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I admit it, I downloaded Spore. I had read all the freaking out about DRM, and I wanted to join the downloading orgy.
I played it for 3 days... and it was so good I bought it.
Why did I buy it?
1- The download was crippled, blocking off a lot of internet interactivity. You wouldn't think this would be a big deal, b/c it's not 'head-to-head', but the designer Will Wright had a cool explanation of how things work -- the internet 'pulls in' other people's Spore creatures as a copy onto your computer, and you play against that copy.
The internet has more than just that, though. The whole "Sporepedia" really requires the 'net.
2- I support this kind of game development. Maxis has made an incredible game. I get to make living creatures, cool tech, everything. WOW And it's replayable in lots of different ways.
Many people complained about the separate games not being the 'best of catagory', but I don't normally play those kinds of games. So I enjoyed all aspects.
3- I want to play games that are not 'walk up and kill it' ONLY. While Spore has that for people wanting violence, it also has far more. So much more, in fact.
I was upset that at later stages even non-violent communities/creatures wiind up obliged to 'take over' everything. Too bad for non-violent entities that they are never allowed to win in this Western World paradigm-shaped game. (It's quite possible the Earth is surrounded by peaceful aliens just waiting for us to evolve before they initiate contact.)
4- my $$$ was the most powerful vote. I'm glad I 'gave the finger' to DRM, and downloaded the game. But the game is so good, I want the game dev market to be influenced as well financially that -- yes, it really IS that good.
Do I care if you download it or buy it? Nah. But as a gamer, I recommend trying it. It's enmeshing, enveloping, absorbing -- and awesome.
Oh yes -- this is not a game about evolution. Evolution actually is one thing NOT happening in the game. Its more about custom-shaping 'pseudo-life' as you see fit, and then doing stuff.
This is in response to the 'a reader' below who seems to suffice on half-efforted research. I have met Mr. Cherniske and found the following information from my own meager research.
In a free society, people are entitled to express their opinion. Stephen Barrett uses websites to express his opinions regarding a number of topics, including network marketing, alternative and complimentary medicine, nutritional supplements and those who promote nutritional supplements. He presents his views in an authoritative manner, leading some to confuse these opinions with actual fact. In reality, what Dr. Barrett chooses to include in his "profiles" is extremely limited and loaded with innuendo. What's the issue? Stephen Cherniske attended Columbia Pacific University from 1979 to 1982. The school, as Dr. Barrett admits, was accredited at that time, and then degree requirements were quite stringent. The court order referenced by Dr. Barrett only affects students who attended after June of 1997. Still, he includes Mr. Cherniske in a list of recent graduates from Columbia Pacific University, hoping to disparage by association what he cannot say in print.
Of course, the fact that one's Masters Degree is not from Harvard should mean very little in a review of someone's career. Mr. Cherniske has letters of commendation from the head of the UCLA program where he was an instructor, as well as letters from Chapman University where he taught extension classes for nine years. Mr. Cherniske has certificates for 171 hours of state approved Continuing Medical Education that he has completed since 1980 as well as course materials from the CME courses that he has taught.
I would also point out that his selection for a faculty position with the American College of Sports Medicine was not based on where he went to school, but rather his expertise in the field of nutrition and human performance. Likewise, the medical reviewers at Random House and Warner Books gave Cherniske high marks for accuracy and scientific insight. Since 1980, he has presented more than 6,000 hours of lectures to professional and lay audiences. Lectures that were subsequently published in scientific proceedings are listed in his CV, which he makes available to anyone who asks.
Still, skeptic choose to ignore these accomplishments and focus instead on membership in the National Academy of Research Biochemists, an organization that Cherniske joined in 1975 and subsequently left.
A relevant question is, why should one believe Stephen Barrett, a retired psychiatrist and consumer "watch dog," who condemns anything he does not personally believe in, including chiropractic care, which he calls "organized crime." Dr. Edward Maurer, chairman of the board of the American Chiropractic Association, disagrees. He calls Dr. Barrett "... a self-appointed vigilante committee of one."
Barrett also believes that taking vitamins is useless ("If you are eating food," he says, "you are going to get vitamins.") and maintains that position even in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Dr. Barrett wrote the forward for a colleague's book (which he sells on his web site) in which vitamin E is called "Snake-Oil for the Heart." Seeing as vitamin E has been found - in Harvard studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine (1, 2) - to remarkably reduce risk for heart disease should give one pause before believing everything Dr. Barrett says.
