Jimquisition: Taking Videogames Seriously

 Pages 1 2 3 4 NEXT
 

Taking Videogames Seriously

When will games be taken seriously? Why isn't anybody taking videogames seriously? How many times can Jim say the word "seriously" in a single video? Does any of it matter? No. None of it. Ever.

Watch Video

I liked Alien 3 and Resurrection, there no where near as bad as people make them out to be

Resurrection is a legitimately fun movie! Best film Jeunet ever made!

I didn't really like Alien Resurrection, but I never understood the hate that Alien 3 received, I thought it was pretty damn good.

Zac Smith:
I liked Alien 3 and Resurrection, there no where near as bad as people make them out to be

They were damn good movies too bad hollywood really cant handle the Alien nor the Predator IP correctly without it being basically a teen token flick with the normal nuke it military asshats. Ok im really talking about the 2nd AVP movie, it was so bad...

OT

This subject kinda works into the shit that's going down with MLG and the FGC. MLG wants the rowdy world of fighting games to go to a more professional stance so the FGC can get more money and be more taken seriously. To me I don't care if the community isn't TV or family friendly. Look at Jersey Shore if THAT's acceptable TV content then damn near anything above flatout porno is. I don't know why people are so hard up to be taken seriously when enjoying what you love is what matters first.

Does this mean people are finally gonna shut up about the whole "Games as an artform" thing too? And yes, Alien 3 and Alien: Resurrection were pretty damn good. You can't not like a movie featuring Ron Pearlman and Xenomorphs.

Bravo, bravo! I hate when people spew that crap too. "Oh we can't have fun games anymore, we need serious games so games will be taken seriously." Fuck you, games are entertainment and entertainment is meant to be fun.

Hail to the Jim

Jim Sterling:
Taking Videogames Seriously

When will games be taken seriously? Why isn't anybody taking videogames seriously? How many times can Jim say the word "seriously" in a single video? Does any of it matter? No. None of it. Ever.

Watch Video

Definitely agreed.

We keep poking around for the same validation we deny everyone else, because we don't understand their passions.

Do all of us take NASCAR seriously? Do we all take collectible card games seriously? Sports statistics? Weight lifting? Fine dining? The stock market? Or do we tend to ridicule the people that take these things seriously, simply because we don't understand the passion they feel toward that?

I know I don't take golf seriously. That's why I can still enjoy it. I don't keep score, I live from swing to swing, and socialize with the guys. And this infuriates some of them to no end. "If you're not keeping score, what's the point?" For me, the point is not keeping score. It's to just have fun with the activity and the company.

And on the other side of things, I take my discussions and debates pretty "seriously," in a sense. Not in the sense that I believe the outcome of the debate will change the issue being debated, or even change the mind of the person I'm debating with, but because it will change (refine, streamline, alter) my own mind, and how it works.

There are three baffling categories of people out there, and everyone is all three:

1. The kind of person that asks, "Why do you take X so seriously? Can't you just enjoy it?" Without realizing that they're talking to:

2. The kind of person that enjoys X specifically by taking it seriously. And we all have that thing, so we're just big raging hypocrites.

3. The kind of person that doesn't enjoy or participate in or understand X at all, and wonders what all the damned fuss is about... when they feel exactly the same as #1 or #2 about Y or Z instead.

The same car is enjoyed four different ways by the casual driver (It gets me to and fro, and it has a TV in the seat), the competitive/career driver (I've got so much horsepower I have to feed this damned thing oats, bitches), and the casual mechanic (I just installed a new exhaust system because it makes it sound cooler), and the competitive/career mechanic (I just got some new tools so I can get more jobs done per day and increase my output/income).

Now, which one is "right?" Should I have to know what the hell an idle air control valve is to "enjoy" my car, or am I not taking it "seriously" enough?

mjc0961:
Bravo, bravo! I hate when people spew that crap too. "Oh we can't have fun games anymore, we need serious games so games will be taken seriously." Fuck you, games are entertainment and entertainment is meant to be fun.

You know, that's actually one of the primary things that's been bugging me the past few weeks. It seems like a lot of people have forgotten that games are supposed to be fun. Even while they're decrying things for being simplified to amplify the amount of fun the average gamer can get.

