Bruceongames, an update

I am sorry about not posting for so long without keeping you informed. Basically the Evony thing caused a huge backlog of normal stuff that needed doing. So we visited my mother in law in Latvia, then I went to Menorca to visit my mother, then we went to France for a well earned driving holiday. Now I am back.

I have two fundamental problems with Bruceongames going forward.

The first is that libel laws are being abused to suppress free speech by those who have things to hide. Great swathes of the internet are now censored by London libel lawyers sending out threatening letters to protect often nefarious characters. You may live in America, but this effects you, the internet is being censored for the whole world.

Our libel law was designed to protect the landed gentry from the tittle tattle of their servants. So it is incredibly difficult and expensive to defend against, no matter how truthful your words are, cases are typically over a million pounds now. And you are guilty till you prove yourself innocent, which goes right against natural justice and gives a massive advantage to those who are abusing the law. So the only option when threatened is to give in, as happens many thousands of times. We really, really don’t have free speech. Those with money control what is said about them.

I have been acted against four times in the last year for telling the truth. This occupies a huge amount of time and is an immense pressure. If anything goes wrong it would destroy my life. Is it worth telling you my opinions with this weight hanging over me?

Most other countries have far less repressive libel laws and it causes no problems, society still works. The only people who lose out are the solicitors and the nefarious characters with something to hide. The English libel laws are a total disgrace and do not reflect well on us as a nation and as a democracy.

You can do something about this. Write to your politicians, whatever country you are in. Support organisations like The Libel Reform Campaign. It is your freedoms and rights that are being taken away and only you can fix it.

The second problem is that with Bruceongames I am giving away immense value with no benefit to myself. This site was a long way ahead of the curve on a huge range of subjects: iPod as gaming device, the demise of high street retail, convergence between social networking and gaming, free online gaming, gesture interfaces, Android etc etc. And I have written a lot of “how to” articles that distil three decades of experience.  My reader benefit, I don’t. Nobody pays me to write this and the Google ads only bring in pennies. So why should I do it?

I started this blog as a sort of marketing exercise for myself. Give me a job. And it has become much more, growing to a hundred thousand visitors a month. But I still don’t have the job I want. Lots and lots of requests for my help, which I have given, mostly for free. But still no job. So now I think my time would be better spent sending out my CV, ringing around, going to interviews.

I haven’t given up completely. You can expect the occasional article when I have some free time, there is a worthwhile issue and the likelihood of being sued is low. But I am not going to put anything like the previous effort into this.

Thank you for coming here and reading this.

21 comments ↓

#1 woodins on 05.13.10 at 12:00 pm

Dont blame you mate.

Surprised a site like MCV wouldnt give you a monthly opinion column (its how I found your blog about a year ago in the first instance).

Shame your slowing down on this blog at this time, would love to read an article based around Andrew Oliver’s comments on how pre-owned is more damaging to the industry than piracy, and EA’s latest initiative to charge pre-owned users for multi-player etc.

All the best for the future, congrats with coming through the whole Evony debacle not too unscathed. Always enjoyed your articles, even If I wasn’t 100% behind you on the subject matter.

All the best Bruce,

Tony.

#2 nobby on 05.13.10 at 12:00 pm

Good luck with your job hunting Bruce, and thanks for the opinions and insights you’ve given us in your articles.

I don’t blame you for giving up while the libel laws are in place.

The internet and the games industry will be a poorer place without people like you sharing their experience online…

#3 Tex Pine on 05.13.10 at 12:35 pm

It’s sad to know you are slowing down. I’m a big fan and to be honest would happily pay a monthly fee to access your blog and new articles. As you said, a great deal of good information is published by you. So it worths a fee IMHO, especially the market and platform analysis ones.

#4 roger on 05.13.10 at 12:45 pm

Perfectly understandable, its sad that this blog cant be a stepping stone to some great job or that it cant directly support you financialy.

It was always a blast, reading your blogs Bruce!

#5 Christian Watson on 05.13.10 at 1:36 pm

Bruce, thanks for all the insight you have shared with your readers. I, for one, have appreciated it.

I actually see a blog as being part of one’s CV these days. I’ve certainly used mine to show my industry expertise and depth of knowledge (in web design). If any prospective employer Google’s me, they will likely find my blog and see that I know what I’m talking about.

I was actually surprised to hear that you’re looking for a job — I assumed that someone with your experience was working as a consultant with multiple game companies. Maybe you should be more upfront about your status on your blog? Just a thought.

On the advertising front, you might want to try BuySellAds (http://buysellads.com/) — they won’t make you rich but with your traffic you should be able to bring in a few hundred dollars a month.

#6 Granny Gamer on 05.13.10 at 2:42 pm

Best of life to you and yours. I know how challenging it is to get back even some of the value for your time on the web. So many issues need addressing all over the world, I didn’t realize the libel laws there were so bad. Again, all the best!

#7 Steve A on 05.14.10 at 4:24 am

Well there goes the juicy “Bruce abducted by Aliens” headline submission for the daily mail. Or perhaps Evony tactical assault squad hits British blogger’s home only to find him gone to Latvia theory.

