This is too good a date to not have a Bookahneer’s Geekwatch, don’t you think? :)
I’m going to start this column with an unusual request. We were approached by researchers from a psychology project at Charles Darwin University who asked if we could tell our readers about their study. It’s titled “You and your avatar”. Being a fellow psychologist and researcher, I have no problem with promoting something like this. :) You can find the questionnaire here but please read through the text carefully, especially the “risk” section as the questionnaire includes items that could be bad for you if you’re dealing with e.g., depression.
Here’s part of the email we got which explains a bit better what this is all about:
We are conducting an Internet based psychological study at Charles Darwin University and are seeking male and female participants who are over 18 years of age, are able to read and write in English fluently and who use avatars. The study will examine participants’ identification with their avatars as well as explore why people may use, or not use an avatar of the opposite sex. The study will examine psychosocial functioning in the real world, personality factors as well as sex role identification of the participants’ and their avatars. Please go to http://cduhes.asia.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_brQ0uYKeagINqo4 for more details. You are not required to provide any identifying information in order to participate. All information given will be anonymous and protected. Ethics approval has been obtained for the conduct of this study. Thank you.
Now on to actual gaming news. I wasn’t actually surprised when I read the news that The Secret World is getting away from subscriptions. I was surprised, however, that they have already changed their system. That was quite fast! If you’re interested, I did write a first impressions piece about the game. Of course, half the information in there could already be outdated. ;) As you can see, I liked aspects of the game and disliked others. The sub with an added cash shop was the biggest reason for me not getting the game. Now that the sub is gone, I can live with the cash shop. The Secret World is not “free to play”, however. It went “buy to play” just like Guild Wars and Guild Wars 2 are. You buy the game and then don’t need to pay for a sub. But they do have a cash shop. Additionally, The Secret World also still lets you pay for a sub. What exactly this gives you other than faster XP gains and coins for their cash shop, I haven’t figured out yet. Either way, this is a game that will probably soon find its way into my gaming shelf.
Last but not least, because Guild Wars 2 hasn’t gotten rid me of yet, I am excited about Wintersday. They have released the schedule. It looks like each city will have all attention on it for a whole day. If you ask me, it’s about time! Who even spends time in cities other than Lion’s Arch? Well, I do sometimes, because I like that Rata Sum has its bank and trading post right next to each other with the crafting facilities relatively close-by. Still, those cities are usually empty and they really need more attention.
And hey, in case you haven’t seen it yet, we’re still running our Advent Calendar giveaways! You can find the schedule here. One giveaway is currently open and two more are coming soon!