On Kinect and PlayStation Move

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MikeTheElf:

theklng:

MikeTheElf:
Games are meant to be gimmicky. They're built around capturing your attention at least long enough for one to buy it, to feed the parties involved with its production and sale. Immersion is just a bonus that everyone feels entitled to. To use an allegory: food works the same way; one can sustain oneself on food that doesn't taste good, but once one tastes more enticing food, one expects more out of all future foods. Everyone was content when 8-bit games were on the market, just as everyone was content pumping quarters into arcade machines for hours or days.

Entertainment has always been a contest as to what can hold one's attention; this results in a battle to see who can produce the nicest gimmick, game or service. This means that when one company does something that is the slightest bit profitable, all companies in the field will do the same; CDs supplanted cartridges, DVDs CDs, Blurays are apparently next. People are attracted to the shiniest object, and the Wii outsold both PS3 and 360. Motion control was naturally the next step. No one cares about innovation; they all want money.

i beg to differ.

while some may consider games mere entertainment that are ultimately gimmicky, you are forgetting that those same gimmicks lessen the attention captive period for a person. a gimmick is essentially a superfluous element intended to attract immediate attention, but failing to keep interest once discovered. examples of such would be diamonds reflecting light or racing stripes on a car.

gimmicks don't make games interesting; the rules of play and game mechanics do that. a golden controller won't make the game you play any more fun (though perhaps you will get a feeling of material accomplishment owning one).

1- Once the game is purchased, the developer has succeeded; a game does not need to hold attention for the developer to succeed; it needs to hold attention for the game to be considered 'good.'

2- Gimmicks make the games interesting enough from a graphical or interface standpoint. For example: 3D makes people think that the game is inherently more shiny graphics-wise. Lots of people are only concerned with the lustre of their polygons, and many more won't admit that having good graphics is one of their priorities for a game. The fact of the matter is people are drawn to shinier objects, thus interest is drawn when something newer and shinier comes out. This is why HDTV is big, and this is why consoles use disc-based games as opposed to cartridge-based ones.

3- The controller actually can influence the ammount of enjoyment one gets from a game. I enjoy certain controllers over others, and certain button layouts to others. For example: I prefer PS3 controllers over 360, because of the joystick placement, and because the PS3 controller feels more comfortable. I dislike the GameCube controller for the same reason; I just don't find it comfortable. Some of the Wiimote attachments also feel more natural; MarioKart is much more enjoyable with the Wiimote wheel attachment. The controller takes care of the extrinsic factors which affect gameplay, enhancing the gaming experience, and in some instances increasing my level of enjoyment.

so you're saying that the game with the best graphics and bad game mechanics will always have more people playing than a game with excellent game mechanics and worse graphics?

and you are wrong: once a game is purchased, a game needs to succeed. otherwise, the corporate reputation of the game studio/publisher is going down the drain. we've got plenty of real life examples doing this (a good one being daikatana). you're essentially talking out of your ass here.

Pebkio:
So... the two different systems lead to two different ways of playing?

Motion Controls lead to the holodeck?
...while...
Button Controls lead to direct input?

Taken to those extremes, you can tell which one of those will be for hardcore gamers and which is for casual gamers. I've always said that I don't like games that get too realistic.
...
I vote for more of a matrixy form of gaming.

Yes I agree, I'd go with the matrix form too. The problem with that is it's REALLY FUCKING HARD. The brain-plug kind of stuff is just getting off the ground and is still really slow and inconsistent. You have to think for 30 seconds just to make one letter. The holodeck-type will be possible first.

There are probably other directions immersion could go as well, although i can't really think of what those might be.

True Nero:
if anything. i'm actually afraid to be excited for portal 2. trying to make sequals to games that were concidered perfect don't usually come out to well.

Keep in mind that this is ValVe we're talking about who's only disappointing sequel I can think of is L4D2 and even then I enjoyed it and even prefered it over the first game.

I see this trend differently: not as a step on the way to Matrix-like immersion, but as a step on the way to outdoor, fullbody gaming. We're *so* close right now, we just have to wait for someone to put the pieces together. It's immersion not by putting your mind in the game, but by overwriting the outside world with game logic. Soon kids will be running around, nearly knocking me over, talking about weird things that aren't there, and I can't wait.

Keep in mind that colour TV was once just a gimmick. The gimmick may be ditracting for some time but if it becomes a mainstay and we get used to it we'll probably miss it a little if it gets taken away.

Foxtrot: Neither will exist in our lifetime. Just... not going to happen, be sad. However, there will be advancements in our lifetimes, and those advancements might kill off one way or another.

For instance, reading brain-waves is getting to be more exact as the years go by... and one day... they'll find a cheap way to connect leads to a bunch of different spots on our heads and have an avatar respond.

We, as a species, will be very bad at playing games this way... at least at first. To top that off, the cheap versions they use won't be as precise as needed and the games will probably be very gimicky. Worse yet: There won't be any force feedback... except maybe we'll get chairs that react to video games. It will be complete shit and I'll support it all the way.

Meanwhile, they'll have invented a suit that is suspended in mid-air and translates your movements into the movements of your avatar, and it'll be good and I'll still hate the damn thing.

theklng:

MikeTheElf:

theklng:

MikeTheElf:
Games are meant to be gimmicky. They're built around capturing your attention at least long enough for one to buy it, to feed the parties involved with its production and sale. Immersion is just a bonus that everyone feels entitled to. To use an allegory: food works the same way; one can sustain oneself on food that doesn't taste good, but once one tastes more enticing food, one expects more out of all future foods. Everyone was content when 8-bit games were on the market, just as everyone was content pumping quarters into arcade machines for hours or days.

