Re: Guest Post - F2P

1

Angry Birds Star Wars does something like this and so I get asked for money to buy extra ships to shoot Storm Pigs. Fuckers.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 5:52 AM
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This article, and others in the series Shokrizade has written on the ethics of business models in games, have been getting a lot of play on various gaming sites I visit, but I'll be amazed if he can get the companies that matter in this area (Apple Facebook, EA, Zynga, etc) to sign up to a meaningfully constraining code of conduct. Zynga in particular is built on deeply manipulative monetisation techniques and using players to market games (ie monetisation opportunities) to their friends.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 6:03 AM
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The technique involves giving the player some really huge reward, that makes them really happy, and then threatening to take it away if they do not spend.

Appoint this guy to the next vacancy on the Federal Reserve.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 6:45 AM
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Zynga is particularly evil in this regard. So is Electronic Arts, who have ruined the newest version of Plants vs. Zombies.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 6:50 AM
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"Freemium." Purists hate or give way before its inevitability?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 6:50 AM
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Also, this comic has good Tetris jokes.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 6:52 AM
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Brewster's Millions?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brewster's_Millions_(1985_film)


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 6:58 AM
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King.com was generous enough to point out that their target demographic for [Candy Crush Saga] is middle aged women. 80% of their players are women, only 34% of their players are under the age of 30, and only 9% are under the age of 21.

This jibes the general trend on my Facebook feed, which is that most of the Zynga invites I get are from middle-aged female acquaintances. I wonder if its because that demographic has been so poorly served by the traditional games industry, which is solidly targeted at 23 year old men.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 7:04 AM
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Purists hate or give way before its inevitability?

Hate, if the Touch Arcade forums are anything to go by.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 7:07 AM
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I am not entirely sure that "evil" is the right word for "they gave me free stuff and then said they wouldn't give me any more unless I started paying them!"


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 7:08 AM
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This jibes the general trend on my Facebook feed, which is that most of the Zynga invites I get are from middle-aged female acquaintances. I wonder if its because that demographic has been so poorly served by the traditional games industry, which is solidly targeted at 23 year old men.

Popcap (Bejewelled, Peggle, Plants vs Zombies) have also said this is their biggest audience.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 7:09 AM
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10: clearly you did not attend the same elementary school anti-drug curriculum as the rest of us.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 7:12 AM
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"What do you kids say if somebody offers you some horse or a free tractor for your farm?"


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 7:14 AM
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I am not entirely sure that "evil" is the right word for "they gave me free stuff and then said they wouldn't give me any more unless I started paying them!"

It's not just that, though. It's that combined with very deliberately creating addictive mechanics, and indeed conducting extensive research to maximise the addicting and hence monetising properties of the games. And then combine that with, for instance, making available extremely high value IAPs so that whales (whether rich or addicted), or children using their parents' phones, can spend hundreds of pounds at once on a game that in a more traditional business model would have cost at most £40 and in reality more like £15.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 7:15 AM
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I really love well done casual flash games.

Zanorg's Jeu Chiant is great.

Excellent minimal flash games from Tonypa

Amanita's Machinatium is another one that I really like, also their earlier Samorost.

At their best, these are like clever sketches or very simple animations that you can play with. I like the closeness to the game's creator that's just missing with the soulless BS that makes money for Facebook. The immersive games like Half-Life or I guess GTA just seem too demanding, I'd rather play go or chess if I'm going to work-- A friend got me one a few months back, and I kind of had fun going through a few levels, but it's just less inviting to me than these little sketches.

I don't get the appeal of games like those in the OP-- too simple and too opaque for sustained analytical effort.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 7:19 AM
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I'm surprised that players don't find this model instantly offputting (or, at least, I find it instantly offputting, and I'm always surprised when other people aren't me.) I'm generally a good candidate for casual gaming, in that I can get obsessive about very stupid, simple games. But the second the model is for you to pay extra to assist gameplay, that's the equivalent of someone saying "Having fun? I have total control over the game, and I'll fuck it up randomly unless you pay me arbitrary amounts when I ask. Skill, attention, and effort are completely pointless from this point forward." At which point I don't understand why anyone keeps playing.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 7:19 AM
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I don't understand why I kept collecting bits of fur until I built a spaceship, but I did. Twice.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 7:20 AM
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It did make me give in and buy a real game (Civ V).


