: Future Talk: Must We Be "Connected" At All Times?

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Future Talk: Must We Be "Connected" At All Times?

Yes, I have an Internet connection. A pretty fast one, too. I've got a computer, a PS3, a 360, a Vita, a tablet, and a smartphone. All of them are or can be connected at any time.

And I suppose that's normal these days. Personally, I can really do without about half of it but I need it all for work purposes (although I definitely question the necessity of the damn smartphone). I also know that social media is starting to play a bigger role in video games these days, and online multiplayer is just about the biggest thing on the planet right now.

The latter topic has been discussed to death and despite its obvious impact, I don't believe single-player adventures have suffered terribly. In fact, I think they've flourished this generation, even if they've gotten shorter (which is fine for me, as I've said before). But this social media thing, when coupled with the increasing importance of being "connected" in general, is starting to worry me. The question is, will gamers actually be punished for not being fully "connected" in the years to come?

I'm not talking only about being connected to the Internet; I'm also talking about Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. All of these are rapidly starting to become implemented in new games, and it's almost starting to seem like in order to fully experience certain games, total connectivity is required. For instance, I'm playing Rock Band Blitz now (review coming soon) and while I think it's great fun, not having an always-on friends list drops the fun factor and overall variety of the game by several degrees. And that's hardly the only example; there are others, and more are coming.

Unless the importance and rampant popularity of social media somehow declines in the next generation - which I don't see happening, given the robotic, almost religious devotion people have to that crap - games will have more of this. And I'm sure it'll almost always be optional. But if it's a big option and those who, God forbid, might actually want to play by themselves get a lesser experience, that's not right. I'm already sick of feeling poked and prodded by the electronic and social media Nazis to conform everywhere, and I'd rather not see my games adopt this annoying quality. 

Okay, rant over.

9/21/2012 Ben Dutka

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Comments (60 posts)

WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, September 21, 2012 @ 10:43:53 PM
Reply

I don't dig it myself, I don't have a problem with options but I think devs get carried away with that stuff sometimes. I'd prefer 100% of the development time goes into making the game experience good as opposed to making it social. Just about anything can be fun with the right company, but a truly great experience impresses the individual.

If our consoles ever have to be online in order to play I'll be upset.

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Kall555
Friday, September 21, 2012 @ 11:18:59 PM

"If our consoles ever have to be online in order to play i'll be upset"

Pretty much this.

When or if this day comes, is the day when i quit the hobby & start collecting dead insects.

I don't want to spend the rest of my gaming hobby being forced online with cranky runts spitting & dribbling through the mic because "they lost to a top-tier scrub".

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WorldEndsWithMe
Saturday, September 22, 2012 @ 12:46:53 AM

As much fun as dead insects are I'll probably keep playing until they cut off my hands from the carpal tunnel pain, but I won't have to like it.

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main_event05
Saturday, September 22, 2012 @ 4:06:58 PM

i hear collecting stamps, coins, dead insects, adult mags, etc will all be going digital soon.

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ZettaiSeigi
Friday, September 21, 2012 @ 10:44:42 PM
Reply

There are a few games that really lends themselves well to multiplayer, but I do miss the games that I can enjoy on my own. I guess my real issue is with how much the social aspect of these games are basically being shoved down out throats.

My Facebook news feed is littered with them that hiding them manually is pointless. People somehow never fail to find another stupid social game that will cause me grief. Thank whatever powers there are that these same people are not the ones I play with on the PSN. I would have completely given up on playing online!

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Kall555
Friday, September 21, 2012 @ 10:58:32 PM
Reply

I will forever cherish those epic single player experiences i had on the PS2. Because as we move forward i can never see solo gaming being the way it was back then.

Don't get me wrong i don't mind multiplayer in fighting games but nothing compares to the couch/multitap co-op sessions from the past imo.

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Mog
Friday, September 21, 2012 @ 11:00:55 PM
Reply

Dark souls is a good example for this. No internet connection means you cannot summon others to help you which means you will have to face the game alone....
Facing dark souls alone is virtual suicide.

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ZenChichiri
Sunday, September 23, 2012 @ 8:07:15 PM

It's not that bad ;) I managed to finish it all solo.

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Knightzane
Friday, September 21, 2012 @ 11:50:28 PM
Reply

Im the only person i know that doesn't want some overpriced phone. Im happy with my phone texting and calling people. Anything further is either at my latptop, or my console.

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Lawless SXE
Saturday, September 22, 2012 @ 12:18:32 AM
Reply

Hmm... I think that social networking in general is getting out of hand with its ubiquity. I mean, I've read of employers looking up potential employees FB accounts to gauge whether they're worth hiring. That is wrong in so many ways. What is it even used for nowadays, because I know so many instances where people just use it as a forum for the BS that goes through their mind or happens to them. I used to do that until I got frustrated and deleted about 90% of my posting history. In a way, that is the point of it, but... I don't know.

It's just too much.

As for its impact on gaming. I get frustrated seeing the leaderboards in Sleeping Dogs. I don't need to know that I'm supposed to be comparing my feats with those of everyone else.

Last edited by Lawless SXE on 9/22/2012 12:19:22 AM

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Highlander
Saturday, September 22, 2012 @ 1:00:54 AM
Reply

Ah....cracks knuckles...a topic near and dear to my heart.

Social media and always on are something that never should have mixed with gaming, but they did and now we have the bastard child we call Social gaming. I'd rather call it anti-social gaming because unless you are a compulsive sharer or utterly desperate for attention it's not really very social.

Let me explain. Take Facebook games like FarmVille for example. I'll used Farmville, but there are lots of similar games in Home and on other platforms too. Those games are psuedo competitive because you constantly compare your farm against your 'friends'. They claim to be social because they involve you and your friends in helping each other even rewarding you based on how many friends do things for you and how many friends you do things for. The games are micro-transaction based click fests and are structured in a way tha keeps you playing because there is a constant feed of timed events that you can't afford to miss.

