Content and news by Geek Girl

Daedalus Project: Social Architecture in MMOs

A new issue of The Daedalus Project is now available at:

Also, several new surveys are available for current MMO players. You can participate at:

The most recent issue entitled "Social Architecture in MMOs" deals with Death Penalties in games. Personally, I love a game with death penalty consequences, it makes you actually care a little more about your avatar and be a better player because it takes skill not to die. Information Databases are also commented on, as to whether or not having the entire guts of a game shown on a website, takes away some of the adventure. It’s a good read, plus there are always surveys to take part in.



Published on June 11, 2008

Leave my Games Alone! Mature Content

I figured the ‘Mature Content’ title would get you to look!

The Video Game Voters Network is a place for gamers to organize and defend against threats to video games by registering to vote and letting Congress know how important this issue is to the community. Without a critical mass of adult video game players who are registered to vote and willing to stand firmly behind their games, politicians will continue to fire criticism at games and game players in order to score easy points for their political campaigns.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently released the results of its latest nationwide “secret shopper” survey, which employs undercover 13-to-16-year-old’s to determine if retailers follow rating guidelines and age restrictions. The annual study by the FTC is designed to show the extent to which retailers prevented unaccompanied children from buying tickets to R-rated movies, R-rated DVDs, M-rated video games and music CDs labeled with a Parental Advisory Label (PAL) for explicit content. The 2008 survey showed that video and computer game retailers scored well and indicated a significant improvement by entertainment software retailers to ensure that only age-appropriate games are sold to minors.

This year’s survey found that video game retailers are scrupulous when screening for underage shoppers, with 80 percent of underage buyers rejected at the point of sale when buying M-rated games. This is a major improvement for video game retailers from all prior surveys, as the percentage of underage buyers able to purchase M-rated games has decreased by 38 percent since 2006.

So does this mean that 1 in 5 kids is getting out the door with a mature rated game?



Published on June 7, 2008

NCsoft relaunches Aion site

NCsoft has announced the relaunch of the official site for their upcoming MMO title, Aion.
The new site, located at includes a developer blog from our old friend Charles ‘kieron’ Dane, formerly of CCP!

Here’s a quote from the first entry:

Chances are you’ve clicked around the site, taken a look at the various sections and checked out some of the awesome stuff like screenshots, videos and wallpapers. Please keep in mind that we are far from done; future updates will include more guides and lore, a media section showcasing art, screenshots and videos from members of the Aion community, a more robust Fan Sites page, a contests page, a section for official and community events, and any other cool stuff we (or you!) can think of to put in.

So have a look around the site, and huge congrats to kieron!


Published on June 6, 2008

EVE Online: Empyrean Age

CCP, one of the world’s leading independent game developers, has announced the features for the upcoming free expansion, EVE Online: Empyrean Age. Slated for a June 10th release, Empyrean Age brings an explosive end to the fragile peace that has existed for one hundred years between the four central races of New Eden and entices players to pledge fealty to their faction of choice to gain fame, wealth and power.

The features page at highlights the expansion’s contents: the introduction of a faction ranking system, new militias being mustered, fresh agents pertaining to the massive conflicts, a dynamic new structure of system occupancy, details on hidden deadspace complexes and a whole new region in space, “Black Rise.”


Published on May 31, 2008

Beyond Good & Evil II

I knew this day would come. At Ubidays 2008 Ubisoft announced that they will in fact, be releasing Beyond Good & Evil 2. Beyond Good & Evil is easily one of the most underrated, underappreciated games in history. If you see it in the bargain bin, buy it, you’ll agree.

Ok so I didn’t need to see where that fly ended up, but I’m so thrilled we’re getting a second chance to hang out with Jade and friends. This game is going to be amazing and I’m doing my best not to just scream like a giddy schoolgirl.


Published on May 29, 2008

DS now stands for Digital Sketchbook

If you’re like me and haven’t touched your Nintendo DS in ages, or you have several because they come in so many colors, you can now turn your DS into a Digital Sketchbook! Jason Dunn at has some examples of what is possible on the DS, provided you actually have the talent up front.


Here is an excerpt from the instructions:

The lower screen is used as the painting surface, while the upper screen displays the image at normal size. You paint with the stylus, but you can use just about anything as a brush. A full-size Wacom stylus works just fine on it. The color picker and brush settings are revealed with the L1 key, and you can choose a hard or soft brush and adjust the pressure and size settings. You can also assign pressure input to size and/or opacity of the brush.

Beware however, there is no UNDO, but there’s also no undo with real paint, so real artists will have no issue with this. However those of us who are lucky to be able to draw the turtle from the art school test, may find this more challenging.

You can find complete instructions and software downloads at

Published on May 28, 2008

Entertainment Software Association: Abandon Ship!

Following suit after Activision, Vivendi and LucasArts have all recently removed themselves from association with the ESA, id Software has left the organization which represents the interests of US video game publishers.