Thanks for shedding light on Evony’s bad business practices and helping many realize it was a a fraudulent internet scam.

I hope you find whatever you are looking for.

Aloha – Steve

#8 S.E. Gordon on 05.14.10 at 12:15 pm

Sounds like you’ve got all the right material for a good book. You could sell quite a few copies…

#9 AC on 05.14.10 at 8:25 pm

Standing in the wind of opposition does eventually wear one down. Fortunately your contest was short compared to many. Sadly our society is beset with ignorance in many areas and it is intensely annoying to intelligent people. Thankfully human dignity is priceless and it has been a pleasure to see you represent it in the best form here on your blog.

Unfortunately the gaming industry does not really know where it is heading. You just need to realise that blogs do not really bring in revenue by themselves. This is because people tend to take the information and use it for their own aims without any form of reciprocation as you have so accurately surmised. But I happen to think there is a market for the unique skills that you possess, you just need some time to reflect on it. The age of work has changed radically and in a world where one has international access and credibility it would be a shame not to use the skills you have so justly acquired. It is just a question of reaching the right audience with a view of marketing the better products out there. In addition to this there are some dedicated market game websites that require an annual membership of around £50 to access. They are very informative to both the industry and those with an interest in the industry. But to be frank, these are not always as informative as your blog. So try not make a hasty decision that you could in time regret.

With the world heading towards two billion people online, many green gamers have no idea where to locate the good games, so many people are looking for good honest guidance. It is a shame that while good reviews exist for films, we only have poor reviews for games.

Enjoy the break and appreciate that French law is rather different from English law. As your Mother lives in France this could offer you more opportunities than you realise. In today’s world one can choose the state you decide to live in. In addition to this there is such an entity as a European SME http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/policies/sme/facts-figures-analysis/sme-definition/index_en.htm.

Bon voyage,
AC

#10 AC on 05.14.10 at 8:32 pm

Edit, I meant to say Menorca with regards to your Mother’s home, but this is still within the EU.

#11 Hi on 05.15.10 at 4:42 am

As I read your blog, an Evony ad flashes on your google ad. Too funny. Block them.

#12 Joseph Brower on 05.15.10 at 5:40 pm

And here I was wanting to hear your opinion on the success of the Humble Indie Bundle. It really was an amazing feet.

#13 Vitor Almeida on 05.16.10 at 1:52 am

Good luck Bruce.

Your opinions and insights are much valuable, you should put a donation button in your blog or perhaps self-publish a book (you have the right content).

Keep it up Bruce.

#14 cloud on 05.17.10 at 7:29 am

I wish you all the best. May you find what you are looking for. Your articles will be missed.

#15 Tim Young on 05.17.10 at 2:45 pm

Bruce, you’ve always done a fantastic job at defending free speech. We’ve defended your position numerous times on our radio show in the past. I hope the best for you in your endeavors.

#16 Lewis (RMT Merchant) on 05.18.10 at 12:15 am

Welcome to the Real World, Bruce. :- ) I believe your eyes have opened today. How many Porsches were purchased by others off information written by you, without any form of reciprocal gesture returned? I do believe your eyes face Reality now. Again, welcome. In the event you possess certain Licenses or Contracts, we’d like you aboard an 50+ employee international organization with strong English presence.

Lewis ~ Leading European RMT Merchant

#17 D on 05.19.10 at 3:55 pm

So… Evony won, didn’t they?
I’m sorry to hear that you’re shutting down.
Good luck with everything,

D

#18 What Everyone Is Thinking on 05.21.10 at 12:09 pm

http://www.gamesrecruit.co.uk/JobDetail.aspx?id=13912

#19 Kaziarl on 05.23.10 at 6:38 am

Will be looking forward to the occasional article, and wish you luck finding a job that suits you. And I agree, those libel laws are a bit skewed.

#20 clive on 06.09.10 at 12:32 pm

Hi Bruce, I’m surprised that you feel a blog that is as antagonistic and outspoken as yours would reflect positively on you in terms of job hunting. I’m afraid I think it would have the opposite effect and am concerned that this may be the case.

The games industry is not known for its soapbox antics, rather it would prefer to quietly get on with the business of making and publishing games. It is my view that there are far too many people in the games business who would prefer to rant rather than knuckle down and diligently and this always creates more problems than it solves.

I think your strategy of concentrating on a good CV and shoe leather is a good one, you’ve been out of the industry for quite some time, and things have changed a whole lot, not least the people in decision making positions.

Best of luck in your search

Clive

#21 Darron on 06.14.10 at 3:37 pm

What a ride it has been Bruce! I started on your blog after an article I wrote on Evony, and since then have been witeness to some amazing things, from Evony battles in the forums/blogs to the court room, and now battles over international law and ‘little guy’ rights. Through all that though, I found your small pieces on gaming back in the day the most interesting: The little touch of history and the people that made it happen. Good luck in the ‘real-world’ and if you land that CEO position, don’t leave us hanging :) Thx!

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