Not so open, a Bioware take on open source

This article represents some thoughts on how copy-left and permissive licences create value. It uses the story of Bioware and it’s use of the D&D™ and Forgotten Realms™ games & mythos as an example. There are two recent news items that make this current: that the community repository for Neverwinter Nights has just shut, and that Wizards of the Coast have just released Dungeons & Dragons V5 rules as a free to use .pdf, a small but significant step to a freemium business model. The story shows how an initially traditional author-publisher business model, leveraged a pre-made community, grew it and latterly enabled it. The point of this story is the way in which community and value grew, becoming significant author contributors and the way in which Bioware responded and learnt although some might say not as quickly or as generously as they might.  …

Stop killing civilians in Gaza

Stop killing civilians in Gaza

This blog has been a personal polemic over most of the last three years, maybe longer. Previously and at times, it’s been more of a diary. The London blogger, Diamondgezeer in this blog about blogrolls and the blogging community reminds me that sometimes I deserve or need to be a bit more introspective and more of a diarist. I need to record on the blog, how I feel about the latest development on the Middle East. ¬†Over the last three weeks the Middle East has exploded, over the last two years on could say the same, and you could ask why I haven’t commented on the events in Syria or the Ukraine,  …

What’s in a word

What’s in a word

I was looking at the book “Playing Politics”, and specifically the game “Agenda” which looks at committee behaviour. In the game, a standard playing card pack is used and the suits are considered to represent spending priorities. I originally read the book in the seventies and the priorities were called Social Security (Hearts), Industry (Diamonds), Public Works (Spades) and Defence (Clubs, of course). Today, with the country’s shift to the right we would use the term Welfare instead of Social Security, and since Industry was designated by Diamonds, we might today. in this celebrity obsessed world consider the diamonds to be Culture Media and Sport, since BIS (the Department of Trade and Industry as was) now spends so little. There’s no room for DECC nor DEFRA. The predecessor to DECC was only created in 1974 and there is a private member’s bill to abolish it being considered in the next parliament. It interested me on how both public policy priorities and the language has changed over 40 years; the language is both a simple lens and the final arbiter. …