Jimquisition: Taking Videogames Seriously

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 NEXT

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.

The thing about that is, since it's always been an interactive medium (unlike the books, movies, TV shows) there will always be people who can't help but view video games as toys and children's playthings. It didn't help when Sony referred to the DS as a babysitting tool while trying to promote the PSP. Once generations V and W die off completely there will likely be significantly fewer people who see games and gaming as something just for kids.

Personally, I can enjoy all types of games. The thing is, I prefer Pokemon to Heavy Rain. Not that I'm against plot and, story based games it's just that I prefer engaging titles over plot heavy titles. It's why I consider Mystic Quest and the PSX Final Fantasy titles superior to XIII as well.

As for Alien 3 and Resurrection...I haven't seen either all the way through. I should fix that, especially since they're both apparently better than AvP.

I believe MovieBob touched on why this argument for games being taken seriously exists, and that's we nerds like to stay in a victim complex. We want to believe that outside forces are conspiring to throw us into a locker, that we're standing up for what's right in the world by taking up sword and shield to legitimize things we like. Completely ignoring the fact that the mere act of taking up resistance is making us come off as more knee-jerk than your average political figure, and our hysterics are often just as overblown and out of place in civilized society.

Security in your sense of self means you can ignore what other people think about the things you like. The problem is, some of us still enjoy, even define our very personalities with insecurity in ourselves.

Accept the fact that not everyone has to like what you like, get a job, and move the hell on with your life.

Remember what the Jimquisition threads were like in the beginning? All the hate? Where are all the haters now?

Another great show Jim, you really take a measured approach to these topics that so many forum monkeys rage about. If course I think you are genius b/c you always agree with me! Thank god for me... and you to.

I think the issue with the Spike VGAs are not about seriousness or outside validation. Rather it's about people looking for more sophistication and maturity from the games industry and an event that supposedly represents it.

well mabye this "taken seriously" thing is less about what other people think and more about us wanting games that arnt targeted toward 14 year old boys

It's really naive to say "video games are here to stay" now. They aren't. Not yet. It wasn't that long ago that the industry collapsed in on itself, largely for doing things it is repeating now just on a much grander scale.

We also still have a lot of old, white, ignorant, yet powerful men and women who still view video games as murder simulators and would love to see them disappear or censored into oblivion. We have governments across the world run by those same old, white, ignorant, yet powerful people deciding the fate of video games. Many people make comparisons to movies, but let us not forget the "video nasties" which were a rather large collection of movies that were banned for arbitrary reasons, by old, white, ignorant, yet powerful people.

So yes, there is still a need to be concerned and try to push the legitimacy of gaming as an art form and a hobby for well adjusted adults and children alike. Unfortunately, they aren't "safe" yet and probably wont be for at least another 20-30years when most the Joe Liebermans of the world and people who think like him while holding a government position are dead.

I dont know...It seems weird to think it might all disapear because its such a big thing, big enough thease days to rival the popularity of movies

back in the days of atari wasnt gaming more of a niche thing that it is now?


First proper video I've seen off you, gives me a nice impression of what these videos are like.

Lemme ask, if you got the validation by others at large for video games, would you really WANT this validation? The only thing I really want is an industry that doesn't suck all the money to the top, and movies have already largely failed there, so hey.

I take them totally seriously. Most of the time. The other times, I'm in a gimp suit with a giant mascot head on beating passersby with boxing gloves that make them explode. Or I'm Fus Ro Dahing them off of a cliff, of watching Rico Rodriguez impossibly sail through a mountain, after bouncing a tank as if it were a superball. It's the same way I can take The Godfather seriously, as a golden example among movies, then watch something like Evil Dead, and remember that not everything needs to be golden. While seeing the virtuoso efforts presented in Shadow of the Colossus, I can easily remember that, while here stands a game where you slowly fade into darkness as you try to save the one you love, another game has a pivotal fight with a forlorn heap of junk made whole by some unknown magical device mixing with some shorted electrical circuits. And I love both of those games. I take both of them seriously. It's more fun that way.

When ever someone tells me "Oh videogames are not art; they are to violent and don't have a good plot to it.". While this is some what true I always think that if that's your case than why are movies like Transformers, Apollo 18, The New Star Wars Trilogy, Twilight Saga, Fast and the Furious Series, Drive; how can they be consider art but, video games can't be.