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 7:23 AM
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That one, I got bored, but I might easily have kept on forever (I spent a lot of time lifetime playing nethack). But that game, pointless as it was, wasn't holding you up for money.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 7:23 AM
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Civ V just feels wrong at times, like when I'm bombing Mecca.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 7:25 AM
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I'd totally agree with 16 if you paid me a dollar.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 7:30 AM
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14: Whales?


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 7:31 AM
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1: Huh. I thought Angry Birds Star Wars was evil because it produces the illusion of learning and skillful play but is in fact very easy. I never got to the monetized part - I just played for one day straight, realized what it was doing to my soul, and deleted it from my phone.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 7:32 AM
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Whales love clicking cows.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 7:36 AM
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24: Makes sense. They are the cows of the sea after all.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 7:37 AM
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24: Because acoustics.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 7:37 AM
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23: It's pretty hard for a first grader.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 7:40 AM
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25: River horses of the sea.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 7:42 AM
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I really love well done casual flash games.

This isn't about casual and/or flash games per se. There are many, many brilliant, non-manipulative (or manipulative in a good way) casual games. It's about a specific businesss model, and the way it preys on the vulnerable. Incidentally, if you like those Amanita games, you should check out their latest, Botanicula.

I'm surprised that players don't find this model instantly offputting (or, at least, I find it instantly offputting, and I'm always surprised when other people aren't me.)

Many, many people do, and for a long time while it was being pioneered in Asia it was considered a non-starter in the West, for precisely the reasons you give. Yet once it hit a critical mass it rapidly became the dominant business model for everything but (and even including some) AAA games.

14: Whales?

As in JPMorgan's London Whale, the big spenders. The tiny proportion of an F2P game's player base that spend the vast majority of the money. Something like 5% of a typical F2P game's players pay anything at all, and 5% of those spend practically all the money.



Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 7:45 AM
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Cow Clicker isn't around anymore, but it was a great example of intentionally addictive Facebook game design.

You get a cow. You can click on it. In six hours, you can click it again. Clicking earns you clicks. You can buy custom "premium" cows through micropayments (the Cow Clicker currency is called "mooney"), and you can buy your way out of the time delay by spending it. You can publish feed stories about clicking your cow, and you can click friends' cow clicks in their feed stories. Cow Clicker is Facebook games distilled to their essence.

The designer eventually had to take it down because, even though it was conceived as satire, too many people were taking it seriously, and he felt it was immoral to encourage people to waste away their lives by clicking cows on Facebook.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 7:46 AM
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Owned by 24.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 7:48 AM
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15: Also, very much in the same vein as Amanita's games, aesthetically and design-wise, is The Tiny Bang Story.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 7:52 AM
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This isn't about casual and/or flash games per se.
I understand, I am bringing up a topic related to the OP that leaves me feeling good rather than bad about other human beings.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 8:01 AM
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The article linked in the OP reminds me of reading Cialdini in school and realizing that a surprisingly large number of things in my environment were deliberately pushing buttons in ways that I hadn't previously thought about at all. Helpful but depressing.


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 8:10 AM
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Unfogged Business Plan
[Strictly confidential - not for circulation]
[Interim work product - subject to revision]

The monetization of unfogged will follow the "gamification" model that has become popular in recent years.

The blog will remain nominally free for users, a feature that remains important both for recruitment of future paying users as well as for content generation.

Players will compete against themselves and one another to accumulate credits ("mouse orgasms"). A player can earn mouse orgasms through pwnage, posting links that generate click-throughs, and posting jokes that elicit a "made me laugh" response from other commenters (a button similar to the facebook "Like" button will be supplied for this purpose). The game will also make awards selectively and in random amounts for certain contributions such as cock jokes and "No more masturbating to..." announcements.

The thin end of the monetization wedge will be the ability to purchase praise for your comments from other members of the community. Prices will be on a sliding scale, from $0.25 for unknown or infrequent commenters to $7.50 for LizardBreath. A "gushing factor" ranging between 0.5X and 3X will be applied to the prices, depending on the effusiveness of the praise. The commenter in whose name the praise is supplied will receive compensation in the form of mouse orgasms. For the moment we are deferring plans to allow deletion of critical comments against cash payment. We may introduce in the future a premium "Marshall McLuhan" offer of praise by famous academics ostensibly de-lurking to issue the praise.

