62: Screenshots and Boobies

"People tell me you need to appeal to the lowest common denominator when marketing products. They tell me it's difficult to present the more ethereal elements of a game coherently. They tell me the poor market performance of games such as Beyond Good & Evil and Psychonauts means the industry will continue to focus on visual glitz, violence and sex appeal. But I feel this approach has done us a disservice. And by 'us' I mean all of us - from the developers and publishers who sweat over their game to the player who craves quality entertainment. The games we produce and enjoy are deeper, richer and more socially relevant than is being portrayed by our own marketing." Corvus Elrod looks at "Lowest Common Denominator Marketing."

Screenshots and Boobies

I find it vaguely amusing that this thread has received the most views out of all the other articles published this week. I have to assume that this is based soley on the title of the thread as posted on the portal site. Screenshots ftw!

Note to all Escapist contributors: All article titles will contain the word "screenshots" until further notice. That is all.

I like designing articles about screenshots.

I would wholeheartedly agree that the content in game advertising does create a somewhat skewed image of the tastes of most gamers, but the problem goes beyond Madison Avenue. Some of the content in games IS sexual and misoginistic. Not to mention, explicit violence and gore is a staple of the most popular genre, first-person shooters. To simplify the equation down to a singular cause would be to miss the whole picture.

We should also consider the relationship between conservative activists and the media attention they garner everytime a controversial title is released (e.g. Bully, GTA). These activist groups and the media pick up on the most explicitly sexual and violent content in the video gaming world and turn it into a political football for the likes of Hilary Clinton to run with.

Furthermore, I beleive that it will be impossible to get the game advertising world to modify its strategy. As long as their market research tells them sex and violence sell, they will use those images in their ads. If, however, consumer interests change to some degree, then we may see more intelligent and informative game ads that showcase the most important aspect of any game...its gameplay.

But lets face it. Video games are a virtual world where us gamer can live out or most depraved fanatasies in a safe and cloistered environment. That will always be a selling point to the masses looking to endulge their inner demons without consequence.

Excellent article, Corvus. While there is plenty or room for mature content in video games, I agree that the industry's sex-and-violence marketing image, while perhaps unsuprising, is unfortunate.

heavyfeul:

But lets face it. Video games are a virtual world where us gamer can live out or most depraved fanatasies in a safe and cloistered environment. That will always be a selling point to the masses looking to endulge their inner demons without consequence.

I have to disagree with you heavyfeul.

I suppose your comment touches a cord with me, I dont think of games as that place where I can let loose my demons. I do think it lets me have an outlet where I can be more than I am here. Psychological issues aside, I love saving the world in a video game, being the good guy. Games that give me the ability to do so - to play a role by choice especially - are the ones that attract me.

I don't honestly believe that the masses are looking for a place to act in the depraved fashion their animal insides crave. I think most of them, like me, are looking for a place where they can be better than they are already. Sports games are fun because you yourself aren't capable of the feats the players you control are. Competetive gaming is fun for the same reason real sports are. I play flight sims so that I can fly, is that a depraved fantasy of mine? Not hardly.

While I'm sure that your comments on the depravity of masses apply to some of them, I don't think it applies to even most of them.

TomBeraha:

I dont think of games as that place where I can let loose my demons. I do think it lets me have an outlet where I can be more than I am here.

i think this is an interesting argument too. ive read alot of people who see games as a place to let out our inner demons. (does this imply hardcore gamers have more inner demons i wonder) I myself find that when im presented with a game where i can make descisions about whether i want to be a "good" character or a "bad" character(eg. KOTOR2) the majority of the time ill go for the good guy. i dont know why; i just do.

i think it would be interesting for someone to run a purely quantitative study that measures whether people are more likely to be a bad guy or a good guy when given the choice...

avocado:

TomBeraha:

I dont think of games as that place where I can let loose my demons. I do think it lets me have an outlet where I can be more than I am here.

i think this is an interesting argument too. ive read alot of people who see games as a place to let out our inner demons. (does this imply hardcore gamers have more inner demons i wonder) I myself find that when im presented with a game where i can make descisions about whether i want to be a "good" character or a "bad" character(eg. KOTOR2) the majority of the time ill go for the good guy. i dont know why; i just do.

i think it would be interesting for someone to run a purely quantitative study that measures whether people are more likely to be a bad guy or a good guy when given the choice...

