Going Gold: Gaming Doublespeak

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BlindChance:
My least favorite word would be "innovation" which usually means... nothing at all, really. The wii is innovative! No it's not, it's gimmicky! This game is innovative, it's nothing at all like anything else! This game is innovative, it's like everything else but with one new feature!

This. Innovation is often confused with gimmicks. A gimmick is something that really doesn't enhance the gaming experience at all, and is just there to have the consumer go "look, it's FANCY" and shell out money it. Usually involves some sort of gaming peripheral.
Ex. Wii Fit, Tony Hawk Ride, pretty much every game that comes with some sort of System add-on

Innovation on the other hand actually changes the whole gaming experience, and may be the inspiration for games in the future. Doesn't necessarily mean big sales, and is usually made for the consumer's enjoyment. Usually involves the gameplay itself, rather than a gaming peripheral.
Ex. Super Mario Bros., Halo:CE, Medal of Honor, Gran Turismo

Those are my definitions anyway.

Great article.

Just off the top of my head, 'cinematic' is a particularly annoying word for me. What on earth does it mean? Maybe I'm a moron, but I really don't quite get it.

I like games in a variety of genres, mainstream and obscure alike. I'm also very much against the idea that difficulty = fun. So I must be a casual gamer. Woohoo! Now I am no longer ashamed for loving Peggle.

I can't stand the word (if you can call it one) noob,nub,newby or whichever way you say it.

What it should mean: someone who is new to the game

What it really means when said: you suck at this game leave now and don't come back till your better

Usually said by "hardcore" gamers who don't like it when their teammates are as good as them so they ridicule them in the hope that the unskilled people leave. Just annoys how people treat ignorance. "No i'm sorry if I haven't spent hours one end learning the guns,levels,moves,etc.. of this particular game. Now if you excuse me I'm off to the real world where I can at least punch people like you in the face."

The terms that bother me at the moment are 'Killer-App' and 'Must-Play', not that the gaming industry is uniquely guilty about this one. It is implied to mean something that everyone should experience but what it really means is that the game/movie in question is the most polished current example of an entry in its genre that has nearly everything a dedicated fan could want of of that genre. If one has a distaste or disinterest in that genre, it usually won't win any converts(such as the Halo series or James Cameron's Titanic or Kill Bill).

I disapprove of the terms 'Hardcore' and 'Casual' for the same reason why I don't like the idea of anyone being defined by fandom of anykind. An individual's entertainment choices should be defined by the individual not the individual that is defined by said choices which can and often do change, perhaps on a whim. Back in the 'Golden Age' of arcade games, the only real difference between these so-called types of gamers was that Hardcore gamers put more quarters into a single machine than the Casual gamers did.

As for the thing about M-rated games, there would be a whole lot fewer of them if Moral Watchdog types stopped making a big deal about those dual milk delivery systems for babies that women have on their chests, sensationalizing them further in the process and making people want to see two generally unimpressive protuberances of skin more than they might have ever contemplated doing otherwise. It's rather like those failed boycotts that way.

bakonslayer:

Christian Ward:
...even the most vaguely ambitious of titles like Okami or Beyond Good and Evil are ignored by the "hardcore" for their perceived differences.

Is this true? 'sob'

shMerker:
Please keep writing stuff like this.

Definitely. The game industry is a VERY screwed up place, especially compared to the other forms of media. And if it doesn't acknowledge its problems it could very well suffocate underneath its own fat.

I kinda like being among screw ups such as myself.

What a terrible article. It's glib, flippant, and smacks of someone who is trying to be funny/clever. Edit to come later.

Edit 2: Thorough rejection put in later post.

[Insert Name Here]:
I personally hate everything jumping on the 'dark and edgy' bandwagon. Not only that, but they don't even turn out to be 'dark and edgy'.

I agree. But bandwagon-jumping is lesser of two problems. The bigger one is that "we're going darker and edgier" means "we're making a violent farce out of established setting" rather than "our characters put on serious faces and deal with serious issues".

Irridium:
That and "Realism.*

Which means get shot at, duck behind cover, regenerate health, and start shooting again. All done in an enviornment of 3 colors, grey, brown, and grayish-brown.