Once casual users have been induced to become paying users, we can access additional revenue streams as follows:
- Turn off comment throttling. The rate of comment publication will be artificially slowed during working hours, with the threshold being set individually as function of the user's frequency of hitting "refresh". Turning off comment throttling will cost $2 most days, or more during sex threads.
- Turn off mcmanus. A mcmanus-free thread will be available on a subscription basis.
- Suppress tedious arguments. Bilateral exchanges between robert halford and PGD on any topic will be automatically replaced with sex confessionals authored by attractive commenters.
- Make my comments funnier. Available on a per comment or subscription basis, this service will route dull humor through a funny commenter for editing.
- Make my comments smarter. A similar feature, this will be available in two forms: "check for stupid errors" and "improve my logic and analysis". We plan to offer this service on a free trial basis to selected commenters, on the theory that they will not want to revert to the free version.
- Weekend and evening commenting. For slow periods, we can increase the frequency of comments, drawing on the surplus accumulated during the periods in which comments were throttled.



Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 8:29 AM
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Can I trade my collected mouse orgasms to buy a front page post?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 8:37 AM
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conducting extensive research to maximise the addicting and hence monetising properties of the games

realizing that a surprisingly large number of things in my environment were deliberately pushing buttons in ways that I hadn't previously thought about at all.

That was what struck me about the article -- the immediate recognition that if I had gotten hooked on a game that technique would be very effective (on the other hand, it reminds me a bit of the Collectible Card Game model. I did get sucked into MtG, for a while, when it first became big, but I burned out pretty quickly precisely because spending more money to keep playing just disgusted me on some level).


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 8:39 AM
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36: Sure, what the hell. The price in mouse orgasms will be unattainably high, but a cash option will be available for $50 (anonymous Ask the Mineshaft), $100 (attributed guest post under heebie's byline), or $1,000 (temporary front page posting privileges).


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 8:40 AM
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I played a game for a while (Tiny Tower) that was this kind of F2P. But the tradeoff was always just time (a little of playtime, a lot of waiting time). So as long as I didn't care that it would be a week before the next thing happened, there was no reason to give them any money, and I "completed" all the content in the game without giving them any money. Probably would have given up a lot earlier if there hadn't been so much baby-oriented downtime.

(I am grumpy that the new Plants vs. Zombies is going to go this way. Shut up and take my money and then shut up!)


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 8:47 AM
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Weekend and evening commenting. For slow periods, we can increase the frequency of comments, drawing on the surplus accumulated during the periods in which comments were throttled.

I think that some recognition of the work of the Night Shift might be in order here. By that I mean alameida, ttaM, Ginger, Alex, myself, and above all Keir, who basically has the blog to Keirself between teo stumbling off to bed in his igloo and alameida concluding her grande levée. We demand preferential treatment! If not we will take industrial action including but not limited to commenting entirely in Lallans, withdrawing our supply of weird family stories, and/or kicking people in the head.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 8:48 AM
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Maybe call them Bitgasms? (Similar to mining, Bitgasms can be accumulated with incontrovertible video proof from commenters of orgasms induced in actual mice.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 8:49 AM
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New meaning to "These rats (or mice) ain't going to fuck themselves!"


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 8:53 AM
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38: I think you've engineering the cash option in a sub-optimal manner. The way it should work is that an Ask the Mineshaft costs 2600 mouse orgasms, a heebie guest post costs 3750 mouse orgasms. But mouse orgasms are only available for purchase at a cost of $125 for 5000.

So if you purchase 5000 mouse orgasms, you have enough for a heebie guest post, but you are left with 1250 mouse orgasms in your account. Naturally, you don't want to waste those mouse orgasms, so you will be encouraged to buy another 5000 to get another heebie post. This will leave you with 2500 left over mouse orgasms, which is almost, but not quite enough to get you an anonymous Ask the Mineshaft. And the cycle continues...


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 8:54 AM
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I think that some recognition of the work of the Night Shift might be in order here.

Wouldn't you just love to get intelligent responses to your comments and vocal appreciation of your humor in real time, without waiting up until midnight? Just $0.99 per comment. Sorry, make that 99p.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 8:55 AM
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This will leave you with 2500 left over mouse orgasms, which is almost, but not quite enough to get you an anonymous Ask the Mineshaft. And the cycle continues...

Spike, I have an opening for Director Business Development.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 8:56 AM
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Do I get paid in mouse orgasms?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 8:57 AM
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Do I get paid in mouse orgasms?