There are plenty of rumours but little facts about the real reasons behind these departures, but I’m sure we’ll see more companies following suit shortly. Perhaps it has something to do with the demise of E3.

Source: Game Politics


Published on May 23, 2008

Dungeon Runners: The Box

Dungeon Runners, the post-apocalyptic survival MMORPG will be hitting store shelves at some point in the future, probably this summer.

Why buy a box for a game that is free? Well your $20 will buy you some bonuses:

  • 6 Months of Membership Access, and all the perks that come with it, which would normally cost $5/month. The marketing geniuses at NCsoft think that’s a pretty sweet deal, one of them recently learned how to count. No Credit Card Required!
  • Yes, you can buy 2 and get a full year’s membership for $40. You can also buy 3 and give one to your friend, or keep the third one and get 18 months for the price of 12. Really it’s nobody’s business what you decide to do with your boxes. Heck, buy 4!
  • Access the new Bling Gnome sidekicks, that help you collect loot and, ahem, ‘process’ your gold. Available only with the boxed version of Dungeon Runners.
  • …oh yea and Exteel is in there too.

So watch your store shelves for this, even if it’s just to add to your collection.

Dungeon Runners


Published on May 23, 2008

NCsoft Covers New Ground in City of Heroes

NCsoft announced the release of City of Heroes® “Issue 12: Midnight Hour.” The newest free expansion for current subscribers, Issue 12 brings to life a special covert group from the game’s lore, highly-anticipated Villain Epic Archetypes, more powerset options and character slots for players, plus a whole new Greek- and Roman-inspired zone to explore!

City of Heroes Issue 12 brings the Midnight Squad out of the lore and into the game. The Midnight Squad is the clandestine organization of mystics, scholars and mages who hold a secret that could bring the alien group, the Rikti, to its knees. Players are encouraged to help the Midnight Squad uncover the secret that could help save Paragon Cityâ„¢ and the Rogue Isles from further alien assaults.

Issue 12 also introduces Powerset Proliferation, which vastly increases the variety of villain and hero characters that players can create. Some powersets, previously only available to hero archetypes, are now available to designated villain archetypes, and vice versa. To help accommodate all of these new character options, the development team has opened additional character slots. All current subscribers receive two new character slots for use on the server of their choice. Other slots may be acquired as a part of the Veteran Rewards program, or for purchase. Details can be found on the City of Heroes web site.

Published on May 21, 2008

Jack Thompson: guilty on 27 charges

Jack Thompson, the thorn in the gaming industry’s side, was found guilty of between 27 and 31 charges yesterday. The Judge’s recommended guilty verdicts include, “knowingly making a false statement of material fact or law to a tribunal,” “using means that have no purpose other than to embarrass, delay, or burden a third person,” “engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation,” and “making statements that the lawyer knows to be false or with reckless disregard as to the truth or falsity concerning to the qualifications or integrity of a judge.”

And that’s not even taking into account that he used gay porn in his court filings, and a picture book of swastikas, squirrels and fingerpaintings in his defense. 

In his closing statement he quoted from the bible that “it would be better that a millstone be tied around your neck and that you be cast in the uttermost depths of the sea.” Dude you’re the one who’s gone overboard.

Justice has begun to be served.

Source: Ars Technica

Published on May 21, 2008

Grand Theft Childhood

I know you’ve all read those reports and papers about how violent video games make children violent in real life. These are mostly conducted in labs with violent stimulus, to see if the children who are hooked up to monitoring equipment, react violently. Well frankly 5 hours of hearing a buzzer go off randomly is going to make anyone violent, but that has little to do with video games.

Finally, someone has actually decided to ASK the kids if there is a correlation between violent video games and their emotions. The book is entitled “Grand Theft Childhood: The Surprising Truth About Violent Video Games and What Parents Can Do”, and is written by Lawrence Kutner and Cheryl Olson from Harvard Medical School. It is available at But please keep in mind, we’re talking about correlation here, not causation. There’s still debate as to whether or not violent video games beget violent children, or if it is just a matter of violent children are drawn to more violence in their entertainment, whether that be games, movies or social activities. Personally, I’m quite convinced it is the latter, simply because I grew up watching intensely violent cartoons, however they did not inspire me beat someone over the head with an anvil.

Via: Reuters

Published on May 13, 2008

Stop Dr. Uwe Boll

In an effort to stop Uwe Boll from directing any more sci-fi, horror, or well, just any and all films, there’s a petition out there you can sign.

To top it all off, the makers of Stride Gum are putting 1 million packs of gum on the line to put a stop to Uwe Boll’s directing career. If the count reaches 1 million, Stride Gum will give one free pack of gum to everyone who signed. It’s over a quarter of a million now, so get out there and sign!

