Shoot Club: 'Twas the Week before Quake Wars

Shoot Club: 'Twas the Week before Quake Wars

The waiting's the thing. The waiting, unsullied by anything actual, is the easiest part. As a kid, it was Christmas. Now, it's game releases. The prospect of things yet unknown delighting us, mysterious things assigned their particular Tuesdays, which are sometimes Wednesdays.

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Tom,

While, normally I really like (and look forward to) your weekly Shoot Club, this was WEAK. C'mon, do you have some deadline looming? Don't have time to write for your Escapist fans? I mean you could keep a column like this going for...how long?

Not very original, sure it calls out the 'flavor of the week' idea, the similarities between the two big name releases a week apart (which are really similar in game play and overall scheme). Sure, it even pokes fun at us gamers for flocking to stores (which I have only done to get CIV IV) to buy a game they (in essence) have played before.

But, your a writer...I know what the feeling your trying convey...but Trevor and the narrator can't have the same emotional connection to Halo and ET:QW releasing a week apart. What would Trevor say if he had this pointed out to him...remember Trev was smart enough to realizes when the releases of a game had swapped.

Chris @ GameScholars . org

--GameScholars.org

Hey Chris,

Nope, no deadlines looming. I was actually trying to make a point, and, yeah, it was a little cheap, wasn't it? Fair enough. But I really do believe that looking forward to games -- regardless of what the actual game is! -- is a big part of this hobby, and sometimes even bigger than actually playing games.

But I can promise you I won't be getting any more mileage out of this particular gimmick. :)

-Tom

Tom,

I get the point of the 'gimmick'...but I think you miss what you might not have actually intended to say--that we as players often anxiously await games that are really just the same basic shell with a new skin.

I think, in particular FPSs since Wolf3D, to a greater or lesser extent, follow this premise. It's the same basic mechanic (with the same basic motivators) from game to game. Sure, the graphics are better, but in the end what new has come out of that genre. Some games, Vampire: Bloodlines, Freedom Fighters, and few others offer a compelling shift from the "kill all the moves" premise of most FPSs, but the market is saturated with these games and BIG companies are spending BIG money on promoting them (case in point--Mountain Dew - Game Fuel directed at the Halo demo).

Sure, there are games I anxiously await--on pins and needles--such as Civ 2, 3, 4 and most anything from Sid Meyer or Will Wright (sans The Sims).

I guess I was mostly disappointed because you have a knack of speaking the gamers sense of self. The first time I noticed this was the introduction of your friend the club, and the realizing it was morning and just saying to hell with it, I'm gonna game...

Just keep up the work...I you can't please everyone all the time, and I hope others don't think The Escapists just accidentally messed up and re-posted last weeks column (sans halo, plus ET:QW).

Great job overall...and keep up the fresh approach to game journalism.

Chris

I certainly did a double take to make sure that I wasn't reading the same article again, glancing at the title, making sure Escapist linking system hadn't messed up.

I get a point out of it, and I enjoy what I felt you were trying to do. But, honestly, I read the whole thing, trying to stay focused while my eyes glazed over words I'd already seen. After maybe, 1/2 the first page, I was pretty sure nothing was going to change, but being the masochist I am, I read through to see if the rest was going anywhere. I was a little disappointed to see that it wasn't, and while I applaud your creativity, it does seem a BIT of a cop-out to change a few words and repost, for an essentially artistic effect.

Nonetheless, this is the internet, my place to offer criticism to those who do something I could never do, and on and on. Take it with a grain of salt, please, I enjoy your column. Just seems like you could've taken this further, without beating me over the head with a repeat.

Now, if you REALLY wanted to surprise us, you'd be lying, and you WOULD do this again next week. Or, preferably, save it for something like PAAEp1:OtRSPoD. You could take the lol's all the way to the bank.

Okay,

Am I either entirely out of it, or is PAAEp1:OtRSPoD a statement about the ridiculousness of our lazy typing habits or our need to feel that we are speaking code (those old folks can't read "WTF")?

Now, I know I am not in with 'in' crowd--I'm old, I still have a Commodore 64 setup and play it--but I tend to follow the (current) gaming community and play current games (currently the Beyond the Sword Expansion to Civ IV is making wife extremely jealous), but PAAEp1:OtRSPoD means nothing to me...

Though that would be a statement...genericizing the title...making it non-sense...drawing attention to sheer the pointlessness (or lack) of the content in games and the campy nature of current titles...

It'd be different if (popular) games had more dramatic content--where the player takes away more of a message at the end beyond "job well done" or "good fighting soldat". Some games do this, but Mountain Dew doesn't plaster their titles all over the side of their cans--can you imagine: Mountain Dew -- PsychoSauce, Finally a energy capsule to force your synapses to continue firing away as you explore the rich world Psychonaut! (which I have yet to play)

Probably not gonna happen, cuz respectful companies are not going to buy ad space on the side of soda cans...hint hint wink wink MS. I mean, come on...how Hollywood...so much for games as art--welcome to the popification of video games. When MS markets games like the next big action film...well...when was the last time an Arnold Schwarenwhatever movie delivered a really impactful social commentary?

Until then...I am still waiting for Zork Cola...c'mon...the only soda that helps you focus on 40 column text for 8 - 10 hours at a time -- and WOW -- no headache!!!

Chris @ GameScholars . Org
--GameScholars.org

TomChick:
Nope, no deadlines looming. I was actually trying to make a point, and, yeah, it was a little cheap, wasn't it? Fair enough. But I really do believe that looking forward to games -- regardless of what the actual game is! -- is a big part of this hobby, and sometimes even bigger than actually playing games.

I found it quite funny actually, and a good way to make the point.

As a secondary and probably intentional point, it also made me notice the extreme similarities of the two titles (other than the Console/PC difference). In many ways, in addition to the repeated anticipation, the games that are the 'next best thing' are often the same thing as the 'last best thing'. You could have swapped in Team Fortress 2 or Crysis for either of them, almost verbatim.

Chris Chasteen:
Okay,

Am I either entirely out of it, or is PAAEp1:OtRSPoD a statement about the ridiculousness of our lazy typing habits or our need to feel that we are speaking code (those old folks can't read "WTF")?

Now, I know I am not in with 'in' crowd--I'm old, I still have a Commodore 64 setup and play it--but I tend to follow the (current) gaming community and play current games (currently the Beyond the Sword Expansion to Civ IV is making wife extremely jealous), but PAAEp1:OtRSPoD means nothing to me...

Though that would be a statement...genericizing the title...making it non-sense...drawing attention to sheer the pointlessness (or lack) of the content in games and the campy nature of current titles...

Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain Slick Precipice of Darkness Episode 1

I got the Ep1 in the wrong place, but other than that... I'm pretty sure the Penny Arcade guys did this on purpose, by making the name ridiculously long, so even the shorthand looks hilarious. I made the comment in reference to it because I would enjoy seeing the same situation described, which applies to Halo 3, and Enemy Territory, and Crysis, and Orange Box, and Haze, and on, and on, and on, and juxtapose it on a game that will have a slightly different fan following, since the game will be more along the lines of adventure, with lots and lots of dialogue, and turn-based combat. Or, throw in a casual game, like the new release of a an upgraded Bejeweled. I see a variety of humorous combinations that could be pulled out of this setup, to make points beyond Tom Chick's original (and valid) implied points.

Edit: And yeah, use of PAA:OtRSPoD:Ep1 is entirely in lampoon of the size of the title. It would be just as easy to call it "The Penny Arcade Adventures game" since it is the only one. But it's more fun to say "PAA:OtRSPoD:Ep1".

 

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