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  Reactions to Technorati’s Overstatement  
 
 
Posted 2007-08-15 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
Blog search engine Technorati has changed how it describes search results. It now refers to search results as "blog reactions," a description I'm not comfortable with. Technorati search results are not necessarily comprised entirely of "reactions," and are more neutrally described as "links" or "references." Not every blog that links to another is "reacting." To say otherwise is suggesting a more conversational blogosphere than actually exists.

Furthermore, when Technorati lists search results, it's only giving you results it was built to understand, rather than results from the entire blogosphere. A long-standing beef I've had with Technorati is its inability to index URLs containing a question-mark ("?"), such as nearly all the content on my Secret Lair network, effectively omitting Clickable Culture blog from its database. I've filed over a dozen support requests about this issue, but nobody seems able to get Technorati to read beyond a question-mark. Sigh.
 
     
 
   
 
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  Stork Alert  
 
 
Posted 2007-07-25 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
My wife and I are expecting our first baby to be born next week, and by the end of August we will have moved into our new permanent nest. The pending cradle-rat has her own web site already, so if you're looking to follow that narrative (provided I'll have the energy to tell it), click here.

In the short term (at least), you can expect a slowdown in activity at Clickable Culture as I simultaneously adjust to fatherhood while moving house. At this point, it's too early to tell exactly how often I'll be writing, so I recommend you subscribe to the blog's RSS or Atom feed for updates.

I'd like to thank my readers for their interest and support over the years, and hope you'll bear with me while my hip urban lifestyle gets blindsided by tiny pink paws and sacks full of poopy diapers.
 
     
 
   
 
  5 comments  
  ‘Second Skin’ Documentarians Explore Chinese Gold Farm  
 
 
Posted 2007-07-10 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
Victor Piñeiro, writer/producer of Second Skin, a documentary about virtual worlds, wrote to tell me he'll be spending July 13-21 exploring a gold farm in China, run by a Chinese-American 20-something. Victor says he'll be blogging about it as often as possible, so I'll be keeping an eye peeled for interesting developments.

Gold farms are modern sweatshops which owe their existence to the popularity of online games such as World of Warcraft. People who hire out gold farmers are essentially outsourcing their game-play, paying relatively little real money to buy in-game money in order to speed up the progression of their fictional characters. Most game makers forbid this sort of thing, but it's impossible to get rid of. There's an entire documentary on gold farmers due out this year, not to be confused with Second Skin.

 
     
 
   
 
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  Greetings, Citizen Game!  
 
 
Posted 2007-06-26 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
A couple of friends of mine have started up citizen game, a smart-ass games blog unlike many others in the sense that its writers are more smart than ass. They've also taken the moral high-road, rejecting advertising and free games (I run Google ads and happily accept freebies). Bless their 8-bit hearts and good luck to `em. I can only hope a drunken podcast is forthcoming.
 
     
 
   
 
  1 comments  
  Are Computer Games Really That Different From Non-Digital games?  
 
 
Posted 2007-06-25 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
Michaël Samyn of Tale of Tales (maker of The Endless Forest) lists ten differences between computer games and traditional ones. How well do computer games and traditional ones contrast? It depends on your definition of "traditional."

I always enjoy reading the Tale of Tales blog, even if I rarely agree completely with the team's strong opinions. Given today's post, I think a tighter definition of "traditional" is needed--Samyn doesn't seem to have considered tabletop role playing games, but says in the comments section of the blog that all non-digital games are considered "traditional." Although I use the term "traditional" to refer to non-digital games, I feel it would be useful to break this down into subcategories "classic" (e.g. Chess, Mah Jong, Solitaire) and "contemporary" (e.g. Dungeons & Dragons, Warhammer 40k, Magic: The Gathering, LARPs, ARGs). Faced with contemporary, rather than classic non-digital games, computer games aren't as unique as Samyn argues.

Continue reading: Are Computer Games Really That Different From Non-Digital games?
 
     
 
   
 
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  Thanks, ‘Broken Pencil’!  
 
 
Posted 2007-06-21 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
My best Ren-Faire flourish goes to Broken Pencil, Canada's guide to underground arts and culture, for its recently-published, positive review of Clickable Culture. Reviewer James King applies my musings on digital decay to Clickable Culture's archive of blog posts (a few thousand or so since 1999)--wouldn't it be interesting to flip through past posts and see the amount of "wear" on the pages? It's actually something I could set up... definitely would add some character to a future visual update.

Interestingly, King's most negative comments pertain to a couple of commentators ruining the vibe here. Glad I cleaned that up.