And this. I want to see more bright colours and over-the-top action in my games. I play them for escapism value, after all.

Franchise has to be one of my most hated words used in the games industry. To me it means sequels, tie in comics and/or novels and all of the other tie-in merchandise the makers can think of.

"Once you label me, you negate me" - Soren Kierkeegard.

Newspeak, in the guise of jargon, is already making it's way in. Meaning exactly what you think it shouldn't.

Next we'll have the Ministry of Games run by Atkinson, Thompson and Vaz.

Irridium:

That and "Realism.*

Which means get shot at, duck behind cover, regenerate health, and start shooting again. All done in an enviornment of 3 colors, grey, brown, and grayish-brown.

Funny, I thought it meant "Frustrating hotchpotch-limited by removing innovations."

Although not as bad as some of the TV based ones like "And hilarity ensuses/With Hilarious consequences".

That or "Wacky/Zany", Lord I hate those words.

Badabukavich:
I can't stand the word (if you can call it one) noob,nub,newby or whichever way you say it.

There's actually two ways its used.

"n00b" means an established player who is acting like a tool.
"newb" means someone new to the game, who is acting like a tool because he doesn't know how the game works.

Unfortunately, they sound almost indentical.

A horrificly condescending article if ever I read one, and something that the Escapist seems increasingly capable of. You're little rant against mature games especially. I like a bit of mindless swearing. I laughed my head off in Gears of War 2 as Marcus shouts "THAT'S FIVE MOTHER FUCKERS!". Oh, so Gears of War 2 is for 12 year olds now is it? Oh how dumb do I feel now [/sarcasm]

Being 21, I also object to being referred to as a "teenage boy" purely because I spend more time than most playing Left 4 Dead 2 at weekends. And you're term "hardcore" refers usually to those who spend the most time and money on games, just like your Kazakhstan cinema goers and Polish Polka dancers probably do in order to see and hear more of that sort of thing.

Clearly, the author has some kind of bug up his ass. Maybe he went on a friends 360 and got upset that a rowdy 12 year old boy from God-knows-where kept questioning his gender and/or sexuality in impolite ways, and therefore felt the need to attack anything they might like and support everything they don't.

And as much as I don't like digital distribution myself, you can hardly hold it against them for trying. If it doesn't work out, they'll still have retail, if it does....then more money to them.

In short, pathetic article.

Some things is disagree with. Your comment on a "hardcore" gamer is a extreme generalisation. Hardcore gamer does not always refer to people woh play mainstream games. It simply referes to people who play a lot (of ALL ages, despite the thought that only teenagers are hardcore gamers). The "fanboy" market is what you are describing. Those that only aaccept their prefered title. I for one play many of the main market games (on a 'hardcore' level) AND off market games, all of what i am interested in, RTS titles, RPGs etc regardless of wether they are the next blizzard of bioware game or not.

Digital Distribution is not necessarily a bad thing, despite how much you see it as. I live in Australia and if it wasnt for Steam and its digital distribution i would be unable to play the games i want to play. In Australia new games retail at $110 and indie games simply are not available. Purchasing via digital distribution lets me circumvent the store cut and i purchase games for $50 and am able to get my hands on games outside of the mainstream.

This honestly seems to be more of a rant than an actual article.

I wish we would call it ludorature. Properly snobbish.

People need to stop trying to compare director's cuts in movies to DLC in videogames. When content producers sell you director's cuts they sell you the whole movie again along with the deleted scenes. They don't sell you an access code for stuff already on the disk, or a movie with ten or fifteen minutes worth of content missing for the purpose of charging you twice! Content isn't purposely cut with a director's cut repackaging in mind before the movie even releases.

Both Okami and Beyond Good & Evil are pretty conventional post Ocarina of Time style Legend of Zelda games and are loved by "hardcore" games forum posters. At least the ones old enough to remember them. I suppose that the article is trying to make a point about how we should care more about art style than gameplay but the examples are not well chosen IMO.

It may depend on what variety of "hardcore" gamer you are talking about as a "bro gamer" XBot may never of heard of something like Katamari Damacy while multi-platform forum dweller might not have played a madden game in the last ten years.