Games like: Bastions, Deus Ex, Minecraft, Terraria, the Portal Series, the Half-Life Series, the Monkey Island Series, the Serious Sam Series, the Max Payne Series, LIMBO, the Fallot Series, The Elder Scroll Series, Amnesia, the Hitman Series, the Trine Series, Magicka, even the Postal Series.

Hopefully in the future people like Roger Ebert or the anchors on Fox News will have history change them in too the same crazy people who wanted to get rid of television, films, plays, paintings,and books because they didn't consider them to be an art form.

I dont realy take this guy seriously..

Couldn't agree more man. It's infuriating to hear "You know, one day you're going to be older, and you won't have time for video games". Well fuck, if that's the case, I hope I die young. I never want to be at a point in my life when I need to work work and work some more. Who's business is it what I do in my free time? I guess my future wife.....but if she's not cool with me playing video games, she's probably not my wife.

My go to response that I've found rather effective is, "When are you going to grow out of books, music and movies? I mean, who has time for entertainment, right?"

Wow, I didn't know that anyone liked Alien Resurrection. Alien 3, sure. I've only seen the director's cut (apparently a lot better than the original release), and that was OK. But people like Alien Resurrection too? Interesting.

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.

No, we want them to stop being considered a fucking toy. Man there are colleges dedicated to making films and writing novels while we can't get the funding and were pushed into something of toy making with fucking hasbro.

While the law has something to do with it, if the perception of games being for kids and a toy for kids changes to a thing for everyone, then the laws will stop. Its not like those people who put up laws to try and ban X thing, people will believe the person spewing it because no one else wants to explain what X thing is.

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.

So true, its like going home and showing Mommy Film and Daddy Book your brand new thing called Games, they look down on you because of age, despite the true matter of how serious you are.

I don'...

well mabye this "taken seriously" thing is less about what other people think and more about us wanting games that arnt targeted toward 14 year old boys

That is exactly what I was going to make a rant about, thank you.

It's kinda funny when people take games too seriously i.e ME, Tanuki Mario.... It's the developers and publishers that should be taken seriously me thinks.

Captcha:ntberte lausanne) - someone's been listening to The Police. Really? Lausanne?

Why the hell should I care if Jim likes Alien 3 or not? He's a fucking VIDEO GAME CRITIC.



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

When? Why, we're talking about a billion-dollar industry... but making Roger Ebert play videogames seems just as questionable to me as the notion of having Jim Sterling tearing Jane Fonda a new one by releasing his own workout videos. At least the latter would be somewhat fun.

People seeking Roger Ebert's four thumbs up on videogames or car engine pimping generally can be considered as being somewhat confused and, as our local holy preacher guruman Jim the Exalted put it, insecure.

Maybe, though, it's a sign of our chaotic and diversified times.

Consider John Doe, who studied history and learned speaking Mandarin while being bored at high school, suddenly talking about nuclear power, cold fusion and other things that are mostly none of his melon farming business. He once read a book about it by someone who also happens to believe in aliens. Oh, and he discussed it with his vegan friends, many times.

He should be hit on the head with a frying pan and sent to some Gulag where the only power is the one you get from burning wood, or the one his muscles get from stale bread and a warm cup of boiled snow. Yet a lot of people find their own insignificance, ignorance and fear so important they elevate John Doe to be their leader, spokesperson and general Mr. Knowitall, which usually leads to centuries of shenanigans and asshattery. But that's how we the sheeple roll. We're so much more intelluhgnt than animals, yet we hardly ever elevate ourselves above our instincts.

Then again, I sometimes wonder... was it consumers, escapists that first went to Roger Ebert for his blessing, or was it marketing parasites trying to cash in on He Who is Roger Ebert™?


As for Alien 3 and Resurrection...I haven't seen either all the way through. I should fix that, especially since they're both apparently better than AvP.

...and that's why Bob handles the movies and Jim preaches about video games (and everything else). Hah. Gotcha.

I like this point, it's a very legitimate point and it was well made. I haven't, however, faced this problem. Maybe because I live in the UK? I don't know, games aren't important over here but I've not seen them vilified either, not like I see from the States.

Regardless I completely agree, especially when it comes to groups like Fox and the Daily Mail, if they take you seriously then odds are you're doing it wrong anyway, their endorsement is a BAD sign.
Oh and I wasn't a fan of Resurrection, 3 was okay but 1 and 2 were the best. AvP was terrible unfortunately, the second one more so. Had promise too, which sucks.

Usually, I tend to agree with Jim with a resounding HALLELUJA FOR JIM but he's quite wrong on this one... or rather, he simplifies the issue to a ridiculous level.

