New Tournaments for Can't Stop and En Garde

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Tyr Akina and Aries Oh are running a Can't Stop Tournament on Saturday May 30th.

Sign up at the Game Parlor in Dragon Nest. There is a $50 sign-up fee to join, but the more people who enter, the bigger the prizes. Right now the winner will receive $1250. There are also prizes for Second Place ($750), Third Prize ($500), and Fourth Prize ($250).

All games played on Saturday are scored in standard Local Scoring format. At midnight Saturday/Sunday, the top 4 scores qualify for a final three games to be played on Sunday.

Nonsmokergirl Tulip and Fruitcake Altstatter are running an En Garde tournament for two weeks, from June 3rd through June 17th.

Sign up by paying $100 to the Yellow sign-up board at Paradiso Mall. This tournament runs on the World Ranking system, so you can play games on any En Garde set anywhere, as long as you've registered for the tournament. Guaranteed minimum prizes are $1500 for First, $1000 Second, $500 Third and $250 Fourth. Your tournament placing is determine by your World Ranking as of the end of the tournament.

Server Migration

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The server glitches that brought things down for three hours on Wednesday have been continuing, with short interruptions on Friday and today. So my hosting provider Linode is migrating my server to new hardware. This will hopefully take less than an hour, and then the server will be back up and more stable. I'll update this post when the migration is complete. In the meantime, be aware that any games you play will not be tracked, so they won't count towards your ranking points.

UPDATE: That went considerably faster than expected. Everything should be back up now, and hopefully more stable.

Will the Lindens shut down En Garde?

Friday, May 22, 2009

The latest pronouncement from Linden Labs is that they are going after camping chairs. People who try to artificially inflate their traffic stats by using camping chairs will be warned that they are in violation of the Terms of Service.

This is a continuation of their previous policy banning traffic bots. Traffic bots are almost universally despised as a drain on the server resources, providing no benefit to the population at large. So that move was largely applauded by the residents. Camping chairs, however, have a larger base of supporters. And this move leaves some people wondering—if camping chairs are banned today, will games like En Garde be next?

I don't deny that En Garde can be used as a traffic draw. In fact, I promote it as a key feature. I added features such as Local Scoring and Teams to give people more reasons to visit a particular site. Rez a copy of En Garde on your land, and people will have reason to stick around.

But I don't think anyone has any reason to fear that En Garde will become illegal. And that's because: It's All About Appearances. Linden Lab is concerned with the image of Second Life, above all else.

Consider, for example, the Linden Lab policy on gambling. Many people are confused by the Lindens' confusing and contradictory pronouncements on gambling in Second Life. Casinos across the grid were shut down, and games like poker and slot machines vanished. Yet other games where people can wager and win money, like Zingo, are still thriving, even though winning at Zingo takes arguably less skill than poker.

The policy becomes clear, though, when you think about appearances. How does it look to someone else—someone visiting Second Life for the first time? Everybody knows what a casino looks like. Everybody knows how a slot machine works. You can see poker games twenty-four hours a day on ESPN. "Everybody" knows that's gambling. It looks like gambling. Zingo, on the other hand, isn't well known outside Second Life. If a newbie wanders into a Zingo game, they might be puzzled over it, but nobody is going to be offended.

Now consider camping chairs, and the appearance they give to Second Life. Imagine you're a newbie. Hey, there's a space with lots of green dots! There must be a lot going on there! You teleport, and indeed there's a crowd of people. Some of them are dancing, or sweeping up the place. You greet them, "Hello! Does anyone want to chat?" but they ignore you. Nobody, in fact, seems to be talking at all. After a few more frustrated attempts, you try another crowded place, with the same results. Second Life seems to be full of avatars doing nothing, affording no chance of interacting with another person. Camping chairs make Second Life seem dull and lifeless.

En Garde, to the contrary, is a fantastic spectator sport. I often enjoy just watching people play. And of course, in order to play the game, you have to actually be at your computer. So if some new player is curious about the game, all they have to do is ask. I've had some people tell me that En Garde is the only reason that they still play Second Life. En Garde makes Second Life fun.

So, don't worry about having an En Garde game rezzed on your land. The Lindens aren't going to ban it.

Server is back up

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Procyon server got rebooted, and for some reason didn't come back up in a good state. So everything was down for about 3 hours. I've got everything back up and running now.