Pretentious article, Heavy Rain won't sell as well as the next killfest because it tries to be thought provoking instead of fun. When people relax they enjoy fun not emotional rollercoasters leaving them confused or saddened (see Body of lies selling less than Beverly Hills Chihuahua), if Heavy Rain can prove that it can provide more entertainment value than Mewtwo than more power to it. As it stands this article is just a set up for everyone that plays Heavy rain to go, "look at me the big adult in a world of children, playing adult games for adult gamers." meanwhile everyone else hates them for thinking they're better just because they have different taste. (See the chefs, music and movie fans stated in the op's article.)

shadow skill:
People need to stop trying to compare director's cuts in movies to DLC in videogames. When content producers sell you director's cuts they sell you the whole movie again along with the deleted scenes. They don't sell you an access code for stuff already on the disk, or a movie with ten or fifteen minutes worth of content missing for the purpose of charging you twice! Content isn't purposely cut with a director's cut repackaging in mind before the movie even releases.

Right because all dlc is a scam and Fallout 3 had Operation Anchorage to Mothership Zeta in the disk on release day.

More Fun To Compute:
Both Okami and Beyond Good & Evil are pretty conventional post Ocarina of Time style Legend of Zelda games and are loved by "hardcore" games forum posters. At least the ones old enough to remember them. I suppose that the article is trying to make a point about how we should care more about art style than gameplay but the examples are not well chosen IMO.

What? I hope your joking, someone seriously wants people to like an artstyle of gameplay...in a GAME. For me the ranking goes Gameplay, story, characters, enviroment, artstyle, visuals.

hypothetical fact:
Pretentious article, Heavy Rain won't sell as well as the next killfest because it tries to be thought provoking instead of fun. When people relax they enjoy fun not emotional rollercoasters leaving them confused or saddened (see Body of lies selling less than Beverly Hills Chihuahua), if Heavy Rain can prove that it can provide more entertainment value than Mewtwo than more power to it. As it stands this article is just a set up for everyone that plays Heavy rain to go, "look at me the big adult in a world of children, playing adult games for adult gamers." meanwhile everyone else hates them for thinking they're better just because they have different taste. (See the chefs, music and movie fans stated in the op's article.)

shadow skill:
People need to stop trying to compare director's cuts in movies to DLC in videogames. When content producers sell you director's cuts they sell you the whole movie again along with the deleted scenes. They don't sell you an access code for stuff already on the disk, or a movie with ten or fifteen minutes worth of content missing for the purpose of charging you twice! Content isn't purposely cut with a director's cut repackaging in mind before the movie even releases.

Right because all dlc is a scam and Fallout 3 had Operation Anchorage to Mothership Zeta in the disk on release day.

I don't remember saying that all dlc is a scam.

kingcom:
What? I hope your joking, someone seriously wants people to like an artstyle of gameplay...in a GAME. For me the ranking goes Gameplay, story, characters, enviroment, artstyle, visuals.

You shouldn't read the Tale of Tales blog or play their games. You would get an aneurysm.

Admit it, the McDonald's comparison comes from the Maddox interview.

http://www.mygamer.com/index.php?page=interviews&mode=viewinterviews&id=49

An interesting adn thought provoking article back ended by the same inane knee-jerk drivel you always see criticising Digital Distribution.

DD doesn't rely on people spending more money, it just measn more of that money goes to developers and publishers, and less on costs and retail. Also fewer distribution channels means more competition if there was only one distribution channel Shadow Comples would be in competition with every other game out there, rather than existing in a vacuum as it does at present. You need 2 or 3 so that publishers have some other route, but 20 or 30 only lessens the competitive aspect at the other end.

The thing with DD is that the prices should be universally less than retail. It makes no sense to get something through DD if the prices are exactly the same. Services like Steam only shine when the price of the items are less than that of retail.

Therumancer:
, but then again that's probably because pretty much every single one is nothing but a sex farce with little in the way of a storyline that doesn't revolve around sex.