Yeah, I get it: whining nerds who desperately crave for attention and validation are annoying but those are just idiots. People who actually want video games to be taken seriously do this because they want games like "Six Days in Fallujah" become reality.
Why is it that there can be movies or books about certain subjects but a game "ridicules" or "disrespects" it? That's the thing that annoys the hell out of me. That's what I mean by "being taken seriously" not getting approval from What's-His-Face McMovie-critic (I mean... who was that guy?)

But then again, it's not really the mainstream (FUCK YOU FOX NEWS) or other people I ask for srsns but the game industry itself. You can beg and cry and whine all you want and people will still not view your favourite pass time the way you do. And that's okay. But when I see what EA and Activision do to ("advertise") their games... that's just shameful. How Konami backed out of publishing Six Days of Fallujah... that was just FUCKING shameful. It shows that the game industry itself oftentime considers video games to be nothing more than mere toys.

Honestly, Jim's mostly right but not totally, atleast from where I'm standing. Roger Ebert and so on, yeah, seeking validation from them, complete waste of time effort and energy. About the absolute limit to responding to their bigotry is to ask them if they've ever played the games that they're lambasting, and proclaiming their opinions to be invalid when they finally admit that they haven't. And let's be honest, when it comes to Fox News, nothing's going to change their tune short of nuclear holocaust or hell freezing over, so once again, a complete waste of time.

However, politicians and high level jurists not taking them seriously as an art form, that has the potential to be massively damaging to the industry. Take for example that US Supreme Court decision last year/earlier this year. If they'd decided against games and gaming, that it was not a legitimate art form, the results could have been diabolical.

The problem we have as a community, is that due to idiots like Murdoch, Ebert and the rest, the impression that we get of the people making the laws that can have a massive impact on us, is that those people don't take us seriously. That they view the industry (as someone else said earlier in the thread) as 'toy makers gone mad'. Yes ok, we are getting more and more of an impression via their actions that they do, but still...

Ok, Alien 3 was watchable, but it had the... worst... CGI... I have ever seen. Period. And I don't mean in Hollywood. Fucking Angry Video Game Nerd has better CGI than Alien 3. From a point on it became impossible to watch the movie for me because of all the giggling and facepalming.

I never really understood why people kept going to non-game reviewers for opinions on video games... I mean, I don't go to a mechanic for a second opinion on my medical tests (well, not after last time...) , do I?

On the subject of 'Games as Arts' thing though, I always thought Art was subjective, not a grand-defining "This is art but this isn't" statement. While it would be nice for gaming to have a little more credibility in the world (Actual awards ceremony, people not giving you weird looks when you tell them you want to work in the games industry, etc.) it's not a necessity to get enjoyment from a medium that was designed to entertain people.

Also, Aliens 3 wasn't bad, but Resurrection dropped the ball with that retarded Alien/human Hybrid thingy. That thing just made no sense, and looked retarded to boot.

I think this shadowy group is composed of a lot of dads.

In my case, what bothers me is not that videogames aren't taken "seriously", but rather that the current stereotype of videogamers seems to only have shifted from mouth-breathing man-children who live in their parents' basement to idiot fratboys who only buy the latest map-pack in their favorite shooter. Idiot fratboys with a strange, homoerotic love for teabagging, and all the social graces of an overgrown two year old.

It's not much of an improvement.

All bronies know what he means.

Great episode. That ending was strangely uplifting.

Come on Jim, Why should I take this episode seriously when I already take gaming seriously? *shrug*


well mabye this "taken seriously" thing is less about what other people think and more about us wanting games that arnt targeted toward 14 year old boys

That is exactly what I was going to make a rant about, thank you.

Yup, we want the game publishers to take videogames seriously. They do matter.

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

Both could've been better, but they weren't terrible I think. To my understanding the producers of 3 didn't like the original script and kinda made shit up as they went along, and Resurrection suffered from extreme script changes itself (and I've read that it was originally penned by Joss Whedon). Alas... meddling.

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.

A frequenter of SRK I see. And one that is not choking on their own sexual fluids at that. A rare combination indeed. I commend you sir/madam.

And the crazy thing about that argument is how some people are saying that apparently both players and commentators alike need to, say, dress in suits and whatnot. For a fucking video game. I can agree with keeping the language PG-13 since you may get the odd kid or young teen or some such (e.g. Noah the Prodigy), but having to dress up for a tournament is just overkill and unnecessary.

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.

