...Swastika replaced by 'Iron Cross'

An exception constitutes their use for education, art, science, documentary reports or media coverage of current affairs. Two years ago, the "Deutscher Kulturrat" (German concil of culture) acknoledged the cultural value of games and classified them as art. So it could be possible that under that premise games will become a more open medium here.

German gamers mostly deal with censorship by importing US/UK versions of those games. Personally I prefer the English versions of games because of the mostly better voice-acting and other drawbacks due to localization. For gamers not fluent in English there's also the possibility to import games from Austria, where you can get the uncut German version. There's also a high amount of pirated games. Owning uncut versions is not indictable. In my opinion that clearly shows, laws like that are not very effective.

Homepages of interest:
Video Game Voters Network

What's your take on the gaming law situation? Do you agree/disagree with me? Is youth protection a responsibility of the government?

Next Up: Monthly Musing or 'Player attacks Groundhog'   read

10:22 AM on 01.30.2011

Beyond the scares or why horror games frighten us

Let me start by saying, I don't like survival horror games at all. Why write about a topic you don't like, you might ask. To that I say, even though I don't appreciate the impact a good designed horror game can have on a human mind (especially when it is my own mind), you have to wonder how it is possible that a piece of software played in the safety of you own home in front of a screen can cause sensations of discomfort and fear.

Since the release of Amnesia: The Dark Descent, an indie title that is widely considered one of the scariest games ever made, marks kind of a revival of the genre, I thought it fitting to satisfy my interest by looking up some of the psychological basics of fear and how game design instrumentalizes them...also there's a Hello Kitty Cthulhu in it.

What's fear?:
As you know, fear is an emotion triggered by the perception of danger. Fear is essential from an evolutionary point of view. It's a survival mechanism. Our body releases stress-hormones, like adrenaline, to prepare our body for one of two possible reactions: fight or escape.

How do games like Amnesia implement it?: (Minor Spoilers!)

The Protagonist/Self:

"Don't forget...some things mustn't be forgotten." That are the first words the main character recounts in a conversation with himself at the beginning of the game Amnesia. But besides his name and that a "Shadow" is hunting him he doesn't seem to recollect many things. Hence, we have a standard loss of memory opening...also known as "where am I and why do I only wear panties"-opening...hurray, not really innovative but in case of horror games an ideal starting point. The emptier the vessel the easier it is for the gamer to project himself into the main character's perspective.

It's called immersion and can be divided in four levels (by Richard Bartle, Ph.D. in artificial intelligence):
1. player: The game character is a means of interaction with the game world
2. avatar: The game character represents the player; Player talks in 3rd person about his character.
3. character: The player identifies with his game charater; talks in 1st person about his character
4. persona: The game character becomes part of the players identity; he becomes his game character

A high level of immersion is essential for horror games, otherwise the player wouldn't care what happened to his game character.
The first-person perspective also proves advantageous in that regard. The player isn't allowed to dissociate himself from the game through a character model that may not resemble him at all.

The Shadow:

The facts that our game character is haunted by a "Shadow" and that the subtitle of the game is The Dark Descent don't seem to be chosen arbitrary. Both terms are part of Jung's "Personality Theory".
This theory states that the understanding of ourselves can be categorized in three parts:
1. What we think we are
2. What we really are
3. What we pretend to be

The gap between "what we think we are" and "what we really are" is called "The Shadow", a dark place in our mind that we are unconscious of. It bears everything that we refuses to acknowledge about ourselves, such as repressed weaknesses, shortcomings and instincts. Encountering the own shadow is a central part of individuation, the acknowledgement and acceptance of personal shortcomings, that also brings the danger of falling victim to ones primitive animal instincts. He calls that inner struggle...the descent.

The shadow is basically the dark side of the force

The best example of this in games is "Pyramid Head" from Silent Hill 2, a manifestation of the main character's violent and sexually repressed subconsciousness.

Wear protection helmet when handling huge knives (Pyramid Head, Silent Hill 2)

Is our protagonist haunted by his past, stuggeling with his inner demons? You'll have to see for yourself.

