SO LET IT BE WRITTEN, SO LET IT BE DONE!

In the latest chapter of Those Wacky Tyrants!, we visit our perennial favorite god-king, Turkmenbashi of Turkmenistan (Turkmenbashi means “Turkmen leader high on paint fumes” in Turkmen), who has decreed that his people will build him… a FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE!

Really.

“Let us build a palace of ice,” said President Niyazov, “big and grand enough for 1,000 people.” The palace will stand in the mountains just outside the capital, Ashgabat.

Turkmenistan is in the middle of the Gobi desert.

Just in case you think I’m making this up, the BBC has the story. Tune in next week when we get rave dance tips from Fidel Castro on Those Wacky Tyrants!

THEY COME FROM THE LAND OF THE ICE AND SNOW

Probably setting a world record for “testing the dedication of our fan base” this week is Eve Online, who announced their first fan fair… in Reykjavik. Yes, the capital of Iceland.

Speaking of fan fairs, I will most likely be at the DAOC fan fair in Vegas (even though I don’t technically work on DAOC any more). So, come throw things. Don’t forget, I’ll also be at GenCon in a week, and then at the Austin Game Conference next month. I’m told some time during the next few weeks I will also be expected to work as well, but that’s probably a vicious rumor.

WHY YES, THEY ARE THIRD WORLD DICTATORSHIPS!

Interesting article on Terra Nova from Dr. Edward Castronova, MMO economist (and also IRL economist).

Is it possible that virtual world economies might make a gross impact equivalent to that of a real country? Actually, yes. Virtual worlds are already that big, economically speaking. More accurately, some unfortunate countries remain that small.

So, basically, I’m helping to run a small city in Macedonia. Woo hoo!

FILTERING MESSAGE BOARDS IS HARD

I don’t follow gaming message boards, because, at its best, entertainment is going to be a subjective thing that can’t win for everyone, while at worst, a particular game just becomes a random symbol for petty tribal behavior.

John Carmack, as posted on Slashdot

THREE LINKS AND A BABY

Interesting writeup on “what is wrog with MMOs anyway?” here. Interesting in that, well, he actually proposes some solutions instead of the usual “hey, treadmills suck! I don’t know what to do about it, but gosh, they suck!” So I’ll have more to say on it, including a SirBrucing of his solution later when I have time to pontificate further.

Doom 3 is out. Well, it’s on Suprnova! (If you don’t know what that is, I’m not telling you.) You know it’s bad when even the BBC knows you’ve been pirated. Apparently Best Buy released it a few days early to a few stores and, well, it showed up on the pirate sites immediately. No connection, I’m sure. Damn, iD sure gets burned by other people a lot. First the E3 tech demo link, now this. Wonder if it can be quantified how much money it costs them. Oh wait, it can! Discussion here and also here.

So with that there’s a lot of discussion about Starforce, the new copy protection schema that is impossible to crack and has the minor side effect of destroying your peripherals. People were terrified that Activision/iD would have Starforce on Doom 3, which would have made it impossible to stealmorally rephrensible to support. Heated discussion here. As for my opinion… anyone remember the Atari ST? The PC game market will follow it if piracy isn’t stemmed. Of course as someone who works for the one segment of the gaming market NOT crippled by piracy I guess I have room to pronounce from the mountaintop.

And speaking of the pronouncing, you saw the three links. The baby is me. I’m crying like a baby because after a solid week of flying around the country I get to do it again – I’ll be manning Mythic’s GenCon booth 8/19-22. Come throw Diet Coke, I’ll be thirsty… so thirsty. Oh, and for the love of god, you know.