Agreed on both counts. I still think video games are more an amalgam of various artistic mediums than a medium in and of themselves, but I won't get into that right now.

And you forgot about him making out with another dude right before the end credits. :D

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.

I could kiss you for these two sentences alone. Of course basic simplification isn't the problem - sometimes it works (Skyrim, the control scheme for Marvel vs Capcom 3), and sometimes it doesn't (some of the more recent BioWare games, arguably). I think the "PC Master Race" (I'm generalizing here, I know not all PC gamers are like this) tend to think that all the ultimately unneeded complexity is supposed to be a status symbol or something. I'm not even gonna pretend I understand it all.

Aside: One argument/debate I've always wanted to have but never got the chance to indulge in is someone saying that RPGs are more complex than fighting games. Shame really... I'd love to compare and contrast.

Zachary Amaranth:
You want gamers to be mature and secure?

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

Maybe some day Jim will join us and we'll be as one. :D

Zachary Amaranth:


I never said it would stop them attacking games, I said it would prevent them from having a legitimate basis to petition Congress to ban, restrict, etc. games and gaming material.

No, you may have MEANT to say that, but you didn't say it. Legitimacy will not stop them from petitioning Congress. Teh Rawk n Role is still under the gun....And movies, and literature.

Pretty much the EXACT opposite of what you said.

And what's wrong with my comment regarding the Puritans? Puritan settlements banned books because it kept the kids indoors and not working outside, and this happened to be the same culture of people to perform the Salem Witch Trials, I'm not following how my comment on that makes me ignorant.

What's wrong with it? It's full of shit.

Puritans didn't ban books. Well, let me back up. The North American Puritans, the culture who was one of the foremost in terms of literature and education, did not ban books. As they were the ones who were involved in the oft-exaggerated Salem Witch Trials, you're either crossing cultures or grossly misinformed. Now, that's not to say all literature was free under them. Maybe you meant certain books were banned, but your followup here says that it was due to keeping kids inside and not working the fields, which is just freaking wrong.

You could have at least gone the religious route, which would be glib but not entirely untrue.

For the record, puritans (in the modern sense of the word) are still trying to ban books, despite them being legitimate. Again, your argument is, well, shit. You seem to think that somehow, if video games attain the same status as books, they will be exempt from the persecution that is still afforded books. And music. and movies. and just about anything else fun, because fun is sinful.

Yikes, okay, sorry about the historical confusion. It's been a while since I studied colonial societies in America so more likely than not I did mix up cultures here and there. God, if there is one thing I can't stand about the Escapist it's how caustic people get. Anyway, the Puritans DID ban books which, as you said, was due to blasphemous and/or against the status quo of their society. (For the record, the Salem Witch Trials are overly exaggerated but having faced false accusations of heinous crimes myself, I find them putrid and disgusting.) Any maybe it didn't lead to the actuall banning of books, the argument about keeping kids indoors was used back then as a criticism of books since farming was so integral to their livelihood.

Now to my point on taking games seriously, let me rework my argument. This kind of ties into the "games being taken as art" argument as well, but as it stands games are viewed by contemporary society as a toy. Movies, music, and books have gained respect as "artistic mediums" and therefore can display what otherwise would be normally considered obscene or controversial without fear of the MAJORITY from banning it, because they recognize it as art and therefore it has a, for lack of a better word, privilege to do so. Video games are still seen merely as toys. If say, for example, a new toy came out on the market that had something controversial, guaranteed it would receive a public outcry because it doesn't have the same status as a book would. Even if the message was well intended, it still would be removed from the market because it would come across merely as obscene, not artistic. Games face that similar problem too.

I understand that these mediums will always have people trying to censor and limit them, but when games are "taken seriously" we won't have to worry when these people complain, because society at large will just see them as fun Nazis and nothing more.

Thank you Jim.
I don't want games to be taken too seriously. Shit look at what happened to comic books after the government started taking them too seriously.

And I too love Alien Resurrection, but I'm probably more of a JP Jeunet fan than an Alien fan anyway. And the alien abortion scene at the end was so tastefully pro-choice.

Hey! I use to have one of those.
It can suck up water and spit it at Gi Joes.

I really try to think that Jim is on our side, and he is for alot of things, such as the whole "Used game" problem and SOPA etc. but then he ruins it all by saying "thank god for me" at the end of his videos.

Seriously stop that Jim, you just make yourself sound like some elitist, and that's the only thing ruining this series for me.

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 NEXT

Reply to Thread

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