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Shivoa Birch
Works at Soton Uni
Attends University of Southampton
Lives in Southampton
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Shivoa Birch

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A full blog post is still coming this month (we're back to that schedule after missing three months in the latter part of last year); this is just a quick administrative post. Due to the wishy washy way in which Google have talked about their interest in re...
A full blog post is still coming this month (we're back to that schedule after missing three months in the latter part of last year); this is just a quick administrative post. Due to the wishy washy way in which Google have t...
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Games of the Year 2014
After a short delay , another year, another list. As with last year , these are in no particular order and are a sampling of games I considered exceptional and had something to talk about in the last 12 months. The aim is to only talk about games first rele...
After a short delay, another year, another list. As with last year, these are in no particular order and are a sampling of games I considered exceptional and had something to talk about in the last 12 months. The aim is to on...
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Goitees 2014
The annual Game of the Year post is being delayed into 2015 due to ethics in games journalism . Expect it in the coming weeks.
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Shivoa Birch

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So sidestepping the broadening of availability of games to those who otherwise can't spend $60 on a few hours of entertainment (as we assume typical play and so most do not complete the game) you mention as a counter to this point...

The concern that this devalues games and so will strip the industry of funding and artistic vision is the opposite of what cheap games actually generates. Making each game cheaper to acquire and putting a timer on it (unlike the more traditional slow decline of the unit price as a game ages and slowly exhausts the printing) means people buy games to support the work and so eventually they can play it (maybe in 3 months when it is no longer on sale and so more expensive to not get in a sale or a bundle). It spreads their gaming funds to more titles. As you say, this does mean you will buy some games that you do never actually get round to playing. But you're not randomly throwing money at anything, you wanted that game at that price. You're a patron. You are funding the diverse art being created at an affordable price for your hobby.

A rejection of sales would impair the industry because people would be less likely to take a risk and would be paying $60 per game but only to a few games. This would pump the "hit driven" nature of the market and reduce customer choice and the range of works of art that could be funded. A few big tentpole releases that cost $150m to develop, $400m to advertise, and can damage a publisher if they flop. With ultra-small indie titles in the gaps, looking for the indie hits (as they are also, in the sale-free future, not getting a broad risk-taking customer base who only spent $1 in a bundle or $5 in a sale - these are $10-30 full price indie titles that people only buy if they're very confident of getting that value. This generates a hit-driven indie market where you get glowing reviews/buzz or perish into obscurity with no one risking buying your game which gets dinged for a few flaws or not being the pinnacle of the genre).

So sales are an essential part of spreading funding to a diverse range of games, of supporting the "almost greats" that took just as much effort to develop but didn't quite make it to the land of 9/10 or 10/10 (or being part of a $bn cumulative advertisement spend franchise that's probably more of an 8/10 or even a 7/10). Of getting people to give the money now, when the game isn't that old and the devs are working on their next title and need to pay salaries. Because it's a steal and if you want to play it some time in the next few months this is cheaper than you'll find it when you want to play it "right now". It also allows people to sample a game and only put a few hours into it, get a feel for it, and put it down without feeling like they just spend their hobby budget for the next 2 months on that one experience. Sales make gaming better. Cheap makes gaming better. Throw in the broadening market from making games more accessible to those who can't spend as much on their hobbies and the total income to the industry likely goes up, not down. Thanks sales, you're making gaming better.
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Pile of Shame - Killzone: Shadow Fall
The current generation of console has now completed the transition from being referred to as the "next gen". While PC games have been showing off "FullHD" 1080p and beyond for a while, consoles have now caught up, at least sometimes. Hardware prices have dr...
The current generation of console has now completed the transition from being referred to as the "next gen". While PC games have been showing off "FullHD" 1080p and beyond for a while, consoles have now caught up, at least so...
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Have them in circles
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The "Death of Classic Reviews"
Man, the "death" of classic reviews. We previously had most launch-window reviews of (PC) games as software reviews because most games had glaring UX issues, problems in their mechanics, or simply a lot of bugs that led to weirdness. It was important to tal...
Man, the "death" of classic reviews. We previously had most launch-window reviews of (PC) games as software reviews because most games had glaring UX issues, problems in their mechanics, or simply a lot of bugs that led to we...
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Nintendo have contended it (with takedowns and their upcoming profit share licensing agreement), just not in court. Because Google & Amazon will remove content without a court case (and host most of this form of content), it'll be unlikely that this goes to court until a big player is creating Let's Play content (Rooster Teeth already showed they'll license rather than fight copyright, for example of a larger small player).

On the wider point of copyright, and relevant to all content creators: how much did you pay to the designer of you glasses for "reproducing" them in this video? The designer of the shirt (pattern or actual design)? What about Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony (whose copyrighted content, controllers, you have on the wall behind you - with dates to make it very clear those copyright have not expired) - how much have you paid them to do so? When a game is a "set" on which a new movie is being created then it seems to be an area where we must consider the creation of new art to come above the rights of those whose work is being used, incidentally, in the production.
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Page of FF, around the time of the FF movie.
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People
Have them in circles
33 people
Paul Collison's profile photo
Laura Mills's profile photo
Jason Wilson's profile photo
Lee Tonks's profile photo
Alistair Lynn's profile photo
Gennaro Parlato's profile photo
Peej Maybe's profile photo
Andrew Dalek's profile photo
Bernd Fischer's profile photo
Work
Occupation
Software Engineer, former Techie & Writer
Employment
  • Soton Uni
    Researcher, 2012 - present
  • Mode 7 Games
    Lead/Technical Artist, 2003 - 2006
  • GameSpy
    Writer, 2000 - 2004
  • Gamers Universe
    Writer / Server Admin, 2008 - 2008
  • University of Oxford
    Computing Assistant, 2007 - 2007
    Server admin, programmer, staff support
  • Cherwell School
    ICT Technician, 2005 - 2007
    Server admin, programmer, staff support
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Southampton
Previously
Oxford - Birmingham, UK
Story
Tagline
By day I'm a Static Code Analysis researcher, by night I'm a 'bedroom' game developer.
Education
  • University of Southampton
    Computer Science PhD, 2012 - present
  • University of Southampton
    Software Engineering BEng, 2010 - 2012
  • University of Birmingham
    Mathematics & Statistics BSc, 2001 - 2004
  • Magdalen College School, Oxford
    Secondary to A-level, 1994 - 2001
Basic Information
Gender
genderqueer/non-binary
Other names
Shivoa
Shivoa Birch's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
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