I welcome Sega's announcement and will be delighted to hand over $1.99 to disable all ads - I know their games are of a known quality, and will come without suprise violence included etc.
By way of example I have one simple game he loves to play that randomly brings up images of a guy holding a girl in a headlock with a gun pointed at her head.... and the same ad comes up repeatedly. I can't even disable it via an in-app purchase (trust me, I tried).
As an aside, I'd welcome some suggestions of games he can play, and if anyone reading this is a game developer I'll be happy to provide any imnput to something you are dreaming up.
EDITS: just for clarity of reading
Bonus, this can also be used to remove YouTube and other kinds of ads as well as all the phone-home "analytics" if that's your thing.
-- Edit --
http://www.thekelleys.org.uk/dnsmasq/doc.html + ToDo's via Google
https://github.com/apankrat/dnswhisperer or more generally https://github.com/search?utf8=&q=ad+blocking+dns
There are also 3rd party services that provide this function. They have obvious privacy issues, but for a kid's iPad it might be an option.
But as it was a young kid we're talking about I think it's safe to say there will be something on Nintendo that they're into.
My main point was more just you really do get what you pay for and if these things on iPads bother you then please vote with your wallets and buy products from companies that actually care about quality of their software.
Q: About ad blocking dns projects in general, what's the downside ? (beside jeopardizing the future of the internets)
The Kids Unlimited thing has been great. All the apps are included in the monthly price, there's no ads, no in-app purchases, and all the games and apps are vetted to be child-safe. It's amazing to watch him download stuff and figure out how to play it without any help.
I don't use unlimited, I've side loaded play store, set age range, enabled full parental controls on play store and on the tablet themselves... They have full control, but web is blocked etc. Play store is great, tells them they need to uninstall things to install the next game. They don't need my interaction to install X or Y now.
They did manage to download an app that let them have full access to unfiltered youtube, but we caught that pretty quick. YouTube kids is great as well.
The Kids Edition of the tablet is more expensive, but comes with a very rugged case and a "If they break it, we'll replace it. No questions asked" guarantee for the first couple of years.
Amazon's customer service is beyond legendary.
> games that he likes to play on my iPhone
Dude those thing are psychological traps aimed to break a 30yo-something will, what do you think they'll do to a 4yo?
Before that it was too much TV.
Before that it was too much radio.
In Victorian times it was reading too many books.
Kids of today will always be kids of today, doing the things that they do instead of the things that you nostalgically remember doing. Even Socrates noted that.
I am also down with pointing out that the world has changed less than people think and do it quite often myself, but on the other hand, there are some real differences between mobile games and television, or even console games of the past. I do not keep my kids entirely off the tablets, but I do, without them really realizing it, keep them well away from the Skinner boxes. I'd rather just pay to buy something.
When they are older, I will have a discussion with them about this. But discussing how they work and why they are dangerous and why you need to stay away from them requires multiple concepts a 6-year-old is not yet able to deal with. (Children are not just little adults.)
They are also easy traps - from the 18th century to the 21st century, if your kid is wrapped up in books or a phone you don't have to worry about who they are interacting with, what they are doing outside, if they are in danger or putting others in danger - they stay home and are low maintenance.
Problem is, low maintenance doesn't produce robust human beings.
I grew up like that and boy did it ruin my life! Living on a farm 10 miles from the nearest road, playing concerts, traveling, and working remotely to finance it all. It's a shame I was so wrapped up in my books and computers and video games as a kid because I could have led a normal life in a cubicle like everyone else.
I'm not completely certain but I'm fairly positive having your child interact with the bad people or hanging around the wrong types of friends (etc) far trumps any "bad forms of media".
I wasn't around for "too much radio". Sounds suspect. There wasn't that much programming available.
Too many books? Pfft.
"[novel reading is] one of the most pernicious habits to which a young lady can be devoted. When the habit is once thoroughly fixed, it becomes as inveterate as the use of liquor or opium.”
"I have seen two poor disconsolate parents drop into premature graves, miserable victims to their daughters' dishonour, and the peace of several relative families wounded, never to be healed again in this world. 'And was novel-reading the cause of this? inquires some gentle fair one... I answer yes!"
