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November 20, 2006


Dane Cao

I recently finished your book"the long tail".truly impressive piece of work.inspiring insight founded on solid science and data.And infused with fun elements here and there,it doesn't sound geeky and is actually FUN to read.
And Mr Anderson,welcome to visit my blog located at danecao.blogbus.com.And by the way,this is Dane from China,who is super into searching out new rules in the world,like the one you expounded so well in your book.


It's funny, I'm not interested in the new XBOX 360 or PS3 mostly because I'm tired of the super realistic graphics. I don't really want to see the violence in that realistic of a manner. I'm looking to have fun when I play games not see how much my stomach can handle. I must be getting old. I'll probably get the Nintendo instead. They seem to focus a little more on non-killing entertainment.


I've never understood why there isn't a Firefox for kids like Bumpercar for OS X (http://www.freeverse.com/bumpercar2/). Or maybe there is and I've never heard of it?

Paul Mabray

Great assessment of gaming with your kids. I have a newborn and look forward to playing video games with him as he grows. As to GOW, I was disappointed at first as well. However, one of the founders of our company, Aaron Rutledge, called me on the phone and demonstrated why GOW is great - it is the online co-op play as well as the vs. mode. Like Halo, it yields a rich experience of team play and strategy. I wouldn't give up yet - play with a couple of pros on your team and online and it will grow on you and become much more enthralling(the secret to all good games).

Inertia - Powering the Wine Revolution

---Paul Mabray - CEO


Chris, calling GOW the next generation of Area 51 gives 51 entirely too much credit. GOW just looks like Resident Evil in space. The next generation of Area 51 is actually a game called "Target: Terror" in which you defend the Golden Gate Bridge (amongst other pseudo-strategic locales) from terrorists that look exactly like the "terrorists" that you shoot with CDs in that Aerosmith game, Revolution X. Your 9 year old probably could have programmed it.

On that subject, anyone with kids interested in making their own games should check out AGS (http://www.adventuregamestudio.co.uk/) as well as Games Factory. Games Factory is perfect if you want to remake The Lost Vikings and Krusty's Adventure (am I remembering this right?), but if your kids are a little bit older and willing to commit to a little more technical time, with AGS you might get a Police Quest II, or a Leisure Suit Larry, if they've been logging your keystrokes for your NetNanny password. AGS is free.

Irene Grumman

Your parenting suggestions balance protection with encouragement. Sounds like fun.


On the game-making vein - have you tried the TrackMania games for PC? They are like a toybox filled with racetracks and cars, so the racing isn't simmy, it's realistic to a point, but not meant to be like 100% real driving. My three year old loves it, and it lets you design tracks to share with others online. While my three year old obviously can't manipulate the design blocks, he just calls out what sort of block (road, dirt path, jump, etc) he wants and where he wants it, and I place them for him. We have a lot of fun making tracks with huge jumps, banked turns and loops. It's a lot of fun, and there's a free version (TrackMania Nations) if you want to try it out.


The support for coop play all the way through the story in Gears of War really makes up for the other shortcomings. I wouldn't play it any other way. Too bad it's not appropriate for a 9 year old -- it's got to be the goriest game of the last few years, for sure. When they say M rated they really mean it. But to be fair to GoW, the gameplay is generations above Area 51. It's possible on the easier settings to stand in place and play it like an old fashioned shooting gallery style game, but that won't fly on the harder settings or in multiplayer.

A surprise that I've been enjoying is Viva Pinata. It doesn't have coop, exactly, but the game takes input from more than one controller, so it's possible to play cooperatively, in a way.