Entertainment has always been a contest as to what can hold one's attention; this results in a battle to see who can produce the nicest gimmick, game or service. This means that when one company does something that is the slightest bit profitable, all companies in the field will do the same; CDs supplanted cartridges, DVDs CDs, Blurays are apparently next. People are attracted to the shiniest object, and the Wii outsold both PS3 and 360. Motion control was naturally the next step. No one cares about innovation; they all want money.

i beg to differ.

while some may consider games mere entertainment that are ultimately gimmicky, you are forgetting that those same gimmicks lessen the attention captive period for a person. a gimmick is essentially a superfluous element intended to attract immediate attention, but failing to keep interest once discovered. examples of such would be diamonds reflecting light or racing stripes on a car.

gimmicks don't make games interesting; the rules of play and game mechanics do that. a golden controller won't make the game you play any more fun (though perhaps you will get a feeling of material accomplishment owning one).

1- Once the game is purchased, the developer has succeeded; a game does not need to hold attention for the developer to succeed; it needs to hold attention for the game to be considered 'good.'

2- Gimmicks make the games interesting enough from a graphical or interface standpoint. For example: 3D makes people think that the game is inherently more shiny graphics-wise. Lots of people are only concerned with the lustre of their polygons, and many more won't admit that having good graphics is one of their priorities for a game. The fact of the matter is people are drawn to shinier objects, thus interest is drawn when something newer and shinier comes out. This is why HDTV is big, and this is why consoles use disc-based games as opposed to cartridge-based ones.

3- The controller actually can influence the ammount of enjoyment one gets from a game. I enjoy certain controllers over others, and certain button layouts to others. For example: I prefer PS3 controllers over 360, because of the joystick placement, and because the PS3 controller feels more comfortable. I dislike the GameCube controller for the same reason; I just don't find it comfortable. Some of the Wiimote attachments also feel more natural; MarioKart is much more enjoyable with the Wiimote wheel attachment. The controller takes care of the extrinsic factors which affect gameplay, enhancing the gaming experience, and in some instances increasing my level of enjoyment.

so you're saying that the game with the best graphics and bad game mechanics will always have more people playing than a game with excellent game mechanics and worse graphics?

and you are wrong: once a game is purchased, a game needs to succeed. otherwise, the corporate reputation of the game studio/publisher is going down the drain. we've got plenty of real life examples doing this (a good one being daikatana). you're essentially talking out of your ass here.

No, I'm saying that the human race is attracted to shiny objects. I didn't say more people would play games that look nicer; I said more people would be attracted to purchase games that look nicer. Of course people are also going to look into gameplay mechanics, but even then: novelty sells. The newer the stimulus, the more attracted to it humans will be. THAT is why gimmicks sell in the first place. If they look cool, people want them.

You obviously think that everyone looks into the game studio or publisher of the game, or even cares to remember it. Let me list some demographics that more often than not don't pay attention:
1- Children of parents with expendable income - Spoilt children generally love to waste money on things that look shiny. If you were to tell me that these parents research the games they buy for their children, I'd call bs on you faster than you called on me.
2- Casual Gamers - These sort of gamers are into the gimmicky stuff. Whether or not the company has made bad games ultimately has no bearing on the gimmick-drawn crowd.
3- People with expendable incomes - Lots of people I know love having lots of games. Some people don't trust what the read or hear in internet reviews and want to try games out for themselves, or maybe they want to give companies more than one chance at making a good game.
4- Magpies - As stated numerous times: people are drawn to new and shiny things. If it looks good, some people will look into it, others will just buy it (see 'people with expendable incomes')

Lastly, you appear to forget that opinions are subjective. Games are not factually considered 'good' or 'bad'; the verdict is up to the gamer. There are billions of people in the world; it would be talking out of your ass to say that there isn't a market for everything.

You don't judge portal on early information, yet you judge everything else?
Hypocrit

either way you put it, portal is going to be amazing

I agree with Yahtzee - controllers that utilize the break-ur-tv-with-pad mechanics suck! Also, today's 3D is fail. Even after watching a 3D movie in cinema eyes tend to pain. And in games, that you play 8 hours a day? Eyesfallingoutofsockets-tastic!

MikeTheElf:
No, I'm saying that the human race is attracted to shiny objects. I didn't say more people would play games that look nicer; I said more people would be attracted to purchase games that look nicer. Of course people are also going to look into gameplay mechanics, but even then: novelty sells. The newer the stimulus, the more attracted to it humans will be. THAT is why gimmicks sell in the first place. If they look cool, people want them.

You obviously think that everyone looks into the game studio or publisher of the game, or even cares to remember it. Let me list some demographics that more often than not don't pay attention:
1- Children of parents with expendable income - Spoilt children generally love to waste money on things that look shiny. If you were to tell me that these parents research the games they buy for their children, I'd call bs on you faster than you called on me.
2- Casual Gamers - These sort of gamers are into the gimmicky stuff. Whether or not the company has made bad games ultimately has no bearing on the gimmick-drawn crowd.
3- People with expendable incomes - Lots of people I know love having lots of games. Some people don't trust what the read or hear in internet reviews and want to try games out for themselves, or maybe they want to give companies more than one chance at making a good game.
4- Magpies - As stated numerous times: people are drawn to new and shiny things. If it looks good, some people will look into it, others will just buy it (see 'people with expendable incomes')

Lastly, you appear to forget that opinions are subjective. Games are not factually considered 'good' or 'bad'; the verdict is up to the gamer. There are billions of people in the world; it would be talking out of your ass to say that there isn't a market for everything.

i actually had a post ready about this, but i decided not to post it because of lack of worthwhile content.

let me instead counter your points one by one:

1) as awareness on games is increasing, and they are becoming an increasingly larger part of our culture, parents are actually doing this. i remember working at a game retailer several years ago, where i would see parents with their children every day. it really struck me how much more most of them cared than i anticipated (i had pretty much the stereotype of what you described in my head when i started). of course, back then there were much less emphasis on physical motion than there is now, but really, it's just hopping from one trend to another.

i will say that the interest is still fairly limited, and we probably won't see any parents in this generation care excessively about what their child plays; but i'll wager that when the coming generations will become parents, they will have a much stronger opinion on games. not just as legal guardians, but as players themselves.

