The problem of abuse in online gaming

Recently someone did a survey that said 1 in every 2 people that plays online games have faced abusive interactions, a report that was then headline news at BBC. That report just tells me that 50 percent of the people who took the survey blatantly lied – the 50 percent that didn’t report abuse. I have been playing online competitive games for 11 years now, and I am yet to meet a single individual who hasn’t faced online abuse. Now is it a problem? yes it is. Is it a new problem or a problem unique to online activity? to a small extent yes, but mostly no. So, why no? Continue reading

Manchester United : From a hopeful again fan

Being a fan of Manchester United used to be easier than this. Ever since Sir Alex Ferguson decided to call it quits, United have limped on, barely managing to hold on to a persistent sense of mediocrity with only an occasional flash of potential. Potential is the critical word here, United have always had potential – from the likes of Chicharito and Welback during the ill-fated reign of David Moyes to Depay and Martial under Van Gaal. But none of them have managed to kick on, some have been moved on and some are likely to move on soon. Young players need time and patience to develop, time some would say United does not have, with the pressure to return to the top of the table. As a fan, I believed in the man Sir Alex had chosen to succeed him and supported David Moyes. I had long thought David Moyes would be a like for like replacement for Sir Alex, however I suppose it was too big a job for him that perhaps came too early.

It was always going to be difficult succeeding Sir Alex, but I don’t think anyone realized the size of the challenge, Sir Alex included. During the final years of Sir Alex’s charge, there were a number of defensive shortcomings beginning to show, problems Sir Alex probably did not have the patience to fix anymore. Taking that into consideration, a higher profile manager would have allowed Manchester United to attract the right kind of players. As things would turn out, Moyes ended up making rushed panicked signings at the end, and since then mistakes have kept on coming. From the toothless tactics of Moyes to the ponderous attitude of Van Gaal. People probably didn’t expect very attacking displays under Mourinho either, and yet it has been Mourinho under whom United has looked more dangerous than ever before. Yes there are still issues with conversion rates, but at times it has felt like better football than the last year of Sir Alex’s rule.

I have always liked Mourinho, right since the fateful day when an ecstatic Mourinho ran down the sidelines at Old Trafford as he celebrated the goal that would knock United out of the Champions League. As an United supporter it was a sad moment, and yet it showed how much more Mourinho’s Porto desired the victory compared to United. They deserved it. And now after three years, United are showing that they want to win again. There is real desire again, and it is showing. Time will tell if it is real development or temporary form. Regardless, it’s fun to watch Manchester United play again. 2017 could indeed be a good year in the life of a Manchester United fan.

Gaming: Time To take it seriously

With the rerun of the “Why you heff to be mad” meme coupled with a a few recent observations in the esports industry I was reminded that the discussion of whether it’s time to start take gaming seriously is still going on. Some would argue that this discussion has already happened, but there are some indications that people even within gaming are conflicted on this. So here are my thoughts. Continue reading

Paladins : A short personal preview

There has been a lot of talk about this new game from Hi-Rez called Paladins. Those of you who are familiar with their other game SMITE will feel at home with the graphics, while those of you who already play or watch Overwatch will be uncomfortably a bit too familiar with the game. I do have a few problems with the game, the game’s ideology and Hi-Rez’s business model but otherwise I sort of enjoyed the game. Continue reading

The Korean way of Dota

Today I was watching the Dota Asian Championships match between MVP and Newbie, and I couldn’t quite believe my eyes as MVP first dominated Newbie and then defeated the TI4 world champions. Here was a team that didn’t make it into TI4 defeating the champions handily. So how did this come to happen? Continue reading

Dear Esther : A game that isn’t a game

I have been playing video games for the best part of my short life until now. I am sure my mother would be of the opinion that games are just an useless waste of time and I am sure that many would agree with her. For many games I do see her point, games like Call of Duty are fleeting experiences and even if you chose to say that it gives a way to escape from the real world, I do not see the point of doing just that even though I have enjoyed such games before, a good game of football with friends will do just the same, but feels much nicer and gives a greater sense of togetherness with your friends. Dear Esther isn’t anything like that. Continue reading

Mass Effect 4 : Reason to celebrate or cry foul ? AGAIN !

I love Mass Effect. I have played the entire storyline from start to finish on 3 separate occasions everytime carrying forward my save files. I have found the best possible endings to all the games. I have read the comics and read the books. I have seen the film and will eagerly anticipate future movies. I even own the soundtracks. Mass Effect vetted my appetite for sci-fi adventure. That is something that not many people are willing to take a chance on given the massive popularity of Star Wars and Star Trek. Bioware took a chance and made it work. They built a world that can rival any Sci-fi universe. Let this be a statement in the beginning that I am totally sold on Mass Effect 4 and would love to see Bioware craft a world as diverse and expansive as Star Wars and Star Trek. I truly believe the world of Captain Shepard has that potential.

The reason I say this is because the one common theme that all successful franchises have is that they manage to create multiple characters that people can enjoy, that people can fall in love with. Luke, Leia, Han, Yoda, Vader, Chewie and even C3PO and R2D2 – Star Wars had such characters aplenty which is why a variety of authors have managed to expand their world to such an extent. Star Trek found and refound the magic formula again and again with the 3 distinct crews that have existed through the years. They have spawned TV shows, movies and even entire languages. People love these franchises not because they are believable or because they are repeated (which many of them are) but because they tell a story that people are interested to hear, see and experience. Mass Effect managed to do just that. The outpouring of emotion at the release of Mass Effect 3 showed just that. Yes people complained about the ending but only because they cared. I loved the endings, I understand that the developers wanted to tell a story of their vision but perhaps had forgotten that people take to their fantasies quite strongly and through the course of the game they had come to believe in their own fantasies and were perhaps saddened to see someone else’s vision enforced upon them. I for one was in for the ride and loved the adventure Bioware managed to deliver. Continue reading