I'd be a bad guy just because almost every other game in existence has you saving the world just for once I would like to play a rpg where I actually got to destory the virtual world around me, but I digress.

As long as sex and violence get the attention of would be gamers, sex and violence will be used. While a GTA ad showing off its great list of classic old school music would be a great "turnover a new leaf" type of ad.

That just wouldn't be nearly as interesting or capitvating as one depicting an airborne motorcycle jumping over a car while firing a weapon with empty bullet casings scattered everywhere.

I'd like to point out that sex and violence marketing may "work" on a small slice of the gaming demographic, but that it alienates much larger sections of it. As parents become more aware of the issue of sex and violence in games (and they are), and as gamers grow up and expect more from their games, and as non-traditional gamers become curious about games because they play Brain Age on their kid's DS, then the glorification of sex and violence is going to completely backfire and we're going to lose market share. With rising costs and publishing mergers, growing the market ought to be our focus, not offending it.

Nothing really new here. Women's fictional romance novels have almost identical "bodice-ripper" art on their covers over in that section of the bookstore, and the DVD covers for action movies all show the same close-up pose of the star clutching a pistol next to his or her face. (recognize the star, see the gun, we're done; buddy movie? two starts clutching guns next to their faces) Don't criticize the marketer; criticize the masses. They go into the focus testing sessions, and the first cover they pick up is the sex & violence cover. Show them various magazine ads and ask them which ad gets them wanting to learn more about the game. The sex/violence ads win every time. So why are you surprised that the marketing people are running the sex/violence ads. Their job is to get people excited about the game and wanting to learn more about the game. If the public is lizard-brained, it's not the marketer's fault. Blame the society we live in. Do the marketers create that society? Somewhat, yes, because they create the advertising wallpaper that surrounds, but thanks to the "science" of marketing, they just give the public what it asks for.

in kotor i played evil all the way up to the point where you face off againts bastilla after shes been turned to the dark side and convinced her to turn from the ways of the darkside and got a huge net points light side shift from all the way dark to 3/4's good. light sabers are cool and all but no star wars game ive ever played or any game for that matter has allowed me to explore my sinister side and then expiriance redemption like that.

i find playing evil characters to be amusing like in kotor 2 when i used my jedi mind powers to tell this guy to leap to his death i couldnt believe he actually did it. i think choices like this are amazing, moments like these are so visceral and emotionally intense that when compared with the linearity nearly all other games i find it difficult to enjoy them or finish them.

like FF7 ive tried to play this game so many times but moments like when you first goto the flying saucer and theres that staged scene where your framed for murder and are forced to run are lame this and the marching scene killed the game for me.

i dont think violence by itself makes a game good, i think its the level of depth and how the game allows you to interact within the game to achieve whatever goals are presented for instance the deus ex series is made great because it allows you to role play or project your personality into your avatar through choice allowing you to develope your character to your play style and effect the outcome of the story.

games that have you pointlessly killing for no purpose other then to get to the next stage or level up become repetitive and mind numbingly boring for instance dark cloud 2 i only made it to chapter 2 before i got tired of the randmoized dungeons and repetitive and inane killing.

as far as boobs and sex go i cant think of any game i ever purchased or played for that reason i bought tomb raider the last revelation? for dreamcast because of a demo i played that had laura exploring a pyramid, i bought fear effect cause it was $20 and i was looking for cheap games...lol honestly...

i was actually under age when i bought that game and had to get my grandpa to buy it and the stupid women at toys r us tried everything she could to talk him out of buying it for me i still remember it was classic she was trying to explain to him that there was sexual content in the game and he replied well then maybe i should play it too! lmfao it still makes me laugh when i think about it he never actually played it and sexual content was pretty tame in my opinion.

more often then not sex is tacky in video games like gta and the health bonus with prostitues its amusing the first time you do it and then after that you just whish you could have the health boost without chasing down a hooker and in gta sa i picked them up but couldnt find a secluded place so i just took them on wild rides that ended with police chases and flames, its a challenge to keep them in your car...lol and the girl friend missions were lame i only did the first one to completion then ignored the rest of them.

when i think of mature content i dont think of blood and guts and violence i think of stories with mature themes and characters that have long finished puberty as a rpg gamer first its becoming more and more irritating that most rpgs have you playing a 13-17 year old kid and i find it tacky to be subjected to dialouge thats directed at same age as my ingame chracter.