2) casual gamers are per definition people who want to have a casual atmosphere around a game. this includes events such as party gaming, and these people generally aim more at creating a social atmosphere than actually playing any game. since the game isn't in focus, it can by them be substituted by anything else. they only care about the game as far as it can actually provide worthwhile multiplayer entertainment. gimmicks have no place here, since gimmicks provide no worthwhile entertainment.

as an addendum, you should consider your prejudice about people and what they are into, especially considering there is no logic in your statement about casual gamers.

3) as a games developer, i consider game 'research' to be much needed; which is why i sometimes force myself to play games in order to look for what hooks people in said games. i have a budget every couple of months for which i can buy any game, whether hyped or out of interest. i have a large collection of games; with some i've played through numerous times and some i've never touched. i usually check around on a few review sites before checking a game out, if a demo isn't out. i know several people (colleagues and friends) who are in the same situation. i would never buy a game because of its gimmick, and i don't think the people i know would either.

it boggles my mind how you stereotype a person with interest in games to label him completely ignorant of said games. it's like expecting a person with a personal library of books to be ignorant in literature. it really hurts your credibility when you speak of these people you know that obviously have an interest in games that you neglect to mention.

4) not really an argument since magpies aren't humans.

lastly, i do not forget anything. opinions are subjective, yes. opinions masquerading as facts are too. you substitute your own stereotype definition for seemingly the entire demographic of players instead of looking at things as how they are. i used to see things my way too, but then i grew up and realized that even though you see stupid people on tv and on the internet, it doesn't mean that every single person is equally stupid. take my advice and get out somewhere and meet with people, or even just sit on a bench and look at them. i can assure you you'll be positively surprised.

as a final note: yes, everyone likes different tastes, yadda yadda subjectivity. this is true, but you don't market a product on a business model that say, "everyone likes everything".

That point you missed, Yahtzee, I found it. There is one major problem with the 3D of games like Super Mario 64 and Zelda, which you're probably so used to compensating for that you don't recognise anymore, and it's simply this: If Mario was standing in a white, diffusely lit room, you wouldn't have the slightest idea where he was in relation to the yellow block floating (presumably) above his head.

We pick up our sense of where a character is in 3D space from secondary visual cues (scale relationships, immediate memory and that ever-present blob-shadow), and the environments in Super Mario games are, at least partially, designed around giving us a constant supply of those cues.

It's THE major failing of 3D games (SM64 type 3D, not Roy-Orbison sunglasses 3D), and the main reason why 2D platformers still play better than they do in 3D. They are more precise, because you always know exactly where you are in a 2D plane (the analogue/digital direction thing is another factor, but 3D can't fix that one).

I think the reason Nintendo is trawling out all the old titles is simply because they play better on the 3DS than they did on the N64. Of course, I haven't been to E3 either, so I'm only guessing, but I'm also going to put my money where my assumptions are and pick up a 3DS the moment they're available.

Actually, I don't mind Microsoft and Sony trying to get a share of Nintendo's market. As long as they offer something different and they do. Microsoft is going with a controller-free technology, but offers a library similar to Nintendo's. Sony is offering similar controls to Nintendo, but offers a more mature library. Yes it's similar, but it will actually talk to different people.

I use to have a Wii and since I sold it, I miss playing Resident Evil 4 with the Wii remote. So Resident Evil 5 using Move is great news to me. On the Kinect side, I can see my kids having a blast with the racing game. There are some advantages of owning a Wii. It's fun for social and family activities, but its offering for a gamer (not interested in Nintendo games) is kinda weak. I sold mine, but something I wish I still had it to play when friends are coming over. But with the Move, I will be able to get the same type of fun without owning 2 consoles; one accumulating dust for that one time in a month that friends coming over want to play with.

We have to understand something. These companies don't have to focus all their energy to please us. They already offer us a lot and still keep on doing it. They have the right to try to reach new markets. All you have to do if you are not interested in these new products is to ignore them. Wii, Move and Kinect don't make God of War, Gears of War and Super Mario Galaxy any less interesting.

Plus new peripherals have always been there, powerglove, lightguns, steering wheels, Robbie the Robot, Eye Toy. It's just that now there are bigger demand for it and appeal to a broader audience. The other complain that we hear a lot is the massive quantity of accessories that they are selling for there new peripherals. But it's 10 times more important with iPod accessories and you don't hear anyone complaining about it.

Personally, I don't care about 3D stuff. It's an old thing that all of a sudden every body talks as if it was new. I have yet to see a movie where the 3D does bring a interesting dimension and not just a gimmick. But hey, I don't mind that people like that. It doesn't prevent me to enjoy Uncharted or Burnout because it exists.

Bottom line, everybody finds something to like, so it's an everybody wins situation.

Xbox Kinect: Purple is the new green

I think it really depends on the game. Socom 4 showed a major improvement over dual analog for FPS games, and Move might make the PS3 actually viable for an FPS game, and Echochrome II also makes solid use of it, especially considering it's a puzzle game that doesn't require quick action.

I agree with your points on motion control in general, but how can you call stereoscopic 3D "a crude imitation of a hypothetical future technology that gets us nowhere" without having tried it in games. Then turn around and say " I don't have an opinion, and won't have one until I actually play the thing. The proof of the pudding, friends, is in the eating." when talking about Portal 2? Don't you think you're being a little unfair to 3D gaming? Aren't critics supposed to approach all new things without any prejudice and remain unbiased? You never know, you might actually love 3D gaming and totally hate portal 2, it's possible. If Tim Schafer can make a shitty game starring Jack Black, then anything is possible.

