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Star Wars The Old Republic (SWTOR), the new Star Wars MMO, is out. While it has a superb new questing system with real story development and the ability to have companion avatars help you along the way… it surprisingly does nothing else to advance the MMO genre.
- Pure roles/classes that don’t involve fighting (dancers, musicians, crafters)
- Houses and virtual items for sale, earn, or trade (SWTOR has ships, but eh…)
SWTOR has crafting, but you actually outsource that job to one of your companions. WoW has crafting but most people add that onto another class. In SWG you actually could be a crafter or musician… and that’s all you did. These things actually led to gameplay that was creative and outside of what the creators had developed. Uber geek confession: I once hosted a speeder bike race for about 20 of my guild friends in SWG where we raced from house to house, purchasing cheap vendor items as we went to mark progress. The winner had to turn them all in at the end. This was MMO user generated content at its best – and we had a party at the guild hall when it was over!
Other things that are easily going to make any new MMO stand out are:
- Classes you can play for free (like a dancer, musician, crafter, etc…) without playing the monthly fee – just to get you in the door; let you see and explore the worlds. This type of class would increase the social features and player set of the MMO. Diversity – imagine that!
- Mobile content – like puzzle games that could actually be played to craft items. I mean, Club Penguin has this!? Why doesn’t a major MMO? Players should be able to interact with the world from an iPad, smartphone, etc…
SWTOR does have space battles which look really boring and don’t look like they cost a lot on the processing power. I’m guessing they might actually have plans to push that onto a mobile platform. Now that would be cool.
Final gripe: Travel. SWTOR looks like a giant and spacious world. This is cool – BUT it means that the majority of game time is NOT spent questing, engaging in stories, or otherwise playing the game. The majority of game time will be spent running or traveling by speeder bike or spaceship from one place to another. BOOOoooRING! I still have nightmares in which I run from place to place in SWG, EQ2 (now free by the way), or WoW. Who wants to play something in which the majority of time is spent traveling? I know I don’t.
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I found this article on the Buddhist website Tricycle.com titled:
The article really spoke to me in terms of how many people could use social media but often don’t. In fact, it seems to me that many of the complaints about social media stem from their interactions with or understanding of social media by those who don’t practice mindfully. (And I’m sooo guilty of this too!)
Ever hear someone complaint that Twitter is a broadcast medium where everyone is shouting and no one is listening? Or that they’re afraid spending their whole lives on Facebook? If you use social media mindfully, authentically, aware of your intentions, truthfully and in a helpful way, while still being here, now, in the present moment with the people you’re with I believe many of those complaints would begin to dissipate.
It’s when we begin to use social media as a coping mechanism to escape the reality we’re in that often times leads to this all-or-nothing outsider mentality. What mindful social media practice means to me is that when I’m online, I can be totally online. When I’m offline, I can do that with my full attention too. It’s when I get distracted in between… usually on my phone, answering an email or responding to a post while walking down the hallway that I realize I’m not mindful of reality. I’ve found it much more helpful to eat while I eat, surf while I surf, and walk when I walk. And that doesn’t mean that since I have the internet in my pocket I can’t look something up when I need too, even if it’s in the middle of a meeting.
So the question is, are you using social media to escape reality?
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Last year, movie’s went 3D. This year TVs are going 3D. TV’s are also supposed to go “social” sometime soon as well, with Yahoo ramping up their “widget” efforts… something Apple TV should have done a few years ago. Speaking of Apple, perhaps TV will have help when it jumps off of your television and onto your iPad device, but that’s another post.
So being an old theatre geek, I want to know when will movies go social? When will you be allowed, no, asked to text during a movie? Or better yet, when will you be able to interact through your phone, pad, or other mobile device with the movie you’re watching on the giant screen? What will that interaction look like?