On The Other Side of Videogame History

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On The Other Side of Videogame History

The complaints about E3 are kind of a good thing.

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the lack of anything that is not a brown and grey shooter was the issue

I have to admit, I actually took The Last of Us as a sign of growing maturity. Can't people see that it's been designed to show the violence as not fun? It wasn't a stylish 'heck yeah' sort of thing, but a messy, awkward, painful long sequence. The core of the post-apocalyptic genre was always about society degrading to a level where life is so bad people's humanities get erased and that seemed to be exactly what it was conveying (admittedly with too many enemies). There were quiet spaces, it's one of the first video game stories ever that doesn't appear to be a power fantasy.

The only thing that was wrong, was how the audience interacted with it. And to be fair they were at a press conference where they were all supposed to be having a fun time so I guess it might be hard to convey the mood change.

The Escapist coverage at least made The Last of Us seem special, and a break in trend from the shooters of recent times

Evil Smurf:
the lack of anything that is not a brown and grey shooter was the issue

I think if that was the particular issue this year, that would have been what people were talking about. I mean as a community we talk about that all the time as it is. In fact Uncharted 1, released half a decade ago had a cheat that specifically made fun of that trend :D. I just don't think it's something we suddenly discovered this year

BrotherRool:
The Escapist coverage at least made The Last of Us seem special, and a break in trend from the shooters of recent times

It very well may be. I admit to wincing when I saw that shotgun blast. It felt very intimate to me, more like a murder than a killing, but then I spoke to a colleague on the way out of the Sony press conference. He knew more about the game than I did, and said that the survivors Joel was fighting were apparently really, really bad guys, and that Joel used to be one of them. Put in that context, the violence didn't seem quite as disturbing.

In any case, that's also irrelevant to the point I'm making this week. Whether or not the violence at E3 even warranted the anti-violence rhetoric may also be irrelevant. The point is that seeing such a rush of that rhetoric says something. It says something about how the way we're communally looking at videogames has matured and changed.

It matters that this commentary was launched en masse in the direction of E3 specifically. It's symbolic of where we are in our understanding of videogames, because E3 is symbolic of the old guard and the old way of looking at videogames.

That's the point I'm trying to make. Rather than everyone only getting up in arms about the violence at E3 - and if you're not reading a wide cross-section of the commentary, please don't take my word for how widespread this reaction has been, please do take a look yourself! - let's take a moment and realize what it means that we had this reaction. There's a positive way to look at all of this. :)

I thought it was more of a balance reaction. Since most the A teams were off working on Next Gen, and violence is easy, we got more violence, ultraviolence, more violence, and oh, attempted rape. If there had been more Viva Pinata (never mind how disturbing that game is if you think about it), and Animal Crossing, and just anything new that looked awesome and wasn't violent the impression might not have been so strong. Even Watch Dogs, which everyone agreed was the star of the show, is going to be a violent game, though not God of War level.

Or in your context, if a lot more Indie games had been present.

But I'm glad it was so obvious. It's time for some industry self examination. Besides throwing up the barrier to entry, too much violence kills the impact and is cheap and boring. If every game is Mad World, then that's just the boring baseline.

I'm sick to death of this argument about games "growing up" and becoming "better", which in this guy and Bob Chipman and all the others' mind means shedding every shred of what makes games fun so we can all enjoy the utterly joyless navel gazing of Dear Esther, the video gaming equivalent of those horrible indie movie vanity projects that try and hilariously fail to "mean" something. Yay.

My question is what happens to people who LIKE these games in your utopia? Do we simply stop existing? Do we get driven out of gaming? If so, by you and...what army did you say?

If there are people honestly so childish they blush at the idea of DOA Xtreme Beach Volleyball, or turn their noses up at God of War, or look down at me because I like Gears of War, then I'm truly sorry for you but if you'll excuse me I'd rather have fun.

You're not going to ever eliminate violence from video games because video games are an expressive human medium, and every expressive human medium has violence in it. Violence has been with people for the longest time, and insofar as storytelling is primarily based around conflict (which is a fantastic bedmate with violence), it will be there.

Now, in the realm of video gaming, there are two things that can (and should) be done if violence is to stop being front and center:

1. We need more games where violence isn't the core of the game. We need more games where you have options to solve a problem that aren't "murder all the things" - or, where violence is an option, it needs a creative execution that accomplishes some goal beyond violence for its own sake (think Pokemon, or Magicka), OR the violence must be subservient to some other objective of the game.

2. Speaking of objectives, games need to set, as their objective, the creation of experience. The Last of Us is a good example; the trailer made it look like the game wanted you to feel or experience something (peril, the imperative of protecting others, scarce resources, etc.). Limbo does a great job of this as well, but through tone instead of action. Even League of Legends, the much-maligned FPSes, or competitive fighting games create an experience - competition under set rules, victory and defeat, time invested leading to rewards, etc.

Basically, a game should pass a litmus test: if we took the core gameplay mechanics and put them in a world with no violence (for instance, let's take God of War and turn it into a fast-paced cheerleading game where you knock points out of the sky and execute quicktime events to perform complex routines), would it be as good? If no, then violence for violence's sake is too prevalent in the game.

KrabbiPatty:
snip

No where does he outright decry violence in video games, nor does he claim that he wants every game made to be artsy shit like Dear Esther. You're just using strawman arguments.

O/T If you've not seen it, this videos worth a watch


Discusses why violence is so common in video games.

Also, I really like the word kinesthetics.

WaysideMaze:

KrabbiPatty:
snip

No where does he outright decry violence in video games, nor does he claim that he wants every game made to be artsy shit like Dear Esther. You're just using strawman arguments.

O/T If you've not seen it, this videos worth a watch


Discusses why violence is so common in video games.

