Blockchain-based ‘Decentraland’ community in uproar

It’s not all good news for the virtual world of Decentraland. Having secured millions of dollars in investment, their community is feeling rather bitter about how everything was handled. When you hear the words ‘blockchain’ and ‘cryptocurrency’, Bitcoin may come to mind. While it’s true that Bitcoin is what popularised blockchain technology, it’s also worth remembering that there are many other forms of cryptographic currency in use today. I’m not going to focus too much on the monetary value of Bitcoin (as of speaking, 1BTC equates to $4000 US). This article isn’t about that, it’s about another cryptocurrency called Ethereum (ETH). These two coins have remarkably different properties; both of them being digital currencies is […]

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Sansar Open Beta: Deserving to Succeed

I‘m writing this post in recognition of the efforts by Linden Lab, the creators of Second Life, to bring multi-user 3D environments to content authors in a form that is both accessible and scalable. They’re making this vision a reality through their new platform, Sansar. I also think it important to provide some context of what has come before in the genre. Along with how, despite barriers like technical literacy in the general population, non-standard hardware configurations and general skepticism, they have succeeded in carrying their vision forwards. It’s very easy to sound like an authority on a subject when all one need do is cite the many examples of failure a particular endeavour has […]

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Diagetic Gaming Interfaces

Imagine flying a modern passenger aircraft but without the complex array of instruments you’d expect to see informing you of air speed, altitude and heading. All you have at your disposal is the flight yoke, which you recognise from having seen countless pilots pull out of nose dives, moments before impact, in movies. There’s also a throttle control (for speed) and let’s throw in another dozen or so anonymous levers and buttons of varying importance, perhaps based on how colorful they are or how many can be pressed at once. Just to make things interesting, we’ll start you off at 36,000ft in the air. You can tell you’re pretty high because you can’t see any […]

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The Narrative of Weather in Gaming

The chaos of a raging storm or the tenderness of a falling snowflake both have the ability to evoke an emotional response. They set a scene and prepare the audience for what’s to come. This audiovisual conveyance is what captures the attention of a user and provides a buffer for slower paced storytelling, whether that’s through gameplay or otherwise. The first time I became enamoured with an in-game environment was after seeing the introduction sequence to Zelda: A link to the past running on the SNES. The scene has become iconic in gaming – the player wakes up in the midst of a thunder storm, during the night, to follow after their father who has […]

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