The Antagonist/Other:

I'm not going to spoil the story, so I'll keep it general. The more foreign the oponent in a game looks and behaves, the scarier he is. It's our fear of the unknown causing that. We have the urge to divide our world in "us" and "them". "Us" being a group of people similar to ourselves, may that be in nationality, religion, interests or appearance. "Them" being those who don't fit into our image of "social identity". There are various examples for that, game related and not. Let's take Starcraft for example...I know, it's not a horror game. What race would you consider scariest?...most likely you'd say "Zerg", because their bug-like appearance and hive-minded culture doesn't fit into our understanding of the world.

Zergling be scary

The "Protoss" may look foreign and be the stronger opponent (in a 1on1 situation) but at least they are bipedal and their worldview similar to our own.

Protoss be...kinda sexy

In other words, we know what to expect and therefore can prepare. Fear is strongest, when we don't expect a conflict situation and don't know how to react.

The Uncanny:

"The Uncanny" is a concept by the founder of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, that's also based on your expectations. It takes familiar things and alters them slightly. It deceives the audience with the pretence of normality and throws them off with something unexpected.

1.: annoyingly cute; 2.: OMG, kill it with fire!

You can find this principle in many movies and games and it seldom fails to unsettle. It can be the disfigured face of an otherwise human-like creature or just an unnatural movement pattern. In case of Amnesia, there are several human-like creatures you'll encounter. Even the castle itself seems to shift into another reality ocasionally, marked by tumor-like growth on the walls.

The Setting/Gameplay:

The player wakes up in the shoes of the main character David on the floor of a castle in Germany unable to remember what happened. During the game he collects notes and has flashbacks that piece by piece complete the recollection of events prior to his loss of memory.
The whole game is driven by the curiosity of the player, pushing him to advance further into the castle, despite the constant feeling of danger. The limited oil supply for his lantern and his "Sanity"-meter additionally mediate a feeling of urgency to do so. Becoming insane makes the game even harder. It distortes your vision, makes you hear noises, prevents you to run, etc.. The only way to restore sanity is by completing obstacles.

The further the player advances within the storyline, the darker and more confined the level structure gets. Starting above ground in well-lit rooms with large windows the game soon takes you underground into claustrophobic cellar-vaults which make it even more difficult to escape dangerous situations.

The best way to induce horror is to imply it and let the players mind do the rest. Games like Gears of War throw wave after wave of monsters at you and are drenched in blood but despite the in-your-face depiction of violence and disturbing imagery it fails to frighten. In Amnesia you barely encounter any enemies, but it is designed in a way that you constantly expect them to be behind the next corner. OMG, LOOK BEHIND YOU...wait, false alarm.

In many games you are supposed to fight your you are not. The game strips you of your choice between "fight or escape" from the start but presents an even more terrifying choice: run or hide. You could hide in a dark corner and hope not to be seen or run back the way you came. Both choices are rather unpleasant and leave you with a feeling of constant vulnerability.

The Atmosphere:

In my opinion, no other genre stands or falls like horror, when it comes to atmophere. The two main instruments for creating an atmospheric game are art style and soundscape. Amnesia relies on a very realistic art style. Every part of the environment looks and behaves as physics dictate. It tries to be as lifelike as possible so the unnatural elements stand out even more (see above, "The Uncanny").
The soundscape, to me, seems far more important, though. The background music consists of heavy and dark sounding tunes which increase in loudness during dangerous situations but most the time keep where they belong, in the background. In comparison the ambient sounds are rather loud and outstanding. The fact that you are constantly surrounded by ambient sounds, like the singing of wind, dripping water, falling gravel, your own footsteps, just to name a few, completes the illusion of realism. Now and then, you hear sounds that imply the unnatural character of the setting, like distant grunting, moaning, foreign footsteps, a piano playing, etc. just to remind you to better feel uneasy. Without proper sound horror games fail to grasp the player.

The Conclusion:

Reason doesn't surpass instinct.

What do you think about horror games? What scares you most in those games? Do you agree/disagree with this article?

Next up: Won't somebody please think of the children or a German's guide to censorship   read

9:28 AM on 01.26.2011

Can't touch this or why digital distribution is gaining ground

First of all, thank you all for the warm and fapulous welcome to this great community in whose bowels I'm about to plant the fruits of my mind loin (note to self: rephrase that before posting). Hope you enjoy my first real blog entry, let me know:

Since digital distribution gains more and more influence in gaming, taking a closer look won't do any harm.