JaceValm:
The big thing I don't like about the 3DS (or in fact the DSI) is that I already have a DS. The more people who buy the current edition of a DS the less who will buy the new one because they already have one. Ok the DS and DS lite (which I have) are not too different, it's like a PS2 slimline (because the current gen consoles slim do newer things), did the same thing, had the same insides (to the extent of my knowledge) but was smaller. Then the DSI came along and I thought they were advertising some sort of detective game. Nintendo said: Look, it's got a camera! I said: Why would I need a camera on my DS? I have a camera, I have a DS, if I lost the DSI I would lose both functions but if I lost my DS I'd just have nothing to do on long journeys when my Ipod hasn't got any battery.

the 3DS is a gimmick, nothing more. All my friends who own a DS won't get the 3DS because they don't care about 3D qualities because 100 on sometihng you already have half of is too expensive. Nintendo does things before everyone else it seems, I think that is a weakness as well as a strength. They start the bandwagon and everyone jumps on it but they might not do it right allowing others to step in and improve the gimmick. But by then everyone has the Nintendo and doesn't want the new thing (see earlier points).

Sorry for the long rant.

^has obviously not realized yet that the 3DS is more than just a DS with 3D capabilities.

You hit the nail on the head here. Motion controls do not increase immersion -- they break it. They increase physical interactivity, but that is not the same thing by a long shot. \

MikeTheElf:
Games are meant to be gimmicky. They're built around capturing your attention at least long enough for one to buy it, to feed the parties involved with its production and sale. Immersion is just a bonus that everyone feels entitled to. To use an allegory: food works the same way; one can sustain oneself on food that doesn't taste good, but once one tastes more enticing food, one expects more out of all future foods. Everyone was content when 8-bit games were on the market, just as everyone was content pumping quarters into arcade machines for hours or days.

Entertainment has always been a contest as to what can hold one's attention; this results in a battle to see who can produce the nicest gimmick, game or service. This means that when one company does something that is the slightest bit profitable, all companies in the field will do the same; CDs supplanted cartridges, DVDs CDs, Blurays are apparently next. People are attracted to the shiniest object, and the Wii outsold both PS3 and 360. Motion control was naturally the next step. No one cares about innovation; they all want money.

I love you. Finally, someone who realizes what the gaming industry is, first and foremost: an INDUSTRY.

joebushido:
I agree with your points on motion control in general, but how can you call stereoscopic 3D "a crude imitation of a hypothetical future technology that gets us nowhere" without having tried it in games. Then turn around and say " I don't have an opinion, and won't have one until I actually play the thing. The proof of the pudding, friends, is in the eating." when talking about Portal 2? Don't you think you're being a little unfair to 3D gaming? Aren't critics supposed to approach all new things without any prejudice and remain unbiased? You never know, you might actually love 3D gaming and totally hate portal 2, it's possible. If Tim Schafer can make a shitty game starring Jack Black, then anything is possible.

Get used to it. Yahtzee is the king of contradictions: There's a reason he's got a cult dedicated solely to hatred of anything the man says.

Flying-Emu:

Get used to it. Yahtzee is the king of contradictions: There's a reason he's got a cult dedicated solely to hatred of anything the man says.

That's truly a shame, because I usually agree with his reviews. Even when he bashes games I like, like Far Cry 2. Yes.. I actually liked that game.

People say Playstation Move and Kinect rip off Nintendo, I SAY Nintendo ripped off Sony, anyone remember the Eye Toy??

after a long and hard day of work would you rather sit down and mash some buttons or wave your arms like a retarded on the living room?

thats all you gotta ask yourself

Yahtzee tries so hard to be funny these days.

I don't care about immersion for most games, I just want to have fun.

When implemented correctly, motion controls can make a game extremely fun, but most of the time they are not. RE 4 on the Wii was motion control done right and it made a game that was already very fun even better, unfortunately a lot of games on the Wii do ridiculous waggle controls that don't translate into anything on the screen worth a turd and also don't feel comfortable to play with.

So I got mixed feelings on motion controls. Done right, I dig them, done poorly, I hate them with an unbridled fury. The big thing though is that many games don't benefit from the control scheme in any way and a standard controller is preferred. Look at Monster Hunter Tri for a prime example.

Some people asked me if it was actually me doing the voice of the robot sidekick in the most recent gameplay video. I can now put on record that it is most definitely not. Not that I'd be unwilling to do so if you'd be willing to pay for the flight out again, Valve.

I would LOVE to see this happen...

Why does everyone care so damn much about immersion? Controllers are easy and fun, and 3D grenades and bullets flying toward you would be awesome, whether you're thinking about it being a game or not. The problem isn't that developers are failing to make games immersive the right way. The problem is that developers are trying too hard to make games immersive.

Agreed

theklng:

MikeTheElf:
No, I'm saying that the human race is attracted to shiny objects. I didn't say more people would play games that look nicer; I said more people would be attracted to purchase games that look nicer. Of course people are also going to look into gameplay mechanics, but even then: novelty sells. The newer the stimulus, the more attracted to it humans will be. THAT is why gimmicks sell in the first place. If they look cool, people want them.