Also, I really like the word kinesthetics.

I really like the kinesthetics too.

No of course he doesn't OUTRIGHT say it, for the same reason Bob Chipman wrings his hands over bullshit like color and if a game has mascots or not instead of saying OUTRIGHT that he just thinks Mario should be the ONLY game ever made EVER...but that doesn't mean that the tacit meaning isn't...well, tacit!

What else does it mean? If I say we need to tone down the violence in gaming, and yet we all know that many types of games depend on at least some level of realistic violence because otherwise they couldn't POSSIBLY depict their source (i.e., a war for example would be stupid if you removed the violence because it's a war) then the only LOGICAL interpretation is that they want those things to disappear.

And like I said there is nothing "immature" about looking at beautiful women, playing a shooter, or indulging in some fun romps through Greek myth, and if someone DOES have a problem with that then that is their problem and not one that gaming should cater to or have to struggle with.

You're partly right though in that I shouldn't conflate this guy and his (slightly more logical) arguments, however silly I may find them, with people like Chipman who have a whole 'nother kind of much stupider argument. That's not fair to people like this dude.

The world's supply of Bob Chipman just want games to be cartoony, childlike, colorful blobs of meaningless cottoncandy fluff like Mario and NOTHING ELSE. They're Nintendo fanboy/fetishists who can't deal with the changing times. THIS guy is just one of the many, many people (see Extra Credits for MOAR) who get flushed in the face when a bare breast is flashed or swoon and faint when a spot of blood appears on screen, because all they want is pseudointellectual cottoncandy fluff to stroke their Daria-engorged egos with. Dear Esther is just the tip of the ice burg I could have thrown out The Path or Braid if I felt like it. That being said this guy does have at least a sliver more self-restraint in his contempt for people like me, compared to the improbably low bar set by the Nintendo crowd, though I'm sure if he or any of them had their way me and everyone who ever bought Gears of War would be driven from the medium in some pogrom.

Because Christ forbid games just be FUN!

KrabbiPatty:

WaysideMaze:

KrabbiPatty:
snip

No where does he outright decry violence in video games, nor does he claim that he wants every game made to be artsy shit like Dear Esther. You're just using strawman arguments.

O/T If you've not seen it, this videos worth a watch


Discusses why violence is so common in video games.

Also, I really like the word kinesthetics.

I really like the kinesthetics too.

No of course he doesn't OUTRIGHT say it, for the same reason Bob Chipman wrings his hands over bullshit like color and if a game has mascots or not instead of saying OUTRIGHT that he just thinks Mario should be the ONLY game ever made EVER...but that doesn't mean that the tacit meaning isn't...well, tacit!

What else does it mean? If I say we need to tone down the violence in gaming, and yet we all know that many types of games depend on at least some level of realistic violence because otherwise they couldn't POSSIBLY depict their source (i.e., a war for example would be stupid if you removed the violence because it's a war) then the only LOGICAL interpretation is that they want those things to disappear.

And like I said there is nothing "immature" about looking at beautiful women, playing a shooter, or indulging in some fun romps through Greek myth, and if someone DOES have a problem with that then that is their problem and not one that gaming should cater to or have to struggle with.

You're partly right though in that I shouldn't conflate this guy and his (slightly more logical) arguments, however silly I may find them, with people like Chipman who have a whole 'nother kind of much stupider argument. That's not fair to people like this dude.

The world's supply of Bob Chipman just want games to be cartoony, childlike, colorful blobs of meaningless cottoncandy fluff like Mario and NOTHING ELSE. They're Nintendo fanboy/fetishists who can't deal with the changing times. THIS guy is just one of the many, many people (see Extra Credits for MOAR) who get flushed in the face when a bare breast is flashed or swoon and faint when a spot of blood appears on screen, because all they want is pseudointellectual cottoncandy fluff to stroke their Daria-engorged egos with. Dear Esther is just the tip of the ice burg I could have thrown out The Path or Braid if I felt like it. That being said this guy does have at least a sliver more self-restraint in his contempt for people like me, compared to the improbably low bar set by the Nintendo crowd, though I'm sure if he or any of them had their way me and everyone who ever bought Gears of War would be driven from the medium in some pogrom.

Because Christ forbid games just be FUN!

No one is saying that violence should be removed from games. I love a good romp through God of War or something like it as much as the next person. It's not the existence of violence that people (including me) are a bit tired of, it's the quantity. Basically, the sheer fact that in today's world of AAA gaming, violence is all there ever seems to be.

My mom has hated video games for most of her life and is baffled by the fact that I care about them so much. I have wanted to show her the reasons why games strike such a powerful chord with me and mean so much to me, but it's nearly impossible because there is just so much constant, bloody violence in so many of the games that she is aware of and that I can properly bring her attention to, and violence of almost any kind turns her off these kinds of things. It's a barrier to entry that I'd love to bring down, but it's really damn hard with the utter fixation that the AAA gaming industry has on producing nothing but shooters and stabby stabby fun times.

I have absolutely no problem with violence in games. I have no problem with sexual themes or any of the things that help to stick that M rating on the box. Violence and other such themes are and will always be a key part of what video games are, and they can often be used to enhance the storytelling powers of the product at hand (like, in your example, a war game can potentially use violence to tell a powerful, gripping story AND be a blast to play if done correctly). What I do have a problem with, however, is the lack of diversity and the lack of, well, any other alternatives. I know you can come back and say "Well, there's Mario" and other such things, and yes, I'm aware of that. I love Mario, a lot. But I'm thinking more along the lines of something like Journey. Journey was a completely nonviolent game that struck me with its quiet beauty and made me feel some of the strongest emotions I've ever had in a game. Not once did I ever kill someone, but I had an incredible, unforgettable 2 hours regardless.