But that gaming experience comes with price, not only do you need to invest a lot of time and possibly money) in it; you also now have an unavoidable obligation to help your friends. If you fail to help them, they know about it. Failing to help a friend can cause them to lose something in-game, or miss an opportunity. Consequently friends are badgering friends to play and do things for the. Friendships become strained by this completely pointless obligation.

Social gaming has another route to affect you. Even if you don't play on Facebook or a similar platform, let's assume you have a PS3 and have allowed the Facebook news feed from your PS3. Every PS Store purchase, every game event and trophy is fed to your wall as a news story automatically. Even if you run your PS3 in do not disturb mode, that feed continues.

So now your friends and family know that you bought that Japanese music game, and purchased the Alice in Wonderland inspired costumes and extra J-Pop song for it. They know every trophy you get, whether it's for achieving a #1 hit, or winning a festival event in-game, it's all there in your facebook feed. What's that, you played My Little Pony for three hours as well? LOL! what a weirdo! and then you went back and replayed Hannah Montana again? Good grief.

There is no privacy in this interconnected micro-blogged future. Every time you sneeze, fart or scratch your butt it's blogged, tweeted, posted to your news feed and generally speaking telegraphed to the universe along with your choice of game at 4am.

Now, you *can* turn this stuff off, but how many bother? In that scenario, your every online move is known instantly, and judged by your friends. Each ridiculous event is on your wall and commented on by your friends. How many criticisms will people take before they stop playing something because they are teased for doing so. Alternately there is that situation where your friends get annoyed that you played something else instead of helping them online. Where were you? turns into Why were you playing Idolm@ster last night instead of helping me? I thought you were my friend.

Even if you do turn it off, the data still leaks out. You can turn off all that social nonsense on your PS3 and put yourself in do not disturb mode, yet people can still see that you are online, even if you don't want to be disturbed. They can still ping you, and they can still see what you are playing, and even your trophies. So, your evening of guilty pleasure in a solo game is laid bare for the world to see. The status information just leaks out continuously. Even if you stay offline, the next time you go online, your trophies will update and your friends can see what your most recent trophies are. So much for privacy.

This article is titled "Future Talk", so let's look forward. These trends will continue and social connectivity will only get more intrusive and unavoidable. Solo games will update every game even or achievement on your Facebook or other feed, PSN status, trophies, alert tickers, smartphone alerts, Texts, etc...

I don't see this situation getting better. Game producers like EA are talking about Freemium like it's the greatest idea since the wheel. But those freemium games all have to adopt a model that keeps you clicking and playing and the most powerful tool in the universe for that is peer pressure. That is build up through 'social' gaming. Even games that stick to the familiar format of paying upfront and having a solo campaign will still communicate your every move.

It's becoming increasingly difficult to stay private now, how much more so in the future? Is the day coming when the only way to retain your own personal privacy and space is to literally 'cut the cord' and disconnect? Imagine how the increasingly connected world will view those that do cut the cord. We'll be the social out-casts, the weirdos. People will look down on us for it, and hate us for wanting to keep our information private. "Why won't you share? What have you got to hide? Must be doing something pretty screwed up to hide it like that eh? Pervert!" or alternately "What's wrong? Too good for your friends? I thought we were close, and you won't share that with me? Some friend you are..."

You can see how it will go...this future is not so distant, and to some extent is already here. When your friends move on from a game that you still play, they want to know why you won't play with them. If you move onto another game and your friends stay with the old one,they want to know why you won't play with them. People get offended and hurt simply because their gaming needs/desires are out of sync with yours. It's not right, and it's not fair, but it's happening right now. Look at games like Call of Duty. Millions play it because their friends play. Not because they think it's the best, or because they especially enjoy it, but because their friends do. If someone moves to another game, their friends will want to know why, so the peer pressure keeps people playing. If a large enough group moves to another game, that peer pressure keeping people in CoD pushes them to the new game instead. All because of the wonderful world of online multiplayer gaming and social gaming.

This message brought to you by the makers of Call of Famville: Green Ops, the new free to play multi-player online shooter. Work with friends to overturn the evil empire, defend your friends base, and enlist your friends to help you. Premium weapons and power-ups available for a nominal fee, additional ammunition also available through the in-game micro-transaction system called "Drain-yo'-money" or DYM (pronounced 'dim') for short.

You can use as many DYM transactions as you like to ensure you have the edge when battle arrives. Your friends can benefit too as they know when you are armed to the teeth thanks to our trademarked "Friends Update Knowledge Micro Exchange" otherwise known as FUKME (pronounced phook meee). With FUKME your friends will know of your DYM transactions and will be able to make their own DYM purchases which you will learn of thanks to the "Friends Update Knowledge Micro Exchange Transaction Option" (FUKMETO) in the FUKME system.

Don't ya just love the smell of the future?

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PharaohJR
Saturday, September 22, 2012 @ 1:11:46 AM

LMMFAO..... crazy thing its true.

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ZettaiSeigi
Saturday, September 22, 2012 @ 1:22:40 AM

Thanks for taking the time to write all that Highlander. Because that's exactly what I meant to say. Danke!

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tes37
Saturday, September 22, 2012 @ 4:00:28 AM

One of your points about others seeing your activities is actually one thing I find very strange about the Vita. Anybody in my friends list that doesn't disable friends of friends, can see info on people that aren't in your own personal list. I think it's an unnecessary and intrusive feature.



Last edited by tes37 on 9/22/2012 4:10:57 AM

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Beamboom
Saturday, September 22, 2012 @ 7:44:36 AM

Actually, you have to actively turn *on* the Facebook feature on your Playstation. It's off by default, and it can't be any other way since you also have to accept this application to your Facebook account too.

Other than that I agree with much of what you say here.

Last edited by Beamboom on 9/22/2012 7:45:02 AM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, September 22, 2012 @ 10:51:08 AM

Beamboom: But the games more focused on the social element, like Rock Band Blitz, constantly ask you to link your game account to your Facebook account.