"Girls are not apt to understand the evils of novel-reading, and may think it is only because mothers have outlived their days of romance that they object to their daughters enjoying such sentimental reading; but the wise mother understands the effects of sensational reading upon the physical organization, and wishes to protect her daughter from the evils thus produced... Romance-reading by young girls will, by this excitement of the bodily organs, tend to create their premature development, and the child becomes physically a woman months, or even years, before she should."
- various sources
* One should be careful to avoid the trap of using fiction as an escape from reality.
* One's behavior can be influenced by the stories.
* Stories allow one to experience another's life vicariously. Make sure they are equipped to understand and handle the experiences and pains of that life.
That said there are plenty games suitable for children that aren't manipulative iap-infested swamps. sure you have to pay those, but destroying reward centers of kids that age isn't worth the saving from freemiums.
I might look into this but I cannot stand ads and I'm inapt at using mobile phones, so probably not.
i.e. Fragile Allegiances, Magic Carpet, Shogun Total War are all enticing but I cannot play without getting frustrated.
Honorable mention to Master of Magic, which is completely workable.
Mobile wise since Dwarf Fortress got a mobile skin I couldn't be happier.
From my Sega Genesis days: Streets of Rage, all of the Sonic games, and the Mortal Kombat series are still pretty fun.
So at least Huawei did something good with their own UI.
Even if it was a passive permission - i.e. you had to specifically go into settings and disable it, rather than being asked for each app - I'd be fine with that.
It's open source.
Joking aside, iOS has supported VPN connections since as long ago as iPhone OS (feels weird calling it that now) 4 I think?
My Motorola Moto G4 Play has Android 6.0.1 too and the only option present is to restrict background data.
Can't say I'm too surprised by this development. I am surprised they were magnanimous enough to give it in the first place.
It completely removes the player from the game and makes it tedious to play. I mean, I guess I'm happy they are releasing these at all, but they need to come up with a better way to serve ads that doesn't defeat the purpose of the game itself (quick bouts of fun).
That said, SEGA got $1.99 out of me really quickly. $2 is a killer deal for sense of nostalgia, let alone a fine video game.
My son was talking about Sonic the Hedgehog at the breakfast table the next morning.
Apple are the only people that can force the game to change it's ad inventory.
The app had an age rating of 4+, it kept showing alcohol ads.
I told Apple, who did nothing, I told the app maker who did nothing, and I reported it to the UK regulator who told me the ad network was using demographics, not app age ratings, to deliver ads. Since the phone owner had a credit card the ad network "knew" the person using the phone was over 18.
I pointed out as politely as I could how fucking stupid that was, and the regulator is now "working with" the industry to try to fix this.
Kids should be playing in the real world for a long time before they are exposed to the virtual world.
But so often parents make these decisions based on nostaliga ("Oh look my 3 y/o son is playing Zelda just like I did when I was a kid")
Maybe get your four year old a cheap Android phone or tablet and some Humble Bundled games? Then you won't have ads, and if your child breaks the device, at least it wasn't your iPhone.
One could hypothesize that, having never learned to enjoy a pleasure in moderation, a person might be more vulnerable to going off the rails with it later on.
Anecdotally, the friends I have that are most prone to binging on sugary things are the ones who were never allowed sugar as kids.
When he is older, yes I'll need to pull back a bit :)
"Games that are like this (point to app), like casinos, have "random" endings. "Random" means that sometimes you win, and sometimes you lose, and if you were to play many many times, and count the number of times you win and the number of times you lose, they would stay at similar levels. For example, you win two times for every one time you lose. But, here's the trick: these games are made so that they trick people, even very smart people, into thinking they win more often than they lose, but they actually don't! These games take over your brain and make you think things that are not true. And if you let them do that, you will lose more often than you win, so overall you will lose and that is bad. So it is best to stay away."
Your kid will also learn about probability!
Android briefly had WhisperMonitor but that was killed when WhisperSystems was puchased by Twitter.
I use this to disable ads and upgrade posts in angry birds, and it works very well.
Second, I've got a retro arcade collection on iOS/android that might be a bit harder for the 4yo but has some games he can play. My niece likes "pong" and "duck hunt". Check my website for more info. I'm working on a graphics revamp as well.
I have a second game (on iOS only) that's free called "tic tac blam" that might be easier for them to pick up. I'd appreciate feedback on either one.