I am certainly not trying to talk down to you or say that you are a bad person for enjoying what you enjoy. Peering down through one's monocle off of a high horse doesn't help this situation either. In no way do I want every game to be Journey- that would get boring as all hell after a while, and I'm certainly ready for a spot of ultra-violence from time to time. But the point that I see is trying to be made is that most of the gaming industry seems devoted to making more ways to stab people in the neck, and it would be nice to see a wee bit more diversity and choice once in a while. We already have thousands of games filled with violence, but only a handful of non-combat based games. I'm sure you wouldn't mind seeing new concepts and choices becoming available, no?

KrabbiPatty:
I'm sick to death of this argument about games "growing up" and becoming "better" yadda yadda

I love violent video games. If I have a single area of critical expertise, it's first person shooters. But I also realize that triple-A blockbuster shooters or action games are not the end-all, be-all of videogame design and there are other, more profound experiences to be had.

When I went to film school, I thought that Aliens and Terminator and Robocop and Predator were some of the best movies ever made. Then I spent three years learning about movies in the larger sense, the history of the form and all the different kinds of movies and genres and I realized by the end of my film degree that Aliens and Terminator and Robocop and Predator were all kind of bad movies compared to some of the films I'd seen with brilliant writing, and brilliant acting, and brilliant cinematography, and brilliant editing.

I still love action movies, though. Red Dawn will probably remain one of my all-time favorite films no matter how old I get, and for a while Red Dawn was in the Guinness Book of World Records as the most violent movie in history in terms of acts of violence per minute. But I understand the place that stupid action movies hold in the larger scheme of film.

There are many different kinds of fun. Holding on to the notion that only core games are fun is outdated. It's old. It's the past. That is precisely the kind of out-of-touch notion that is being left behind. We're on the *other side* of that notion. Anyone who fights expanding their horizons is just missing out on a ton of great content.

Dennis Scimeca:
On The Other Side of Videogame History

The complaints about E3 are kind of a good thing.

Read Full Article

Eh, it's the same kind of person that'll wonder when humanity will "grow up," failing to realize that there are new, tiny people popping up all the time. Videogames will always have their "kids' table," and the "tweens' table," and the every-other-table. Just because I got old enough to eat steak didn't mean I only ever ate steak.

The question behind us was simply, "When will this medium be able to produce mature, thoughtful work of merit that is still an exemplar of the medium?" The question was never, "When will every game be a serious work of art?" At least it shouldn't have been. Nor should it be now.

Evil Smurf:
the lack of anything that is not a brown and grey shooter was the issue

...I was thinking this the whole way through.

I mean, I don't read everything on the internet, so it's possible that this big 'awakening' you refer to has completely passed me by; but by and large the main complaint I've been hearing about E3 had nothing to do with violence. We love it, we always have. It's simply the lack of variety that has us all pissed off.

It was an interesting article, I just think that maybe you saw what you wanted to see in the public reaction to E3, rather than what was actually there.

The only reaction to E3 that really caught my attention was Yahtzee's lamentation that the Dead Space franchise had transformed from a survival-horror shooter into a straight action-shooter with horror elements. Was that really a surprise to any person who has seen a series of horror genre films go from horrifying to just plain horrible?

Horror titles and sequels go together like tooth paste and orange juice, in that they leave a bad taste in your mouth.

Dennis Scimeca:

BrotherRool:
The Escapist coverage at least made The Last of Us seem special, and a break in trend from the shooters of recent times

It very well may be. I admit to wincing when I saw that shotgun blast. It felt very intimate to me, more like a murder than a killing, but then I spoke to a colleague on the way out of the Sony press conference. He knew more about the game than I did, and said that the survivors Joel was fighting were apparently really, really bad guys, and that Joel used to be one of them. Put in that context, the violence didn't seem quite as disturbing.

No that's the opposite of what I mean :D In fact I much more worried that they will take the game in your direction.

In games we've always justified killing, whereas in apocalypse literature the idea has always been that it is murder and it's terrible you've been driven to it. Think about how it would feel to be in situation where for your family to survive you have to kill someone over water? In games we've always had this 'yeah it's fine, he'll just get over it' which is fine for power fantasies but it's not a particularly mature type of story and can't be because it has to ignore so many consequences of the protagonists actions.

Whereas Tomb Raider and The Last of Us seemed to be saying, look this is traumatic, horrible, ethically uncertain. This is murder not fighting (Tomb Raider didn't do that so much, but it had the panic of being forced to do these things).

It's very similar to The Hunger Games actually, the Hunger Games is probably one of the teen action films to every suggest that maybe these situations would be brutal and scarring to go through.

Contrast with Assassins Creed 3, where it's taken as unquestionable that killing people is justified and the deaths are portrayed as artistic stylistic merited actions. They make sure that you don't feel that another person has died, whereas in The Last of Us (hopefully) they want to start talking about that.

Although I am worried that they might go down your route. There was a lampshade hanging on the deaths by the Ellen Page person, which might mean they're just going to say 'yeah, these were bad people, it's okay that they died'

EDIT: Sorry I realised there's more consequence to what I'm saying. If I'm right in that The Last of Us and Tomb Raider belong to the same type of literature as things like The Road and the Hunger Games. Literature that explores and disapproves of violence, then it would weaken your point entirely, because it means that this is the first time ever, never mind in E3, that we've seen a game that points out that the central conceit of most games is shallow and wrong, so it wouldn't be a sign of the maturity of the industry, but just everyone misinterpreting the message. We're complaining because the games themselves told us violence was wrong, we're complaining at the wrong things, because we've missed the deeper message

To be fair, that wouldn't be a point of blame on gaming journalism. It happened this very year to the film journalists too. There was exactly the same scandal as that surrounding the Hunger Games, because of the same misinterpretation. The Hunger Games is the most anti-violent piece of fiction around in cinema, it has a more mature view on violence than almost every action film that will be released this year for people of all ages and the problem is, we're so used to dopey action films and dopey games, that when you see a clip of horrible violence happening and children dying, it's natural to assume that the game/film is approving that action, because heck, all the rest of the stuff we consume does that right? And miss the point that in The Hunger Games, children dying isn't cool but an exploration of the awfulness of death and being in that situation.

