The game's afoot. Or a-hand

Big new online games released, and BitTorrent's helping out. But Europe still lags behind.

Much broadband gaming news. The new version of Valve's Counter-Strike, for a while the most popular online computer game in the world, hit the Net last night. The developers used BitTorrent to help distribute the game, easing demand on their own servers, according to Broadband Reports.

Valve's been having a string of bad luck. Last year, a hacker broke in and stole source code for much of their upcoming release Half-Life 2 (which is about as eagerly anticipated as the average new Beatles album). This week, they apparently uploaded the entire script for Half-Life 2 along with some Counter-Strike files. Doesn't matter much, everyone in the gaming world will still buy it.

Reuters has an article about online gaming in Germany, which is popular among aficionados, but expensive networks and difficulty of getting DSL makes it less widespread than in the U.S. or Asia.

And lastly: NPR's Morning Edition ran part of an interview with me today, talking about how Dungeons & Dragons influenced the development of video games and online communities. Buy our book!

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