Highlander: I find it interesting that the more we separate ourselves from each other with this electronic deification, the more we lie to ourselves and call it "social." Deep down, we're all social creatures and when we start to lose the ability to effectively communicate, we have to try to believe that our machines are doing what only we can do.

Oh well. I will always make a conscious effort to turn everything OFF when playing for my own fulfillment. I'm really sick of an invasion of privacy that is disguised as "friendly."

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BikerSaint
Saturday, September 22, 2012 @ 4:59:49 PM

If you have it, "Raptr" is another one.

It synch's & records everything you do, & what games, and how long you played them on your consoles(although their playtime percentage of your game=play is ALWAYS wrong, being on the low side.

Plus Rapter links a automatic "Like" onto those same games, so you're also given a bunch of their forum's articles on your Raptr page(I can disable the likes but it's a real PITA to hunt down each one to check off all those "Like" buttons.

Hell, Raptr even recorded some demo's I D/L'ed off the PSN(although I was also able to delete them, & others as well).

Last edited by BikerSaint on 9/22/2012 5:01:55 PM

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PharaohJR
Saturday, September 22, 2012 @ 1:50:28 AM
Reply

i look at smart phones even mine... a simple 3g samsung droid & think at times..... WTF i got this for.... dont get me wrong its useful i wont lie with the additional features over dialing in & out its convenient with all these apps.... i never was & can get big in connectivity. for the folks that believe i might be a dude who wasnt or not known(popular) damn near my whole upbringing & even now im considered that dude....

where im going with this..... when i 1st played a VG on box nintendo super mario i grasped the whole idea /concept & been gaming since. i remember when multiplayer was strictly playing who u know in person u actually had a friend in your area to socialise with in person.... it wasnt untill Pc gaming i knew u could link with folks threw the net & thought got damn thats koo...... even though i noticed the online multiplayer growing i still chose story campaign games over multiplayer.

i dont knock progression or innovation, u stand what im saying...... & long as these multiplayer & connectivity games keep those features as a option its koo.... but if it turns into the prime interaction of enjoying the game i wont be in gaming so much.... might replace it with another hobby.

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tes37
Saturday, September 22, 2012 @ 3:50:41 AM
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Trying to cater to everyone is problematic, no matter what, someone's going to be alienated. I want social networking and always on, about as bad as I want my food pre-chewed. It may be convenient for some people, but it's not for me.

I don't mind sharing things about myself with friends, but I don't want everything I do showcased to all. I find it hard to believe that every single person wants that either. I'm not the only weirdo in the world who likes to have some privacy. Whether the activity amounts to harmless or useless information, remains irrelevant to me.

I think somebody wants this for us, more than we want it for ourselves. We ask as gamers, sometimes with one voice, for certain things we want in gaming and we're ignored. Instead we get things like social activities in gaming as if it's some kind of universal desire we've all been begging for.

If they punish people for not being involved in the social aspect, by withholding some part of a game, the best thing for me to do is withhold my money.

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Highlander
Saturday, September 22, 2012 @ 4:44:53 AM

Remember how places like Facebook make their money. They are little more than information vacuum cleaners that suck up information about all their 'users' and sell it to marketing departments around the universe. It's absolutely in their interests to make the intrusions deeper into your life so they can gather more information. I don't even use facebook as myself any more, and haven't for many years now.

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tes37
Saturday, September 22, 2012 @ 6:32:00 AM

I've never signed up for Facebook and I never will. When they collect information to build profiles on individuals for marketing or any type of intelligence gathering, I want them to have to work extra hard to get mine. I'm sure enough can be found out about me already, so I won't voluntarily post info through Facebook or any other social site.

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Snaaaake
Saturday, September 22, 2012 @ 4:13:39 AM
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Well all I gotta say is just because we're moving towards the future doesn't mean we gotta change every goddamn things.

Why is it necessary to be connected all the time?
WHAT IS THE NECESSITY!?!?!

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Lawless SXE
Saturday, September 22, 2012 @ 4:18:10 AM
Reply

"The consumers don't know what they want. They don't look at the bigger picture outside the industry and see that the world has moved on from the time when games were primarily a solitary activity. They don't understand that the likes of Facebook, Google+ and Twitter are ubiquitous and must be leveraged. They refuse to accept that this is the only avenue going forward. That the sharing of information will benefit them in the end. Social media is a powerful tool and gaming has to make use of it. It's innovation; the very thing that our 'fans' have been calling for. They just don't like it because they are so set in their ways that they don't see it as innovation but intrusion."

Blah, blah, blah. I dunno. Just trying a different perspective.

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Highlander
Saturday, September 22, 2012 @ 4:51:12 AM

"They just don't like it because they are so set in their ways that they don't see it as innovation but intrusion."

That's one of the problems right there. The egos in charge of technology are so blinkered by their personal goals and targets that they actually believe this. They believe that it's not intrusion, but innovation and that consumers literally don't know what they want or need. In their view we are sheep that must be guided into their applications - for our own benefit of course.

Personally, I am tired of privacy being eroded by corporate interests. Corporate thought does not consider protecting individual liberties or rights, the only thing corporates think about is maximizing the return on their investment and monetizing any information they can gather about us is just another revenue stream. They don't care about our privacy, it's not in their interests to. Quite the opposite really, the more they intrude, the more they know, the more money they can make.

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Beamboom
Saturday, September 22, 2012 @ 6:26:51 AM

@Highlander:
Although your general concerns regarding the corporate interests is healthy and a philosophy I fully agree with, I think in this particular case you come across as quite paranoid.

Cause what does it really matter if you are exposed to advertisement that some marketer somewhere out there figured has the potential to be more relevant for you than the average random advertisement?
What does it matter if after you change your civil status you are shown ads for flower stores or dating services, or your education makes you see advertisements for certain job opportunities, or when you hit a given age are beginning to see ads for life insurance and health care, or Volvo cars, or whatever.