The problem is the graphicality in the violence, not the amount of it. My opinion is that after the Supreme Court said video games could not be censored, marketing guys have just gone wild.

BrotherRool:
There were quiet spaces, it's one of the first video game stories ever that doesn't appear to be a power fantasy.

You have not played many games, have you? I'll give you a big hint: horror games.

MichaelPalin:

BrotherRool:
There were quiet spaces, it's one of the first video game stories ever that doesn't appear to be a power fantasy.

You have not played many games, have you? I'll give you a big hint: horror games.

I completely forgot about horror games :D And it's not surprising then that some of the games with best story and gameplay/story interaction were horror games. Even still, modern trend of 'horror' is the complete reverse and there are a lot of horror games that still end up with 'you are the chosen one' or that sort of thing. I mean the current run is Dead Space, Resident Evil, Alan Wake, Silent Hill: Homecoming, the latest FEAR. Even a lot of the older ones (Clock Tower I think?) had power fantasy roots or trappings

But yeah as a genre it's meant to be the reverse of that :D

The problem was not the abundance of shooters, the probelm was the lack of anything else. If Nintendo hadn't had such a weak showing it might have been different but so far the reaction even from the mainstream press who loved the Wii is just kind of "Meh".

Last year there was still quite heavy focus on Kinect and move, their associated software and a drive to make it less embarassing than the year before. There were also a lot of non shooty games on show from all of the big three. I mean the 3Ds was a big story, the Wii-U annoucement was huge and in contrast to this year Nintendo actually showed off some games.

KrabbiPatty:
Because Christ forbid games just be FUN!

Because Christ forbid games try to be fun in ways that don't involve headshots.

Because Christ forbid any of them try to be something more than that.

Because Christ forbid any of them try to be fun and something more.

The violent stuff you love isn't going to disappear, if only because it's profitable. Nobody is saying it should disappear entirely. Are you saying every game should base its appeal entirely on violent power fantasies?

Why is somebody who enjoys "colorful blobs of meaningless cottoncandy fluff" or "pseudointellectual cottoncandy fluff" any worse than yourself, who seemingly "just wants to shoot bad guys in the dick while looking at some boobs"?

KrabbiPatty:
I'm sick to death of this argument about games "growing up" and becoming "better", which in this guy and Bob Chipman and all the others' mind means shedding every shred of what makes games fun so we can all enjoy the utterly joyless navel gazing of Dear Esther, the video gaming equivalent of those horrible indie movie vanity projects that try and hilariously fail to "mean" something. Yay.

My question is what happens to people who LIKE these games in your utopia? Do we simply stop existing? Do we get driven out of gaming? If so, by you and...what army did you say?

If there are people honestly so childish they blush at the idea of DOA Xtreme Beach Volleyball, or turn their noses up at God of War, or look down at me because I like Gears of War, then I'm truly sorry for you but if you'll excuse me I'd rather have fun.

And what happens to people who like games like Dear Esther, I didn't care for it myself but I don't see the people that did as some evil entity that want to rune my fun just people who want to play a different genre. We have shooters, racers, sport sims, and many other genres being made right now without ruining the others, so why can't we have a nature walk sim genre and hugging genre of games. You blame people for wanting to take away your fun but your the only one I see attacking whole genres that bring others fun.

Every genre has a shelf life. Guitar hero/rock band were all the rage a few years back. We saw year after year of Tony Hawk. Ken and Ryu were took over the arcades. None of these things lasted forever, and the FPS bubble is probably going break soon. That's how gaming has always gone. Something gets hot, and the whole world makes more of it for awhile. The market gets flooded and it dies down once something new takes over. It has nothing do with maturity violence being too much. People just get sick of more of the same after a point. I think if someone released something else that was different but good, people would latch on to it in a heartbeat. Something else will pop up soon, and we'll get an onslaught of that heh.

I honestly don't care if gaming ever "grows up." I frankly don't need worlds approval to do things I like. Do I care if people like Rodger Ebert think gaming is art? no, but it was never meant for him anyways. My father hating gaming my whole life, as he commented at wanting smash my NES with a hammer back in the day. He never did it because he didn't disrespect my property but he probably would have given me a big hug if I had smashed it.

If gaming does grow up, it's hopefully because someone who works in the industry makes the game they want to make. That it isn't some sorry attempt to win the approval of their father figures of the world. If it's done for the right reasons thats when it will matter. Going thru the motions won't help anyone. It will probably just result in games no one wants to play.

I get why that happens too, these triple A studios have gotten so bloated that no one wants to take risks anymore. Everyone can't afford be wrong at this point and has to go with a proven winner. It be nice if developers could find a nice balance of budget and effort. No amount of money thru at a project will automatically make it creative or quality. Ultimately I believe the gaming landscape will change soon as this isn't all some video game doomsday. I'm sure if you went back to E3 in the late 90s you'd saw a mountain of fighting games. Early 2000s you'd saw a armada of Jrpgs. Every dog has it's day. Modern warfare will go way of Tony Hawk and will all be better for it heh. (I don't see FPS ever stop being made, just not the bread and butter that they are now.)

Most articles I read physically noted that this wasn't anything new, it was just that it had reached saturation point, and was brought further to the fore by the fact that everyone's having to pretend 7-year-old technology is brand new and exciting.

