This week, we’ve got articles about Kickstarter, first-person shooters, and publication bias. Yep, that’s right: publication bias. Read on for the links, after the jump.

  • Last week, I expressed some concerns about Kickstarter. Well, it looks as if we officially have a Kickstarter scam. The Escapist reports that someone set up a Kickstarter page for a project entitled Mythic: The Story of Gods and Men, promising a 3D fantasy RPG à la Skyrim. (If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.) Luckily, the project was shut down before it reached its funding goal, so no one lost any money. But it’s only a matter of time before one of these scams is successful.
  • Sometimes, I like to post articles from sixteen years ago. This satirical one about professor evaluations, courtesy of the Onion, is still relevant today.
  • Edge reports that according to Free Radical Software founder Steve Ellis, most first-person shooters lose money. This, in and of itself, isn’t a crazy statement. A lot of big projects never recoup their development costs, and publishers count on massive successes to compensate for their failures. But Ellis also said: “Nobody really buys any FPSes unless they’re called Call Of Duty.” Um, Halo? Borderlands? BioShock? I’m sure there are others.
  • Publication bias is the phenomenon whereby negative clinical results tend to be published less often than positive ones. Apparently, there’s no publication bias in studies that examine publication bias. Try wrapping your head around that.
  • An opinion piece from Destructoid calling for an end to the “games as art” debate. It’s worth a read, but it’s not a piece that I agree with entirely. I don’t see the point of the “games as art” debate; centuries from now, video games will be remembered as a part our creative heritage, regardless of whether or not they attain some sort of artistic apotheosis. That being said, if people want to debate the artistic merits of video games, who am I to judge? Just because it’s a conversation I don’t want to have doesn’t mean it’s not a conversation worth having.
  • In light of the release of Electronic Arts’ indie bundle, Rock Paper Shotgun has an editorial about the use of the “indie” label in gaming. In my view, the way the term “indie” is used in gaming is coming dangerously close to the way it is used in music; it’s getting to the point where “indie” refers more to a genre of game than to a business philosophy. Heck, Valve Software publishes all of its games independently, but nobody refers to Half-Life 2 or Portal 2 as “indie” releases. Either the gaming press at large has to agree on a universal definition of “indie,” or EA should be allowed to use the term as it sees fit.
  • Australia is well known for its insane video game censorship policies. It turns out that the labels used by the Australian Classification Board are so large that they forced Far Cry 3 to use a mirror image of its box art. Oh, Australia: the land where everything is backwards.

Happy reading, folks! And as always, feel free to leave comments.

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