Instead you should praise yourself happy you don't have to see the ads trying to reach teenage girls, if you ask me :D

And if you don't even want to use your own real name or reveal anything about who you are whatsoever then I frankly don't see why you are on Facebook at all.


Last edited by Beamboom on 9/22/2012 7:06:01 AM

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Highlander
Saturday, September 22, 2012 @ 5:52:24 PM

Beamboom, call it paranoia if you must in order to salve your self, I've worked on the inside with banks, marketing organizations and other major corporates. You're kidding yourself if you don't believe that corporations care less about consumer privacy than they do about money, and your really kidding yourself if you think that marketing people are not willing to intentionally intrude upon your privacy. Even if they think they might not get away with it, they will try on the basis that once it's done it's done and they can always apologize later and compensate (aka bribe) consumers to think it's OK.

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Beamboom
Sunday, September 23, 2012 @ 2:09:13 AM

No, you are misinterpreting me (again, if I may add).

"if you don't believe that corporations care less about consumer privacy than they do about money, and your really kidding yourself if you think that marketing people are not willing to intentionally intrude upon your privacy"

I know this. Everyone knows this. This is no news, this is common knowledge. This is why I wrote what I wrote in my introduction.

But what I ask you is what does it MATTER for you if you give away these data about yourself, in order for them to offer better marketing tools for their customers (and thus make money) and for you to use their tools and servers for free (cause that's really the deal here).

Why does it MATTER if Facebook know your name, civil status, hobbies and interests. What *consequence* do you feel it has for you if the advertisement you are shown is assumed to be of relevance to you.
That's what I ask.


Last edited by Beamboom on 9/23/2012 3:25:05 AM

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Highlander
Monday, September 24, 2012 @ 3:02:11 AM

How exactly did I misinterpret this?

"I think in this particular case you come across as quite paranoid."

Perhaps you thought I was answering another of your posts where you talk about Facebook as if it were some benign force of good and nothing else?

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Beamboom
Monday, September 24, 2012 @ 5:15:17 AM

"Perhaps you thought I was answering another of your posts where you talk about Facebook as if it were some benign force of good and nothing else?"
That post only exist in your head.

But so it seems I just have to take note that you simply refuse to answer the one question I asked both in my first and second post and leave it at that.


Last edited by Beamboom on 9/24/2012 8:23:52 AM

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Highlander
Monday, September 24, 2012 @ 1:45:23 PM

Dude, you said I was sounding paranoid, I backed up my points and asked how I misinterpreted your statement about my post sounding paranoid. If you want to pick a fight with me, you're going to have to try harder than that.

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Beamboom
Monday, September 24, 2012 @ 3:27:11 PM

Dear Highlander, in all seriousness, I am now sitting here wondering if you are just playing around with me now, if my posts are *that* hard to understand, if you simply has not read them, or if it is me who is blind and not seeing a post of yours.

You've not backed anything as far as I can see? You've said that you fear misuse of your data, intrusion of your privacy, but that's *not* what I've asked!

What I've asked is this: *WHAT* kind of misuse/abuse/intrusion are you afraid of? What usage of your data do you fear? What are the thinkable, worst case consequences of sharing your hobbies, interests, age and location, beyond targeted advertisements?

If you read this post carefully now, you will too realize that you've not answered what I've now asked in *three* posts in this thread. Three posts! This is almost turning into a comedy!


Last edited by Beamboom on 9/24/2012 3:27:24 PM

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Beamboom
Saturday, September 22, 2012 @ 4:48:03 AM
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I'm one of those who like social networks like Facebook. I am honestly amazed about how Facebook has brought me one tiny - and for many, "insignificant" or even "meaningless" - step closer to those I used to hang out with in my home town, classmates, distant family members or just friends I for various reasons no longer see as often. These are people I otherwise would have had next to no contact with anymore.

I actually enjoy to see old classmates are now married with children, how some of them are still with their childhood girlfriend, how many has turned significantly older (some to the extent that I would not have recognized them had I met them on the street), what they work with, what they are busy doing in their spare time and how they are doing in general. I like it!

It's not like we *communicate* directly, not at all, but still, we do say things to each other between the lines with the status posts and holiday pictures and other stuff we share. Most people from my home town I'd actually prefer not to meet in real life cause we share *nothing* anymore and the entire conversation would be awkward, still I do appreciate it if those same persons bother posting a quick birthday greeting on my wall.

I really don't see why this all is such a bad thing, or why so many are so hellbent on putting a negative spin on all this. Why all the condemnation, fear and aversion against something that really, behind all the technology is all about us, the humans.

Why is it so horrible to see a line from your childhood buddy telling what he had for dinner some day? Or, for that matter, that someone earned a trophy in some game? So what if it was a dorky game. What does it matter, really? Doesn't it only tell you that this person had a fun weekend and still can enjoy gaming. Good for him, and cool for you?


Last edited by Beamboom on 9/22/2012 5:42:21 AM

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Ludicrous_Liam
Saturday, September 22, 2012 @ 6:37:04 AM

The FriendsReunion & Family Tree sites are more centered towards that; facebook is very much centered on other things *cough* Information theft *cough* Mindless updates on borings people's lives *cough* :p

As long as I can stay the hell away from it, people can use facebook integration in games all they want.

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Beamboom
Saturday, September 22, 2012 @ 7:10:40 AM

Funny how so many think they know about so many good Facebook replacements. Here the other day someone suggested I should start using LinkedIn instead of Facebook. :D

But to your post, and this quote:
"mindless updates on borings people's lives"
-> That's *exactly* the attitude I try to address here. Is that really how you see your friends? Could you really not care less about them? Do you think they are *that* boring and mindless? Then why are they even your friends?

I don't want to study a Family Tree. I want to see what they are up to nowadays. And they are on Facebook, that's where they are found, they don't post stuff on other sites.