I understand the competitiveness of gamers (though I don't share it), but I just can't understand how stubborn people can be in their views. I'm a very pessimistic person, but I don't get up in arms every time a hyped game is bad, or every time a game with barely any information released has an update that shows it went in a different direction, or when non-gamers criticize games.

I don't cry out about how games are being dumbed down or simplified "for the console kiddies" (which is a massive insult, because how many current-day gamers can honestly say they only grew up with a Commodore 64 or Amiga or something and never had an NES? And this very website has plenty of people who got into gaming because of Nintendo or Sega, or even Sony) and I don't get insulted when the likes of Blizzard tries to appeal to a wider demographic with WoW. You shouldn't need to devote ten hours a day, five days a week to an MMO/competitive shooter just to stay in competition with the rest of the people in your respective tier of raiding/PvP play.

Er. To tie this in with the subject at hand, I simply think that gamers actually take games far too seriously. Everyone could deal with lightening up a bit and remembering that these are games. Games are meant to entertain. Entertainment, by definition, is supposed to stimulate something in humans that makes them enjoy themselves, be it via romance, gore and violence, horror, comedy, drama, anything. It's simply supposed to be fun.

EDIT:

Dastardly:

1. The kind of person that asks, "Why do you take X so seriously? Can't you just enjoy it?" Without realizing that they're talking to:

2. The kind of person that enjoys X specifically by taking it seriously. And we all have that thing, so we're just big raging hypocrites.

3. The kind of person that doesn't enjoy or participate in or understand X at all, and wonders what all the damned fuss is about... when they feel exactly the same as #1 or #2 about Y or Z instead.

Very much agreed on your three points there, and I think it explains to me why I have a hard time understanding why some people will get up in arms over anything involving games.

I dont really agree, he is rather ignoring the question. The people who dont take it seriously are key decision makers and opinion formers. Many more people have heard of famous Film Critics than Jim here or Yahtzee or anybody else from our medium. Until that changes we are just considered a rogue toy industry gone mad. That needs to change, it doesnt matter if we take us seriously really, it matters if the important within society does.

I agree with it for the most part that the main thing about something is that, if you enjoy it, who cares if others don't? Of course, there are reasons to care if others don't. Not enough sales means any potential sequel or follow of won't be made (like Advent Rising), and similarly there are important people who don't take games seriously who do matter (politicans and the like).

But the idea that people who's opinions don't matter should be forced to take everything they don't care for seriously is just stupid. And there are those types of people, the ones who try getting validation from other, non-related groups in almost everything. Those people are annoying twats who ruin the reputation of the people they 'represent.' I can think of a few specific examples right away.

Wookie 1:
I dont really agree, he is rather ignoring the question. The people who dont take it seriously are key decision makers and opinion formers. Many more people have heard of famous Film Critics than Jim here or Yahtzee or anybody else from our medium. Until that changes we are just considered a rogue toy industry gone mad. That needs to change, it doesnt matter if we take us seriously really, it matters if the important within society does.

Who cares if people respect our critics? I agree there that key decision makers who would have a fairly big impact on the growth and development of the industry matter. But 'opinion formers' do not. Most people wouldn't play games just because Ebert does. There are some who would play the games the stars play, but... do we really care if those kind of people play games anyways? People who wouldn't get into something until it became 'popular' or someone they don't even know plays it? They just seem the type to give the gaming community an ever worse reputation.

JIM, I HAVE A GORILLA ALIEN ACTION FIGURE WHAT I BOUGHT FROM EUROPE!?

No idea why, but I really felt the need to tell everybody that.

I can't stand Sterling's mode of argument, but he likes Alien: Resurrection, the single most underrated avant-garde Hollywood blockbuster of the last 15 years...?

...I'm so torn.

