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Friday, July 21, 2006


First off, My mom is at home and has been totally cleared of the pneumonia, which is great news. Now let's hope she keeps away from the damned cigarettes!
More good news is that I have landed my first print feature article! G.E.A.R. magazine, a gaming publication by the same publishing house (Intelligence) as the South African version of PC Format, was recently introduced. I wrote a feature article for them on mobile gaming, which has been accepted and will be in the next issue. Now I just have to come up with ideas for a few more article pitches..

Second Life
On the geek side, I discovered Second Life through a Business Week article. No, this isn't some kind of tech spin on being born again, it's a rather unusual MMO that ditches the common theme of violence and replaces it with community. Second Life could be described as an MMO version of The Sims, or perhaps as a 3D chat client in which your profile picture is replaced by a full 3D avatar, and the context for your chats is a full 3D world. The truth is, however, that it is much much more.

What really makes Second Life interesting though, is it's take on player created content, the ability to buy and sell land, and it's connection with the real-world economy. The game is built around the concept of player created content. Just about everything in-world was created by a player or 'resident' using a combination of the built in modelling tools, and imported textures. Rather than laying claim to created content though, Linden Labs, the creators and owners of Second Life, allow the content creators to keep IP ownership rights. Residents can also buy in-game 'land' which they can then build on, rent out, or simply resell for a profit. Additionally, Second Life has an in-game currency that is hooked into the real world currency and fluctuates in value based on in-game and real world factors, this currency (the Lindon Dollar) can legitemately be traded for US dollars and vice versa. These three elements have created a world which has offered residents the opportunity to earn real money by employing real-world and in-game skills such as object modelling, texturing, animating, communication and many others.
The bad news is, this sort of practice would most likely be all but impossible in South Africa in the short term, due to the bandwidth intensive nature of the game and our insanely overpriced broadband services. It's still worth a good look. If you happen to try it out, drop me a notecard (you'll find out when you start playing ;)), my avatar is Flint Beika. It would also be really nice if you use me as a reference..


pfangirl said...

Congrats on the article, Flint.... I'm looking forward to reading it.

And it's good to hear your mother is on the mend. Living with a smoker I know the frustration of people who just won't learn from the downside of their habit.

Flint said...

Thanks, on both counts :)

Despite living with a smoker all my life, I still can't handle it! I do pity them, it can't be an easy addiction to kick, but it's really so damned disgusting. It's also really selfish. Besides the obvious issue of having to live with that stink, they're knowingly setting themselves up to be a burdon on someone later in life.

Lord Spaceman said...

Dying to try out that Second Life game.

Flint said...

After spending a week's worth of lunches on it and realising I just can't achieve enough with it in that short time, I've decided to hold off on it until I have game-worthy broadband at home. Which at this stage is likely to be never :(

It looks really interesting, and I'm sure I could earn a good in-game living writing scripts (I have some cool ideas ofr in-house objects which I'm sure would sell like hotcakes) but I just don't have enough time online :/

pfangirl said...

Back to the issue of smoking... I think it's the selfishness of it that ticks me off the most.

I can already seen the impact of smoking on my mother, who has never smoked a cigarette in her life, but has lived with a smoker for 30+ years. Her chest has been really weakened by the exposure... I will be extremely angry if she is the one who develops cancer as a result.

Flint said...

Well the smoker get's to use a filter, the rest of us don't have that luxury. Regular exposure to secondary smoke can be far worse for your health than actually being a smoker. Either way I think it's a filthy habit, and I would be quite happy to see it banned outright-which seems to be the direction government is heading with it's increasingly strict laws governing smoking and smokers.


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