maxpayne had an interesting and mature plot with out the unique way of telling a story in that game your left with basicly one of those matrix games.

i noticed though how marketing does effect the sales of some games like that one with 50 cent that game was horrible and only sold because of 50 cents name.

companies that take the risk and try somthing differant like with Beyond Good & Evil and Psychonauts cant simply make it, release it, and hope it does well with out any effort to get the word out. they have to give gamers a reason to pay $50, thats alot of money to shell out for a game you may not like. $50 adds up fast when you start buying games and i think people want a sure thing, so they take the safe route and get the latest rendition of whatever EA (insert other average game developer here with this years rip off of what sold well last year) game is being whored out at the moment.

theres the desire i have to support devs who try new and innovative things but theres also that need for there art to connect with me its not my fault if it doesnt succeed nor is it my responsibility to fund every off the wall project simply because it isnt sex and violence

i recently picked up shadows of colossus and since the article mentioned that game i wanted to say wtf, really that game is weird, its engaging ellicits awe when you face off the first colussus but specificly moments on the 10th,15th and 16th colussus elicit a foul demon within to hurl cuss words to the point when my ability to cuss degenerated into odd noises and gulrgles mixed with drool combined with controller tosses and a vauge plot and a retarded horse...really wtf...it may be art but it didnt make any sense to me. even as criticly praised as it was if i had payed full price for it, i dont think i would have been a very happy.

im trying with all my might to avoid god of war too i have a friend that repeatedly tells me how great it is, i really dont think i would like it.

i guess even though i try to pick and choose what i play and buy i still lean torwards violence in games i try to pick the games i think i would enjoy and though im not apart of the crowd that continues to buy WWII and madden games i didnt support games like psychonauts.

i think to say that games like psychonauts because they performed poorly means violence and sex is the only marketable game mechanics is a bit misleading, theres really a lack of variety in the game market most companies i believe are merely trying to capitalise on what they see has an opportunity to cash in. you see it all the time with publishers pushing games out to apease investors, theres not much concern amoung many companies about growing the market or providing unique game experiences its more about quarterly earnings.

id like to see more unique games but there really has to be more then a few to choose from a game just because its unique doesnt make it a default purchase, ive had fun with non violent games before and im willing to spend my money on them it just has to be somthing im intrested in. i would love to be able to play last gladiators again.

also what are the chances we could get a spellcheck button included?

avocado:

TomBeraha:

I dont think of games as that place where I can let loose my demons. I do think it lets me have an outlet where I can be more than I am here.

i think it would be interesting for someone to run a purely quantitative study that measures whether people are more likely to be a bad guy or a good guy when given the choice...

I'm pretty sure I'd run good-guy through it the first time. Though talking so much about good vs evil I'm reminded of the scene in Kotor 2, where I gave a beggar some money, and one of the characters pulls me aside, asks me why I did that. Then I watch as the beggar becomes a target among his peers and is killed for the money I gave him. "The road to hell is paved with good intentions". But it would be interesting to see a full on study on how people react, I'd be curious about age demographic changes too.

LordCancer:
also what are the chances we could get a spellcheck button included?

Hear, Hear! I second the motion! :)

TomBeraha:

heavyfeul:

But lets face it. Video games are a virtual world where us gamer can live out or most depraved fanatasies in a safe and cloistered environment. That will always be a selling point to the masses looking to endulge their inner demons without consequence.

I have to disagree with you heavyfeul.

I suppose your comment touches a cord with me, I dont think of games as that place where I can let loose my demons. I do think it lets me have an outlet where I can be more than I am here. Psychological issues aside, I love saving the world in a video game, being the good guy. Games that give me the ability to do so - to play a role by choice especially - are the ones that attract me.

I don't honestly believe that the masses are looking for a place to act in the depraved fashion their animal insides crave. I think most of them, like me, are looking for a place where they can be better than they are already. Sports games are fun because you yourself aren't capable of the feats the players you control are. Competetive gaming is fun for the same reason real sports are. I play flight sims so that I can fly, is that a depraved fantasy of mine? Not hardly.

While I'm sure that your comments on the depravity of masses apply to some of them, I don't think it applies to even most of them.

