The Escapist Magazine
Issue 34
Wanna Be My Friendster?
Editor's Note Wanna Be My Friendster?

Casual game portals all look alike - and soon, so will their games. Allen Varney explores the rampant knockoff debate raging among independent casual game developers.

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Anonymity is a two-edged sword. It offers a sense of comfort and protection, but also causes issues of trust. Mark Wallace discusses how technology giants Microsoft and IBM are trying to handle internet anonymity, and how this could affect online communities.

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"Is there such thing as a basic human function? Does sex pop up in all our virtual worlds because it is, at our core, our primary purpose? Or is money - the need to trade, to claim value - what's at our center?" Bonnie Ruberg discusses sex, economies, and upcoming adult-oriented online games.

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"I'm sipping a latte at Starbucks when an instant message arrives on my mobile phone. There's a mobile game tournament starting soon with a $30 prize, and I'm invited to play." Max Steele looks at how a band of rebels from Sega.com transformed Nokia's N-Gage from a failing handset to a mobile gaming software platform with revolutionary potential.

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John Tynes thinks the key to a good gaming session is having a good group. Join The Contrarian as he looks at different tools that could bring some quality to grouping in MMOGs.

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Whether they're called clans, allegiances, groups, or guilds, it seems everyone that plays online is in one. Or creating one of their own. Hitchhiker takes a look at why so many fail, and what makes a good one for him.

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"It's almost a tradition, now, to have LAN parties on the same nights as dances, and none of the people in the room regret coming to this one." Chris Mairenarrates an event of the Mindrot Gaming Club.

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