Morning Caffeinated! -- Greenlight mail, ladies of the evening, and ArenaNet kudos

By John Keefer, Aug 31, 2012 6:00am PDT

Welcome to the Friday edition of the Morning Caffeinated, folks. Read it for your you morning jolt of gaming goodness to get you through the day leading into the glorious weekend.

I don't know about you, but the season premiere of Doctor Who is looking really good for tomorrow evening. If you've been in Chatty, then you know I've been enjoying the Pond Life prequel episodes. From the good Doctor alarming Rory and Amy into a sleepless night or the "Ood on the loo" (as Ambient80 so eloquently put it), they have been pretty entertaining and a good tease for season 7. The last one is up today and is a bit more ominous than the last four. Will be interesting to see how it all ties together with the Daleks tomorrow night.

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Steam Greenlight is here

I'd like to congratulate Valve for launching Greenlight yesterday. It will be nice to be able to vote on cool games and get them onto Steam rather than pledging money the Kickstarter way. As a journalist, I don't donate to Kickstarter because it gives me a vested interest in a game I may need to cover down the road. But with Greenlight, I can vote for games that look promising and not have the financial tie that is strongly frowned upon in journalistic circles. But one of the drawbacks we are seeing already -- which Alice pointed out in her story -- is that we are now being inundated with twice as many emails from developers seeking to get promotion for their games. We were already getting tips about Kickstarted projects, but the torrent will be multiplied with this new service. In the end it is good for gamers to have a bigger say about what they want to play, and it is only fair for developers to reach out for publicity. We'll continue to wade through the emails we get and bring you information about the coolest and most interesting games. It just gives me more incentive now to set up good filters in my email program.

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Nice mood shot. Odd name.

With the reveal of a bit of new information for Team Bondi's upcoming Whore of the Orient came an interesting discussion of the game title and whether it could pass muster with the Entertainment Software Rating Board. It will be interesting to see the direction the game takes, and we can assume by the title that they weren't going for an E10 rating any way. But could they be forced to change the title of the game or face an AO rather than an M rating? What would the name be changed to given the subject matter of 1936 Shanghai? Chatty was quick to offer some suggestions, including Hussy of Hong Kong and Happy Ending Lady from the East. It will be interesting to see how that situation pans out.

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I know I've dealt with Guild Wars 2 quite a bit this week, but I have to admit I'm impressed with ArenaNet and the transparency they are showing players as the game goes through its initial bumps and hiccups. They have made Reddit a second home for updates, and by all accounts have been responsive to queries from fans about what is going on with the game. I haven't gotten into the game yet, but they have the right idea. The only thing that raised my eyebrows a bit was a comment from ArenaNet CEO Mike O'Brien that the company would shut off sales if too many players started to impact the fun-factor of the game. The sentiment is nice, but color me skeptical (Update: ArenaNet did stop digital sales of the game from their website late yesterday. Thanks EricZBA).

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Random bits & Quick hits: Nintendo was really thinking about a knitting machine in the NES days. And a GameBoy was able to be used with a sewing machine. Imagine Sewing Mama as the company mascot instead of Mario. Yeesh! ... The latest Assassin's Creed 3 video finally convinced me to get the PC version of the game. How can I resist a man in a British uniform describing the brutality of the era ... A Metal Gear Solid movie? What gaming movies have ever been really good? I'd love for this one to break the mold. Glad there isn't an Uwe Boll sighting yet.

Flashback: The Whore of the Orient discussion got me thinking of really bad game titles. Couldn't think of many, but I didn't remember one with a terrible concept: Custer's Revenge for the Atari 2600. If you don't remember it, you're lucky. What games had you scratching your head on why they were released?

Have a great weekend.

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