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Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Random Gaming Comments 3

Locked into an ever increasing cycle of Civilisation 4 appreciation it’s with wary interest that I perused the Galactic Civilisation II website (have a look at the latest images and some of the latest blog posts) and related forum threads. I remember the original receiving a favourable PC Gamer UK review but being strangely uninterested in it myself. It’s something of a Penny Arcade favourite though and everything I’ve read and seen from the sequel (due next month) leaves me really rather interested. Whilst I really can’t sustain another title in the same addictive sphere of epic excellence as Civilisation 4, I wouldn’t say no to making the attempt.

The approach of GalCiv 2 (you can’t have a game like this without being able to chop the title down!) also ties in neatly with the upcoming Star Wars: Empire At War, which appears to essentially be a jazzy 3D version of Star Wars: Supremacy (apparently called Rebellion in the US, for christ knows what reason). However unlike Supremacy the focus would seem to have shifted to combat, with full RTS ground combat joining the space combat that’s not really that different to Supremacy’s. It doesn’t look like there’s as much empire building, though it’s obviously rather hard to tell from the demo (and as if I can be buggered to read a preview!). Sadly the entire affair seemed pretty lacklustre to me – the space battle didn’t reach the tense, last ditch affairs of Supremacy (never have so many fights taken place between barely space worthy wrecks!) and the ground battle seemed chaotic and messy. Time will tell though.

Posted by Alex Hopkinson @ 4:23 PM 0 comments

Thursday, January 12, 2006

A Korean Kracker

"Korean TV, you should understand, provides a barometer for the rest of culture. Games are so popular amongst Korea’s youth that you often have to be a gamer to be able to socialise - the content of all Korea’s game media reflects that fact. TV shows are often designed purely to keep gamers in the know, while gaming magazines and their counterpart websites are all about making sure players have the latest tips and walkthroughs, as well as telling gamers how their favourite Korean rock band regularly plays online games. Gaming is so cool that it’s practically mandatory, and being good at games can be a great social boon." [Article Link]

Jim Rossignol’s great article on the otherworldly realm of Korean mainstream gaming culture. I read it when it appeared in PC Gamer UK an issue or two before Christmas but it’s great to see it let loose in the wilds of the internet so soon.

A comment on Jim’s blog post about it remarked that it was all essentially old news, that anyone who knew anything about the games industry already knew all of that. Lack of manners aside the poster’s clearly not grasping the reality of the article, a piece written for a consumer’s gaming magazine rather than some insider publication. I’m a gaming consumer and one with a larger amount of knowledge and interest in gaming culture than Joe Average (off the street, not Joe_Average from the ‘net). For me the Korean gaming culture has always been a very ethereal concept – “games are big there and they play lots of Starcraft and Lineage right?” I was not aware of the actual mainstream penetration/domination of gaming that Jim describes. For me his article put meat on years of vague assertions.

The question is whether we’d like such a mainstream transformation of gaming here in the UK or across the waters in America, Canada and mainland Europe. Is it as desirable as we think it is? After reading the article I’d have to say No. Somewhere in-between what we have now and what they have over there would be interesting to me.

Posted by Alex Hopkinson @ 4:52 PM 0 comments

All original content is copyright Alex Hopkinson 2005. Other content is copyright the respective owners. To contact the author email: alex [at]

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