Because of that combination, E3 was particularly out-of-date, and particularly out-of-touch.

Violence wasn't really even the issue, but how it was being used to market stuff like Far Cry 3, The Last of Us and Tomb Raider when they have more going for them (although I must say, The Last of Us still looks entirely uninteresting to me in the face of playing DayZ).

Dennis Scimeca:

BrotherRool:
The Escapist coverage at least made The Last of Us seem special, and a break in trend from the shooters of recent times

It very well may be. I admit to wincing when I saw that shotgun blast. It felt very intimate to me, more like a murder than a killing, but then I spoke to a colleague on the way out of the Sony press conference. He knew more about the game than I did, and said that the survivors Joel was fighting were apparently really, really bad guys, and that Joel used to be one of them. Put in that context, the violence didn't seem quite as disturbing.

This point brings it back to the marketing, actually. You said it as if it being 'more like a murder' was a bad thing - it's not (even if it weren't, contextually speaking, complete dickheads being killed). What's bad is that having a man's head explode was seemingly shown so as to have a crowd of people whoop and cheer. Or that, at the very least, that's the reaction inspired in the crowd, whether they intended it to or not.

To be honest, I wouldn't care if you were playing a character who was a complete psychopath, because that's still context. When you remove it from the equation in a 5-minute E3 demo, it's just as bad when people cheer in reaction to something like that shotgun blast as it is when it's about a reformed character shooting 'baddies'. Context is everything.

Zhukov:

Because Christ forbid any of them try to be fun and something more.

To be honest, I've become rather loathsome of the misnomer that "games are meant to be fun!" in the first place. Games should be entertaining, in the sense they are an involving diversion in some capacity. 'Fun' is an incredibly limiting word, and increasingly so in an industry not limited to having sliding ships shoot at descending aliens anymore.

KrabbiPatty:
I'm sick to death of this argument about games "growing up" and becoming "better", which in this guy and Bob Chipman and all the others' mind means shedding every shred of what makes games fun so we can all enjoy the utterly joyless navel gazing of Dear Esther, the video gaming equivalent of those horrible indie movie vanity projects that try and hilariously fail to "mean" something. Yay.

My question is what happens to people who LIKE these games in your utopia? Do we simply stop existing? Do we get driven out of gaming? If so, by you and...what army did you say?

If there are people honestly so childish they blush at the idea of DOA Xtreme Beach Volleyball, or turn their noses up at God of War, or look down at me because I like Gears of War, then I'm truly sorry for you but if you'll excuse me I'd rather have fun.

You're missing your own irony here. You're questioning what happens if your type of 'fun' games stop existing because people like movie Bob want more Mario games (his preferred style of games, not Dear Esther). Yet do you not realize that his Mario games got pushed out of the way, or at least out of the mainstream, by your own army of fans for testosterone driven action games? What you're accusing them of potentially wanting to do to your method of gaming, is exactly what you're type of gaming has done to them.

And there's not an emerging trend in gaming that will push Gears of War out of production, but rather there are two factors in play. First is the original NES child generation has more people naturally reaching that point of maturity, let's say the SNES and N64 children gens, where games like Gears of War lose appeal. Second, the ease of PC game development and distribution has grown to the point where these gamers can make games their own games to fulfill this growing market. And I guess there's a partial 3rd factor where big budget AAA development is almost starting to cannibalize itself (see: EA's recent comments about Dead Space 3), which is the biggest danger to your preferred style of games but really has nothing to do with the above group.

Also, I'm seriously amused at how you seem to perceive the reaction towards DOA Xtreme Beach Volleyball for people who criticize it.

To sum it up no one is saying anyone style of game should be snuffed out, rather what they want to see is more diversity in the industry. I will however give you the point that there's not going to be a lot of sympathy from the people you dislike should the big budget AAA style shooter fall out of favour.

Maybe it's just fatigue? You know how a lot of movie reviewers have cooled towards comic book movies? Maybe it's a lot like that.

lastjustice:

I honestly don't care if gaming ever "grows up." I frankly don't need worlds approval to do things I like. Do I care if people like Rodger Ebert think gaming is art? no, but it was never meant for him anyways. My father hating gaming my whole life, as he commented at wanting smash my NES with a hammer back in the day. He never did it because he didn't disrespect my property but he probably would have given me a big hug if I had smashed it.

I think people misunderstand what that means..it doesnt mean "yes lets all become pretention and wanky"

KrabbiPatty:
I'm sick to death of this argument about games "growing up" and becoming "better", which in this guy and Bob Chipman and all the others' mind means shedding every shred of what makes games fun so we can all enjoy the utterly joyless navel gazing of Dear Esther, the video gaming equivalent of those horrible indie movie vanity projects that try and hilariously fail to "mean" something. Yay.

My question is what happens to people who LIKE these games in your utopia? Do we simply stop existing? Do we get driven out of gaming? If so, by you and...what army did you say?

If there are people honestly so childish they blush at the idea of DOA Xtreme Beach Volleyball, or turn their noses up at God of War, or look down at me because I like Gears of War, then I'm truly sorry for you but if you'll excuse me I'd rather have fun.

so therefore..you really really didn't like Portal?

wow...not only do you miss the point but the point is somewhere over in another galaxy

RandV80:

You're missing your own irony here. You're questioning what happens if your type of 'fun' games stop existing because people like movie Bob want more Mario games (his preferred style of games, not Dear Esther). Yet do you not realize that his Mario games got pushed out of the way, or at least out of the mainstream, by your own army of fans for testosterone driven action games? What you're accusing them of potentially wanting to do to your method of gaming, is exactly what you're type of gaming has done to them.