Thanks for the review, Broken Pencil--it's been 10 years since you last checked in on me :)
 
     
 
   
 
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  Games for Lunch, Breakfast  
 
 
Posted 2007-06-07 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
Kyle Orland has set great expectations for regular game criticism with his new blog, Games for Lunch. One game, one lunch-hour, one review per day. Orland's "playlog" (plog?) attempts to determine if a game's worth playing after an hour, a fair enough pursuit. If a game can't grab a player in 60 minutes, is it worth playing? In my experience, not usually.

If you're the type to skip lunch, I recommend games for breakfast. Or rather, I would recommend games for breakfast if they didn't come printed on Pop Tarts. Kellog's and Hasbro teamed up last year to provide over 200 edible Trivial Pursuit questions for distribution through the Pop Tart platform. Brings new meaning to tabletop games when one can eat the playing pieces, doesn't it? Given the shelf-life of "food" such as Pop Tarts, I reckon you'll be able to enjoy edible Trivial Pursuit for decades to come.
 
     
 
   
 
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  Clickable Culture History: Permabans (Updated)  
 
 
Posted 2007-06-02 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
Not too long ago, I intended to ban two long-time commentators here at Clickable Culture. I inadvertently deleted not only their accounts, but all record of their history on this blog. I then paid to have my web host restore the Clickable Culture database to an earlier state--the same morning I left for San Francisco for a week of work. I was unable to access the database all day yesterday, but this morning regained control.

The two commentators have had their posting privileges revoked, and dozens of their recent comments have been closed from public view. However, the vast majority of their history has been preserved. This is less a favor to them, and more a favor to my more constructive readers who might have been confused by the erasure.

As a result of the database rollback, several comments made late on May 31 and early on June 1 have been erased. Anyone who registered for an account during that time will have to register again. Sorry about that. Things should be hiccup-free henceforth.
 
     
 
   
 
  5 comments  
  I’ve Gone American  
 
 
Posted 2007-03-30 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
Ok, ok, I give up. I'm tired of fighting with spell-checkers, such as the one embedded into the Firefox browser I type each day's blog posts into. I have been mixing American and Canadian spelling (in my defense I am a citizen of both countries) since I started blogging back in 1999, and now it's over. USA number one, henceforth. Goodbye "rumour," hello "rumor." Now give me your oil.
 
     
 
   
 
  9 comments  
  Catch Me At ‘Virtual Worlds 2007’ Next Week  
 
 
Posted 2007-03-21 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
I'll be whirling into Manhattan next Wednesday, March 28, for the first day of Virtual Worlds 2007, a business-focused conference on the future of marketing and media. I'll be trying to blog as much of the event as possible, although I suspect I'll be missing the first one given my plane's touch-down time. If you're going to be on-site, feel free to hunt me down to say hi or to express resentment at my constant bitching about your virtual world product. I'll post details on how to reach me closer to the event.
 
     
 
   
 
  0 comments  
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Clickable Conversation
5224 comments
on 4159 entries

Dinozoiks wrote:
Wow! Thanks for that Tony. Just posted a bunch of other tips here... http://www.dino.co.uk/labs/2008/45-tips-when-designing-online-content-for-kids/ Hope it helps someone... Dino...
in Dino Burbidge's '10 Things To Remember When Designing For Kids Online'


yes, many of the free little games are crappy. but as an artist who has recently published free content on the itunes app store,…
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


I vote for popup radial menus. Highlight a bit of text, the push and hold, Sims-style radial menu pops up with Copy, Paste, etc....
in More iPhone Gestures, Please


Hey Tony! A client of mine is looking to hire an internal Flash game dev team to build at a really cool Flash CCG…
in Dipping Into Toronto's Flash Pool


Yeah, there's a lot of weird common sense things I've noticed they've just omitted from the design. No idea why though....
in More iPhone Gestures, Please


It also bears noting there's no mechanism right now for a developer to offer a free trial for the iPhone; the App Store isn't…
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


@GeorgeR: It's on my shopping list :) I've heard good things about it as well. And Cro Mag Rally. @andrhia: meh, I don't know…
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


...you get what you pay for, you know? I actually bought Trism based on early buzz, and it's truly a novel mechanic. I've been…
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


The only one I've heard good things about is Super Monkey Ball. Have you given that a whirl yet?...
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?


Advance warning: this frivolent comment is NOT RELATED or even worth your time ... But whenever i hear "Collada", i think of that SCTV…
in Electric Sheep Builds Its Own Flock


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