You obviously think that everyone looks into the game studio or publisher of the game, or even cares to remember it. Let me list some demographics that more often than not don't pay attention:
1- Children of parents with expendable income - Spoilt children generally love to waste money on things that look shiny. If you were to tell me that these parents research the games they buy for their children, I'd call bs on you faster than you called on me.
2- Casual Gamers - These sort of gamers are into the gimmicky stuff. Whether or not the company has made bad games ultimately has no bearing on the gimmick-drawn crowd.
3- People with expendable incomes - Lots of people I know love having lots of games. Some people don't trust what the read or hear in internet reviews and want to try games out for themselves, or maybe they want to give companies more than one chance at making a good game.
4- Magpies - As stated numerous times: people are drawn to new and shiny things. If it looks good, some people will look into it, others will just buy it (see 'people with expendable incomes')

Lastly, you appear to forget that opinions are subjective. Games are not factually considered 'good' or 'bad'; the verdict is up to the gamer. There are billions of people in the world; it would be talking out of your ass to say that there isn't a market for everything.

i actually had a post ready about this, but i decided not to post it because of lack of worthwhile content.

let me instead counter your points one by one:

1) as awareness on games is increasing, and they are becoming an increasingly larger part of our culture, parents are actually doing this. i remember working at a game retailer several years ago, where i would see parents with their children every day. it really struck me how much more most of them cared than i anticipated (i had pretty much the stereotype of what you described in my head when i started). of course, back then there were much less emphasis on physical motion than there is now, but really, it's just hopping from one trend to another.

i will say that the interest is still fairly limited, and we probably won't see any parents in this generation care excessively about what their child plays; but i'll wager that when the coming generations will become parents, they will have a much stronger opinion on games. not just as legal guardians, but as players themselves.

2) casual gamers are per definition people who want to have a casual atmosphere around a game. this includes events such as party gaming, and these people generally aim more at creating a social atmosphere than actually playing any game. since the game isn't in focus, it can by them be substituted by anything else. they only care about the game as far as it can actually provide worthwhile multiplayer entertainment. gimmicks have no place here, since gimmicks provide no worthwhile entertainment.

as an addendum, you should consider your prejudice about people and what they are into, especially considering there is no logic in your statement about casual gamers.

3) as a games developer, i consider game 'research' to be much needed; which is why i sometimes force myself to play games in order to look for what hooks people in said games. i have a budget every couple of months for which i can buy any game, whether hyped or out of interest. i have a large collection of games; with some i've played through numerous times and some i've never touched. i usually check around on a few review sites before checking a game out, if a demo isn't out. i know several people (colleagues and friends) who are in the same situation. i would never buy a game because of its gimmick, and i don't think the people i know would either.

it boggles my mind how you stereotype a person with interest in games to label him completely ignorant of said games. it's like expecting a person with a personal library of books to be ignorant in literature. it really hurts your credibility when you speak of these people you know that obviously have an interest in games that you neglect to mention.

4) not really an argument since magpies aren't humans.

lastly, i do not forget anything. opinions are subjective, yes. opinions masquerading as facts are too. you substitute your own stereotype definition for seemingly the entire demographic of players instead of looking at things as how they are. i used to see things my way too, but then i grew up and realized that even though you see stupid people on tv and on the internet, it doesn't mean that every single person is equally stupid. take my advice and get out somewhere and meet with people, or even just sit on a bench and look at them. i can assure you you'll be positively surprised.

as a final note: yes, everyone likes different tastes, yadda yadda subjectivity. this is true, but you don't market a product on a business model that say, "everyone likes everything".

1- I agree partly with your 'future generations will pay more attentions to their children's gaming habits' bit--if applied to the ratings on games. You could probably attribute that to the current gaming generation's dislike for children in online play. The major problem with this being the be all to end all for 12 year olds playing M games, however, is the innate human flaw which compulses parents to say or to think, 'my kid is smarter than all of those other kids,' or other excuses. The problem may get better, but it will never end. So there's the underage issue.

As for the quality issue which I've been arguing: you're still looking at it the wrong way; quality only needs to remain minimum to continue to see sales; it need not ever improve, so long as people are willing to play it.

2- Let me start off with saying: I consider myself a casual gamer; there is no prejudice against that demographic which I hold. Secondly: our definitions are apparently different. Mine encompasses yours, but also includes the demographic of people who aren't into 'hardcore' gaming; those sort of people who play games on occasion, or play games that don't require too much attention, or which provide a relaxing atmosphere, etc.--and these players are not necessarily only in gaming for the social aspects; games DO have single-player modes, and there are plenty of 'casual' single-player-only games.

Anyway, for people who don't particularly care for the quality of the game (so long as it's functionable), gimmicky things sell. Ex: motion control. Motion control, as you appear to have agreed, is a gimmick. The Wii is the biggest console for casual gamers. QED.

3- Point is moot; you said you had a budget, I said expendable income. People with expendable income tend to expend their incomes, usually on things which catch their eyes. That's how impulse purhcases work, and impulse purchases are how gimmicks sell.

4- I hold humankind closest to magpies, espeicially in the coming generations with people with short attention spans being raised watching colourful lights blink new and exciting* television shows, or the explosions in COD16 or the epilptic seizure-inducing simulated pyrotechnics in Guitar Hero 73: Greatest 5-note-chord-filled Hits.

It's scientifically proven that human attention is attracted by constantly changing stimuli, such as flashing lights. Humans are magpies.

Definitions are inherently subjective. Extrapolations of facts are also subjective. The entire field of market research is based on subjectivity, therefore our entire argument is based on 'facts' extrapolated from subjective definitions of demographics.

---

Flying-Emu:

I love you. Finally, someone who realizes what the gaming industry is, first and foremost: an INDUSTRY.

Yea, people still pretend to live in a world where money doesn't run everything. It's sad, as is the fact that money runs everything, but life goes on.

I wholeheartedly agree that a game should be immersive, but I most definitely felt an intensity in No More Heroes by flailing the Wiimote around that surpasses what would have otherwise been brainless button mashing and quicktime events. The reality is that motion sensor controllers offer some degree of gratification that conventional controllers cannot, and given the proper nurturing that it's not likely to get, motion sensor technology can really add to the long-sought immersion of the game.