Facebook is of course also where I stay in touch with current friends and colleagues, those who I also see in real life. That's who the primary daily usage of FB is related to. My workplace got their closed group on Facebook where we enjoy some shared laughs, whenever I want to ask a buddy about something I might just as well send him a PM on Facebook than an e-mail, there's an endless amount of discussions and quarrel to engage in, Facebook really is a very good tool to maintain your social network, if used right.


Last edited by Beamboom on 9/22/2012 7:38:03 AM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, September 22, 2012 @ 11:16:39 AM

I think we all know the manifest intent of Facebook, Beamboom. We get sort of why it was created, and what people would IDEALLY use it for.

It's the multiple latent intents that bother me because they're potentially damaging. Beneath that benign, Disney-esque surface of, "oh, just stay in contact with friends and family!" is something far more sinister, and it's only contributing to the demise of real communication. And the question is, are the majority using Facebook because they need to? Because it really is the best and even only option to stay in touch with friends and family?

I believe the answer is no. All I see are people hooked on chatting through a screen (which is just a fancy form of IM, as far as I'm concerned), and people trading a million pictures and a whole ton of totally trivial and meaningless content, when those people live right down the road from one another. I see people's faces buried in screens EVERYWHERE; it's not just at home any longer. They can't even look up. I don't see that as being "connected;" I see that as the opposite: You're isolating yourself from the real world and the worst part is, many are getting used to it...and before long, they'll start to depend on it.

It's like the Internet. We all know WHY it was created. But what the majority use it for can be considered not only meaningless and completely unnecessary, but also harmful. I'd just rather keep it all away from my hobbies, seeing as how the rest of the time, I'm constantly bombarded by it wherever I go.

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Beamboom
Saturday, September 22, 2012 @ 1:05:36 PM

@Ben,
Facebook chat is an Instant Messenger service so you're absolutely right in calling it that. You can connect to Facebook chat with any chat client that support this protocol (most do, it's an open protocol).

We who use Facebook every day do not primarily do so because we *need* to as in "there are no alternatives", but because it's convenient. I believe we can say the same about most modern means of communication, also in regards to dependence.

But you speak like it's either/or, when it usually is both/and. I communicate with my friends on Facebook AND phone AND face to face (although the latter has become rather sparse now after I got a baby).

But I can say one thing for 100% sure: There are a *lot* of former schoolmates, colleagues and friends living elsewhere that I would not have been in touch with had it not been for Facebook. And that can be proven, since I did indeed not have any idea where they were, what they did or even if they still were alive prior to Facebook. And that is no Disney story, that is just how it is.

And again, it's not like we got that much to say to each other. I don't usually directly communicate with any of them. But I do very much appreciate the opportunity to just "have them around", sort to say.

When it comes to game integration with social networks (who after all is the main topic here :D), I think that will even out itself. There are a lot of experimenting going on these days, this is all still pretty new and unexplored territory and will remain so for a couple more years until they've figured out what works and what doesn't.

Last edited by Beamboom on 9/22/2012 1:44:30 PM

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Highlander
Saturday, September 22, 2012 @ 5:54:22 PM

Beamboom, I bet you also think Apple is just out to help the little guy, right?

LOL!

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Saturday, September 22, 2012 @ 7:23:03 PM

Beamboom: I have no doubt it has helped you do what you say it does. What I'm talking about is something we're only starting to see the effects of, and which will absolutely be documented as some sort of disorder in the future for those who abuse it (social media, I mean). This is quite simply not how humans were meant to operate.

And by the way, before all this, there was a time when people, you know...wrote things to each other. Real letters. Said real things. Seemed quite enough for centuries. ;)

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homura
Saturday, September 22, 2012 @ 9:38:52 PM

Ben,

"All I see are people hooked on chatting through a screen".

It reminds me of a scene in a movie Wall-E, in the scene they are all chatting and don't even bother to look at the face of the person beside them, until Wall-E accidentally disrupts the chatting of two people and they are amazed seeing a real person beside them.

For me, when you're forced to be online all the time, it's a bad thing no matter what.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Sunday, September 23, 2012 @ 12:39:59 AM

Never saw WALL-E but now I might. :)

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Beamboom
Sunday, September 23, 2012 @ 2:41:10 AM

Ben,
but arent we writing more to each other today than ever? The letters are just delivered much faster! Like you and me right here, we are in reality writing small letters to each other right now (awww *sigh* that came out sweet :D).

We not only read and write social or casual stuff more than before, but also educational and factual. We do more research now than ever, we gather more factual information today than we've ever been *able* to do earlier.

And just to return to the topic of social media, think about all those you know out there that you'd never get to know had it not been for the net and the tools that followed.
Like the community right here on this site. All our discussions, quarrels and disputes are 100% dependent on the internet.

You got your job (and I got mine too) thanks to the internet and our continuous wish to READ, WRITE and COMMUNICATE with each other.

PS: And you simply *have* to see Wall-E. It's another masterpiece from Pixar and you'll say "now what DID I say!" through the entire movie. And that always feels great, doesn't it? ;)

Last edited by Beamboom on 9/23/2012 7:51:04 AM

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Beamboom
Sunday, September 23, 2012 @ 3:07:48 AM

@Highlander,
Why are you so desperately trying to ridicule me? Although I usually ignore it, it really reaches pathetic heights at times. Did you yourself feel you contributed with anything of value when writing that?

You should be made aware that you are starting to paint a pretty unflattering picture of yourself as being someone that believes those with other opinions than yourself must be an *idiot*.
That says a lot more about you than you probably want to show.

Last edited by Beamboom on 9/23/2012 7:45:18 AM

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Ludicrous_Liam
Sunday, September 23, 2012 @ 7:33:49 AM

I care about a few select friends - I suppose what you'd call 'best friends' of mine. But if I wanna chat about something, I don't wanna do it online. I see them regulary enough to not have to depend on the internet for that.