And yeah, Trackmania rules. Easy to create tracks and of course the wonderful feeling when you jump right into them in a car and see your creations brought to life. Really a dream come true -- wish I had had something like it when I was growing up.


great to read your posts, and i felt bat reading your last column at wired. i´ll miss you there, and hope you reconsider. columns are always more insightfull than posts (no harm intended), and yours specially made me stop to think about things.
Good work. (and great book, btw)
Regards, Gabriel - Brasil

Thomas Veil

Are you surprised? I could make a huge list of games were people rate the gameplay awesome and innovate just because the graphics are next gen.
Happens over and over again - just take Resi 4. Totally overraited "rails" shooter with half a B-Movie story. The gameplay is not different than Half Life 1 or any of these. I don't say it isn't fun - its just not special at all. But even in the reviews they talk about high innovativeness and give the gameplay ratings like 9.

About the graphics I do not agree though - it is a great design - a stringent design through the whole game. Look again: Its not realistic, its a special style and look for everything. The architecture is a nice mix of Victorian style with "science fiction". And the amount of detail in this game is just insane.


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Personally I think that playing games like Call of Duty with your kids is not acceptable. The fact that they are real historical scenarios is what makes them so distasteful. WWII actually happened and thousands of real people died there. These games turn their suffering into entertainment, which I think is wrong.

Jerry Ong

Hi, It will be lovely if you can provide a "Search Bar" in this weblog. Its easier for us to search for older post :) Cheers!!!


so your ignoring the fact that Gears of War is one of the top selling games ..highest rated on many forums and probably game of the year and this is over-rated ... ?
you porbably stopped Gears of War being a cover story on Wired. i'm looking forward to another cover story on Peter Jackson .


Uhh, SD? Gears of War is certainly NOT the highest rated game of the year. That would go to Zelda: Twilight Princess (go to GameRankings.com). And Game of the Year awards usually go to the game with the most hype behind it, not the one with the highest quality.


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Replica Rolex

I don't agree with Replica Rolex there's no reason to prove what he said.


Ok reasons why Gears of War is great- The graphics (if you haven't looked at the maps look again (you need HD to get the full picture)), the physics (if you shoot someone with a shotgun in the lower torso, they get it blown off) and the versus is too fun man. Call of Duty 3 is fun multiplayer and single player. The game isn't made to make killing fun. They make the game to honor those who were killed by trying to give the most realistic, historically based game out there. It's merely fun because most people wouldn't care for a history lesson.


Zaknafein, you obviously don't know what the heck an opinion is. I'm sure other websites and magazines etc have declared other games of the year than Twilight princess.

Ben Link

Call of duty 3 was very poor compared to gears of war, open your eyes man. You obviously have weird taste because it did get game of the year!! Wow and your employed to write articles!!


Dude your fucking retarded GoW kicked Call of Duty 3's ass by a long shot, each Call of Duty game there is they never improve the graphics or game play, GoW is way better that Call of Duty you stupid shit. You talk as if you know everything when you don't know shit, so yeah go play Call of Duty with your little son at least hes got a reason while hes young, how old are you... oh yeah thats pathetic.


Gears of War is a frickin brilliant game, the graphics are outstanding, the storyline and gameplay are brilliant and the fact that u cannot play the insane difficulty( i even found casual hard the first time i played this) by urself and u have to enroll the help of a buddy is fantastic. the online play is made even more exciting if u have a few mates in the same team as you just makes playing the game more fun! gears of war is truly one of the best games ive ever played


Agree with you about GoW being mega overrated. It's basically just a rip off of the camera perspective, dark/gritty atmosphere and gameplay of Resident Evil 4, and the lead designer Cliff B has admitted in interviews he borrowed heavily from RE4. The other things I don't like about GoW is that the main characters all look and move like gorillas - it's ridiculous. They look as alien as the creatures they're fighting. I also don't like how it glorifies violence and mutilation. There's not even any attempt at a storyline to justify all the senseless killing (oh, right, they're fighting aliens that just happen to look almost the same as the "humans" in this game). Call of Duty 3 is definitely the supperior title. It's got the graphics and at least some history to justify it all.