I hate to admit it but (for my pride here), i beg to differ on that point right there has been plenty of decent "porno games as you like to call it" which have had a different version of them made with the porno removed and still stands as a good game with a good storyline, proving that point of yours void, for a specific example of this see fate/ stay night [Realta Nua].

heh anyway, sorry about going of topic there just trying to clear up some misconseptions.

Interesting point about the terms "hardcore" and "casual", and the games associated with them. I play "hardcore" games like Halo, Call of Duty, and Gears of War, but I play them casually. I also play games like FarmVille(not actually FarmVille, mind, but games like it) and I play those casually as well.

But because I play Halo, I am generally lumped as a "hardcore" gamer by designation. I have yet to hear a term that means "just plays games, regardless of genre, sometimes" that does not carry the negative connotations of either word. If you all have one, I'd love to hear it.

Nimbus:

Aside from that, I think the digital distribution trend is going to work out great!... For people on the PC, that is. Plenty of room for competition in an open platform. Still, you console gamers are screwwwwwwed.

Boy, if only the consoles could download stuff off of the internet. Oh wait...

And if they do go unchallenged and raise prices, don't you figure fewer people will buy the games, encouraging them not to do so? You really should consider your word choice in the future. Work on that.

Christian Ward:
Mature

This is a criticism that is well founded and well explained. The crowbarring of your upcoming release is a bit embarrassing and the problem that you identify with not having a label for games actually aimed at adults is overblown. Consider the possibility that people who buy games frequently if not always go on a little more than the ESRB rating that the game has received - sometimes they read reviews, play demos, etc. This seems rather more influential a way to get the message across that a game is for adults, and is quite likely to trump what the rating says.

Christian Ward:
Hardcore

You might think it means... "The gaming literati, the core users and trend-definers of gaming."

It actually means... "The people with most time on their hands to play and comment on mainstream games, i.e. teenage boys."

Way to rest on an easy and tired stereotype. Only someone with a vague grasp of the English language could think that 'hardcore' could be defined in the way that you have suggested. Is it really that difficult to pick up a dictionary? Here are some definitions for you:

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/hardcore:

adj.
1. unswervingly committed; uncompromising; dedicated: a hard-core segregationist.
3. being so without apparent change or remedy; chronic: hard-core inflation; hard-core unemployment.
n.
1. The most dedicated, unfailingly loyal faction of a group or organization: the hard core of the separatist movement.
2. An intractable core or nucleus of a society, especially one that is stubbornly resistant to improvement or change.

So, in the tl:dr version, no you wouldn't think that that is what it meant.

Christian Ward:
Cinema lovers will usually scoff at Hollywood and instead proclaim Kazakhstani post-modern film the future. Music buffs enjoy nothing more than knowing about Polish Polka-techno-fusion before anybody else. Any gourmet worth his salt wouldn't be seen dead in any restaurant you've even heard of. But our "hardcore" are like people who eat at McDonalds, and refuse to recognize the existence of anything else.

No they won't, no they don't, and yes he would. You're confusing lovers of something with elitist pricks who spend their time trying to be obscure and different, giving themselves a false impression of self-worth in the process. A cinema lover will be open to an amazing Hollywood film just as much as one from a more obscure source (though they well recognise the much of what comes out of Hollywood is uninspired money spinning - reminds me of the games industry). I won't bother with your other two examples because the same analysis applies.

Christian Ward:
Going back to Heavy Rain for a moment (you may be detecting a theme here), look at how many so-called "gamers" are immediately dismissing it as a QTE-fest, a modern Dragon's Lair, or so on without having so much as picked up a trailer. Oh my god! It doesn't look and play exactly like everything I'm already playing! Kill it with fire!

OMG! If millions of people comment about something, loads of them are going to pan it?! Really? Eurgh. The control system proposed for Heavy Rain doesn't at first look likely to succeed, but if it comes out with good reviews and people find it works, I somehow doubt this will hold back the majority of users. The hardcore may well give it a miss because they like their games a certain way, but then that is what hardcore means (not that you'd know).

Christian Ward:
The same fate befalls Wii Fit or indeed anything with a new control scheme; even the most vaguely ambitious of titles like Okami or Beyond Good and Evil are ignored by the "hardcore" for their perceived differences. Perhaps, if our actual definition of "core" means anything at all, it's an easy mass-market audience, the type of person you would market a Michael Bay movie or an American Idol winner to in other forms of media.