What's digital disti...distribution?:

As most of you already know, digital distribution is the practice of delivering digital content (Games, Music,...) without the use of phyical media (CD, DvDs, BlueRay,...) typically by downloading via the internet (a series of tubes).

Why should I care?:

The NPD, a group analysing the gaming industry, released a sales report on digital distribution last year. It showed that 29% of all games were sold digitally...that means almost every 3rd game was purchased on one of the many distribution platforms like Steam, XBL, PSN, etc.
Especially on PC more than 50% of game sales took place that way...and this only includes full games. Add to that, the money spent on micro-transactions, add-ons, downloadable content, etc. and you'll see what big an influence digital distribution has by now.
Considering how new the concept is (as far as I know it started with Steam in 2003) the growth in that sector is enormous and doesn't seem to decline any time soon.

Phil Harrison, former president of Sony Worldwide Studios, said: "...It's also a market going through some challenges, going through reinvention as it changes from packaged goods to an online digital market. And that transition is going to be painful, it's going to destroy value in some companies and create value in others.".
And that guy has to know something about the matter. Granted, it primarily changes things for developers, publishers and retailers...but in the end also we, the consumers, have to deal with the effects.

The good news:

1. convinient: Admit it, you leave the couch as unwillingly as I do. Making games downloadable means you don't have to leave the house anymore...ever. Especially when the weather is bad or you live far from the next games retailer being able to download games is a huge advantage.

2. cheaper games: At least in theory. It's more cost effective for publishers to sell content digitally. The profit margin of traditional retail is about 10-20%. Steam, allegedly, offers a profit margin of 60%. It basically means the publisher gets more profit per sold copy.

3. accessibility: You are able to download and play games from any location with internet access at any time. Retailers are restricted by their limited draw area and their business hours.

4. space-saving: I know, we like game boxes...but seriously, I don't know where to put them anymore.

5. eco-friendly: The production and recycling of physical copies wastes rescources and energy...and we only have limited amounts of those.

6. piracy reducing: The music industry showed, many people are willing to pay for downloads given the opportunity. I'm not saying that it will completely replace game piracy but to some extend it might help to prevent it. Especially when it comes to DRM, it's not helpful when the pirated version of a game is superior to the retail version. I look at you, Ubisoft. (see next point)

7. more userfriendly DRM: DRM (digital rights management) is fancy talk for copy protection. Ubisoft recently droped the ball in that regard. Games like Assassins Creed 2 weren't playable because the copy protection system required constant access to their servers,...which conveniently went down. That's a no go. Distribution platforms can't afford that kind of thing...and therefore won't.

8. no trade-ins: At least so far. The game industry seems to suffer hard due to Gamestop and other second-hand retailers...and when the industry suffers, the games suffer...and when the games suffer WE suffer. Besides, Gamestop practically skims their customers with profit margins of almost 50% on used games. Retailers of new games usually take 20%.

9. no disk changes: It's also a matter of convinience...who wants to get up and change the disk in order to play another game. By now, every PC and console has a harddrive and their capacity is rising fast. I'm pretty sure the next console generation will have harddrives with several terabytes of memory to store games on.

10. innovative/creative games: Making games is an expensive endeavor, so developers have to work with publishers like EA or Activision to get their games financed. The big publishers usually consider innovative games as too high a risk and don't approve them. Digital distribution platforms allow independend developers to sell their games for low costs (no producing/storing/shipping costs for physical copies) without a publisher interfering. For example, indie developer 'Introversion' was saved by the money they made on Steam sales, otherwise they would have had to file for bankruptcy.

11. cloud computing: The concept is rather new and means that data like save games and settings are stored on a server and therefore accessable from every terminal you can log into your account with. 'OnLive' takes it one step further, the service runs the whole game on own servers so you can even play it on the slowest computer. The downside is the need for a high-bandwidth internet connection. To me that seems too far ahead of its time, though.

12. social aspect: All the big distribution platforms seem to have one thing in common, a well-conceived social aspect. The sense of community and the ability to easily play games together on the internet becomes more and more important.

13. large choice: Storage room isn't cheap, so retailers focus on games that promise high sales figures. Digital copies only take space on a harddrive, which is considerably cheaper. That means digital distributers are able to have a far higher selection of games on offer.

