Over on Play This Thing, game designer/writer Greg Costikyan has word of a sweet and funny World of Warcraft parody:
It's a World of Warcraft screenshot, right? Well, no -- it's a screenshot from WTF?!, a Flash-based sidescroller parodying WoW. And it's note-perfect, too -- every interface element and the backgrounds and characters look like they're ripped straight from Azeroth.
The gameplay is pretty similar, too, for all that this is a sidescroller -- the same tedious level-grind, based on the same sort of tedious quests ("go kill seven sheep"). But the satirical way it treats that level-grind is priceless, a telling commentary on the common tropes of the MMO. The quests get increasingly weird -- your newbie quest giver asks you to go cast a spell on sheep that have been transformed by the evil mage Karl Marx into communist brain-slaves to restore them to their rightful ovine form, and then tells you to go kill Marx himself. But Marx shows you that your previous quest-giver is simply a tool of capitalist oppression, and becomes your new quest giver. Sigmund Freud also makes an appearance.
Earlier this month, I gave the afternoon keynote at the Internet Archive’s Decentralized Web Summit, and my talk was about how the people who founded the web with the idea of having an open, decentralized system ended up building a system that is increasingly monopolized by a few companies — and how we can prevent the same things from happening next time.
In May, Facebook division Oculus broke its longstanding promise not to use DRM to limit its customers’ choices, deploying a system that prevented Oculus customers from porting the software they’d purchased to run on non-Oculus hardware.
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