Friday, December 29, 2017

Weekly Link Round Up

It's the last post of 2017! 243 entries to the blog. How appropriate that we're signing out of 2017 with the Weekly Link Round Up. A collection of the best, worst, and weirdest gaming news on the internet this week. Here is what we have in store for the last week of 2017, and I'll try my best to not link a lot of "best games of the year" lists:

- The FCC has extended the waiver for video games to "improve in-game communication functionality" for those with disabilities. As part of the Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, laws created in the 1980's and 90's for the disabled were extended to digital content in 2010. These are things like game chat rooms, voice communications, and the like. For all of the poor decisions the FCC has made this year, this may or may not be another one. The ESA asked for an extension on behalf of it's developer members. The FCC granted the waiver for a 1 year extension to allow developers more time to make the changes needed to be up to date with the law. What does this mean for you? Nothing right now, but don't be surprised if you see chat programs change over the next few months.

- Okay so there's one list on here for 2017 in gaming, and that's Polygon's mega post on the biggest stories in gaming for the year. This is more then the microtransaction/loot box debacle. This covers consoles, controversies, YouTubers and streamers, GamerGate, the works. It has all of the stories that made an impact on video games and our culture for the year. It's a great post to read through.

- The Wall Street Journal asks what would it take to disrupt Tencent from being the king of [mobile] games? My response is "a lot" given that the company is bringing a version of PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds to China, one of the largest gaming markets on the planet. They hold the mobile rights for dozens of the biggest games and have proven to turn a profit at everything they touch. They are also one of the first companies that have installed a "time limit" option for those under the age of 18. It allows parents to have more control over their children's play time and it's proving to be effective. Short of another company coming out of nowhere and doing the same thing that Tencent does, but better, it will be the mobile leader for years to come.

- Keeping our gaming past historically relevant has been on the forefront of many minds over the past few years. Japan is no different, with a society quickly moving through to new technologies and tossing out the pass. Kotaku follows the path of one man trying to keep Japan's gaming history in tact for the future to enjoy. This is a long read but well worth the time. It's incredible how detailed and efficient their preservation system is. It makes ours look like child's play by comparison.

- Speaking of preservation, the Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment in Oakland, California has asked the U.S. Copyright office to ask for an exception of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to MMO's. The DMCA helps provide rules on what digital content can be saved and can include the coding of a game. MMO's have been not included since the creation of the Act as it did not apply to those that require an online server. Which all MMO's do. And there is just a need to preserve something like The Sims Online now more then ever as the growth of MMO's continues to boon. We don't want these games to become lost to age. They deserve to be remembered and accessible for future generations. The Museum has pointed out examples from EA on past MMO's they have made defunct and now rendered as unavailable as a reason on why preservation is needed.

Happy New Year to all and see you in 2018!

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