Wrong. The fate that befell Wii Fit was that it isn't a game so much as an empty gimmick designed to attract non-gamers to the Wii. The control system is laughable and few if any gamers like it because it isn't really a game. An innovation, yes, but not all innovation is improvement. The second half of the paragraph is a shallow and empty insult to people who don't agree with your view of what games should be, and yet again highlights your ignorance ragarding the language you are using. The overlap, between Idol watchers and 'gamers' comes mostly from the demographic of those playing Wii Fit.

Christian Ward:
Casual

You might think it means... "People who play only Brain Age and FarmVille."

It actually means... "The average consumer."

I'd probably put 'gamer' after that world 'casual' if I wanted to talk about people, otherwise you risk the ambiguity between casual gamers and casual games. Let's go for the former, as that is what you mostly seem to want to be talking about.

Christian Ward:
If there's been one consistent trend in the last five years of gaming, it's that people really have an affinity for games. With the rise of the Wii and DS, World of Warcraft's terrifying popularity, and the recent mass-market adoption of FarmVille and other browser games, it's clear that people everywhere want to play games and will do so when given something in which they are interested. Gaming has value to people.

Value as a way to pass the time. If it is vaguely entertaining than so much the better. Farmville, though, isn't really gaming in the sense that hobbyists see gaming. This is a big problem with the Wii as well. Hobbyist gamers usually want depth to a game, be that in story or in gameplay (or ideally in both) and are quick to turn their nose up at something which doesn't even bother to try to achieve that.

Christian Ward:
Amazingly for our industry, we find this a problem. Everyone who is not in the true definition of "hardcore" (see above) is looked down on as a "casual", unwilling or incapable of understanding the true brilliance of having twelve-year-olds insult you while they are teabagging your virtual corpse. When all available evidence points to the overwhelming desire of ordinary people everywhere to play videogames, we as an industry continue to retreat into our shell and make some more "safe" shooting, racing and killing games, helpless to understand what these scary new people want or how to make them go away.

Yeah, real helpless, that's why Pop Cap and Zynga are doing such terrible business catering to this lowest common denominator of 'gamers'. Remember when it use to be called video games? To reduce online FPS to the worst aspects of it is to show your ignorance and such wilful misrepresentation clouds any point you may have been trying to make.

Christian Ward:
Our only solution to this is to convince ourselves that these people are "casuals" - the very name implying some lack of commitment! - who will not be around for long. They'll be gone once the wind changes direction. Best not to risk it.

This is only true to the extent that most normal people are not bound to the same idiotic hardware loyalty as we gamers are. Put it this way: five years ago, I was using Opera to browse the Internet. Four years ago, I was using Firefox, and now I'm using Chrome. The important thing is that I'm still using the Internet. In just the same way, these "casuals" are gaming on the DS one day, Facebook the next, the iPhone the day after that. They haven't actually gone anywhere. In fact, they are everywhere, because they are regular people. Remember when we used to sell games to people like that?

No. Someone who thinks that they 'game' on their iPhone or Facebook doesn't understand what gaming really is. To label them 'casuals' is the polite shorthand for this. Hardware loyalty has nothing to do with it - it is about what the product actually is. Going by what you are peddling, the digital version of Trivial Pursuit I bought for my phone is enough to make me a gamer. Yeah, right. Just because you've played something, doesn't mean you are a gamer. The same way as just because you watch a few films doesn't make you a film buff.

Christian Ward:
Digital Distribution

What? Erm, yeah, not having trade-ins is bad I guess, though we've hardly arrived at the nightmarish scenario you describe. Also, "producers are undervaluing their produce"?! Really? As a consumer of videogames who stands to have his pocket further assaulted by such thinking (and since you claim that message boards get taken into account by the industry) let me be probably not the first to tell you that games are FAR too expensive as it is, and that I for one wouldn't be very happy to pay much more than I already do.

Christian Ward:
Boycott

You might think it means... "A principled stand to speak truth to power! This'll show the bastards!"

It actually means... "Sweet, free publicity!"

