Phoenix SwiftThe lovely people over at gaming site Boomtown emailed me a few days ago to let me know I was the winner of one their competitions to win a copy of Guild Wars. Their timing was perfect as exam revision was starting to get me down and that definitely brightened up my day. Less perfectly timed was the arrival of the prize, courtesy of game developer NCSoft, this morning. Right in the middle of my exams (which are going reasonably: 2 down, 2 to go). Which, as you might imagine, adds an interesting stumbling block regarding revision. When I fail my degree, I blame Boomtown…

Guild Wars is a MMORPG (that’s Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game for the uninitiated) set in the fantasy world of Tyria. Aside from receiving phenomenal reviews based on the luscious visuals, smooth gameplay and epic plot, it’s also threatening to topple the usual business models of online games by removing the monthly fees and charging absolutely nothing once you have bought the original game. The only additional cost will be in purchasing the add-on sequel chapters due at a later date. As an alternate world to escape into, you couldn’t ask for more, and I have a feeling Guild Wars will be playing a pivotal role in keeping me sane over the next few weeks!

Me at the Statue of DwaynaJust a few days left till my exams are over, but most of my friends don’t start until mine are finished, so the stress levels here are going to remain fairly high for a while! You know that your patience is wearing thin when your first reaction to a flustered, “He was supposed to come up here ten minutes ago but he’s not and I don’t know what to do,” is “Decide he’s useless and a liability to both national security and the gene pool so have him assassinated and get on with your life.” Fortunately I held back from saying it out loud. And anyway, clearly it was just my old fashioned, chivalrous side reacting to the fact that women should never be kept waiting.

My favourite rant of the year so far goes to A Gamer’s Manifesto hilariously laying into game developers. Particularly noteworthy is the Goldeneye story in #12.

And finally, if anyone else is playing Guild Wars or plans to grab a copy over the summer, let me know and we’ll go questing together. Fortune and glory or, more probably, coin and cleavage.