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Virtual Presents, Virtual Trees and Very Real Cheer
It'll be a similar deal over in World of Warcraft, where players -- or their characters, at least -- are observing the Feast of the Winter Veil. As players keep on the lookout for a special appearance in Azeroth by Greatfather Winter, that kindly old elf who dresses in red and sports a gray beard, they can enjoy treats they can't find any other time of year, such as candy canes, gingerbread cookies and eggnog.
And sure, you Grinches out there, maybe it gives you a sardonic chuckle to think of folks investing hours of their spare time to build a temporary, make-believe tree that only exists as a computer file on a server somewhere.
But, in at least one way, the Lineage II tree is better than that real one you shelled out 80 bucks for the other weekend: Stand near this tree, and it will improve your magic-regeneration abilities.
And in Azeroth, those sweet treats not only are non-fattening, but they also restore 61 health points. Ho, ho, ho!
Wii's Weather Watch
Some nifty Web-powered features of Nintendo's new game console are just now starting to come online. This week, the company turned on a free weather-checking tool for the Wii.
Owners can now quickly check the console Wii weather channel for their local 24-hour and five-day outlooks. Wii owners wanting to check conditions elsewhere on the globe can explore weather conditions using a Google Earth-style interface.
Yes, those wags out there in the worldwide blogosphere have already come up with their own ideas for new features that Nintendo could incorporate into this service down the road.
"There should be a setting that shuts down the Wii if the weather outside is mild and there's no chance of showers," joked one correspondent at Gizmodo.com.
A Wii news channel is also in the works. And while Nintendo has hinted at some other channel-related stuff for the future, the company is still being secretive about it.