This is a question of perspective. From the point of view of the person doing the boycotting, it means the first thing. From the greedy publisher who has patently failed to listen to their target audience it may well mean the second.

Christian Ward:
Consider the UK "Rage Against the Machine for Christmas Number One" campaign, a pointless-but-amusing moment of consumer "activism" that began on Facebook as a backlash to Simon Cowell's pop domination of the music charts (er, at least I think that's what it was about). That's a piece of mischief done through the Internet correctly.

Minor research would have shown you that this wasn't the main point of the group. It's amazing how many journalists and pseudo-journalists don't bother to go to the source material even when it is merely a few clicks away.

Christian Ward:
In gaming? Let's see, we had the Modern Warfare 2 server backlash... wait, that didn't work out so well. How did that Left 4 Dead 2 one come along? Oh wait... In fact, the only correlation I can see between boycotts and sales is that boycotts actually help.

At least the Rage Against the Machine lot helped raise some money for the homeless. With countless millions dying of hunger, wars raging in nations around the world, and many more in your own neighborhood unemployed and in need of help than this time two years ago, gamers choose to put their effort into half-heartedly "boycotting" a videogame until it's made the way they want it. 30,000 people signed up to the Left 4 Dead 2 boycott group on Steam alone. Well done, guys. Gandhi would be proud. How about putting your time into Child's Play, or something more productive? Choosing not to purchase a product is your right. What annoys me is that people like Valve actually have to take time out of their schedule to humor you.

Ah yes, that's the difference, popularity. Forget principles, if you can't get the majority of people to agree with your point of view, what's the point of doing anything? That you are annoyed that Valve felt the need to reach out to those criticising it for doing what it has rarely done before (releasing the essentially the same game with a bit more new stuff for full whack) shows that you are what is wrong with the games industry. You just want to shovel whatever down our throats, have us buy it, and not complain. Well fuck that for a game of soldiers. Valve tarnished their reputation somewhat with L4D2, and I imagine that they'll think twice before they release so little for so much in the future. But then, Valve like to see their games as value for money, and their customers as something more than cash cows to be milked at every opportunity.

So, how to summarise? Well, you are wrong on almost every point that you put across, and you are peddling the 'shut up and put up' position in the guise of exposing doublespeak, and the Escapist's editors should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves for giving you a platform. I'd love a response, but I suppose taking the time out of your schedule to 'humour' me would be beyond you.

I note that you were using doublespeak at the start of your post for "wanting to highlight complaints about gaming culture" and also that in your urge to satire your definitions of casual and hardcore failed to match up. You defined casual as "not hardcore" and hardcore as "would turn down games like Heavy Rain etc" but the people, people most often refer to as casual are the least likely to even know about Heavy Rain. Certainly the people most up for it seem to be the people who are elitest about most things.

And as with your article, this little disharmony of words reveals a larger disharmony. My complaint about "casual" gaming is that it actually harms my hobby because it dissuades publishers to publish games which actually put people on an emotional journey. There has been a big shift in resources from the AAA games to the mini games because minigame bundles make more money.

A game like Heavy Rain can certainly doesn't fit the current definition of the casual market and if the trend shifts more and more to entertaining but ultimately unfufilling Pop Cap games then we're going to lose out.

- I actually thought "Adult" was a rating in the US. Didn't realize it stopped at "Mature".
- Casual gamers, huh? I can spend six hours on a weekday playing games, between sleep, travel, and work. That isn't hardcore enough, to spend all my freetime gaming? Should I quit my job to become more hardcore? Casual gamer is a ridiculous term. (I do really hate browser games though.)
- Digital downloads: Hate them. I don't like change. I prefer the traditional physical copy and all the paraphernalia that goes with it. The more games that switch to digital-download only, the fewer games I play.
- DRM and internet activation: Not happening. Too much trouble with rootkits in recent years. And with the exception of an occasional MMO, no game of mine will ever access the internet. My firewall is my best friend; I don't trust "protected" (read: encrypted) software to behave itself when I'm not looking. When internet activation is required, it's crack downloading time here. And Steam sure as Hell doesn't fly here either. (Nor do all these shitty com programs, Live messenger, Xfire, etc, no f'ing thank you.)