Out of the money pre-IPO stock options with a lock-in. So pretty much the same thing.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 9:00 AM
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35 made me chuckle appreciatively.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 9:00 AM
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Yeah, I've fallen for that one before...


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 9:00 AM
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The problem with mouse orgasms is that afterward the mouse won't pay any attention to your needs.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 9:02 AM
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35 was great.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 9:03 AM
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Do I get paid in mouse orgasms?

The budget is, " two cheese sandwiches, a firkin of salt and a buffalo nickel." You and Knecht will have to split that in some way.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 9:05 AM
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35 made me chuckle appreciatively.

Thanks, neb. That was totally worth the $1.99.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 9:09 AM
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What's the rate difference between a "great" from Moby and an "appreciative chuckle" from neb?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 9:17 AM
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$1.25


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 9:18 AM
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48 was great
51 was great
55 made me laugh

Scratch my back too, eh guys?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 9:21 AM
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My calculations show the success of knecht's scheme will hinge on an increase in the rate of acceleration in participation over time -- in other words, the mouse jerk.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 9:21 AM
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I played a game for a while (Tiny Tower) that was this kind of F2P

The Nimblebit games are a really weird datapoint in this whole debate. On the face of it, games like Tiny Tower and Pocket Planes are very much using the pernicious F2P business model. They have premium currencies, severe and escalating time gates (seriously, by the "end" of Tiny Tower, you're waiting three days for floors to build). Yet I've played huge amounts of both games without spending a penny and never really feeling particularly pushed to. I think part of it is that, especially in the case of Tiny Tower, the gameplay is so mindless (really not much more than Cow Clicker), that there's no real point in pushing through the timegates. It's just about spending a spare 5 minutes every day tapping on things while enjoying the charming art-style. I find the model far more annoying and potentially dangerous where there's more meat to the gameplay (eg Real Racing 3 or the new PvZ), so being forced to stop is a meaningful withdrawal.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 9:41 AM
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Scratch my back too, eh guys?

We've got a special today: we'll waive the effusiveness multiplier* for "X gets it exactly right", and we're discounting the multiplier for "...makes me want to have your babies" from 3.0 to 2.5.

*excludes certain high-status commenters. Cannot be used in combination with any other offer. Other terms and conditions apply.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 9:52 AM
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But the tradeoff was always just time (a little of playtime, a lot of waiting time). So as long as I didn't care that it would be a week before the next thing happened, there was no reason to give them any money
This is where the social network aspect comes in to play. If you have a lot of downtime, you're falling behind, or letting down the team, or whatever the model is.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 10:06 AM
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Everyone who is amused is also male.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 10:12 AM
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I appear to have hit the level in Candy Crush (169) where it's essentially impossible to advance without buying power-ups (confession: I did spend a total of $3.96 to get there). So I think I'm done.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 10:54 AM
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Actually, I thought it was one of the funniest things I've ever read here.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 10:57 AM
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63 has got to be worth like $10.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 11:03 AM
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I thought that it was funny also. But all the out-loud nerdery (same as boffinry, or different? Are there other --ry formulations from nouns that are UK-specific?) was by guys.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 11:05 AM
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It was noted at the DC meetup that I'm very likely to engage in that kind of jokey conversation in person but that I don't much on unfogged. I think it has to do with how I use my time at work, but probably also some worries about being thought unfunny or pointless or something, even though I admire the people who do joke here. But also work was too busy for me to comment much this morning and when I had time to talk online, I was spending it arguing with people about Trayvon Martin stuff elsewhere.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 11:10 AM
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|| Speaking of nerdery, I just noticed that there are no ligatures here. Style sheet addition? |>


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 11:16 AM
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Hwæt?!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 11:21 AM
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œ -> œ
æ -> æ
ff -> ff

Now, admittedly, this ligature technique is stoppable; it won't give you an s-t ligature or anything like that. But those guys are beyond fussy.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 11:22 AM
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Yeah, 35 is a nice demonstration of why Knecht gets paid the big bucks. Well done!

I truly loathe the F2P model--possibly because, like NickS, I was briefly sucked into MtG (and Jyhad!) in late middle-school & into my first year of high school.