As for the Family Tree website, I thought you meant family members that are long gone. I know all my family and they (mostly) all live within a 30 mile radius. But even if they didn't, I'd much prefer to just travel to them than use Facebook. A phonecall would suffice if they lived in Australia or something anywho.

Ironically, I actually have family in Australia... but I don't like them terribly much :P


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homura
Sunday, September 23, 2012 @ 2:27:15 PM

Ben,

WALL-E is a very good movie, and it shows what could happen in the future if kids today depend much of their life in social media, it's amazing that the writer of WALL-E captures what you're trying to say. :)

Beamboom,

I think Ben knew the benefits of internet and social media, but I think what he's trying to point is the danger if it was abused, slowly integrating it in our life and now in our games is not a bad idea, but if it's forced upon to you or making you feel that you need to be connected always to fully enjoy the game, now that's a bad thing, and sadly it looks like it's happening right now, it feels like kids today are being groom to be fully dependent on social media and the internet. Soon people will live only in their room for their whole life because you can with only a computer, order food, study, work, communicate with others through a monitor, and with the development of augmented reality, you can travel to a place without actually being there. Sad future isn't it? I just hope I'm wrong about this future. By the way I just noticed, a lot of kids back then including me play outside, hide and seek and etc. But today it's diminishing, most kids today are glued to their tablet and smart phones.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Sunday, September 23, 2012 @ 11:20:02 PM

Beamboom: I just don't think you get it. More interaction doesn't mean better interaction. The quality of human interaction is suffering. Badly. And the Internet is the #1 cause of that.

It also only encourages laziness and an excuse to be completely reliant upon electronics. That's all.

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Highlander
Monday, September 24, 2012 @ 3:04:29 AM

Beamboom, I'm not ridiculing you, I'm simply drawing a parallel between what in your posts appears to be a blind faith in the goodness or whatever of Facebook which reminds of of the Apple can do no wrong point of view of Apple devotees (similar to the same thing with Nitendo fans).

That's not ridicule, it's simply drawing a parallel.

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Beamboom
Monday, September 24, 2012 @ 5:26:50 AM

It is, Highlander. It *is* ridiculing to say something as stupid as that and then laugh out loud. That is what ridiculing is all about, and if you don't see that then you really are as full of yourself as you appear to be.

I don't have blind faith in Facebook. Nowhere do I say that, nowhere do I express it. This is something going on in your head, something you apply to what I've said. It's like your view of the world is extremely polarized. it's either/or. Either all good, or all bad.

I don't really mind if Facebook know my name, favourite artists, movies, stuff I find entertaining or friends I got. Not because I think Facebook cares a lot about my privacy, but because I consider this to be pretty much public information. Ask me, and I'll tell you too. I'll gladly give you a list of what I dig, that I'm soon to be married and where I work. Do with it as you please. Be my guest.

I've tried to ask why *you* don't trust Facebook with this information, but instead you reply by ridiculing me, put words in my mouth, give me opinions I do not have and depict me as some naive, stupid, blind, mindless drone.

Charming guy, you are. Real charming. Classy.


Last edited by Beamboom on 9/24/2012 5:49:10 AM

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Beamboom
Monday, September 24, 2012 @ 5:57:00 AM

@Ben,
"The quality of human interaction is suffering. Badly" -> That's a mighty big statement. What do you base this on? What's your references?

@homura,
I get what Ben is saying, I'm just not so pessimistic about it. While much of what you guys say is true, I believe it is only a part of the picture.

What I to try to contribute to here, is a bit more balance in how internet communication (with Facebook as the prime suspect) is talked about as the ultimate, one-sided evil that will lead to the derangement of mankind, the path to self extinction, well... I don't believe in those doomsday prophecies.

The reality is usually found somewhere in the middle of the extremes. And while services like Facebook or the Internet as a whole is radically affecting how we communicate and relate to each other, it's not *all* bad. It changes us, but not exclusively to the worse. That is my message.

When it comes to gaming in particular, well then I don't think there is much disagreements between us fine gents at all.
But keep in mind that this whole social networking thing is very new to the gaming industry (as well as other industries). I believe there will be some experimenting, bad ideas and poor solutions ahead, before they figure out how they should balance things. So I'm pretty laid back about it.
If a game bugs me with stupid features I either don't buy it or if bought, sell it at GameStop.

And it is Ben&co's job to inform us about these annoying things, so we can be made aware of them. :)


Last edited by Beamboom on 9/24/2012 6:44:12 AM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Monday, September 24, 2012 @ 11:02:43 AM

You're kidding. Beamboom, you might be as blind as Highlander is implying.

What do I base it on? Are you serious? I base it on people mumbling and looking at their shoes or ANYWHERE but your face when trying to talk to you. I base it on the deplorable test scores of this country, which has sought to fix the problem with only more electronics (iPads in classrooms), only to find that the scores have gotten worse, attention deficit problems have skyrocketed, and nobody under the age of 18 will read anything that's not on a video screen.

I base it on the common form of Internet communication that is hopelessly mangled. The Internet has allowed for the ACCEPTANCE of complete and total laziness and the bastardization of communication. Grammar isn't just unnecessary; you're actually MOCKED if you use proper grammar. Nobody can read long emails. Certainly, nobody can write them. Ignoring a person who contacts you has become accepted in the digital realm; it's akin to walking up to someone, saying hello, and having them turn around and walk the other direction without saying a word.

If you were a student of the classics, and of history in general, and read up on how people once communicated with one another, even under-educated individuals, you'd be shocked at the appalling gap we've created. All we've got are children in adult bodies, ogling anything new and flashy like a kitten batting at a piece of string or a baby obsessed with shiny things. Anything of real substance, including quality discussion, is getting crushed under the weight of rampant stupidity. And worse, we're starting to idolize that stupidity. Because it's commonplace now, anyone who tries to buck that trend is seen as pompous or arrogant.

