“We have carefully considered these requests and discussed them with government and civil society experts. Our conclusion, in consultation with those experts, is that Russia needs more Internet access, not less.”
I’m inclined to agree. If the point is for Ukraine and the international community to have the Russian people on their side and apply indirect pressure within Russia, making sure Russia only has access to government messaging is not a great way to achieve that.
Members of DAOs are clashing with one another about how to balance the need for skilled and experienced managers against the idealistic vision of communal decision-making. In some cases, crypto investors and regulators say, the ventures amount to Ponzi schemes intended to do little more than bolster the value of the digital tokens they sell.
Oh no. Decentralisation, the remedy for oligarchy, is in need of some centralisation in order to function. Who could have thought?
The release and massive success of Elden Ring has predictably revived those debates, leading to familiar and circular arguments. To help end the bickering, we’ve tried to break down the vast and loaded concept of “difficulty” in video games into an Ars Difficulty Matrix (™) consisting of five noncomprehensive subcategories.
We’ve laid out the elements of that matrix below, and for each element, we’ve tried to explain how Elden Ring fits into the history of game design. In doing so, we hope to show that Elden Ring can be both brutally difficult and incredibly easy. It all depends on what, exactly, you mean by “difficulty.”
This is a quite interesting thought experiment, at the very least. It provides arguments to virtually every side of this debate. The real tough part though is how all of that can or should play out within the review process. Which is no small matter as reviewers work under pressure, as a rule, and trying to hit a tight deadline while plowing through a FromSoftware game isn’t the kind of think people should wish on anyone.
“It will create imbalances in the ecosystem,” said Yeh Wen-kuan, director of the Taiwan Semiconductor Research Institute, about the chip schools attracting students from other fields.
“But there’s no other choice right now. Taiwan’s lifeblood, you have to first hold onto it. If you don’t hold onto it, how can you let Taiwan’s economy progress?”
“A lot of people have a very negative connotation about players online being mean and aggressive, particularly over voice chat,” Chen says. “And I think by now it’s very clear that it’s not the people who are mean. It’s the environment that brings out the mean behavior. The same people who were teabagging each other in a shootout in Call of Duty would be playing Journey the next minute. And those same folks, the teenage console players, would come to our forums and leave posts saying, ‘To whoever was with me, I’m sorry that I had to go without being a companion with you to the end because my mom really needed me to go. But I hope you can see this post that it was a wonderful experience.’ These people writing apologies to someone they don’t even know, they’re the same folks.
“Ultimately, we human beings are capable of being gentle and compassionate only when we’re in an environment where we’re capable of compassion. When you put a person onto a battlefield and give them a gun, their first thing is to think, ‘How am I going to protect myself from being killed?’ Or ‘Am I going to be able to use this gun to kill someone else?’ Imagine if you give someone a first aid kit [instead]. It changes their mode of thinking and behavior.”
Of course Chen is right. At the same time, this doesn’t mean, I believe, that there is only one right way, that one experience should overtake the other till one is extinct. We lack balance, not a panacea. Online shooter communities might feel like insane asylums sometimes but even that can be honed to serve a function, that of giving an outlet to other emotions that would have otherwise be left to fester. Of course this works best when that both sides, the one going bonkers and the one being affected by the first realise this instead of defaulting to branding any behaviour one likes as always acceptable and, likewise, any behaviour one dislikes always unacceptable. The extremes are usually covered by law and social training. No need to go all dogmatic with the middle ground, if we can avoid it.
The decision to limit multiplayer to two people also stemmed from that same approach. Early on in the game’s development, Chen says they tried to design the game around three or four players, but quickly found situations regularly devolved into having an “us” and “them” mentality where part of the group would want to do one thing while a single person wanted to do something else and would be left out or left behind, a disappointing experience they found ran counter to the emotional reaction they were hoping to spark with the game.
It doesn’t take much. Or many.