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Tycho / on Tue, Jul 14 2009 at 1:36 pm

Further Thoughts

When you come across two Gods creating universes from scratch, it can be worthwhile to compare their approaches.

Our perspective on Home is, by now, well known.  My mother always said that if I “can’t say something nice about an extensible multi-user environment, I shouldn’t say anything at all” - but they make it very difficult not to have an opinion on their service.  Because this troubled realm lies at the very knot of a hundred disparate interests, the experience is fractured quite out of necessity.  Every aesthetic from every major brand must have some place at the table, and those “games” which do poke through the gloom are heavily rationed, lackadaisical, or most likely both.

They’ve consistently said that Home is a great place to meet other gamers, but I’ve been meeting gamers inside games since the dawn of the consumer Internet, and it seems to have worked pretty well.  Home is a ridiculously complex solution in search of a problem.  Contrived is the word.

To contrast, 1 vs 100 gave me something to do with my avatar that felt, well, real: it took the little guy that I skip past in my Dashboard and it gave him a context.  Your primary method of interaction is not traversal, as it is in Home - you interact with it by playing a game.  There is no “not play” option, and there’s no twisted, Soviet rationing of play like that proposed by the Sony offering.  They both have ads, but one has ads in the form of commercial breaks, and one commands the player to literally exist inside an advertisement.

In essence, 1 vs 100 showed what Home could be.  Which I think we can all agree is very weird.


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