In case anyone has noticed the long gap between posts here, there are reasons, good ones I promise! I've been extra busy with my actual thesis and organising the GAME event at Macquarie, but I've also been writing some freelance work for other outlets. The first is now available at GameSpy!
Free-to-play, social, online -- these three terms have, for me, defined a slew of insipid, frustrating experiences that resemble reinstalling Windows or downloading a series of patches as much as anything I'd call a "game." The core mechanic is of setting a series of timers, then waiting. And waiting. The end result of waiting is the ability to set yet more timers. For me, not only were the wait times interminable, but the payoff never came. I began to wonder, though, about what the play experience would be like if I actually paid some money for these games. I realized that comparing the experience of a game I've paid for upfront to one I was playing for free was a terribly unfair contest.
Check out the full article here.