I may have been a bit reductive. There are certainly games out there that stress positive acheivement. However, there are far more that depend on the player committing several acts of violence to excel in the game. My comments certainly do not apply to all games but I think it describes a pervasive and widespread trend in gaming. You must kill to win. We may choose to fight for the Allies or the survival of the Jedi or to save the Princess, but the fact is violence in video games is a very common component and gamers demand it. Lets just consider a few titles:

1. Half-Life
2. Halo
3. Call of Duty
4. Mortal Combat
5. Total War
6. KOTOR
7. Doom
8. Mario Brothers (Even Mario must kill)
9. Pac Man (I wonder if consuming ghosts causes gas?)
10. Battlefield
11. WoW
12. Zelda
13. Madden
14. etc., etc., etc.

Even the seemingly benign Nintendo staples depend on violence. It may be cartoonish, but its still violence and death. If you prick a Koopa Troopa, does it not bleed?:( Super Mario Brothers is somewhat disturbing, because the guy goes through this 8-level killing spree with a big huge grin on his face to mostly happy-go-lucky music. If you think about it, its a little creepy. That Mario is one twisted puppy if you ask me.

Sex in video games is a whole other issue. In our culture, its more acceptable to let teenagers watch violence, murder, and bloodshed, then nudity and sex. Just think Hot Coffee. You can kill a hooker for the trick money see just got from you, but god forbid if you show the actual act of sex. However, If they did allow sex in MA games, Hot Coffee and scenes like it would be everywhere.

avocado:

TomBeraha:

I dont think of games as that place where I can let loose my demons. I do think it lets me have an outlet where I can be more than I am here.

i think this is an interesting argument too. ive read alot of people who see games as a place to let out our inner demons. (does this imply hardcore gamers have more inner demons i wonder) I myself find that when im presented with a game where i can make descisions about whether i want to be a "good" character or a "bad" character(eg. KOTOR2) the majority of the time ill go for the good guy. i dont know why; i just do.

i think it would be interesting for someone to run a purely quantitative study that measures whether people are more likely to be a bad guy or a good guy when given the choice...

The first time through Jade Empire I went the Way of the Open Palm, This time around I am going the Way of the Closed Fist. For myself, I have to say, its been a bit more fun following the Way of The Closed Fist. Thus, I think it would also be interesting to somehow record gamer reactions to "good" versus "bad" behavior in the game. Although my initial inclination was to follow the good path, I find a devious smile on my face more often going the bad guy route. Being good is morally satisfying, but being bad is pretty fun. Hehehe ]:)

heavyfeul:

I may have been a bit reductive. There are certainly games out there that stress positive acheivement. However, there are far more that depend on the player committing several acts of violence to excel in the game. My comments certainly do not apply to all games but I think it describes a pervasive and widespread trend in gaming. You must kill to win. We may choose to fight for the Allies or the survival of the Jedi or to save the Princess, but the fact is violence in video games is a very common component and gamers demand it. Lets just consider a few titles:

1. Half-Life
2. Halo
3. Call of Duty
4. Mortal Combat
5. Total War
6. KOTOR
7. Doom
8. Mario Brothers (Even Mario must kill)
9. Pac Man (I wonder if consuming ghosts causes gas?)
10. Battlefield
11. WoW
12. Zelda
13. Madden
14. etc., etc., etc.

Even the seemingly benign Nintendo staples depend on violence. It may be cartoonish, but its still violence and death. If you prick a Koopa Troopa, does it not bleed?:( Super Mario Brothers is somewhat disturbing, because the guy goes through this 8-level killing spree with a big huge grin on his face to mostly happy-go-lucky music. If you think about it, its a little creepy. That Mario is one twisted puppy if you ask me.

Sex in video games is a whole other issue. In our culture, its more acceptable to let teenagers watch violence, murder, and bloodshed, then nudity and sex. Just think Hot Coffee. You can kill a hooker for the trick money see just got from you, but god forbid if you show the actual act of sex. However, If they did allow sex in MA games, Hot Coffee and scenes like it would be everywhere.

I hate that on the whole I'm inclined to agree with you. I just dislike the idea that I'm letting out frustration, because it doesn't feel that way. I prefer to think of my gaming as a mostly positive experience, where I can be rewarded for my achievements. I most certainly played a dark sith witch my second time through kotor, to see all the other story that could have been and to try something different. I found some of the actions very difficult to take even though I knew I was being evil as part of the role I was playing. My concience took a heavy toll on me when I would kill some thugs who were sticking a guy up, only to tell him he was next if he didnt cough up money. I disliked the wording, but you may have been correct.

