Gaming news roundup

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The Independent Tech

Naming and shaming gaming commenters

What price privacy on forums and websites? While venting some spleen online can be the perfect way to let off steam anonymously, rants, rages and flame wars are then the result of posters being able to let rip under a pen (keyboard?) name. But, like, Blizzard has decided that if you want to publish your innermost thoughts and criticisms on its ‘StarCraft II’ and ‘World ofWarcraft’ forums, you need to put your name to them. The idea is to “remove the veil of anonymity typical to online dialogue” with a view to creating “a more positive environment that promotes constructive criticism”, as well as giving gamers the chance to get to know who their virtual opponents are in real life. While there are likely to be howls of dismay from hard-line commenters, it could just sort the boys from the orcs. As Martin King, online editor of ‘The Independent’ put it last month, “the age of accountability is dawning”.

Professional players are fit for nothing

Recent research shows that while many professional gamers boast the samereaction times, motor skills, competitiveness and emotions as elite athletes, physically they can’t compete, with worryingly low fitness levels. Dr Dominic Micklewright head of the Sport,Performance and Fatigue Research Unit at Essex University, who conducted the study, also explained that in his view, gaming can’t be considered a sport. Is he also a professor of the totally obvious?

Curl up with a good book – for free

If youfancy taking a break from your joypad – if not your computer screen – to read Jim Rossignol’s book ‘This Gaming Life:Travels in Three Cities’. Available for free on the Digital Culture Books website, his book is a funny and intelligent take on how video gamesfit into modern societyandexamines what impactgamesandthe games business has had on London, SeoulandReykjavik. If you enjoy thebookbutneedascreen break, it’s also available – for a fee – on Amazon.