The plummeting of Zynga's stock price would be great for schadenfreude, except for the fact that everyone responsible for the direction of the company already cashed out. God, what terrible people.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 11:29 AM
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worries about being thought unfunny or pointless or something

An affliction from which I apparently do not suffer.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 11:39 AM
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67: Ligature icon fonts are the new hotness.

Friggin' brilliant hack.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 11:40 AM
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I worry, but then I post whatever unfunny, pointless thought comes to mind anyway. And then, the regret.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 11:41 AM
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An affliction from which I apparently do not suffer.

I obviously don't when nattering on about non-funny things. Just something about jokes and timing and fear of being pwned when there's no reason I should care. Maybe this is like how I felt unworthy to comment when I first started and if I start trying to be funny I'll be able to improve at it.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 11:45 AM
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74: You can always trade up to the "Make my comments funnier" feature, now with a choice of "Moby Style" or "Heebie Style".


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 11:48 AM
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Poooooooping.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 11:48 AM
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My family doesn't appreciate how funny I am, so I save all my best lines for you guys.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 11:49 AM
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I'm starting out by hilariously fucking up html, it seems. My brain is not here today.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 11:52 AM
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Everyone who is amused commenting in this thread at all, except Thorn and LB, is also male, afaik.


Posted by: withheld to avoid performative contradiction | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 12:01 PM
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||

I'm not going to successfully make this stick, but I should get off the internet until about the beginning of September. Work just got very complicated and intense -- not in an interesting way, just in a random alignment of deadlines way.

|>


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 12:05 PM
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I should get off the internet until about the beginning of September.

Next you're going to ask us for money, right . . .

That sounds unpleasant.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 12:12 PM
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Good luck. I recommend abusing your subordinates to make it easier on yourself. I suppose that's what your boss did.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 12:12 PM
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70: And neither of us really talked about F2P games!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 12:13 PM
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Heebie-style should come at a 25% discount if it includes heebie's wrong opinions about fashion.

Becks-style will remain as cheap as a bottle of Boone's Farm.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 12:18 PM
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PLCB won't even sell Boone's Farm, the bastards.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 12:30 PM
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It doesn't look suspicious to have the 700+ page PLCB catalog open when co-workers come in, does it?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 12:34 PM
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I laughed out loud several times at 35, then laughed aloud again once I understood pseud in 79. I am male; Virgo; born at the very dawn of the Gerald Ford administration.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 12:55 PM
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Woah, the PLCB catalog is 700 pages long? I had Pennsylvania all wrong.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 12:57 PM
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Big margins, in two senses.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 12:59 PM
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||

Job interview next week!!

|>


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 1:05 PM
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Good luck.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 1:07 PM
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Or, break a leg, if you've switched to acting.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 1:07 PM
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Or mob-enforcing.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 1:09 PM
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Or mob-enforcing.

Sir Kraab isn't with *that* kind of union, Moby.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 1:10 PM
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88: Woah, the PLCB catalog is 700 pages long

Yeah, I had some friends from California come in for a function where they wanted some very specific New Zealand wines, and I was shocked to find them in the list along with specific availability and inventory numbers from nearby stores. It worked out very well, but I'm still suspicious of PCLB.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 1:31 PM
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PLCB too.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 1:31 PM
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Somewhat relevant to the OP: Kevin Drum grousing about grocery store loyalty programs (does anybody know why Albertsons is ending their loyalty card? Knecht?).

Fingers crossed for Sir Kraab.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 1:34 PM
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Senior colleague, to me: "I feel like I'm not pulling my weight in this project."

Me, to myself: "At last! A glimmer of self-awareness!"

Senior colleague: "... so I thought maybe we should spend some serious time going through your code in detail so that you can teach me how to calculate things and then maybe I can do a bigger share of the work in the future."

Me: "....."


Posted by: Woodrow Wilson | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 1:36 PM
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||

Hot day for fat folx!

Heat index:
Phoenix: 100
Minneapolis: 96
Dallas: 94
New Orleans: 93
Miami: 87
LA: 79

And how many of them other cities had 6" of snow on the ground a week before May Day?

||>


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 1:42 PM
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80: I'm not going to successfully make this stick, but I should get off the internet until about the beginning of September. Work just got very complicated and intense -- not in an interesting way

I should have been in that mode since about March (and I was actually in it for a while around that time). But I couldn't keep it up. Because cock jokes.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 1:44 PM
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99 -- Appleton, WI probably has the record, at 148, and likely also had snow on the ground in April that year. Ha ha ha weather losers.