You made your points quite well, and I lack a good rebuttal to it. I may be irrationally feeling that gaming on the whole is harmless activity because I personally can tell the difference between whats right and whats wrong for me. Maybe some people can't, and for them, this is a place where they don't have consequences.

If you could kill someone, anyone, with no consequence, would you do it? My answer is I don't know, I'd like to think not. I don't want to ever have to take someone's life. The only situation I can honestly picture myself being capable of it, is in the defense of someone else's life. After the fact- what's the point? It gets very depressing for me if I think about it too long.

- Tom

TomBeraha:
I hate that on the whole I'm inclined to agree with you. I just dislike the idea that I'm letting out frustration, because it doesn't feel that way. I prefer to think of my gaming as a mostly positive experience, where I can be rewarded for my achievements. I most certainly played a dark sith witch my second time through kotor, to see all the other story that could have been and to try something different. I found some of the actions very difficult to take even though I knew I was being evil as part of the role I was playing. My concience took a heavy toll on me when I would kill some thugs who were sticking a guy up, only to tell him he was next if he didnt cough up money. I disliked the wording, but you may have been correct.

You made your points quite well, and I lack a good rebuttal to it. I may be irrationally feeling that gaming on the whole is harmless activity because I personally can tell the difference between whats right and whats wrong for me. Maybe some people can't, and for them, this is a place where they don't have consequences.

If you could kill someone, anyone, with no consequence, would you do it? My answer is I don't know, I'd like to think not. I don't want to ever have to take someone's life. The only situation I can honestly picture myself being capable of it, is in the defense of someone else's life. After the fact- what's the point? It gets very depressing for me if I think about it too long.

I think we are both right. There is a fundamental disjuncture between the world of video games and the real world. I think that's why most gamers were in an uproar when people started drawing connections between school shootings and violent video games. Anyone with gaming experience knows that just because your a bloody murderer in the gaming world, doesn't mean it reflects your personality or desires in the real world. Even in one without consequences.

Very nice article, Mr. Elrod. I think that the publishers, and the gamers to a certain extent, are mistaking a relatively small subset of what's really possible in the medium of video games for the entirety of the medium's potential. I keep coming back to the amazing similarity between the early days of film and these early days of video games. No reputable parent would have allowed his or her child into a movie theatre in the early days, and movies were marketed accordingly. Even after the Italian epics, and then DW Griffith, came along, they were viewed as "crossovers" (as we might call them), and as the exception.

On the "grown-up gaming" sites, we're starting to see a sort of normalization of gaming, as we think about how we want our kids to game. Thank goodness for the Invisible Hand: we're going to be voting with our wallets without even thinking about it. I'll be buying Lego Star Wars and Viva Pinata for my daughter, and, quite possibly, nothing for me this holiday season, since I'm getting a little tired of shooters and even most RPGs, which keep promising innovation, and give us derivation instead.

TinPeregrinus

Will you people please stop pimping Beyond Good and Evil. Yes, it was "high concept". Yes, it had a sexy, but not a porn star, strong female protagonist. Yes, the aformentioned protagonist was NOT an amped up killing machine. All that said, the game didn't appeal to the masses because none of that stuff is interesting. The concept of the game seems like a Lifetime made for TV movie, and you people wonder why those energy drink fueled man children didn't buy it. Seriously, the game could be as awesome as chocolate covered breasts, and no one is going to play it. What IS the fascination with this game? I just don't get it. I really don't. No, I've never played it. No, that doesn't invalidate my opinion. First of all because it's exactly that, an opinion, and second because I'm not talking about the game itself. I'm talking about it's complete lack of ANYTHING appealing to the video game crowd.

GreatATuin:
Will you people please stop pimping Beyond Good and Evil. Yes, it was "high concept". Yes, it had a sexy, but not a porn star, strong female protagonist. Yes, the aformentioned protagonist was NOT an amped up killing machine. All that said, the game didn't appeal to the masses because none of that stuff is interesting. The concept of the game seems like a Lifetime made for TV movie, and you people wonder why those energy drink fueled man children didn't buy it. Seriously, the game could be as awesome as chocolate covered breasts, and no one is going to play it. What IS the fascination with this game? I just don't get it. I really don't. No, I've never played it. No, that doesn't invalidate my opinion. First of all because it's exactly that, an opinion, and second because I'm not talking about the game itself. I'm talking about it's complete lack of ANYTHING appealing to the video game crowd.

