The latest on's funny, cool, unique & unusual swag for geeks, gamers and pop culture fans. Plus bonus gaming industry posts and game reviews!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

I've moved the Blog -

Here's the new home of OffLine Online. I've gone with a WordPress installation for a few reasons but mainly because it gives me more control and has an easy category separation tool so you can find things easier.

I've imported all the old posts over so I hope you will also join me over there :)

Click now!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Yet Another Article About Games Reaching out to Girls

There's nothing particularly good, bad, or surprising about this article that hasn't been said several times before in other articles but reading this one does make me want to rant a little.

First off, stop with the "female players tend to scorn games of wanton destruction" type lines.

You know what one of my favorite old arcade type game was? Rampage. You know, the game where you control the equivalent of King Kong or Godzilla or (I forget what the third monster was)? The object of that game was to smash things and eat people: wanton destruction. I loved it and I wasn't a "tomboy" either. I wasn't a "girly girl" but I wasn't a tom boy that folks might automatically expect to love things boys did.

I will give a nod to the article writer for the comment that girls like to identify with game elements though. I first tried Tomb Raider partly because the main character is a girl. A girl who runs around stealing things from tombs while shooting at things by the way (another point against the girls scorn games of wanton destruction).

One of the games I'm playing now, First to Fight, a first person shooter, doesn't give me the choice of being a female character. It's a small thing when you don't see yourself much in the game anyway, but I would still like it better if I could pretend to run around the game as a girl. I don't mean that I would actually roleplay I was a marine, but just for little things like how the guys I game with can have avatars and screen names they use on other web applications that sort of go with their game personas but I'm walking around as a square jawed guy named "Fricka".

I suppose I should be happy that females are getting attention from the media and from game developers. Well, I am happy, but I'm also sad that the same misconceptions come up article after article, year after year. I give props to the gamers who make up groups like the Frag Dolls but I don't know if that's the answer to getting more females involved in gaming.

I think groups like that are great eye candy for guys, but I think there are also more females like me just giving a sigh and saying, "I thought I found an area in a virtual world where I could just hang out and game without having to additionally be some kind of eye candy". It doesn't seem enough that girls game well or even look good in the context of a game (eye candy Lara Croft, scantily clad MMORPG elves etc.) but now it seems like the industry will only notice or sponsor you if you game and also look like a model. If the gaming industry wants to attract more female gamers they need to allow us to feel comfortable playing any type of game we want and to look however we want to look like, in game or off. Some folks may say, "You're just jealous". Well, I've been called a Booth Babe before and I was amused and flattered, but sending the message that you can only get on a team or get media attention if you look like one means that you won't be reaching all females and your market reach is not going to grow.

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Monday, July 31, 2006

E3 to be Downsized?

From Ars Technica: E3 game trade show not cancelled, but will be downsized

Contrary to reports across the web, E3 has not been cancelled. Next-Gen had hoped that they would blow the lid off of a hot story by revealing that the show had been cancelled, but some quick fact checking shows that they are simply incorrect.

Sources close to the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) tell Ars Technica that the show can and will go on, but that big changes are planned. The "Electronic Entertainment Expo" (hence E3) started in 1995 as a small but interesting annual convention for gaming, following roughly six months after the once-popular annual COMDEX computer trade-show in Las Vegas. The show has grown immensely in popularity, and that appears to be the problem.

The article goes on to talk of game companies trying to out do each other by putting on a better "dog and pony show" and not getting enough return. It also mentions floor folks not being able to speak freely and of "the show in a show" system where one needs to get an appointment to get the real scoop.

I went to E3 this year and to tell you the truth, it was less crowded than last year. That doesn't mean it wasn't crowded though, it was still a mass of industry geeks and there were still hour long lines for some things, like the Spore demo. I can also attest to the existence of the "show in a show" system. I had appointments with the folks I interviewed and they were held in areas not accessible to the floor public. However, it has been like that for a few years now and I don't think the system will go away entirely. It just makes sense that the CEO of a company is not the one on the floor doing the demos for the week.

One thing they did this year was to have a Press only time slot, if the game companies want a chance to interact with the press more perhaps that time period could be extended. As far as the expense goes, maybe a cap of some sort might help. Of course that may fall prey to the old "only bring a $20 gift" syndrome and companies will still try to push it.

I don't have the answer but I do know one thing. E3 has taken on a life of its own. It's true that information is dispersed more quickly than ever, especially information geared towards a net savvy crowd like gamers, but E3 is still a trigger for the industry and the gaming public. There's still nothing that can compare to it that will get us to sit up and take notice. A press release here and there is not the same as the convenience of being able to play and see the games all at once, even if it is in the cacophony that is E3.

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Tuesday, June 13, 2006


Gamer Theory
It's a book in the making, you can read part of it already and comment.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Back to the Future - Proof He Did It!

I give you... Marty McFly in 1918!

This was found by internet sleuths on this page about folks charged of Sedition.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Identity Theft Victims Sue NCSoft

In short, folks have their identity stolen, gold farmers use this information to open "hundreds of thousands" of accounts in Lineage and Lineage 2 and the identity victims foot the bill. Lawsuit ensues.

If NC Soft is found liable, which personally I don't think is likely, it might make all the MMOG companies even more interested in shutting down the secondary market.

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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Backyard Roller Coaster - Forget Roller Coaster Tycoon!

This guy's made his own backyard roller coaster!

Listen to the audio from The Next Big Thing here.