And there's not an emerging trend in gaming that will push Gears of War out of production, but rather there are two factors in play. First is the original NES child generation has more people naturally reaching that point of maturity, let's say the SNES and N64 children gens, where games like Gears of War lose appeal. Second, the ease of PC game development and distribution has grown to the point where these gamers can make games their own games to fulfill this growing market. And I guess there's a partial 3rd factor where big budget AAA development is almost starting to cannibalize itself (see: EA's recent comments about Dead Space 3), which is the biggest danger to your preferred style of games but really has nothing to do with the above group.

Also, I'm seriously amused at how you seem to perceive the reaction towards DOA Xtreme Beach Volleyball for people who criticize it.

To sum it up no one is saying anyone style of game should be snuffed out, rather what they want to see is more diversity in the industry. I will however give you the point that there's not going to be a lot of sympathy from the people you dislike should the big budget AAA style shooter fall out of favour.

I "missed" the irony because I'm not a hipster who allows Edgar Wright movies burn a hole in the part of my brain that lets me process logic.

In all seriousness though, lets start at the end: why does it amuse you I defend DOA? I like breasts, I enjoy sex and masturbation, so I like DOA. Is this...a problem? Is it wrong? No? Then all the criticisms of it which focus EXCLUSIVELY on that are full of shit, they're just being a bunch of snobs who pretend to be above sex or sexuality, and I'm not about to let ANYONE let alone a bunch of snobs look down on me for enjoying sex. If you have an objective argument as to why the actual, objective gameplay of DOA or Tomb Raider or whatever is wrong or bad or such then fine but saying "LOL IT HAS BEWBS MUST BE FOR TEENS LOL" is not only asinine its--dare I say--immature.

And yes they ARE trying to snuff out certain games. The people who actually argue that the ravings-of-a-lunatic nonsense that comprises the "plot" of Braid represents either an actual plot or one that means "more" than the story of, say, Mario Bros or Gears of War are either stupid or lying purposefully. But the thing is, the people who I euphemistically call the "Extra Credits Clique" (because "douchebag hipsters with superiority complexes clinging to their box set of My So Called Life like it's the holy grail" is too long to write out constantly) want for games like that to be the ONLY games ever made. Why else do they constantly heap much-undiserved praise on ONLY the most obtuse, plotless, mindless, pseudo-philosophical claptrap while in the same breath sneering and scoffing at the VERY IDEA that "games for fun" or "games for sexual stimulation" should even EXIST.

Or to quote Mr. Flynn, the Rush Limbaugh of hipster gamers, "There are SOME games people should have the GOOD TASTE to not make" he says while showing Army of Two stills. So don't LIE to me about how these people feel, I know they think I'm the scum of the Earth because I don't find The Passage to be the single most engrossing experience of my life, and I know that because they SAY SO every time they get a chance. They don't want "diversity" in the industry--they want the industry to cease to exist so that "indie devs" can make "real games" for them. Max Scoville, the Glen Beck of hipster gamers, literally said, on camera, his dream is for Triple A devs to cease to exist and for Kickstarter and indie devs to dominate the gaming landscape. This wasn't a joke either, he had two other people there basically salivating at the idea. So "diversity" is hardly the issue here.

The issue here is ME being tired of people like THEM acting like I have no right to exist because I don't genuflect at the feet of the Indie Gods, which as every sane man knows comes right after facing east every morning to pray to Tim Schaffer. It PAINS me that I've been playing video games since I was five years old and yet I have to PROVE to people I'm a "Real Gamer" because I happen to hold very little regard for arthouse bullshit and retrogames. I've owned every console ever made since the NES and played thousands and thousands of games, but I'm not "good enough" to live in the same world as the Men of Courage who made Braid. And frankly I'm sick to fucking death of having to defend myself, my friends, and my preferred form of enjoyment from a hundred little ankle biters who think "dude bro" is both a term and pejorative. It's neither, and if there IS some all-encompassing group of homogenous, sheeplike followers who want games to become a morass of visually and functionally identical fluff it's not people like me it's people like them.

KrabbiPatty:

Because Christ forbid games just be FUN!

So much for understanding that different people enjoy different things - and tend to be vocal about their dislikes.

You don't like "them", and "they" wouldn't like you. Neither of your positions come down to anything more than personal taste, and to declare one objectively superior would be laughable. How exactly is this situation in any way resembling a metaphorical red flag that has to be charged?

Even though I applaud at the creativity and passion of argument I can't help but feel that right now you're raging because somebody is wrong on the internet.

KrabbiPatty:

I "missed" the irony because I'm not a hipster who allows Edgar Wright movies burn a hole in the part of my brain that lets me process logic.

In all seriousness though, lets start at the end: why does it amuse you I defend DOA? I like breasts, I enjoy sex and masturbation, so I like DOA. Is this...a problem? Is it wrong? No? Then all the criticisms of it which focus EXCLUSIVELY on that are full of shit, they're just being a bunch of snobs who pretend to be above sex or sexuality, and I'm not about to let ANYONE let alone a bunch of snobs look down on me for enjoying sex. If you have an objective argument as to why the actual, objective gameplay of DOA or Tomb Raider or whatever is wrong or bad or such then fine but saying "LOL IT HAS BEWBS MUST BE FOR TEENS LOL" is not only asinine its--dare I say--immature.