That said, I think Sterling has made another overtly reductive assertion. While many of the people clamouring for Ebert's approval was probably looking for a validation of their personal interests, I think an equal, if not greater, amount of people simply wished for somebody so obviously ignorant of the subject matter (and someone whose work they probably enjoyed in regards to cinema, thus having a certain amount of respect and/or affection for the man) to consider actually investing something in the form before dismissing it so thoroughly. While it might be an idealistic notion, I honestly believe a great majority of people who love games simply wish to impart the same joy they have derived onto those uninitiated.

Wookie 1:
I dont really agree, he is rather ignoring the question. The people who dont take it seriously are key decision makers and opinion formers. Many more people have heard of famous Film Critics than Jim here or Yahtzee or anybody else from our medium. Until that changes we are just considered a rogue toy industry gone mad. That needs to change, it doesnt matter if we take us seriously really, it matters if the important within society does.

I agree. Jim is wrong because these people do matter. And that's only one facet. There's also the fact that video games aren't being taken seriously by the people making them. The professional video game industry is driven by making money. But applying the traditional methodology of maximizing return while minimizing expense leads to a single outcome in a creative medium like video games. Stagnation and eventually death.

And as a fan of not just video games but the industry of them I don't like that thought. But for those like Jim fun is enough so whatever.

I've always thought that the crux of the argument wasn't really that games aren't "taken seriously" (which is a claim that means nothing, in my opinion), but more that some people go so far into the polar opposite and work SO hard to belittle the hobby that they'll go right out and invent fallacies about it.

Lookin' in your general direction, Fox News...

So it's not so much seriousness or validation that is (or should) be the primary focus, but more the fact that if you're going to rail against games, then please get your science right. That, to me, is the real problem.

I don't care that some of my teachers think nothing's changed since the days of Super Mario Bros., and I don't care about my father's raised eyebrow when he sees me playing the new Kirby title. I don't give a shit about the shallow bros who won't touch anything that doesn't involve football or guns with a ten-feet pole; it's their freaking prerogative. It's their choice. I'm not willing, nor able to change their opinion on me or the medium as a whole.

What I do care about and what I do call for is a minimum of professionalism, in regards to games. If you're looking for a new culprit for the little ones' moral degeneration, start by checking out to see if the game you're wanting to lambaste is *actually* limited to raunchy interstellar sex scenes.

Beyond that, I don't care that the gaming culture offers as much space to the adventures of a time-bending little chap in an artsy watercolour setting as to the modern dildo-using kingpin of a fictitious metropolis. I don't care that you'll find folks who like Linking Books and Lancer Rifles equally. Different strokes for different folks and all that.

Gaming, in and of itself, doesn't need to be taken seriously or to *be* serious. It's a form of entertainment. The level of seriousness of any given project is entirely in the hands of the dev team. Actively looking for outside validation is completely pointless, when you think about it. Did Jerry Lewis rail out against those who called his stuff Satanic? Did Jimi Hendrix care when people criticized his rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner"?

*Gasp*

Jim has eyes?!

Indeed enough people take games seriously.

Activision sure as hell take games seriously as they can rake in billions with just one title. Ergo their shareholders also take games seriously too.

You could even argue that a whole host of institutions take games seriously as they have taken a gaming peripheral (the Kinect) and modded it in to something useful for other areas of daily life. etc.

The people who don't take games seriously are those who don't care for gaming or any of its facets in the first place or are uninformed about the subject... so who cares.

I don't take a whole bunch of stuff seriously which others do... so 'nuff said basically.

This is where I find Jim's argument grounded in a false conception, most INTELLIGENT gamers want games to be "taken seriously" because in that way it prevents dickbags on Fox News from petitioning Congress to ban or limit them as being "harmful" or "negative to the public." That kind of crap. Books at one time weren't taken seriously and thus were banned. Know who those people were? The PURITANS (aka Salem Witch Trials)

You want gamers to be mature and secure?

God, I thought Lennon was a dreamer, but I guess he wasn't the only one.

dashiz94:
This is where I find Jim's argument grounded in a false conception, most INTELLIGENT gamers want games to be "taken seriously" because in that way it prevents dickbags on Fox News from petitioning Congress to ban or limit them as being "harmful" or "negative to the public." That kind of crap. Books at one time weren't taken seriously and thus were banned. Know who those people were? The PURITANS (aka Salem Witch Trials)

If you think legitimacy will stop Fox News from attacking games, you haven't been paying attention. But then, your "PURITANS" statement kinda confirmed that.