I remember hearing about Left4Dead 2 and understanding that it was utterly retarded to release a sequel beefore the original has even left its diapers, but when I played it, the gratifying crunch of the fire axe and the feeling you get from charging down a hall with a chainsaw made it feel, if but for a split second, that it was a completely different game. The "cheap gimmicks" that were melee weapons provided me with an iota of this immersion, and I couldn't help but want to see more. Motion sensor technology is the same. I found myself slicing and wrestling guy after guy in No More Heroes and being genuinely excited about what would have otherwise been aimless button mashing. It's tactile gratification, and while it can't completely erase controllers, controllers can't completely erase the motion sensors. They deserve further exploration. Motion sensors aren't a step away from Matrix-style immersion; it's a different path, with its own sets of pros and cons.

Finally, I'd like to point out that motion pictures started with a guy sneezing, and it was the shit. Of course good technology always starts out as gimmicky bullshit. Whether something will come of this motion sensing technology is beyond any of us here, but I firmly believe that even if it doesn't, it can.

I suppose that's the "price" you have to pay in order to be a critic, ignoring personal feelings and disregarding hopes and dreams to prevent having biased views of things. Having low expectations surely makes simple things alot more enjoyable.

...Wait, Yathzee -has- gone through demos! Well, a long time ago atleast. The Darkness and Heavenly Sword if I remember correctly, but I guess he reffers to that he'll never do such again.

I've always wanted Zero Punctuation to review the Darkness at some point. Why not finish what was started?

Perhaps regular retro-reviews would give refreshing variation apart from all the new products flooding us every year.

MikeTheElf:

theklng:

i actually had a post ready about this, but i decided not to post it because of lack of worthwhile content.

let me instead counter your points one by one:

1) as awareness on games is increasing, and they are becoming an increasingly larger part of our culture, parents are actually doing this. i remember working at a game retailer several years ago, where i would see parents with their children every day. it really struck me how much more most of them cared than i anticipated (i had pretty much the stereotype of what you described in my head when i started). of course, back then there were much less emphasis on physical motion than there is now, but really, it's just hopping from one trend to another.

i will say that the interest is still fairly limited, and we probably won't see any parents in this generation care excessively about what their child plays; but i'll wager that when the coming generations will become parents, they will have a much stronger opinion on games. not just as legal guardians, but as players themselves.

2) casual gamers are per definition people who want to have a casual atmosphere around a game. this includes events such as party gaming, and these people generally aim more at creating a social atmosphere than actually playing any game. since the game isn't in focus, it can by them be substituted by anything else. they only care about the game as far as it can actually provide worthwhile multiplayer entertainment. gimmicks have no place here, since gimmicks provide no worthwhile entertainment.

as an addendum, you should consider your prejudice about people and what they are into, especially considering there is no logic in your statement about casual gamers.

3) as a games developer, i consider game 'research' to be much needed; which is why i sometimes force myself to play games in order to look for what hooks people in said games. i have a budget every couple of months for which i can buy any game, whether hyped or out of interest. i have a large collection of games; with some i've played through numerous times and some i've never touched. i usually check around on a few review sites before checking a game out, if a demo isn't out. i know several people (colleagues and friends) who are in the same situation. i would never buy a game because of its gimmick, and i don't think the people i know would either.

it boggles my mind how you stereotype a person with interest in games to label him completely ignorant of said games. it's like expecting a person with a personal library of books to be ignorant in literature. it really hurts your credibility when you speak of these people you know that obviously have an interest in games that you neglect to mention.

4) not really an argument since magpies aren't humans.

lastly, i do not forget anything. opinions are subjective, yes. opinions masquerading as facts are too. you substitute your own stereotype definition for seemingly the entire demographic of players instead of looking at things as how they are. i used to see things my way too, but then i grew up and realized that even though you see stupid people on tv and on the internet, it doesn't mean that every single person is equally stupid. take my advice and get out somewhere and meet with people, or even just sit on a bench and look at them. i can assure you you'll be positively surprised.

as a final note: yes, everyone likes different tastes, yadda yadda subjectivity. this is true, but you don't market a product on a business model that say, "everyone likes everything".

1- I agree partly with your 'future generations will pay more attentions to their children's gaming habits' bit--if applied to the ratings on games. You could probably attribute that to the current gaming generation's dislike for children in online play. The major problem with this being the be all to end all for 12 year olds playing M games, however, is the innate human flaw which compulses parents to say or to think, 'my kid is smarter than all of those other kids,' or other excuses. The problem may get better, but it will never end. So there's the underage issue.

As for the quality issue which I've been arguing: you're still looking at it the wrong way; quality only needs to remain minimum to continue to see sales; it need not ever improve, so long as people are willing to play it.

2- Let me start off with saying: I consider myself a casual gamer; there is no prejudice against that demographic which I hold. Secondly: our definitions are apparently different. Mine encompasses yours, but also includes the demographic of people who aren't into 'hardcore' gaming; those sort of people who play games on occasion, or play games that don't require too much attention, or which provide a relaxing atmosphere, etc.--and these players are not necessarily only in gaming for the social aspects; games DO have single-player modes, and there are plenty of 'casual' single-player-only games.

Anyway, for people who don't particularly care for the quality of the game (so long as it's functionable), gimmicky things sell. Ex: motion control. Motion control, as you appear to have agreed, is a gimmick. The Wii is the biggest console for casual gamers. QED.

3- Point is moot; you said you had a budget, I said expendable income. People with expendable income tend to expend their incomes, usually on things which catch their eyes. That's how impulse purhcases work, and impulse purchases are how gimmicks sell.

4- I hold humankind closest to magpies, espeicially in the coming generations with people with short attention spans being raised watching colourful lights blink new and exciting* television shows, or the explosions in COD16 or the epilptic seizure-inducing simulated pyrotechnics in Guitar Hero 73: Greatest 5-note-chord-filled Hits.

It's scientifically proven that human attention is attracted by constantly changing stimuli, such as flashing lights. Humans are magpies.