W-what?! Ok, I respect your opinion because it is, of course, YOUR opinion. but my opinion? You gotta be friggin crazy not to like gears of war! Ok, call it a game on rails. so what? how many games are out there that use the same formula seen in past video games over and over again and STILL end up being a good game?? Just because gears isn't entirely a whole new idea in video gaming doesn't make it a bad one! I'll admit maybe the story is a little generic but gears makes up for it with its awesome multi player. You can say all you want about gow but like it or not tons of people play on live and for very good reasons. Over rated? maybe just a bit. or maybe not considering you can play live at any time of the day and people are ALWAYS playing. and about gore? some of you need to get over yourself. so what if the game is an orgy of gore. its not like man hunt where the objective of the game is to kill in different way just to proceed. gow actually has more to it than that. And finally, comparing it to cod3?? NO friggin way!! Im so tired of ww2 games. how many times can you relive that era in a game?? Your complaining that you've been there, done that with gears of war going as far as to compare it to area 51, but call of duty and not to mention the medal of honor series, are all essentially the same thing! You lost credibility with just that comment alone.


Absolutely agree. GoW is utterly tedious. Zero gameplay for the wiser birds among us. If anything the graphics were too sharp - in a way it was a victim of its own graphical ultra-detail for me, since everything in it seems unrealistically clear. The story is sub-rambo, and all the characters are identical looking meatheads. I only bothered to finish it with a friend in co-op mode, and knew after finishing it that I'd never touch it again.
Bioshock is another terribly overrated game, it seems that style over substance is what the herd (people like this Ben Link cretin above) want.


Gears of War is very overrated because you judge a game on TWO factors in the modern world… single player AND multiplayer. People judge this game too much on its co-op and single player to understand that this game is one of the worst ONLINE shooters because of the fact that there is really NO ranking system other than the leader board that has like 5 million names on it really shouldn’t be consider a leader board, and the fact that the whole multiplayer experience makes you feel like you are stuck in a maze of walls that you need to stick too constantly to make sure you don’t get ripped in half by the way too super powered shot gun. The game has very good textural graphics but the fact is that the game feel like a rip off because of the fact that the multiplayer was so disappointing it’s like they disregarded the multiplayer and set it aside for the single player which is good but is short. Halo 3 is a way far superior game and so is Call of Duty 3 and Call of Duty 4… Heck I think medal of honor might give this game a run for its money… if your consider buying it for its multiplayer don’t… unless you want to use a super powered shotgun sniper rifle online.


oh and by the way... if you have a problem with ww2 games then you have a problem with online shooters period... because ww2 shooters are THE FIRST SUCCESFUL ONLINE SHOOTERS going back to the original plain call of duty for pc and the medal of honor games. If you dont like ww2 shooters because it has its history in it... then you have a serious problem because ww2 is probably one of the biggest ideas for shooting games to begin with and WW2 is obvisously jammed packed with tons of got stories that game developers can use. They never will get rid of ww2 shooters because you cant get rid of such intresting history. If you dont believe this then look at ROME total war... how long ago was it when ROME ruled?... point proven


ww2 is one of the most important history settings that all of us need to understand to make sure that it never happens again. If you think that showing what allied soldiers had to go through is hurting the veterans you are obviosuly terribly wrong because we all need to understand what those brave soldiers went through. They went through HELL and all of us will really never understand it fully untill we actually go through what they did, so the least we can do is honor them by rememebring what great things they did to protecting millions of peoples lives if not billions.

WoW Characters

Good update here...yes sometimes the games get to our beings and we start getting hooked to the game and then find no way out.

 FFXI account

The war strategies really help...I have really been able to cross the levels.

 Buy WOW Account

Yes I agree too..they are too much hyped about.With so many in the market there is a tough competition anyways.

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The Long Tail by Chris Anderson

Notes and sources for the book

FREE was available in all digital forms--ebook, web book, and audiobook--for free shortly after the hardcover was published on July 7th. The ebook and web book were free for a limited time and limited to certain geographic regions as determined by each national publisher; the unabridged MP3 audiobook (get zip file here) will remain free forever, available in all regions.

Order the hardcover now!