You made it sound like only gamers want their hobby to get taken seriously but people in pretty much all forms of media want that.
Movies and books are taken more serious because they're much older then games so it seems to many like most people look down on games, whether that matters or not is debatable of course but it's normal human behaviour wanting others to acknowledge things you like, so I don't see the problem.

Jim why do you take people taking video games seriously so seriously?

Favorite jimquisition so far.

I have mixed feelings about this... I suppose itīs true that we can like whatever the fuck we like, and say "fuck you" to anyone who disagrees, but honestly, we humans constantly strive for approval. I donīt really think that we should take games "seriously" as an art-form or anything, since itīs made mostly to be fun, but having that general underlying disapproval of gaming as both a hobby and a career, is quite disheartening.

I liked resurrection too, it had Ron Pearlman, and Ripley evolved into the ultimate badass, whats not to like!

Alien3 was only ok though, good atmosphere and great plot - but the dodgy CGI alien spoiled it.

I liked how Jim ended this one.

For that matter, I really enjoyed Shadow the hedgehog (the game), and I honestly don't care that everyone hated it. Yeah, I know it was a crappy game, and I know WHY it's a crappy game (awful story, dialogue, shit attempts at "maturity", etc), but the game itself was damn fun, and I honestly don't care if people mock me for liking it.

Anyway, Jim made his point well. Well done.

Games will be taken seriously when people who actually know a damn thing about them gain power in whatever outlet you're seeking approval from. Government, film, whatever, when everybody has played games, THEN they'll be taken seriously.

...

Well, some of them. Point is it's probably not happening any time soon. So shut up. The end.

Jim Sterling, the last surviving horcrux of the Escapist. Never change.

Who do we want to take games seriously?
The people in governments who might ban them otherwise, and perhaps influential people who has a reputation of being able to sway peoples opinion about them and yes that includes Fox News?
It's more that as gamers we don't want laws that will inhibit us from playing video games.

I guess it depends on the context of the arguement.

I don't share the aprriciation for paintings, sculpture or the films Ebert likes, but I don't decry the whole medium because only things I like and appriciate can possibly be artistic. And if I was any kind of public voice, let alone a major one, I'd be careful about making such a statement. Fox news thinks the medium should be self censoring to be kid friendly at all times (and of right wing values but that another topic) like televison once was. The VGAs, well, I say that if the porn industry can give out awards for anal sex with dignity and decorum, we can put the fart jokes and marketing down for a couple of hours to truely thank the people behind the hobby we love so much.

I'm not needing justification, but I think the idustry runs the risk of stagnation if people think and provide justification that it's just a hobby of overaged man children still in their mother's basements. I'd prefer videogaming not to go the way of amierican animation or comic books because the narrow views of what they were and could be were rarely pushed in a positive way.

Games have to be taken seriously by developers, not the other people. And just because I say this it doesnt mean that I dont like the fun games, I like them, I would just like to see the serious games go further on what a game could be (more then what they are at the moment, a lot more)

Also Jim, stop giving weak arguments for the "other" side to make your opinion stronger.

Actually, I get this way when people don't like My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Or worse yet, when they say "I don't see what's so great about this series". Guess I'm no better then these types of gamers.

I less want them to be taken seriously and more want people to stop considering them as a thing for children. A toy.

They're as adult as books, movies and TV, sometimes moreso, and yet plenty of people still consider them a toy.

I don't even know how many times I've been asked when I'll grow out of video games. A question that disgusts me.

mjc0961:
Bravo, bravo! I hate when people spew that crap too. "Oh we can't have fun games anymore, we need serious games so games will be taken seriously." Fuck you, games are entertainment and entertainment is meant to be fun.

I agree sir, both serious and unserious games are fun, it's like saying to end comedy in the film industry because it's not serious. There are games with messages, and there are game where you fight STDs in people's genitalia. Enjoy both and shut up. Those who piss on videogames know very little about them.

 Pages 1 2 3 4 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Registered for a free account here