No. :)

GreatATuin:
All that said, the game didn't appeal to the masses because none of that stuff is interesting. The concept of the game seems like a Lifetime made for TV movie, and you people wonder why those energy drink fueled man children didn't buy it.

Bit of a flaw in your statement. "the masses" do not really equal "those energy drink fueled man children." This may be the case within the subset of society that are considered Gamers, but not the masses at large. I DO think this sort of game is exactly the sort of game that would appeal to the masses as a whole; certainly it would more than many games currently offered, at least.

GreatATuin:
No, I've never played it. No, that doesn't invalidate my opinion. First of all because it's exactly that, an opinion, and second because I'm not talking about the game itself. I'm talking about it's complete lack of ANYTHING appealing to the video game crowd.

An interesting perspective and tack to take. I shall ponder it further.

This article flies in the face of all the other articles presented in this issue.

Has anyone really purchased Dead Or Alive because it's got titties in it? Or do they buy it because of word of mouth, even if that word of mouth is ingenuine marketeers?

Also, if women avoid the games aisle because of the sexualised images, why does every single womens magazine have a sexualised, airbrushed and perfect image of the star du Jour on it and within their pages?

Sex and violence sell games. Sex because it is ingrained into everyone to reproduce. Conflict because it is fundamental to modern entertainment. I dare you to think of a movie or computer game where conflict is not present.

The disagreement in point of view between TomBeraha and heavyfeul above is telling. Both want to do something that they can't in real life without consequences. Yet disagree because the things they fantasize about doing are different. This perfectly illustrates the problems a marketer faces. Do they taylor the advertising to suit Tom or Heavy's ideal? Or does he sell to the points both will like?

I would go so far as to say that unless there was only one gaming device, on which detailed games could be sold for a guaranteed profit of at least 15% (i.e: NEVER), then lowest common denominator marketing will always prevail.

The real interest to me in this debate is that it practically destroys the premiss of computer games as art because the main goal (for most) is to make money, not to be creative.

Andraste:

Bit of a flaw in your statement. "the masses" do not really equal "those energy drink fueled man children." This may be the case within the subset of society that are considered Gamers, but not the masses at large. I DO think this sort of game is exactly the sort of game that would appeal to the masses as a whole; certainly it would more than many games currently offered, at least.

Which masses are you refering to? The ones that keep incepid asinine reality shows like Survivor: Nuremburg, or Dancing with a Rock Star on the air, yet allow well written, well acted, and well respected shows like Arrested Development to get cancelled. Your argument is based on the notion that the American pulblic are anything but the morons that the shows they watch make fun of. Too many people watch Grey's Anatomy or Desperate Housewives and actually wish their lives were like they see. Me, I've accepted that the people suck, and thus have no time for things that do not entertain me. I never said people should have NEVER praised BG&E, I just think it's time to stop talking to the wall.

Oh, and I should probably point out that I'm not some America hating hippe pinko commie. Hell, I'm not even liberal. I just call bullshit on people saying that there's this big market out there for "inclusive" games. There isn't. People who don't play video games are not going to start playing them because the content gets better. I think the point of the article was dead-on. There's a stigma to gaming and gamers, (one they richly deserve, and anyone saying different is selling something) and the cheerleaders and Student body presidents of the world just won't mix with the geeks any time soon. Jocks...sure, cause games allow you to make lil' Wayne Gretzky's legs kick after an injury. Games will have to become as pervasive as computers have before mother's will know/care what the content of their children's games include. *looks down* Sorry, that's a pretty high soap box I've found. I'll get down now.

GreatATuin:

I never said people should have NEVER praised BG&E, I just thinik it's time to stop talking to the wall.

There may be a case of us preaching to the converted here, but hardly to the wall. I don't think that the average escapist reader is what any one of us would describe as "the masses", yet there do seem to be an awfully lot of us, and whether we like what it means or not, we are a portion of said masses. Us going on about a game we really enjoyed is nothing new, nor is BG&E the only game I'll praise regurally. I still rave about most blizzard games any chance I get, and those hardly need the exposure. Fallout is another game I endorse whole heartedly. Beyond Good and Evil gets exposure from me for the same reason Deus Ex, Starcraft, Worms, Diablo, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, Knights of the Old Republic and Command and Conquer do. I LIKED it. It's not going to go away, nor do I really think it recieves more exposure than the other games I've listed, and it most certainly deserves their company. I only found out about it recently BECAUSE of the article written a few issues back. Best purchase I've made in a long while. If the talking reached me, either I'm a very attentive wall, or maybe you're mistaken about a few things.