The BBC have some games under the CBeebies brand.
LEGO have a few which are somewhat enjoyable.
Dogbyte have "blocky highways" (and when he's a bit older "blocky roads").
(Not sure if there is a short name for this. "Google fallacy"?)
Usually, the fallacy is more along mimicking technical details such as using a commodity hardware server setup or introducing high-scalability technology into early software stacks.
However, seeing the same fallacy applied to ads, at such a large scale, is new to me.
The ability to make in-app purchases needs to be turned off by default rather than buried three levels down in iOS
Perhaps Nintendo feeds on nostalgia brainwaves or something.
It's a shame. Because, as you said, they could effectively print as much money as they wanted with a long-term production run of the NES classic and the obvious sequels for SNES, N64, and Game Boy.
I think they're doing okay running a business.
So long as you can sell a product at a profit, you keep fucking selling it.
They could grant access to their back catalog for something like $10/mo, and roll out segments of the back catalog over time to promote it.
Then use nostalgia-based franchise reboots and new IP (lol, but occasionally something like Splatoon catches on) to push new console sales and then slowly phase-out back-catalog support from older consoles.
You could time the phase-out with a holiday season 2 years into a new console (aligns with discounts and once initial new console buzz wears out).
Seems like a much more predictable revenue stream than hinging on the success of a new console.
You could also create leaderboards and niche competitions for the hardcore audience (Super Mario Maker has a sizable hardcore following).
This is no different from every other phone manufacturer but Apple. They have no reason to support older phones because it doesn't make them money. It does benefit Apple because they get recurring revenue from the App Store.
You might be willing to pay 20-40 bucks for a game, but the vast majority of users aren't.
In theory the ROM sites have a disclaimer that this is archival purposes, to be downloaded by legal owners, etc. - in practice anyone can download them. But if it wasn't for these borderline illegal sites the games would D I E. Nintendo famously used an 'illegal' ROM of Mario and sold copies of it, some people speculated that they lost the original material.
Yes, I guess piracy sucks and is technically illegal but even I (and I don't play many games at all) had to download cracks for physical legal copies I owned (including once for a game published by SEGA, funnily enough).
Brainshareware is more accurate but it is a mouthful.
Watch this add.
Get your reward.
I'm trying to find an example of a game with it so you can see for yourself (I would assume many Android games have the same thing), but it seems I've uninstalled them all out of frustration.
I think everyone wins, you don't pay for games you don't like, game developers are funded and can focus on making enjoyable games instead of trying to engineer games using dark tactics to extract maximum revenue with pay to win IAP's.
The Game of War is an ad that you can close after a short time when the X appears. Not a fan of this ad-style but I wont be seeing too many ads if I like the game as I'll just shell out for the one-time ad-free IAP.
I'm not taking it too seriously, but it's a real quick way to make me never play any of the classics they put out on IOS.
Other fun patterns:
- Fuck you for playing games on mute whilst listening to music, Ima override that with super loud obnoxious bleeping for my ad
- This ad is just going to keep pretending you clicked on it and open the app store, even though you didn't
- Top new feature ad: freeze phone when wifi drops (because I'm on the underground and signal is transient).
I'm fine with a pop up ad that I can x out of straight away to "pay" for a free app. That's a fair deal, same as advertising in a magazine etc. But the obnoxious phone hijacking appstore opening stuff just ensures I'm angry and sure as hell not downloading.
I simply don't understand how those make people not annoyed and actually generate conversions
if you can preselect your target group/audience to consist purely of suckers, this can be very profitable.
it's literally preying on the weak. it is so clearly and straightforward EVIL that it should be regulated.
and it is, in many EU countries at least. but the lowest common denominator for these ad markets is whatever the big, US-based, app/play stores allow. even if they'd make regulations (in law), which they won't, I strongly doubt they would pick a sensible level of what is considered "okay", given that extremely powerful (including beyond deceptive) advertising is already considered so "normal" and ingrained in US culture. certain ads are basically allowed to con people (within some limits, but still)
 in terms of public health
Plus you can often pay to make them go away. You usually don't have that ability on the web.
sure, the ad networks also carry blame, but the devs provide them with a platform and medium. both are guilty and the cumulative effect of the ubiquity of abusive ads is very damaging to society.
