Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor
Declaration of Independence

The Escapist Staff | 7 Jul 2009 12:10
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In response to "Pirates of the Frozen Wastes" from The Escapist Forum: I love how the US puts us on their list, while companies down there sue for $80+ thousand dollars PER SONG in some cases. What does this do to curb piracy? Steamrolling over people in the name of justice does nothing to help your cause. Mob mentality is a very powerful thing, and the internet is its breeding ground. Push the little guy, no matter how guilty he may be, and there will be countless others who will push back twice as hard. That's the major flaw with the US' approach to this whole thing, they're looking at it like it's a war to be won.

If I may be so bold, I think Canada has pretty much found the near perfect balance between regulation and chaos. They just sort of let things do what they're going to do, they keep the occasional extreme cases in check, and things seem to work. I don't see EA pulling out of the country because of piracy rates, or Vancouver shutting down the TV studios. Look at Sweden, then have a bloody pirate party now. The world is becoming more and more accustomed to piracy, not because it doesn't think it's wrong, but because it understands that the old rules don't work, and like anything else they need to be upgraded with the times. In the same way they tried to ban violent music years ago and failed miserably, pirates and politicians are two different cultures.

The US needs to step back and realize that this is one war where force is the exact opposite of what is needed. Go ahead and put us on your list, that does jack all except make us laugh. And encourages a lot of people to mess with things even more. Look at the laws, realize maybe suing a 16 year old for $12 million because he downloaded Kanye's new album isn't the best way to prevent piracy, and for God sake hire someone younger than 50 who's (as cliched as this is) in touch with the youth of today. It's not your world anymore. It's ours. And a hell of a lot of us are pirates.

- WanderFreak

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In response to "Games from the Great White North" from The Escapist Forum: Outsourcing is definitely a good idea, it would be great to see games from other developers in other countries as there are great ideas all over the world and they shouldn't have to travel to specific regions for the ideas to come to fruition. The gaming market has become stale in many areas, and that's why the Wii was such a welcome change. It was new, it was different and provided us with something that we hadn't seen in this way before. But in saying that, the lack of third party titles has really brought the console down in a lot of ways, developers aren't willing to put much effort into their Wii titles as they know they'll make a profit if they make the games cheaply, but that often means making the games unimaginative and dull.

But kspiess is right, bigger budgets mean less risks, but then smaller budgets can often mean suffering quality. A middle ground needs to be had, and I think a great way forward is games funded by gamers. I recently saw something on the news (in Ebgland this is) about three guys who want to make a film based on some old book. They need a million to fund it and their genius idea was to sell film credits. You buy a credit, get your name at the end of the film under 'Producers' and they get to make their film. It has celebrity backing and I'm sure it's well on it's way to making a good amount of that budget for the film.

Why don't smaller devs do this style of thing? Pay an amount of money and get a credit, or send a pic too and you get your face in the game somewhere, maybe in a background image or as a character. Smaller ideas become bigger one's this way, good games are made cheaper and maybe big publishers pick it up when it gets enough interest, they're getting a cheaply made game, making up the rest of the budget, spending less than usual on marketing and making a tidy profit on any platform.

We can start seeing games from less likely places, from smaller, tighter teams. Of course, this doesn't solve the problem of job losses in the current game market, but it opens up a lot of fresh stuff and a lot of opportunities for those who don't have work right now.

- jaeger138

I think there's more of a Western vs. Eastern dichotomy in terms of how people understand game production and tropes, rather than being a specifically national thing. Although, I've noticed that the 'Asian' style of game art and design is always Japanese (even if it's Korean or Chinese). The 'Western' style of game is assumed to be American (even if it's Canadian or Australian).

Is it necessary to start looking for further distinctions, define additional influences and groupings?

- Clemenstation

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In response to "The Pulse of Creativity" from The Escapist Forum: I live in what people call "the Baltimore art community," which is ironic because we couldn't be less of a community. Everyone is out to prove themselves, and our inevitably competitive nature makes it hard for unity to exist. That's why, to me, Artery sounds fantastic. It just goes to show that creativity cannot exist without collaboration.

Great article; it was a little short, but still a good read. And good luck with Hang em' High. I took a glance at it, and it looks like an ambitious combination of Left 4 Dead and Call of Juarez; which made me kick myself for not thinking of it first :)

- HardRockSamurai

Murray Chu:
over 800 people in the game development industry have lost their jobs in British Columbia since January of this year.

That's true, England is going through a bit of an issue with its game industry. We haven't really had much of a successful company in gaming for quite a while now, and a website like this could help out. I'm not sure if there are anything like the draw jams, but I've never seen one in my life.

But I do think this Artery website is a good idea and something that can allow for advice when it comes to publicity, business and administration, and even ideas, like that Hang 'em High game that being made (Which does actually seem like a good idea, very creative) and would allow for more interesting and creative collaborations and ideas, something that the game industry would benefit from.

Also, it's a good idea to allow for competition to be reduced, as what usually happens when competition starts to take over is that one company will become a success whilst the other will fade away in the shadows. This however, allows for both companies to become successful, despite not being as successful as they would if the other company did die out.

Anyway, good article and a good idea presented in it as well.

- Zombie_Fish

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