And yes they ARE trying to snuff out certain games. The people who actually argue that the ravings-of-a-lunatic nonsense that comprises the "plot" of Braid represents either an actual plot or one that means "more" than the story of, say, Mario Bros or Gears of War are either stupid or lying purposefully. But the thing is, the people who I euphemistically call the "Extra Credits Clique" (because "douchebag hipsters with superiority complexes clinging to their box set of My So Called Life like it's the holy grail" is too long to write out constantly) want for games like that to be the ONLY games ever made. Why else do they constantly heap much-undiserved praise on ONLY the most obtuse, plotless, mindless, pseudo-philosophical claptrap while in the same breath sneering and scoffing at the VERY IDEA that "games for fun" or "games for sexual stimulation" should even EXIST.
[snip]

You're taking this way to seriously. Even if there are people out there that want to snuff out high testosterone action games like Gears of War in favour of high art games like Dear Esther, there's far to few of them to actually accomplish anything or influence the market to a change. And Movie Bob certainly isn't one of them either, he's just a fan of 2d platformers. Personally my preferred type of games are strategy and RPG, with a preference towards the fantasy/medieval genre. As long as I'm getting games like The Witcher/Xenoblade/Civilization/Total War/etc I'm plenty happy. And occasionally I'll enjoy a more involved FP game like Metroid Prime, Deus Ex, or Half life. I'm not selfish enough to think they should just stop making the type of games I don't play, really the only thing I don't care much for is trend of mashing up different genre's all into the same sort of game.

Also, I would say DOA Volleyball is best described as a fetish. Gamers that criticize it aren't anti-sexual prudes, they just don't have a thing for cartoon sex. It's more of a Japanese game and yes the game is targeted towards teenagers over there.

Dastardly:

Dennis Scimeca:
On The Other Side of Videogame History

The complaints about E3 are kind of a good thing.

Read Full Article

Eh, it's the same kind of person that'll wonder when humanity will "grow up," failing to realize that there are new, tiny people popping up all the time. Videogames will always have their "kids' table," and the "tweens' table," and the every-other-table. Just because I got old enough to eat steak didn't mean I only ever ate steak.

The question behind us was simply, "When will this medium be able to produce mature, thoughtful work of merit that is still an exemplar of the medium?" The question was never, "When will every game be a serious work of art?" At least it shouldn't have been. Nor should it be now.

Limbo uses metaphor to discuss and convey issues of growing up, peer pressure, fear and death. A great example of intelligent, mature game design.

Clearing the Eye:
Limbo uses metaphor to discuss and convey issues of growing up, peer pressure, fear and death. A great example of intelligent, mature game design.

Agreed, which is why I refer to it as the "question behind us" rather than the question before us. We've already seen the industry demonstrate a resounding "Yes!"... but some people seem to think we're at a failure if any immature games "slip through."

It'd be like believing Transformers invalidates film as an art form despite the presence of countless other brilliant examples.

Dastardly:

Clearing the Eye:
Limbo uses metaphor to discuss and convey issues of growing up, peer pressure, fear and death. A great example of intelligent, mature game design.

Agreed, which is why I refer to it as the "question behind us" rather than the question before us. We've already seen the industry demonstrate a resounding "Yes!"... but some people seem to think we're at a failure if any immature games "slip through."

It'd be like believing Transformers invalidates film as an art form despite the presence of countless other brilliant examples.

Just wasn't sure with some of your wording. English can be a deceptive thing. "The question behind us was simply," made me think you were referring to a problem that is once again in front of us.

I don't know. Maybe my mind just farted, lol.

It's funny that they mention Deus Ex HR. I played through it opting to take the non-violent approach. I was honestly infuriated that the developers had not designed the game in such a way that I could defeat the bosses without killing them. I had spend countless hours tasering and knocking people out in a specific bid to be merciful, even though I was forced to employ violence to do so. At the end of the game, I had a body count of 5. The 4 bosses and one unfortunate soul that I had apparently stepped on and inadvertently killed (Not sure how it happened the poor guy was just dead).

It wouldn't have taken them much effort to develop a KO scene for the bosses and ending cutscenes to represent this. I mean the whole game was about humanity and the abandonment of it in technological progress. Forcing me to kill people was insulting.

KrabbiPatty:

In all seriousness though, lets start at the end: why does it amuse you I defend DOA? I like breasts, I enjoy sex and masturbation, so I like DOA. Is this...a problem? Is it wrong? No? Then all the criticisms of it which focus EXCLUSIVELY on that are full of shit, they're just being a bunch of snobs who pretend to be above sex or sexuality, and I'm not about to let ANYONE let alone a bunch of snobs look down on me for enjoying sex. If you have an objective argument as to why the actual, objective gameplay of DOA or Tomb Raider or whatever is wrong or bad or such then fine but saying "LOL IT HAS BEWBS MUST BE FOR TEENS LOL" is not only asinine its--dare I say--immature.

We're not at all bashing those games because we are sexually repressed snobs who believe in maturity above all else. We're bashing it because we see what it represents: a lowest common denominator. Companies make these games because they know that we'll buy these games on the most basest of interests (see: boobs). We're not insulting the gamers that play them, as we all have our guilty pleasures. Rather, we hate companies that see us as so stupid that we'll buy games just based on the jiggle mechanics.

And for the record, I like DoA. I don't own the game, but I'm a casual fighters fan and like playing them, specifically DoA 4 from the franchise, when I can. Kokoro ftw.

KrabbiPatty:
And yes they ARE trying to snuff out certain games. The people who actually argue that the ravings-of-a-lunatic nonsense that comprises the "plot" of Braid represents either an actual plot or one that means "more" than the story of, say, Mario Bros or Gears of War are either stupid or lying purposefully. But the thing is, the people who I euphemistically call the "Extra Credits Clique" (because "douchebag hipsters with superiority complexes clinging to their box set of My So Called Life like it's the holy grail" is too long to write out constantly) want for games like that to be the ONLY games ever made. Why else do they constantly heap much-undiserved praise on ONLY the most obtuse, plotless, mindless, pseudo-philosophical claptrap while in the same breath sneering and scoffing at the VERY IDEA that "games for fun" or "games for sexual stimulation" should even EXIST.