Ouch. Releasing an emulator that runs slower on modern hardware than their old emulator did on old hardware? Sounds like they used whatever the iOS equivalent of Electron is called.
Monetizing 20 years old games is already easy money, they could at least do it as well as people doing it on their free time...
So yeah for once the paid version was as good as a passion driven fan version.
SEGA® Forever™ is a free and growing classic games collection of nearly every SEGA game ever released from every console era – Master System, Genesis/Mega Drive, Dreamcast, and more. Available on iOS and Android mobile devices.
-Save your game progress
-Leaderboard -- compete with the world for high scores
-Controller support -- fully integrated wireless Bluetooth controller support
-Games released every month; download them all!
According to eurogamer,
"You can play them forever without paying, or you can spend a one-off fee of £1.99 to ditch the ads, which appear on the start screen, the save screen, and I think at launch, but will not interrupt play in anyway"
Edit: Why the downvoted? I thought free = no money?
What I object to is mainly assimilating not paying money and being free : it's not free if there are ads, you're paying with time, mind share (because there would not be that much money in ads if it was not at least a little bit effective) and potentially security (as ads are a known malware vector)
That's why I insist that free as in no money is a very restricted definition of free, and should not be considered equal to simply free, because it then undermines products that actually are free
As things stand, they have ads, which require your attention not your frustration. That means time paying attention to the ads in addition to the time spent playing the actual game.
And you keep referring to the price tag, but as everyone in software knows there are different meanings of 'free'. Not all of them refer to money, but all of them are important to understand.
In this case the argument is clearly about things like child-appropriate content; at which point there is a clearly valid need to distinguish between ad-supported and non-ad-supported apps. You can argue about what to call them if you like, but 'free' and 'ad-funded' wouldn't seem far from the mark.
"Free" as in other-currency-than-money isn't free.
HN isn't as bad as Reddit, but there ARE a handful of touchy subjects that will get you swamped by downvotes, even if your comment reasonably adds to the discussion.
Advertising is one of those triggers. You just don't want to say anything here that could possibly be interpreted as supporting ads, if your care about your fake-Internet-points count.
For what it's worth, I threw you an upvote because this didn't seem fair. And there's 50/50 odds that this comment will result in you getting a sudden wave of upvotes (psychology is weird).
Also, at the current rate of release, it will take years to reach “nearly all” titles so I would take this with cautious optimism. Your favorite games may show up tomorrow or 3 years from now.
Edit: remove unrelated edit!
It would be cool if they could release those on a more portable format so it could get put inside a raspberry pie or something!
It's time to forget about the company that Sega once was and ignore anything that comes from the company it has become.
This is how old games should be handled throughout the industry when possible. The likelihood of someone not already familiar with a title or franchise to play it is a function of A) its cost and B) how dated it is. Once a game is seeing marginal returns, it's kind of a very corporate mindset to try and suck it dry of every last penny. Especially when you view games as a form of art.
I fear for so many incredible titles, especially as we possibly enter a real VR age.
Unless I force it on them (I probably will), my children may never give a second glance to the titles I grew up with and consider masterpieces, when they could sensually immerse themselves in a modern AAA or VR title.
So many great soundtracks, assets, feats of code, all deserving to be in a museum somewhere, lost in the ever-growing sea of content. Eventually only treasure-hunters like myself seek to experience and appreciate them.
Not only that, Sega can much more accurately determine what franchises might see profitable continuations, given a large enough sample size.
Having not played any of these titles on mobile myself, I can only imagine that Sega has ruined this very noble idea with intrusive ads and a payment scheme for removing them.
Sounds like no:
You started with "Serious kudos to Sega." and ended it with "I can only imagine Sega has ruined this very noble idea with intrusive ads and a payment scheme for removing them."
Should they be applauded or shunned?
Additionally, the games of your youth are special, partly because they were a part of your youth. There will likely be games of your children's youth that they hold near and dear likewise. Maybe they will be serious enthusiasts and want to track the history of video games and see how we arrived at this current age, but thats a lot to take in! In my opinion, Nintendo has continued to release novel and fun games throughout the years that stick to the same principles that they designed the original Mario and Zelda following. Their last few console titles would be a good place to start and a potential bridge between the new and the old.