Definitions are inherently subjective. Extrapolations of facts are also subjective. The entire field of market research is based on subjectivity, therefore our entire argument is based on 'facts' extrapolated from subjective definitions of demographics.

if definitions are inherently subjective, it means that we can't argue about anything, since everything is subjective. but we still all know that 2+2=4, so apparently definitions are not inherently subjective. QED.

ill start from the bottom this time.

4.
magpie: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magpie
human: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human

to say one equals the other is blatant bullshit, and you know it. please refer your sources when saying something is scientifically proven, since you have a tendency to fill the discussion with bullshit. and even in the event of truth in this argument, what makes you think any other species isn't attracted to blinking lights, stimuli or whatever your argument is? does that mean we are all those other species too?

last time i checked humans weren't an amalgamation of different animals. but then again maybe you live in a fabled world where people turn into animals on a whim and scavenge for treasures for their treetop nests because apparently they are more important than food.

3.
point isn't moot - if a person with many books buys more books with his expendable income, would you consider him illiterate? even if he does not read all of those books, chances are he has read at least some of them, either fully or to a partial degree. this is true even if he buys books on impulse; it's not like the covers of the games are littered with silver linings or holographic images waving him or her to pick it up. he actually has to pick up the box and check its contents before he or she will purchase it.

if this person wanted something such as a shiny, i'd wager he'd go out and buy it. he'd buy a rolex or a golden necklace or whatever other bodily or household ornament he'd want.

2.
your entire first paragraph under this point just proves my point? you're saying that casual gamers enjoy games that are relaxing, yadda yadda etc.; which means that they are looking at content, and not gimmicks (since a gimmick does not offer any worthwhile entertainment).

your second paragraph is a mess. you disagree directly with your first paragraph, then you use the term 'biggest' (which is subjective) as a fact, then proceeding to think you have deducted a logical proof. trollish behavior at its worst.

1.
here's where you are wrong:

quality only needs to remain minimum to continue to see sales; it need not ever improve, so long as people are willing to play it.

it's not so much that i disagree with you, but any market analyst or business major will tell you different. before you talk out of your ass (or try to bullshit your way through arguments), i'd advise you to check what michael porter (business professor at harvard) has to say about this.

i really do think this discussion is over for as long as you do not want to listen. but then again since you think definitions are subjective, maybe listening means talking out of your ass. who knows?

Soylent Bacon:
Why does everyone care so damn much about immersion? Controllers are easy and fun, and 3D grenades and bullets flying toward you would be awesome, whether you're thinking about it being a game or not. The problem isn't that developers are failing to make games immersive the right way. The problem is that developers are trying too hard to make games immersive.

i think immersion is more accidental than anything else, since it is subjective at best. you can't force immersion, because immersion is pertaining to the player and not the game. therefore developers have little say in what is or isn't immersive, as it is entirely up to each player (or, perhaps each players' subconsciousness) to decide exactly how immersive a game is.

The problem, Yahtzee, is that you are assuming that games are working towards a Matrix-style immersion when in fact they see to be working towards more of a Star Trek Holodeck-like immersion. And if that is the case then motion controls are a logical next step.

theklng:

MikeTheElf:

theklng:

i actually had a post ready about this, but i decided not to post it because of lack of worthwhile content.

let me instead counter your points one by one:

1) as awareness on games is increasing, and they are becoming an increasingly larger part of our culture, parents are actually doing this. i remember working at a game retailer several years ago, where i would see parents with their children every day. it really struck me how much more most of them cared than i anticipated (i had pretty much the stereotype of what you described in my head when i started). of course, back then there were much less emphasis on physical motion than there is now, but really, it's just hopping from one trend to another.

i will say that the interest is still fairly limited, and we probably won't see any parents in this generation care excessively about what their child plays; but i'll wager that when the coming generations will become parents, they will have a much stronger opinion on games. not just as legal guardians, but as players themselves.

2) casual gamers are per definition people who want to have a casual atmosphere around a game. this includes events such as party gaming, and these people generally aim more at creating a social atmosphere than actually playing any game. since the game isn't in focus, it can by them be substituted by anything else. they only care about the game as far as it can actually provide worthwhile multiplayer entertainment. gimmicks have no place here, since gimmicks provide no worthwhile entertainment.

as an addendum, you should consider your prejudice about people and what they are into, especially considering there is no logic in your statement about casual gamers.

3) as a games developer, i consider game 'research' to be much needed; which is why i sometimes force myself to play games in order to look for what hooks people in said games. i have a budget every couple of months for which i can buy any game, whether hyped or out of interest. i have a large collection of games; with some i've played through numerous times and some i've never touched. i usually check around on a few review sites before checking a game out, if a demo isn't out. i know several people (colleagues and friends) who are in the same situation. i would never buy a game because of its gimmick, and i don't think the people i know would either.

it boggles my mind how you stereotype a person with interest in games to label him completely ignorant of said games. it's like expecting a person with a personal library of books to be ignorant in literature. it really hurts your credibility when you speak of these people you know that obviously have an interest in games that you neglect to mention.

4) not really an argument since magpies aren't humans.

lastly, i do not forget anything. opinions are subjective, yes. opinions masquerading as facts are too. you substitute your own stereotype definition for seemingly the entire demographic of players instead of looking at things as how they are. i used to see things my way too, but then i grew up and realized that even though you see stupid people on tv and on the internet, it doesn't mean that every single person is equally stupid. take my advice and get out somewhere and meet with people, or even just sit on a bench and look at them. i can assure you you'll be positively surprised.

as a final note: yes, everyone likes different tastes, yadda yadda subjectivity. this is true, but you don't market a product on a business model that say, "everyone likes everything".

1- I agree partly with your 'future generations will pay more attentions to their children's gaming habits' bit--if applied to the ratings on games. You could probably attribute that to the current gaming generation's dislike for children in online play. The major problem with this being the be all to end all for 12 year olds playing M games, however, is the innate human flaw which compulses parents to say or to think, 'my kid is smarter than all of those other kids,' or other excuses. The problem may get better, but it will never end. So there's the underage issue.

