Just returned to PlanetSide 2 tonight after almost a year's absence. I have been making an auto-ethnographic study of the Battlefield series here at TG for the past ten years and the BF4 title is getting a bit long in the tooth so I have been reacquainting myself with PS2 recently. My study is about all aspects of my TG experience, of which the BF titles, along with ArmA, loom large, and PS2 opened my eyes to other significant features of gaming, TG, and my own experience. More on that later.

The contrast between the two modes of play is remarkable and will warrant much attention in my study of online gaming.

Keep in mind that this is NOT about good vs better. This is an issue of how different game design enables different modes of group behaviour and complexity in organization. PS2 offers the most complex group behavior that I have seen in military FPS gaming. It suffers from low resolution graphics and is limited to those who can enjoy the sci-fi imaginary and also (I suspect) fails to attract the realism-based gun culture aspect of military gaming (a significant and largely unaccounted-for aspect of gaming in the academic literature).

Much to my delight tonight I saw that a healthy PS2 TG community still exists. Fifteen minutes to mid-night -- more on complexity and game design later.