My opinions.

zidine100:

Therumancer:
, but then again that's probably because pretty much every single one is nothing but a sex farce with little in the way of a storyline that doesn't revolve around sex.

I hate to admit it but (for my pride here), i beg to differ on that point right there has been plenty of decent "porno games as you like to call it" which have had a different version of them made with the porno removed and still stands as a good game with a good storyline, proving that point of yours void, for a specific example of this see fate/ stay night [Realta Nua].

heh anyway, sorry about going of topic there just trying to clear up some misconseptions.

I have yet to see that one, BUT if they had to remove the sex to make it "good" so to speak I think that sort of makes my point for me. Probably because those elements were not intergrated into the overall product very well to begin with.

My point is more along the lines that you should be able to have BOTH in a game or movie working together towards a whole product, rather than having to sacrifice one or the other.

I've run into occasional attempts to do this. I'd point fingers at things like say Princess Waltz and maybe Divi Dead for things I've run into. However in most such cases the overall results are lacking, and in general the whole plotline still basically turns into a thinly veiled excuse to tie a bunch of sex scenes together more than standing well on it's own.

As ironic as it might sound, I don't think we've yet had a game or movie equivilent of the "Gor" books (including the two horrendous Gor movies they tried to make). For all the criticisms of that series it went on for like 20 books. You had the sex, you had the bondage, but you also had some pretty good storylines going on along with this, as well as a decent amount of world building. I admit many Gor fans give it a bad name, but in reading some of these books (albeit not all of them) I occasionally pulled things from them for D&D games to fill in details because it covered things aside from sex and violence like explaining how coins could be minted at a low tech level with enough credibility where I was basically able to pull that process to explain such things in my own fantasy games.

Maybe your right about Fate/Stay Night, but since you mentioned them having to pull the sex for it to be received that way (if I understand what your saying correctly) I think that kind of disqualifies it.

Rofl boycot=sweet free publicity, why am i reminded of L4D2 for some reason :P

kingcom:

More Fun To Compute:
Both Okami and Beyond Good & Evil are pretty conventional post Ocarina of Time style Legend of Zelda games and are loved by "hardcore" games forum posters. At least the ones old enough to remember them. I suppose that the article is trying to make a point about how we should care more about art style than gameplay but the examples are not well chosen IMO.

What? I hope your joking, someone seriously wants people to like an artstyle of gameplay...in a GAME. For me the ranking goes Gameplay, story, characters, enviroment, artstyle, visuals.

Whelp, there is your proof MFTC, they don't like Okami. It's okay to cry out loud. Nobody can hear you cry on the internet. 'enters sobbing'

SikOseph:

Christian Ward:
blah

So, how to summarise? Well, you are wrong on almost every point that you put across

This. totally this.

Great Article. It was definitly an interesting read.

However, there are a few points that I would like to make :
Your defintion of hardcore, and the one that everyone in the industry seem to be using right now is just that of mainstream gamers. Not mainstream video game consummers, but the biggest group among the people who happend to define themselves as gamers.

Hardcore gamers actually means something, it is still used by some groups to refer to people who are ready to learn the hard way the mecanics of a game, who are willing to invest hours in a gaming experience that is not really fun at first in order to amuse themselves in more complex or challenging ways later. It can be used appropriatly to refer to people playing multiplayer games with a very long learning time (Quake III or Starcraft as opposed to Halo 3 or Call of Duty) or who are willing to enjoy gaming experiences that can be hard to get into, such as games like ArmA II, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. in a way, or to take the extreme exemple : Harpoon. Among that group of gamers, you will find people ready to jump on edgy and not well-known things, such as Shattered Horizon or complex simulations (Harpoon being the most easy exemple).

But one of the problems of video games is the segmentation into genres : Most "hardcore" (not mainstream) people have favorite genres and are willing to try obscure things (like Red Orchestra, Shattered Horizon or Zeno Clash, among FPS) in their favorite genre, but are less likely to go out and buy a strange, undefined game experience.

