10 OS X Games for the Holidays

Recently, my boss at my day job was considering getting a Mac and asked that fateful question: So, what about games?

A few years ago, any response to that question would have been met with an awkward silence and an embarrassed look and a rush to change the subject to the weather. Now a days, thankfully, the answer is: Not that bad, actually. The switch to Intel (s intc) processors, along with TransGaming’s Cider, has allowed companies to port their games to OS X.

The bad news is, almost all the games on this list require a Mac with an Intel-based processor to run, and most of them either do not work on the old GMA 950 chip, or are severely limited.

Massively Multiplayer Online Games

I’ve got a weak spot for these enormous time sinks. They do come with a not-so-hidden cost of a monthly subscription fee and potential dirty looks from your spouse as you’re up until 3am trying go get “just one more level.”

Warhammer Online
Derived from the old Warhammer miniatures war games, we’ve covered this one previously. It’s still a good choice for someone who also likes bashing their fellow man in the face as well as computer-controlled monsters. You can download the endless trial, which will let you play a portion of the game for free, or you can also buy the retail Windows version for about $20 — you don’t need to install it, and the Mac version isn’t on the disc, but you can use the account key to create the account and then download the Mac client.

Eve Online
A space-themed MMO where you pilot your own ship is a nice distraction from the chicks-in-chainmail you find in fantasy games — really, that bikini has a high armor rating?  Riiiiiight. While my experiences with Eve are limited, from what friends have told me, “once you get over the learning curve, it’s quite fun.” So, if you’re tired of burly elves and svelte dwarves (or is it the other way around?), Eve Online might be worth a look. As with Warhammer, you can either download it online or pick up a box set at a retailer. Read More about 10 OS X Games for the Holidays

New Research: Trends and Opportunities in Virtual Worlds

I am very excited about Wagner James Au’s new report on virtual worlds for reasons both personal and professional. On a personal level, I love gaming, particularly online gaming, so naturally this research briefing is required reading.

Second and more importantly, I believe Au has done important work by correctly identifying the growing nexus between social networks and virtual worlds. Increasingly, the line between casual gaming, online worlds and social media is blurring, as social networks allow game developers to hook into their platforms.

More Celebs, CEOs Want You to Vote

Oh wait. Zach Braff wants me to vote. Let me rescue my mail-in ballot from the recycle bin then.
Sigh. The one good thing about this election almost being over is that I won’t have to sit through any more insufferable celeb-studded videos reminding me of my civic duty.
This latest one is directed by Steven Spielberg and features Tom Cruise, Will Smith and Leonardo DiCaprio. As if actors from your own country weren’t blowhardy enough, it also features Canadian Ryan Reynolds, Englishman Orlando Bloom and Kazahkstan’s famous fake reporter Borat.

Not to be outdone, a number of CEOs have formed their own voting supergroup video. Eric Schmidt, Donald Trump and John Chambers are among the bosses announcing that they are giving their employees one hour to vote. One hour? Obviously these CEOs have never ridden MUNI.
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Do Virtual Worlds know the way in San Jose?

[qi:020] First the good news: virtual worlds are experiencing their own dot com boom. Now the bad news: virtual worlds are experiencing their own dot com boom. Tomorrow and Thursday, the second Virtual Worlds Conference and Expo launches in San Jose; the first one went off last March in New York, when just nine worlds/MMOs were showcased. Six months later, thirty of them will be on hand, many you’ve probably never heard of, and if past history is any guide, just as many you’ll probably not hear much about, afterward.
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