-Tom

Well, there's good news in the horizon regarding this topic though, due to the recent realization that casual gamers are a potentially large demographic, there'll likely be more a) games which doesn't sensationalize sex/violence, and b) advertisements which reflect the other properties of such games. So far there isn't many casual games up to the standards of games like Half Life (there are some, like Katamari or Loco Roco, but as I mentioned, that's nowhere near the range of "many"), but that's probably more due to lack of developer experience than anything else.

But truthfully, if I were to choose a non-violent/non-sexual game to use as an example, I would've chosed Puzzle Pirates instead. The problem with BG&E is that though it is intellectual, it's still targetted at the "Hardcore" crowd, which are less likely to appreciate such gameplay.

puzzle pirates is broken, that is one of the worst games ive ever played.

carpol tunnel waste of time it should be called...the ingame economy is completely unregulated and you could spend years buying a single outfit that offers nothing to gameplay and your swords that cost your soul decay and break.

you might as well become an alcholic rather then play puzzle pirates its far more rewarding and atleast youll have somthing to show for your addiction other then sore wrists and bloodshot eyes and a looser pirate with a stick and red and white striped pants.....oh wooooooow the pinacle of suckitude righ there.

im sorry if its free it aint worth much.

LordCancer

You missed the whole point then. Granted the parts of the game you mentioned are not as refined as it could have been, but doing so would add almost nothing to gameplay. The point is to put puzzle games into an engaging social context, where anyone can contribute to their teams success irregardless of skill level (unless you completely are unable to deal with even the simplest of puzzles). To simplify, it caters almost entirely to the casual crowd.

Also, your example would apply to the majority of games. List of games with no physical rewards: all single player games, multiplayer non-sports games (unless you're a trained sportsman) (arguably physical sports games gives you a workout, so I'm not including it in this list), most MMOs (unless there's a point to cash scheme which is quite rare, or you break user agreements regarding selling of ingame items), board games, table-top RPGs, non-collectable card games, etc.

What games provide instead is a psychological reward, usually that of achievement, stress relief, fantasy enactmant, relaxation, social interaction, brain workout, and etc. In terms of puzzle pirates, it provides relaxation, social interaction, and brain workout, which clashes with the rewards most "hardcore" gamers look for: achievement, stress relief, fantasy enactment.

Psaakyrn

your point is certainly valid, but i really, really, really hate puzzle pirates.

Armadillo Run. Casual success. No violence or sex. Hurrah!

heavyfeul:

Sex in video games is a whole other issue. In our culture, its more acceptable to let teenagers watch violence, murder, and bloodshed, then nudity and sex. Just think Hot Coffee. You can kill a hooker for the trick money see just got from you, but god forbid if you show the actual act of sex. However, If they did allow sex in MA games, Hot Coffee and scenes like it would be everywhere.

I think its really funny the way Americans consider sex to be worse than violence. It's the complete opposite in most European countries and they are perfectly happy. Infact I'd go as far as saying that the average european leads a happier life than the average american. I say less killing, more sexy people doing what is only natural.

Goofonian:

heavyfeul:

Sex in video games is a whole other issue. In our culture, its more acceptable to let teenagers watch violence, murder, and bloodshed, then nudity and sex. Just think Hot Coffee. You can kill a hooker for the trick money see just got from you, but god forbid if you show the actual act of sex. However, If they did allow sex in MA games, Hot Coffee and scenes like it would be everywhere.

I think its really funny the way Americans consider sex to be worse than violence. It's the complete opposite in most European countries and they are perfectly happy. Infact I'd go as far as saying that the average european leads a happier life than the average american. I say less killing, more sexy people doing what is only natural.

In must stem from our Puritanical roots and the fact that religion plays a major role in politics in the US. Look at the uphill battle trying to teach teenagers about safe sex. Even clinical discussions and demonstratios on the practice and benefits of safe sex are considered "sinful" and "corrupting" in nature. It's idiotic.

"Ask them why they liked GTA, and they'll invariably mention the underlying story, the music or the selection of cars."

Speak for yourself. I got into GTA because of the wanton murder and sociopathy. I stay because of a combination of that the story and the sandbox.

 

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