They praise artsy, innovative games because they are in a significant minority. They scoff your "games for fun," which I presume you mean shooters, because we are oversaturated by them. Please name all the artsy games you can. Now name how many of those you found on your own, without some critic or LPer talkimg about how great it is. Compare this same number to shooters, any shooter.

We don't hate shooters. Hell, the games I play right now (Mass Effect 2, Call of Duty: MW2 and WaW, Halo Reach, Dynasty Warriors 7) are mostly a type of shooter (and you get a cookie for figuring out which one of those aforementioned games doesn't revolve around a gun as its gameplay mechanic). We just. Want. Something. Else.

btw, lol at the comment of "plotless." On the plots of Reach, MW3, BF3, and GoW 3, the first has so msny continuity errors that, combined, you could fit the Pillar of Autumn through them; the second is practically identical in structure to MW2 but with different names and locales, the third is so by-the-book that you could probably have some knowledgeable troper like our MovieBob name the entire plot based on the info on the back of the box and the opening cutscene; and the fourth wasted a philosophical deconstruction of the rambifications of the COG-Locust War on attained knowledge of the government's knowledge and involvement with the Locust prior to E-Day with the queen in order to have a cliche "Revenge!" one-liner. Trust me, the triple A's aren't a pinnacle of even basic plot.

KrabbiPatty:
Or to quote Mr. Flynn, the Rush Limbaugh of hipster gamers, "There are SOME games people should have the GOOD TASTE to not make" he says while showing Army of Two stills. So don't LIE to me about how these people feel, I know they think I'm the scum of the Earth because I don't find The Passage to be the single most engrossing experience of my life, and I know that because they SAY SO every time they get a chance. They don't want "diversity" in the industry--they want the industry to cease to exist so that "indie devs" can make "real games" for them. Max Scoville, the Glen Beck of hipster gamers, literally said, on camera, his dream is for Triple A devs to cease to exist and for Kickstarter and indie devs to dominate the gaming landscape. This wasn't a joke either, he had two other people there basically salivating at the idea. So "diversity" is hardly the issue here.

The issue here is ME being tired of people like THEM acting like I have no right to exist because I don't genuflect at the feet of the Indie Gods, which as every sane man knows comes right after facing east every morning to pray to Tim Schaffer. It PAINS me that I've been playing video games since I was five years old and yet I have to PROVE to people I'm a "Real Gamer" because I happen to hold very little regard for arthouse bullshit and retrogames. I've owned every console ever made since the NES and played thousands and thousands of games, but I'm not "good enough" to live in the same world as the Men of Courage who made Braid. And frankly I'm sick to fucking death of having to defend myself, my friends, and my preferred form of enjoyment from a hundred little ankle biters who think "dude bro" is both a term and pejorative. It's neither, and if there IS some all-encompassing group of homogenous, sheeplike followers who want games to become a morass of visually and functionally identical fluff it's not people like me it's people like them.

Ok, I sympathize with your thoughts that you hate how some gamers regard the 'retro' games with such devout nostalgia that they think that these kickstarters should just be the norm. I acknowledge the importance of devs like Tim Schafer on video game style, but I can proudly claim that the only game I've played by him was Brutal Legend because, while I would love to play some of his older works, I'm not ready to kill someone over them, and actually I'm really looking forward to Halo 4 and Blops 2.

But, on the other hand, I agree with the Army of Two as a game that shouldn't be made for what it represents: a game designed entirely on demographic appeal. It's formulaic crap designed on a conveyer belt, giving it everything that "sells." Cover mechanics, guns, violence, glorification of gratituitous violence, nothing in the game is unique. We, and I, hate games like that because they have no identity. They can literally be interchanged with one another and you would not notice. Say what you will about Mario and Zelda; at least you can tell the games apart.

I prefer balance. Games like Halo 4 and Blops 2 are great as long as we have something to counter it. A gaming world dominated by either Triple A or Indie would force me out of the genre for how scary it is.

KrabbiPatty:
I'm sick to death of this argument about games "growing up" and becoming "better", which in this guy and Bob Chipman and all the others' mind means shedding every shred of what makes games fun so we can all enjoy the utterly joyless navel gazing of Dear Esther, the video gaming equivalent of those horrible indie movie vanity projects that try and hilariously fail to "mean" something. Yay.

My question is what happens to people who LIKE these games in your utopia? Do we simply stop existing? Do we get driven out of gaming? If so, by you and...what army did you say?

If there are people honestly so childish they blush at the idea of DOA Xtreme Beach Volleyball, or turn their noses up at God of War, or look down at me because I like Gears of War, then I'm truly sorry for you but if you'll excuse me I'd rather have fun.

I simply want games to have the same variety within them as the movie genre does. I want my Bravehearts and my Aliens; I want my Terminators, Office Spaces, The Roads, Incredibles, Waterboys, Notebooks, Inceptions, Across the Universes, Mementos, Titanics, District 9s, PS I Love Yous, Lion Kings, Cloverfields, King Kongs, Man on the Moons, Sparticus', Brokeback Mountains, Ben Hurs, Lawrence of Arabias, Orgasmos, Ghandis, Wedding Crashers, Spaceballs, Saving Private Ryans, No Escapes, Independence Days, and hell, even shit like Conan and Transformers.

The point is we want all genres to be able to make it in the big game industry as every other genre. We want games to "grow up" in the sense that they need to stop "just" appealing to the teen male demographic as a whole. Your games won't disappear at all, no more than violent movies disappeared. They'll be there, along with all the rest of the games, and more than likely they'll have to become "better" to compete for people's attention.

The point is, the people that grew up with games are now growing up, and many want games that appeal to their changing lifestyles and attitudes. I myself want mature games that are actually made for someone "mature" in mind, not just more headshots...

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