As for Heavy Rain, I'm looking forward to see how it will work out. I'm afraid the story is not going to be that good as David Cage who wrote the script :
1- Didn't write anything but Indigo Prophecy before Heavy Rain
2- Is French, so his english writing is probably going to sound weird at times (like mine does)
3 -Lives in a country where most screenwriters currently suck ass at their jobs (unlike French novelists)

But I must say that I respect him for taking such a gamble, for his idea of creating a game experience closer to cinema, in the sense that it's based on what the story dictates and not constrained by an existing gameplay genre. I've played a short segment of Heavy Rain, and I must say I'm impressed. It's not challenging in any way, it's not just a stream of quick-time-events either, it's a way to create an interesting bond between the player and the characters in the game.

You're confusing lovers of something with elitist pricks who spend their time trying to be obscure and different, giving themselves a false impression of self-worth in the process. A cinema lover will be open to an amazing Hollywood film just as much as one from a more obscure source

Qualifying people who don't have the tastes you like as "elitist pricks" ! Way to go !
And, yes, most cinema lovers (i.e. people who have seen other things than just hollywood movies) have a tendancy to shun hollywood films because most of the time those movies are pretty stupid or otherwise just go by the numbers and don't try anything different. And, yes, the Dark Knight is an exemple of an intelligent, well-directed and well-written entertainment product, but it didn't move forward the art of cinema as a whole in any way.
(And I don't even want to talk about Avatar whose only worth is the art direction and the work of the CGI team, as everything else is derivative and uninspired)

I'm not sure I took in everybody's rants properly, they seemed to have meshed together a bit. At the very least, a very provocative article Mr. Ward.

My main point of contention, and I'm not sure its shared by my esteemed colleagues here in the forums or even the ones I actually like, is that you claim the hardcore simply have more time on their hands. Then you segue, improperly in my estimation, into the idea that killfests and tea-bagging are the realm of the hardcore. Not true. At my store I watched hundreds of people walk in and out with a copy of Call of Duty: MW2, and the vast majority of them had never played anything else. Ever. Everything they knew of video games was made up of this one franchise, or worse yet, this one game. Now, that's as casual as it gets, and appropriately its the entirely mediocre and simplistic CoD:MW2 that drew them in. The game, much like Farmville or MafiaWars or what have you, takes an impossibly basic premise, tremendously simple player input and then polishes it to the point where the experience is smooth and comfortable. Never jarring or unpleasant.

My point is, basically, that Hardcore Gamers (an ill-defined group at best, I'll admit) are probably better characterized by what they do when they AREN'T playing games, rather than the games themselves. Casual gamers do not venture into online forums and argue the virtues and downfalls of a piece of software. But they are just as likely to rocketjump to a higher platform for a better snipe. A casual gamer might be better than you or I, Mr. Ward at TeamFortress2, or Street Fighter IV. But if they don't know or care WHY Chun-Li and Vega hate each other, and have never appreciated the genius of TF2's art, then they must just like playing the game. The social trappings, the lifestyle that is being sold, primarily to young males by the game companies, by softdrink companies and by Spike TV, is lost on them.

And to blame the young men for attempting to distinguish themselves. For fiercely resisting the dilution of a lifestyle, which marketing told them was vital to their persona, you claim they are narrow-minded? No sir, that is false. Casual gamers MUST be treated with derision, because the alternative is to lose the self that these young man were told to carefully construct and cultivate via the games they buy, the sites they frequent and the things they talk about.

It might disturb you that young men are so easily manipulated, but it should hardly shock you. They're young, damn it. If you want to blame someone for the mistreatment of the casual, blame the marketing. And expect it to change. 2009 was a "weak" year for hardcore gamers, and eventually the marketing will remake the gamer lifestyle into something with a wider scope and more potential profit. And some gamers will be left in the cold, with a few companies targeting them as a niche market. A few intelligent, innovative games a year. The young ones, they'll adapt and the next generation will buy a trillion copies of mediocre games that everyone plays because now being a gamer isn't based on lifestyle marketing anymore. It's based on wide-net marketing and everything will be casual. And then, the hardcore won't be called that anymore. They'll be called "Elitist".

Great article! I'm a casual gamer and proud of it (well, not really. I can't afford to be a hardcore gamer at the moment sooo yeah)!

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