Is Online Gaming A Free For All, Or Orwellian Despotism?

More on the story about The Sims Online and the seedy goings on in Alphaville. The Independent’s Andrew Gumbel writes about the case, saying the expulsion of academic Peter Ludlow from the game “was only the beginning of a fascinating new phase”.

Since then, he says, “Electronic Arts, through its online game controller, Maxis, has been cracking down on bad behaviour to clean up Alphaville and, one assumes, try and boost its audience which is stuck at a 80,000 (EA had hoped for a million by now). Evangeline and the psycho-granny have been disciplined, as have various mafia syndicates and a parallel city government set up as a player-based alternative form of authority.”

He then talks about the philosophical aspects of all this, which make for interesting reading.

Software: Footballers Ahoy

 Electronic Arts Inc. has launched the 2004 version of NCAA Football 2004, the number two selling football game behind Madden NFL. It has 20 new mascots, over 150 new teams, new pre-game tunnel presentations, and an online competition for the PlayStation 2 version something called a “Talk in-game chat”. I have no idea how that last bit works, but I thought I’d tell you anyway.
 
At the time of writing the website seems mighty slow; either EA are getting cheap or else folks have been awaiting this product for a while.