Discussion and conversation is an art form, and it doesn't exist on a video screen. I know you don't believe that, but I don't really care because it's a clear fact proven by mental health professionals time and time again over the past decade. As for Facebook, as I said, I understand it's intent. I'm sure it has helped you stay in touch with people. In the bigger scheme of things, however, I contend it isn't helping, only hurting, as is the entire "information age."

Resurrect geniuses, from Copernicus to Aristotle to Tolstoy to Mozart, from the dead, and I'll bet you every penny I've got that they'll agree. And then run screaming back to their graves.

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Beamboom
Monday, September 24, 2012 @ 11:53:12 AM

Not blind, Ben. Only questioning what we see.

All you write there is in essence true. It's true that we meet shy people, it's true we find a lot of bad grammar out there, lazy writing, bullying, and so forth.

But I should be allowed to ask, was it really that much better before? If we for instance read a random pick of children school essays from 1950, 1980 and 2010, would we then have found less grammatical errors, a richer vocabulary and qualitatively better essays the further back we go? I know you think so - but do you *know*?

You seem to base your opinions on observations. That is of course completely legit. But I was hoping that you in your comment referred to some research results, studies or statistics you've read. Hence my question for references.

But please note that I merely ask, I do not claim to sit on any answers. I just do not *assume* anything here. Maybe it's true. I don't know. But what we see *can* have several explanations.

The bullies who mock those who are of better language than themselves, they've always been around. But are there more of them now, or are they just more visible? Same with those who struggle with grammar and spelling: Aren't they just more visible now than before, due to the nature of the internet?

As for the generalizations you do with "NOBODY can read long emails", "NOBODY can write long texts", etc, you are of course exaggerating, but I think you are over-generalizing to such an extent that they become untrue.

When Kindle and other e-book readers sell bucketloads - what does that tell us?

When Wikipedia is one of the *giant* successes on the internet - shouldn't that too be taken into account when we try to summarize the current state of affair?

I think we see a lot of - let's be honest here - rather unintelligent personalities in the gaming world. Maybe it's due to the average age, maybe it's the average educational level of a gamer, I really do not know. But compared to other communities I am a part of, I really must say that the rate of morons are really depressingly high in this segment. That is my clear impression too.
But to judge the entire human race based on this segment, well that is wrong. Surely we must agree on *that*, if nothing else?

I don't have any definite answers. But I should be allowed to ask the questions without being labelled "blind".


Last edited by Beamboom on 9/24/2012 1:51:56 PM

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Highlander
Monday, September 24, 2012 @ 1:51:02 PM

Beamboom, I was not ridiculing you. You accused me earlier of sounding paranoid, perhaps you need to look in the mirror?

I've previously answered why I don't entrust my information to Facebook. It has to do with Facebook being little more than a marketing machine's information gathering device and the ease with which personal information put on Facebook is gathered by those with nefarious intent. I'm not sure what more it is that you think you need to hear.

I'll not oblige you with further argument because I honestly think you are trying to pick a fight now.

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Beamboom
Monday, September 24, 2012 @ 2:03:16 PM

What would you call that comment of yours then? A friendly pat on the back? A really good joke?

I am NOT picking a fight, I am just starting to be a bit tired of the tone that so often are used around here. There's no need to ridicule someone just cause you disagree with him, and I don't see how you could possibly mean it any other way. But fair enough, let's put that behind us.

Regarding your distrust of Facebook, I really am curious about what "nefarious intent" you have in mind? I don't ask IF you fear misuse of your information, that much is blatantly obvious when you don't even want to use your real name there. I ask WHAT you are afraid of. What evil they can use your information for. What should I fear? What scenario makes you shy away, and think everyone else should too? Don't you see how this may appear a bit paranoid?

My claim is this:
If you treat Facebook like an arena for public information and don't put anything there that you would not have told your neighbor or colleague (basically just use your HEAD), then you should not have much more to fear than targeted marketing campaigns.
That is how I see it. And that's the backdrop for my question.

Last edited by Beamboom on 9/24/2012 3:00:08 PM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Monday, September 24, 2012 @ 4:22:37 PM

Beamboom: Do I "know," you ask. Yes, I know. Read the letters written between everyday individuals from our ancestors. I'm not even talking about the ones in museums written by writers. You'll see the evidence clearly enough. Hawthorne's "The House Of Seven Gables" was written for teenagers. In that time, it was our version of YA (Young Adult). Now, most adults would call it too dense, and in short, be far too smart for even those we call educated.

The very fact that you call people "bullies" for calling others out on bad grammar proves my point further. They weren't "bullies" when people were better read, and socially better versed. Those were educated, charismatic, knowledgeable individuals, who were not ridiculed, but rather appropriately envied and respected.

Kindle selling bucketloads? We love our gadgets. Nothing more. BOOKS are not selling well, unless you count "50 Shades of Grey," which is not only a disgusting commentary on the current mindset of civilization, it's also laughable from a literary standpoint, and THAT would've been openly "mocked" a hundred years ago. I read, Beamboom. I know what sells now and I know what was popular before. And if publishers and literary agencies are struggling to stay alive in a world that has been PROVEN not to read (as any recent study will tell you), the Kindle sales have a clear conclusion: We idolize our gadgets. Every person I know who owns a Kindle almost never uses it.

Wikipedia is also easily explained. We know so little, we are so poorly educated in our schools, that so very often have to use it. Furthermore, I will guarantee the majority are not using it to learn about anything important, but are rather using it to find out Christina Aguilera's birthday.

As for gaming, I do agree. I think there are more intelligent people in the gaming world than in any other group of fans. And I believe the answer to that is simple as well- The vast majority of the OLDER gamers were classified as geeks and nerds when younger; that was simply the way of the world. Gaming wasn't social; it was the opposite of social and hence, those without a lot of friends, turned to the hobby. And those kids were, typically, the best students.

As for the current generation, no, I don't see them being smarter than others because the industry has now gone mainstream. Does that answer your questions?

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Beamboom
Tuesday, September 25, 2012 @ 1:52:19 AM

I meant to call it bullying when those who use PROPER grammar are mocked (a reference to your claim that such take place). That said, it can be bullying the other way around too, of course. It all depends on how it is expressed.