The bad news:

1. internet access mandatory: I had to experience it myself, when our internet access failed for several days...internet accessibility is almost vital these days, when it comes to work, social life, gaming, etc.. Too high a dependence never is a good thing.

2. bypassing retail sector: First of all, digital distribution won't completely replace physical media within the foreseeable future. Almost 20%-30% of all US american households don't even have internet access and in many other countries this number is much higher. To completely abandon physical copies would reduce the customer base. It merely represents an additional trade channel. That doesn't mean retailers won't have to adapt to the new situation. They already cut exclusive retail deals with publishers. For example, you only get certain in-game items, if you buy the game at a certain retailer...that sucks, customers should get a complete game no matter where they buy it.

3. no customer advice: Those of you, reading this most likely won't need advice from some customer consultant at a games store. Many less experienced customers may find it difficult to purchase games digitally without advice, though.

4. no trade-ins: I know, this point is already on the good side of news...but it's kind of an double-edged sword. From a gamers point of view you should be able to resell your property. On the other hand, publishers are already working on concepts to limit that ability. EA, for example, will release an online pass that only allows the initial buyer to play online. The buyer of a used copy will have to get another online pass for 10$. Also, you will probably see more and more subscription based online multiplayer even for shooters like Call of Duty. That means the value of your physical copy will drop anyways.

5. monopoly: Steam has a market share of almost 70% when it comes to digital distribution on the PC market. Other providers have a hard time to establish themselves and compete with that. Valve, the company behind Steam, so far does a good job resonably pricing their games, even though they could charge far more. We just have to take a look at Sony's PSN shop, those games are unreasonably high priced...they can only do that because they are the only provider of digital copies on the PS3.

The conclusion:

Even though there are some downsides to digital distribution, all things considered to me the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. I'm using Steam for years now and purchased about 40 games during that time. So far, no complaints form my side. Over the years, Valve earned the trust of their customer base and by now they have over 30 million active users. In this article I often take Steam as an example because of their huge success. That might sound a bit I listed some viable alternatives when it comes to digital distribution.

Homepages of the biggest digital distributers:
Playstation Network
Xbox Live
Wii Ware

What's your take on the situation? Do you think digital distribution is the future of gaming? Do you have more pro/contra arguments, not listed here?

Next up: Beyond the scares or why survival horror games frighten us   read

10:43 AM on 01.25.2011

The man in the mirror or why not introduce myself

Hey guys,
welcome to my first gaming blog. I thought a long time about starting one...and I guess this is it.

About myself:

Most information you already get from the 'about me' column over there --->
Gaming by far is my favorite hobby. I started of with "Space Invaders" on an old Apple 2 with the age of 5. During the early years I played primarily on PC (386, 486, P90) or at friends houses who had consoles (NES, SNES, Sega Genesis). The first console I owned myself was a N64 followed by a PS2 and nowadays a 360...I guess no one can call me a fanboy with that history^^. At heart, I'm still a PC gamer, though. I always enjoyed building my own "gaming rigs" and having lan parties with friends.
Besides the games, I'm also interested in the industry itself. The struggle between the major companies is kind of a RTS game in itself and, in my opinion, fun to watch.

I'm reading several gaming sites for years of them is Destructoid.
Just recently I decided to get deeper into the community aspect and Destructoid seems to be by far the most community driven site on the intertubes. You will most likely find me chillin' in the chatroom on or one of my other "hang out spots". Shoutout to all the chillbros/-siss(?) out there. So here I am...hoping to have made a decent first impression.^^

About this blog:

Primarily I'll write this blog for my own sake, I always found that writing your thoughts on a topic down helps to give them structure...and since I think about that stuff anyway, why not write it down and see what others make of it.
I'll try to write at least one blog post a week. Since I'm interested in all things gaming, the topics might vary hugely. Some will deal with industrial aspects, some with psychological aspects, some with technical aspects and some with specific games.
The only things you won't find on this blog are game reviews. Those you can find all over the internet and most of them are subjective anyway.
I'll give you my honest opinion on the stuff I write about...If you agree/disagree on a topic, feel free to give me your opinion. I'm always open for discussion.

Next up: Can't touch this or why digital distribution is gaining ground   read

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