Barrett also criticizes the Anabolic / Catabolic Index, essentially arguing that the ACI does not measure overall healthfulness and therefore has no value. In fact, Cherniske never claimed that the ACI measured overall healthfulness, although this point was included in an agreement between the FTC and myself. Apparently, Dr. Barrett feels that reading one FTC action letter is sufficient to pass judgement on a test that has received accolades from clinicians and scientists around the world.
Barrett ignores the research paper on the ACI test published in the Journal of Chromatography, a highly respected peer-reviewed laboratory science publication. (3) He must also be unaware that the test was selected for inclusion in Science Direct, the world's largest biomedical database and was selected and quoted by the prestigious scientific bibliography "Current Awareness in Biomedicine."(4)
He also missed the fact that the ACI test has received a U.S. Patent as a biomarker of aging (5), and was presented at the 2002 International Conference on Biomedical Spectroscopy in Cardiff, UK.(6) The second peer-reviewed paper validating the ACI test as an aging biomarker appeared in the international journal Spectroscopy.(7)
Bottom line, Mr. Cherniske and his readers are extremely proud of his academic and professional accomplishments over the last 30 years. His CV has always been accurate and available to anyone with a genuine interest in evaluating the true science.
1. Stampfer MJ, Hennekens CH, Manson JE, Colditz GA, Rosner B, Willett WC. Vitamin E and the risk of coronary disease in women. N Engl J Med 1993; 328:1444-9.
2. Rimm EB, Stampfer MJ, Ascherio A, Giovannucci E, Colditz GA, Willett WC. Vitamin E consumption and the risk of coronary heart disease in men. N Engl J Med 1993; 328:1450-6.
3. Jia Q, Hong MF, Pan ZX, Orndorff S. Quantification of Urine 17-ketosteroid sulfates and glucuronides by High-Performance Liquid Chromatography - Ion Trap Mass Spectroscopy. Journal of Chromatography B. Jan 2001, Vol 750, (1) 81-91.
The ACI paper was quoted in " High Performance Liquid Chromatography" with reference # 1010706961.
5. Cherniske, S, Jia, Q., Hong, M-F. Measurement and Quantification of 17 ketosteroid-Sulfates as a Biomarker of Biological Age.
US patent, US 6,326,209 B1, Dec. 4, 2001
6. Jia, Q., Hong, M., Ritter, C., Vance, S., Cortes-Guzman, M., Cherniske, S.
Quantification of Urine 17-Ketosteroid Sulfates and Glucuronides by LC/MS and Using the Normalized Total 17-KS-S as a Bio-Marker of Aging. Proceedings, First International Conference on Biomedical Spectroscopy in Cardiff, UK (7-10 July 2002).
7. Qi Jia, Mei-Feng Hong, Zhao-Xing Pan, Cheryl Ritter, Susan Vance, Mariam Cortes-Guzman and Stephen Cherniske. Quantification of urine 17-ketosteroid sulfates and their age correlations. Spectroscopy. 2002; 16:171-81.
Certainly a fresh and original take of the old classic, simplified just enough by Sherlock's and Watson's well known style and witty remarks. I loved Sherlock's adventures, and adored the Dumas' Count, so I must admit my expectations were as high as you can imagine them to be, and astonishingly every single one of them was met. This book absolutely delivered what it promised: a great literary work written in an amazing and comprehensible way, while retaining all the riches from the original. It is utterly captivating, and I must say my social life (maybe work as well, but pssst! Don't tell the boss!) suffered because once you start reading, you cannot stop. My sincerest recommendations for this masterpiece, it will not disappoint. To say thumbs up is simply not enough. I am looking forward to reading more from HGW, keep up the excellent work! Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Alexandre Dumas would be proud!
Over the last two years I've been fortunate to read Robert Scoble reports from the front lines of the internet, which has kept me abreast with the latest technology and social changes brought on by the ever evolving internet world. Now Robert and his co-author, Shel Israel, are putting all this timely information into their new book: Age of context. If you want to know what is happening at the forefront of technology, be at the bleeding edge, and find out what is coming to the masses then grab this book. It is a quick and easy read - but it is filled with valuable information of what is happening in the tech labs around the world - and what is already out there in the world but you might not be aware of. As the saying goes: "may you live in interesting times" - well the age of context book informs us indeed we do.
I get this calendar for my living room every year. The photos are really awe-inspiring and help us remember the many enjoyable trips we have made out West. I was unable to buy it at any local store this year, so I ordered it here. I was happy to receive it promptly and in pristine condition.