As for the quality issue which I've been arguing: you're still looking at it the wrong way; quality only needs to remain minimum to continue to see sales; it need not ever improve, so long as people are willing to play it.

2- Let me start off with saying: I consider myself a casual gamer; there is no prejudice against that demographic which I hold. Secondly: our definitions are apparently different. Mine encompasses yours, but also includes the demographic of people who aren't into 'hardcore' gaming; those sort of people who play games on occasion, or play games that don't require too much attention, or which provide a relaxing atmosphere, etc.--and these players are not necessarily only in gaming for the social aspects; games DO have single-player modes, and there are plenty of 'casual' single-player-only games.

Anyway, for people who don't particularly care for the quality of the game (so long as it's functionable), gimmicky things sell. Ex: motion control. Motion control, as you appear to have agreed, is a gimmick. The Wii is the biggest console for casual gamers. QED.

3- Point is moot; you said you had a budget, I said expendable income. People with expendable income tend to expend their incomes, usually on things which catch their eyes. That's how impulse purhcases work, and impulse purchases are how gimmicks sell.

4- I hold humankind closest to magpies, espeicially in the coming generations with people with short attention spans being raised watching colourful lights blink new and exciting* television shows, or the explosions in COD16 or the epilptic seizure-inducing simulated pyrotechnics in Guitar Hero 73: Greatest 5-note-chord-filled Hits.

It's scientifically proven that human attention is attracted by constantly changing stimuli, such as flashing lights. Humans are magpies.

Definitions are inherently subjective. Extrapolations of facts are also subjective. The entire field of market research is based on subjectivity, therefore our entire argument is based on 'facts' extrapolated from subjective definitions of demographics.

if definitions are inherently subjective, it means that we can't argue about anything, since everything is subjective. but we still all know that 2+2=4, so apparently definitions are not inherently subjective. QED.

ill start from the bottom this time.

4.
magpie: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magpie
human: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human

to say one equals the other is blatant bullshit, and you know it. please refer your sources when saying something is scientifically proven, since you have a tendency to fill the discussion with bullshit. and even in the event of truth in this argument, what makes you think any other species isn't attracted to blinking lights, stimuli or whatever your argument is? does that mean we are all those other species too?

last time i checked humans weren't an amalgamation of different animals. but then again maybe you live in a fabled world where people turn into animals on a whim and scavenge for treasures for their treetop nests because apparently they are more important than food.

3.
point isn't moot - if a person with many books buys more books with his expendable income, would you consider him illiterate? even if he does not read all of those books, chances are he has read at least some of them, either fully or to a partial degree. this is true even if he buys books on impulse; it's not like the covers of the games are littered with silver linings or holographic images waving him or her to pick it up. he actually has to pick up the box and check its contents before he or she will purchase it.

if this person wanted something such as a shiny, i'd wager he'd go out and buy it. he'd buy a rolex or a golden necklace or whatever other bodily or household ornament he'd want.

2.
your entire first paragraph under this point just proves my point? you're saying that casual gamers enjoy games that are relaxing, yadda yadda etc.; which means that they are looking at content, and not gimmicks (since a gimmick does not offer any worthwhile entertainment).

your second paragraph is a mess. you disagree directly with your first paragraph, then you use the term 'biggest' (which is subjective) as a fact, then proceeding to think you have deducted a logical proof. trollish behavior at its worst.

1.
here's where you are wrong:

quality only needs to remain minimum to continue to see sales; it need not ever improve, so long as people are willing to play it.

it's not so much that i disagree with you, but any market analyst or business major will tell you different. before you talk out of your ass (or try to bullshit your way through arguments), i'd advise you to check what michael porter (business professor at harvard) has to say about this.

i really do think this discussion is over for as long as you do not want to listen. but then again since you think definitions are subjective, maybe listening means talking out of your ass. who knows?

4. Find a psychology textbook and look at human perception, unless you're one of those people who denounce psychology as a pseudoscience, that's scientific proof. Unlike what you think, there is backing to my arguments, and I request that you kindly quit denoucning me as a troll. I used the magpie as my example because it was the first animal which came to mind that epitomises what I was describing.

3. Just because you read books doesn't make you literate.
a)I could have a library filled with children's books. Tt's still a massive library.
b)Some people don't learn from reading. A few of my friends read more books than most people and still don't grasp fully the written English language; they consistently mistake homophones, construct sentences incorrectly, etc.. If you consider anything less than basic mastery 'literacy,' then our subjective definitions again clash.
c)Some people like reading, even if the books are crap. My mom reads gratuitous amounts of romance novels, and lately hasn't read anything considered meritous. My mom has an extensive library of romance novels, but does that make her the most learned person in her house?

2. My point was that casual gamers don't necessarily care about how a game plays, and if it's considered a good game or not. More oft than not, casual gamers formulate their own opinions on certain video games, and play them regardless of popular belief. If you walk into a video game store, and want to buy a bunch of games, do you pick from the 'good' games which are still priced at slightly less than when first released, or do you pick a dozen 'not-so-good' games from the shelf if it'll run you the same amount as getting the one good game and take up 12x more of your time? Ultimately, casual gamers opinions fluctuate wildly, which is what I was getting at.

As for my use of the word 'biggest,' I justify it with market data stating that the Wii vastly outsold PS3 and 360 combined. It's a gimmick machine. Again, I'm not going to bother looking for the data, you can go look it up if you really don't trust me, which I imagine you don't. If you'll trust my memory, the Wii had somewhere around 12m sales worldwide whereas 360 and PS3 combined was under 7m.

1. Fine, you caught me. I didn't go to college for a bullshit degree which I need to extrapolate data from charts (a skill learned in primary school), and apply it to human behaviour (a skill learned in an introductory Psychology course, which I've taken).

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