In response to "The Crystal Ball of Michael Pachter" from The Escapist Forum:

Bruce Edwards:
I still fail to understand why Pachter gets so much attention.

Sure, he's not a bad guy, but his predictions are no more or less accurate than those of most forum goers.

Really? The average forum goer is on the money when it comes to earnings predictions for billion dollar companies? Because I'm on here a fair bit, and I don't see many posts about how much EA's stock price is gonna go up or down in the next quarter.

Not to mention that most of our comments here come when a product is out already or almost so, at which point a quarterly earnings prediction has been on the table for quite some time.

Generally, I would expect an 'Analyst' worthy of reporting to provide much more insight than I can get from Google myself.

Well, then you don't understand how analysts work.

Again: his clients aren't teen-aged CoD fanboys. They're people with homes and stock portfolios who spend their time making money, not yammering on gaming forums. They read the Wall Street Journal, not Kotaku. Plus, the man bloody said that his job is basically to add up to zero; he's gonna be wrong 50% of the time.

There was this famous experiment when they let monkeys and people throwing darts pick out market trends, and they did about as well as highly paid analysts. The problem with the latter is that they take what they know and translate that into predictions - but while you're gonna be confident about your assessment when you believe that you see 90% of the picture, it's that remaining 10% which can fuck it up. That's why those people work those ridiculous hours. You can only go by what you know, and the more you know, the greater the likelihood that you're right. It doensn't take multiple degrees to see a huge black cloud and predict rain; these people, however, have to make judgement calls rather earlier than that. If you're right 51% of the time, your clients have made more money than they have lost, and you're golden.

It's like sports betting, at its core. Let's say that before a basketball game, you know that one team's starting centre is injured, and that they don't do well on their opponent's home court. But then, the other team's star player has been in a scoring slump lately. So you take what you know, and bet money on it. Are you right all the time? Hell no. Because then, all people who follow sports regularly would be millionaires. And that's with up to date injury and scouting reports and dozens of previews; now imagine having to predict the results of tonight's Spurs-Jazz game in fucking September. The job of people like Pachter is to tell people who know little about basketball and have no time to read up on everything their best guess. That's all it is. Best guess, based on available information. Saying that CoD: Black Ops will sell well is like saying that the Lakers are gonna beat Minnesota tonight - well, duh. But most judgement calls are much tougher.

People who invest hundreds of thousands of dollars into BMW stock aren't all car fanboys, either. They care about money, not power to weight ratio. So they need people who understand the tech side, the marketing side, and the business side to make sense of what a new, ultra low mpg turbodiesel engine for the 3-series means for their bank accounts - but the point is that those analysts get people to invest that money, which in turn gives BMW the possibility to make better products.

It's a supremely silly attitude of gamers to think that analysts and stockholders should be fanboys. How many of you own stock in any gaming or tech company? Thought so.

- Archangel357

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In response to "The Devil Went Down to Nippon" from The Escapist Forum: Interesting article, and certainly a perspective I've not heard before backed up with many historical examples - always a good thing. I'm intrigued, however, as to what you think of other more mundane things, like simple fascination of the exotic play? I mean, we get people in the west fascinated with Buddhism and eastern spirituality simply because it's eastern, and I see no reason why the reverse won't hold true. I understand your article is narrowly focused (certainly not a criticism) so it was simply not in its remit to discuss that when it's not a relevant part of the historical narrative and the distinctions between Shinto, but it left me unclear as to whether you'd not considered this fascination, or you consider it negligable? Thanks for writing it! I love these kind of deeper, mature discussions on the philosophy of games, so yay. :D

- Serenegoose

BrunDeign:
It's funny because the "battle" between God and Satan isn't really all that "epic."

Paradise Lost would beg to differ.

Although you raise a good point about the whole "annoying thing". Since God is all knowing and all powerful there is nothing Satan can do, his rebellion is doomed to fail as soon as it began. Taking it that God knows this it suggests that he created Lucifer just to fall.

So really Lucifer is the prefect villain, he is designed to be beaten. He was designed to fall and to burn, video games just allow something else to throw him into the lake of fire. Every video game does the same thing in creating a villain just so they can fall. In Paradise Lost Lucifer has to more or less lie to himself and, thus, his cohort of fallen angles that they should rebel even though he knows that (in his heart of heart as it were) they are doomed to fail.

Also in Paradise Lost Satan, as he is known after his fall, is actually painted in a much more interesting light. He is shown as "majestic though in ruin" and courageous and cunning. This holds true in a lot of video games. Look at Sephiroth, a one winged angel who may as well be called Satan, I personally find him a much more interesting character then any of the protagonists, all I remember about Cloud is that he has a big sword. One final point concerning Sephiroth, the final encounter with him in FF7 is largely scripted, he has to to fall.

- messy

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