To start, let me add another webcomic to the table for consideration:
Unfortunately, this is one of those that does not have a "latest" button, so you have to re-bookmark it every time you read it. It's an argument for reading it less frequently, actually. When will webcomic artists learn? (*cough* Alphasim)
Let's talk about beta testing for a moment. As you know from his blog (you do read his blog, don't you?), Alphasim recently did some beta testing for Champions Online. He got to try out the gameplay and now plays for real. I think he may have done some beta-ing on one of the WoW expansions, but who can keep track? (him probably, lol)
Unexpectedly, I'm also now a beta tester on a casual gaming site. It's a new experience for me. I hadn't heard for several weeks, so I thought they hadn't picked me. So, when they sent me the confirmation email, the following train of thought ran through my head (rumbled down the tracks in my head--toot tooot!): 1. Yay! I've never beta-tested before! 2. Well, of course they picked me. How many serious gamers do they get on that site? 3. Wait...how many gamers do they get on that site?
So my thought for the day is to wonder if the folks who pick beta testers think to include slightly less...adept...players in their testing rounds. In the case of this casual gaming site, probably they have because the majority of their players don't know a frag from a ding (and yes I'm mixing genres).
What about Champions, for example? They're aren't likely to have casual gamers, but not everyone's a top-notch player. Do they include a handful of gaming idiots just to see what the idiots of the world are going to do? Inevitably an idiot is going to play their game. Why not beta test the idiot factor?