Please stop the cruelty…

Published on May 8, 2008

Thermaltake BlacX Hard Drive Docking Station

Happen to have a few 2.5″ or 3.5″ SATA hard drives lying about that you’ve been avoiding because you don’t feel like installing them in your rig? Want a quick and easy way to hot-swap between multiple drives for a very reasonable price and have a unit that actually looks cool? The BlacX is for you.

Published on April 14, 2008

Logitech diNovo Mini

Logitech surprised us at CES with the launch of their diNovo Mini media keyboard, which is not much larger than a cell phone. But despite its size, it packs in the functionality, and is even supported by the Playstation 3. Are we impressed? Let’s just say that once again, Logitech has pulled it off.

Published on April 7, 2008

Gear Up at Techgage Contest

Gear Up! at Techgage!

For the month of April, Techgage wants you to Gear Up! From our great friends at NCSoft, we’ve been given a selection of rare and sought after game gear from NCSoft games such as Richard Garriott’s Tabula Rasa, Guild Wars, City of Heroes/Villains and Lineage II!

This week’s contest is all about Richard Garriott’s Tabula Rasa!

Here’s what you’ve really been wanting to know – what do I win!? First off, there will be three winners randomly drawn from the qualifying entries.

First prize: RG Tabula Rasa t-shirt (size men’s medium), RG Tabula Rasa knit watchcap / tuque, RG Tabula Rasa dog tags (very rare!)
Second prize: RG Tabula Rasa t-shirt (size men’s medium), RG Tabula Rasa knit watchcap / tuque
Third prize: RG Tabula Rasa t-shirt (size men’s medium)

Enter now!

One entry per person per weekly contest please.

Published on April 2, 2008

Exteel Goes Live

Exteel is NCsoft’s full metal mayhem online Free-to-Play game.

In Exteel, players take command of giant fighting Mechanaughts, clashing in furious deathmatches and team-oriented battles against other players or computer-controlled enemies. You can upgrade your Mech as you earn in-game credits and by purchasing NCcoin.” Exteel’s ESRB Rating is TEEN with FANTASY VIOLENCE and requires an active Internet connection.

Find out more:

Published on March 18, 2008

Gary Gygax RIP

If you’re one of the millions of people who hunched over a poorly drawn map at three in the morning, you were (hopefully) playing Dungeons and Dragons. Gary Gygax is the reason we’re all hooked on role playing games, whether it be online MMOs or the good old pencil and paper versions. You’ll be missed, Gary.

Gary Gygax, a pioneer of the imagination who transported a fantasy realm of wizards, goblins and elves onto millions of kitchen tables around the world through the game he helped create, Dungeons & Dragons, died Tuesday at his home in Lake Geneva, Wis. He was 69.

Source: NYTimes

Published on March 5, 2008

New Mexico Game Tax Defeated

Last week, VGVN members in New Mexico sent letters to their state legislators to denounce the proposed bill that subjected video game purchases to an additional tax. Thanks in part to the swift action of New Mexico members, the New Mexico House Business and Industry Committee rejected the bill on a 9-0 vote. Many New Mexico legislators had never heard a constituent defend video games. By taking this step, members across the country can actively participate in defending future legislation.

The Sierra Club of New Mexico supported a video games tax to fund a government campaign to promote outdoor education for children. Adam Thierer, senior fellow at the Progress & Freedom Foundation, disagrees with such a tax. In an editorial on, he wrote “legislators shouldn’t be using the tax code to play the role of nanny for our kids. It is the responsibility and right of parents to determine how their kids are raised.”

Proposed laws, like the one in New Mexico, put the fight for video games in perspective. We must continually remind our elected officials that as voters, gamers, developers, and parents, we will not support video games being singled out and treated differently than movies, books and television. When we do stand up and fight, we win.

Find out more at

Published on February 29, 2008

New Surveys at The Daedalus Project

A new issue of The Daedalus Project is now available at:

Also, several new surveys are available for current MMO players. You can participate at: In particular, if you are an MMO player and have at least one child below the age of 18, please consider filling out the survey titled “Kids and MMOs”.

You can also read issues of Nick’s findings on subjects from Motivation in MMOs, Being a Guild Leader, Role Playing as well as Therapy and Dependency!

Published on February 21, 2008

Donate Games to the Troops in Iraq

Don’t sell your games to GameStop, send them overseas! If anyone needs to relax with some blood and guts that aren’t real, it’s the troops currently serving overseas. And don’t forget that Hello Kitty DS game!

CAG neushane, who is a member of the US Navy and is currently deployed in Fallujah, is spearheading the effort to collect your used (or new) games, and distribute them amongst his fellow troops.
Please send your game donations to:

SK1 Shane Neuhaus
30 NCR DET 1
FPO AP 09381-1702

Current generation games are preferred. Postage should be similar to shipping to most other USA destinations. Once your games arrive in Iraq, they will be photographed along with their recipient.

Cheap Ass Games is setting up a Flikr gallery to showcase all the photos.

Source: Cheap Ass Games

Published on February 6, 2008

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