*Hat tip to well known yuppie soccer fan/climatology enthusiast JP Stormcrow, who previously linked this here.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 1:53 PM
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101: Doubtful: highs were in the 50s and 60s that week in 1995.

On the day after that crazy hot day in 2011, I came in to work to find a giant puddle of condensed moisture from the air covering the concrete portion of the floor.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 2:01 PM
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Here in the Boston area, Star Market/Shaws is also dropping their loyalty card program (in fact, they ran a promotion that gave you some relatively good coupons if you turned in your card). Albertsons owns them, so I guess that's not too surprising.

Theory: They're getting better data from in-store monitoring of shoppers with video cameras (Envirosell, Prism Skylabs, Agent Vi, Videomining, etc.).


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 2:05 PM
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That and if you don't have your card, the checker uses hers. So how good was the data really.

This is a big deal, though, because the Albersons card gets me a discount on gasoline -- 45 cents a gallon last week (which, with a 20 gallon tank, is real money).


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 2:09 PM
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Speaking of gamification and loyalty cards, I just got a Panera Bread loyalty card for the free pastry and I am very upset about their rewards system. "It's easy and free to join. There are no obligations and you'll enjoy surprises and offers when you least expect them." No promises, just "surprises." Fuck them if they expect people to hang onto this stupid fucking card for maybe-who-knows someday a discount on a shitty muffin. And fuck Panera anyway, I wouldn't even be at Panera if my hotel had wifi, and while we're at it fuck hotels that don't have wifi. It's not even a dump, it's the motherfucking Hilton, the "special event rate" is $140, and no wifi. Fuckers!

[This comment brought to you by the angry letter L.]


Posted by: L. | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 2:09 PM
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and while we're at it fuck hotels that don't have wifi

My girlfriend was telling me that at this recent conference, the hotel was going to charge $25k if the organizers wanted to have free wifi for their , the hotel was going to charge $25k if the organizers wanted to have free wifi for their <1000 attendees. The organizers turned it down, because that's a lot of money. But then the hotel forgot to actually turn off the free wifi, so it all had a happy ending.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 2:25 PM
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Five-day conference, 1000 attendees, charge $10/day for individual wifi... $25k starts to look reasonable.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 2:28 PM
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101.2: Thanks, but you forgot my credentials as a keen observer of the broader social context within which the law operates--someone who doesn't get bogged down in the minutiae of procedure and precedent, but can instead see through to a larger truth beyond.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 2:41 PM
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I just got a Panera Bread loyalty card for the free pastry

I get generally grumpy about loyalty cards, but I will say that I went to a talk by the Supportland people a while back, and really liked their model. Hopefully they can export their architecture to other cities.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 2:41 PM
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Dumpy motels have free Wifi. Really nice ones don't. Because capitalism.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 2:43 PM
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I got a card from a local coffee place I like, but stopped using it soon after on general principles. A barista who recognized me recently marveled at the number of free coffees I could have had by now if I had a card, to which I had no substantive response.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 3:01 PM
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I just got a Panera Bread loyalty card for the free pastry

Come on, this is a pretty open and supportive community but you can't just confess to everything. I don't want to start hearing about people's bunions, either.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 3:02 PM
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111: to which I had no substantive response

You should have shot her. No jury would convict.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 3:03 PM
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I play Candy Criush (as apo knows, since we're always trading extra lives and bonus moves), and keep a list of all of my store loyalty cards in my wallet. In short, I am a failure as an anti-capitalist revolutionary.

I would, however, be happy to hold your babies for you.


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 4:31 PM
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Just wait until someone comes up with a way to monetize holding babies. Then you'll be on the barricades with the rest of us.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 4:33 PM
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103 Here in the Boston area, Star Market/Shaws is also dropping their loyalty card program

And removing their self-check-out aisles, which I find inexplicably annoying.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 6:09 PM
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About the Unfogged business plan: if you're going to charge money for this, could you at least offer a free help line for people who need to quit?


Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 6:42 PM
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The trouble with F2P is it takes game designer talent away from the task of creating great games, and focuses it on implementing mechanisms to squeeze extra dollars out of the game player.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 8:12 PM
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Isn't the greatest game the one that makes the most money for the studio?!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 8:21 PM
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Civ V is really buggy. Some designer should work on that.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-16-13 8:29 PM
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