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Monday, 17 August 2009

I envy cavemen, I really do

I envy cavemen, really I do

The cavemen had such nice lives. They lived in caves, ate fungus they scraped of walls, they got eaten by tigers and dinosaurs and they never had to deal with ABSA. 
Last year I got life insurance from ABSA but then cancelled it during the cool off period. They said cool but they can only refund the money next year – fair enough.
Now, this is next year and the time has come to refund my money. Last week a representative for ABSA called and confirmed I want to cancel the insurance and I confirmed. This week instead of refunding my money they took another year's worth of life insurance off my account. I called ABSA and explained my situation and they said they will investigate. ~ A moment ago an ABSA rep called me – he has heard I am interested in getting life insurance from ABSA.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

A small design flaw in the Sims Online game gave rise to the Sims Mafia.

A small design flaw in the Sims Online game gave rise to the Sims Mafia.

You get the new Sims Online game and you start playing. Excitedly you walk about the virtual city to see what there is to see and do. You have not been in the virtual city for long when you are approached by another player – “Hi, I am from the Sims Mafia. Give me all your money or we will give you a bad rating”. Wow, what just happened?

The Sims Online consists of big virtual cities where your little Sim can go and carve out a living for itself. The virtual cities are populated with people from all over the world. You meet new people and do virtual business with them. Players can rate other players they meet in these virtual cities. If you like and trust someone you give them a green rating, if the person is not to be trusted, you give them a red rating. 

By looking a certain player’s ratings you will be able to judge if you can do business with this player.

Some folks quickly figured out how to abuse this system and formed the Sims Mafia. They hang around waiting for new players to enter the city. When a new player is spotted they approach him with an offer they can’t refuse. The new player will see that they have already started receiving bad ratings.

If the new player refuses to pay, they are stuck with a bad rating and no one in the city will do business with them. In other words, they might as well stop playing.
The developers made a rookie mistake in the design of their ‘karma’ system – do not allow strangers to rate other strangers. They should have done what Facebook has done – first let the player confirm that they know the other player and add them as a friend, only than can they rate each other.

I previously wrote that while I played Sims it became apparent the little Sim was reflecting my life – the little Sim was always late for work, did not exercise and watched a lot of TV while the dirty dishes piled high in the kitchen. It seems if you take a step back and look at the Sims as a whole, the game starts to reflect society. You will always find a couple of people looking to abuse the system for personal gain.

You can read the full story and discussion here. It’s very interesting, especially if you are a Facebook / MySpace / social network addict.


Monday, 3 August 2009

Review:Resident Evil 5

Game Review Resident Evil 5Review:Resident Evil 5

[Eds Note: Recently a very controversial demo for Resident Evil 5 has been released. Some people got a bit pissed off about the demo, saying that it was racist because the game is set in Africa and some of the zombies are – black. Black zombies in Africa. The makers of the game, Capcom says that the original Resident Evil featured a virus that originated in Africa. So this game just brings the series full circle, with a team going to Africa to investigate the virus. Regardless some people think that this is another example of the Western world exploiting Africa.]

To review the game we got an expert on the subject of the West exploiting Africa, paranoid President Robert Mugabe of the nation Zimbabwe.

Review: Resident Evil 5 by Bob Mugabe.
I am not amused. This entire thing runs like a training video. Training people to take me out. Its Tony Blair. Well its not gonna work Tony. Do hear me Tony! Its not working. I am on too you.

[Robert seems to be under the impression Tony Blair is still prime minister of Britain. –Ed][Whatever. –Bob]

As for the game itself. The game is stupid.
Graphics – stupid.
Sound – stupid.
Game play – stupid. Not that I played the game, I refuse to play something this stupid.

Fuck you very much.