But I don't think the gaming world is any better than other communities - my experience is the opposite. I hate to admit it but the gaming community does not strike me as particularly literate, well mannered or socially intelligent at all, quite possibly for the reasons you described.

Other than that I must say you got a remarkably dark and depressive view of the world. To say that Wikipedia has collectively become this amazing encyclopedia with millions of in-depth articles about pretty much *everything* just so the majority can get basic info about celebrities... Well, your world view really is extremely gloomy.

When you go as far back as when The House Of Seven Gables were released, the level of illiteracy in England was around 40%. 4 out of 10 could not read at all, they could not even spell their own name, Ben. How many of them could read a printed book - and even if they could, how many had *access* to such works?
To say we on average were more literate back then is simply not true. The difference between rich and poor were *much* greater back then, and it is only the view of the world from the upper class we have today - the very average Joes could hardly express themselves in writing. And *most* definitely not read The House Of Seven Gables.

I honestly think you should give the current day a bit more of a chance. It really is not all that dark.


Last edited by Beamboom on 9/25/2012 5:39:47 AM

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Highlander
Tuesday, September 25, 2012 @ 11:19:40 AM

My last reply to this non-sense. Beamboom, you ask what I am afraid my information could be used for, how about this;

http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2003/09/idtheft.shtm

...look at the dates on that BTW, it's from 2003, the amount of personal information in public circulation now is greater than ever and the majority of that growth came through Facebook.

http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft2012/

Identity theft in the US is most perplexing because non of the financial institutions will do anything to help you, and the police are only interested if there is a physical crime in their jurisdiction. Even the federal government does little to nothing to protect people against the misuse of their social security numbers.

Lastly there are possibly innumerable examples of people over-sharing on Facebook, Twitter and other social sites about going on vacation or whatever, that resulted in their home being burgled because they had not only put out enough information to be identified and traced, but indicated that they would not be home. It's alarmingly easy to scrape information from places like Facebook, and that's not even the 'legitimate' uses when Facebook sells information to marketing organizations.

Lastly, how is it that you think Facebook makes money? It's not from the games, those are provided by third parties. It's by selling consumer's information on likes and dislikes, demographics and associations. That information is a gold mine to marketers.

I prefer my privacy, maybe you don't care about yours, I don't know. What I do know is that you make me feel like I am defending my right to privacy and that it's somehow odd to have a healthy skepticism about things like Facebook. I'd have to say that it's a pretty odd world in which one has to defend their right to privacy. Perhaps it should be the other way round, perhaps you should be defending your point of view since to me, you are the one who's view is seriously out of step with reality.

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Beamboom
Tuesday, September 25, 2012 @ 2:32:29 PM

Before I finish off this post by answering your last question, I just want to comment on one thing:

It looks to me like you take any invitation to a discussion like it is an accusation you have to defend yourself against. Like discussing is some sort of a trial. Like you don't want anyone to ask you questions, only listen and accept. It puzzles me.

I believe one of the wisest things we can do is listen to those who are in disagreement with you, and not only those who already are of the same opinions as yourself. They rarely have much to contribute with.
I just wanted to say that.

But now, to explain my view, or "defend it" as you put it.

First off, I do not mind that they earn money on offering marketing tools for their customers. I don't see that as a problem in itself. Many do, I don't.
I don't find it to be an intrusion of my privacy that Facebook offer companies the chance to do very targeted, or selective marketing. I don't feel that this is "not caring about my privacy", I just don't feel threatened by it.

I consider all the info I put on Facebook to be pretty much public. I do not worry if anyone out there should get that info. I don't see what harm it could cause.

Like I said in another post here; I can give you too a list of my interests, fav artists, movies, age, birthday date, where I work, what I do and so forth. I do not mind sharing this. I do not consider it to be of particularly sensitive nature. I don't see any danger in using my real name there. All I would say is "use your HEAD" when you decide what you post on Facebook.

But Highlander, thanks again for that reply of yours. I also hope that this goes to show that one *can* discuss something and still maintain a friendly tone, without falling for the temptation to ridicule or take potshots at each other.

I'll check out the links you supplied a bit later. I look forward to it!


Last edited by Beamboom on 9/26/2012 6:52:37 AM

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Vivi_Gamer
Saturday, September 22, 2012 @ 4:49:36 AM
Reply

I hated the idea of that facebook integration Final Fantasy XIII-2 tried to put on us. Why would I want people to know my progress in a game. It seems like Lightning Rises will push this even further with it's real time mechanic.

I am all for playing online games with people, it has been a real hit this gen. But I still would not pay for a service similar to the 360's Gold. I only go online as it is free.

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___________
Saturday, September 22, 2012 @ 6:34:54 AM
Reply

exactly what im worried about too, and when you think about it we already are being punished for not being connected.
how many companies run comps but only through facebook or twitter?
PC games, and even some console games require a constant on connection.
not to mention the games that scale giving you excessive rewards if you play with friends.
or even the obsession EA has with their autolog system.
sadly the days where you could sit under your rock and enjoy and have a personal experience are over!

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Clamedeus
Saturday, September 22, 2012 @ 10:33:16 AM
Reply

I don't like being "connected" at all times, I do like my privacy. I do have Facebook, and Twitter but I don't post anything on it that's revealing for others to know me by them being a total stranger. Only my close friends know about me, I'm sure they can dig stuff up on you though.

Last edited by Clamedeus on 9/22/2012 10:33:30 AM

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fatelementality
Saturday, September 22, 2012 @ 1:05:21 PM
Reply

For some reason, I could play Peace Walker without any help on PSP. The HD version for PS3 runs at 60fps however, and doesn't feel lagged in the least. It's much harder without someone to play with. I'm not a fan of gaming online. Journey forces you if you're connected but it didn't bother me because I couldn't hear them and they couldn't really interfere too much.

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