E3 DAY ONE: WE ARE SO NOT THERE [Author: Lum the Mad]

Welcome to E3 2001: Day One, otherwise known as “screw it, we’ll go tomorrow”. Since I’m still stuck in Cubicle 2341, I’m forced to get my news from Los Angeles today, not from the E3 floor, but from that noted gaming journal “The Los Angeles Times” (for the playaz, by the playaz, played by playaz).

Boy, you make a fine woman! Gender bending in MMOGs, who would have thunk it.

“It certainly makes you more aware of how men treat women,” said Raph Koster, 29, who has played a female character for years in an early online text-based game, “LegendMUD.” “You’re more aware that there are a lot of gendered interactions that we don’t recognize as such. It makes you think more about what you’re saying and how you’re sending subtle messages without being aware of it.”

For instance, “if you’re a female character, just something as innocent as smiling might get read wrong.” And if a male character tries to help a female character, it’s assumed he wants something. Often, he does.

The article goes on to helpfully explain that “some players engage in online “cybersex” with each other–basically a modern twist on phone sex in which acts are described in real-time chat“. The fact that many of them are men pretending to have sex with men pretending to be women was thankfully not spelled out.

Um.. they’re running WHAT?” Remember that Russian Meridian 59 revival we mentioned last month? Um, it’s running on pirated servers. D’oh!

Just a few weeks after the U.S. shutdown, an unauthorized English-language “M59” popped up on a Russian site. 3DO officials said in a recent interview they were not only unaware of the Russian outpost for “M59,” they didn’t know how its operators could have gotten a copy of the game’s computer code.

Have no fear, though, 3DO has given their blessing to the localized German and Korean versions of M59. Or you can always try Meridian 59 v2.0.