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Wednesday, 01 May 2013 12:11

Saturday Morning Peace

The importance of gaming in solace

Every Saturday morning I have a routine, a routine that dates back to my single-digit years. Throughout the week, I would have school, Little League games and a host of other things that would crowd in on me, but Saturday mornings were made for one thing and one thing only: gaming.

I would awake at 6 or 7 on these mornings and creep downstairs to the NES (or SNES, in later years) and try to find a game to play. Finally reaching a decision, I'd game until Mom or Dad dragged me away to do some form of chores (thanks a lot for the personal responsibility cramping my style, parents!). But for those few brief moments in the basement, with the morning light just starting to seep through the small windows, I took those precious moments of quiet time to heart. Small, simple moments of just enjoying a good game.

Published in Tekk
Wednesday, 18 July 2012 16:05

Meet Team Fortress 2

Opening the Valve on a legitimate free-to-play game

To my left and right, I see hats. Hats everywhere. The gentlemen standing by my side are supposedly ready to make war, but it's terribly hard to tell that from the various shades of bags, alien monsters, goggles and baseball caps adoring their noggins. In all honesty, this is what draws me to 'Team Fortress 2.' This lighter take on warfare, set sometime in the 50s, is still boasting a huge following despite releasing as a part of the Orange Box almost five years ago. Why's that, you ask? Last June, Valve released it to the public as a free-to-play game.

For the vast majority of hardcore gamers, free-to-play is seen as an incredibly dirty term. Any game that either adopts the model from the start or uses it later on in its lifespan is immediately considered a failure and is generally avoided like the plague. Most of this is based on the stigma that most free-to-play games generally have a pay-to-win philosophy: player doesn't do as well as other players, player buys an uber gun for a fair price, and said player ends up topping the scoreboards with the blood money-bought gun. Another issue that can crop up is charging an exorbitant amount for new content, constricting the non-paying players to a few basic maps or character classes. Either way, free-to-play has left a bad taste in the mouths of gamers that truly want to earn their success. To them, paying for better weapons is trading skill gained over the course of committing yourself to a game for money. You're purchasing hard-fought victories instead of dedicating the time and energy necessary to attain them normally.

Published in Tekk

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