Smile and Nod: Why Isn't It Fun?

Smile and Nod: Why Isn't It Fun?

Russ Pitts wonders what happened to the fun at this year's E3.

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Maybe, but isn't the important part of gaming shows well the games and not the extravagant presentation? Keep in mind that us consumers don't really get to se alot of those huge booths and what we se of them is hardly interesting. Substance before style they say, maybe you should spend your next vacation in Vegas Russ. ^^

Let me bring up my previous point concerning this years E3. Booth Babes.

Honestly, E3 2006 was legendary. Loud, lights, animatronics, 6 hour queue for a Wii, RIIIDGE RACER, giant enemy crab, and many many more besides. Even the giant "NEVERWINTER NIGHTS 2" poster and the vague attempt at a return of N-Gage are unforgettable.

The scale is too much for the industry to bear, but this year they scaled down too much. They need proportion: no competing for audible space (no displays so loud you can't hear announcements and speakers), but not restrictions that prevent using every damn block of floorspace.

If E3 is like this next year, where is the games industry's next Big Conference Event gonna happen? And before anyone says PAX or CES, those are two completely different events with different purposes. PAX is for games, playing them and the people who play them; CES is for 'consumer electronics', which makes me think of washing machines and TVs. Good for console and hardware announcements, not much cop for games.

No offence Russ but why are all your articles self-narrative blogs? I can see the whole 'world through your eyes' approach, but it often feels like we are reading your auto-biography piece by piece. Maybe I just don't get this journalistic style - or don't like it. It's similar to listening to radio DJ's waffling on about what an awesome weekend they had.

Sounds harsh, don't mean it to be, you write very well, just this 'me me me' style gets annoying.

slyder35:
No offence Russ but why are all your articles self-narrative blogs? I can see the whole 'world through your eyes' approach, but it often feels like we are reading your auto-biography piece by piece. Maybe I just don't get this journalistic style - or don't like it. It's similar to listening to radio DJ's waffling on about what an awesome weekend they had.

Sounds harsh, don't mean it to be, you write very well, just this 'me me me' style gets annoying.

I think of "Smile and Nod" as being an "Editor's column" on The Escapist. Just like actual Editorial columns, it's not news, it's usually fairly self-centric, it can be an interesting read, it's usually waffle. If you're not keen on the style, stay away from "Smile and Nod" and stick to the rest of the site. Russ does other articles too, that aren't in this style.

God that Gamecock business is awesome. I need to mail those guys my resume and beg for a job again....

It is sad that no one seems to understand that E3 is not a convention, it was never intended to be. It is a Trade Show, it is supposed to be a platform by which different aspects of the industry can come together to market themselves and their products in a comparative forum so that industry, as well as the consuming public, can more easily see industry trends and markets for more functional and profitable forward movement in the industry.

Yes, making games is fun, and I agree that E3 should be fun to reflect this. Reading through Russ Pitts' article he gives hinmself away when he says "Publishers don't count" though. Publishers count more than anyone else, they are the financial backbone of this industry and E3 is a TRADE SHOW.

It is a comment on the overall maturity of the industry that E3 is not up to snuff. Years of this proprietary Top Secret nonsense has lead so many publishers to realize that professional events that are about open exchange don't factor into the whole Top Secret attitude, and so more and more of them are pulling away.

And let's talk about "booth babes" I'll use a boat show as an example, you go to a boat show there is inevitably an oily, thong entrenched representative blinking furiously at every passer by that comes within ten feet. She is there because the swarthy boat owner types are masculine and hearty to a fault. At E3 the booth babes are there because gamers don't get to look at girls up close to often. It's an offensive perception of the core market on top of all the misogyny. To continue the boat show analogy, if you goto a boating TRADE SHOW you are unlikely to spot a bikini babe around the booths showing off the new fuel injection systems for water craft. It only makes sense that at E3, the focus on tits would likewise be somewhat reduced.

The reason everyone thinks E3 is no fun is because everyone is still looking at it like it's a convention put together for the fans. It's not. It is supposed to be an event that highlights the professional side of a fan-centric industry. That shows the maturity, art, skill, and effort that goes into this medium. It is also supposed to be a place where people who focus on this craft can assemble to learn from others in the same field.

EGM had an E3 scavenger hunt feature every year, where they went looking for unimpressed girlfriends, fat smelly fanboys, booth babes who would direct foul gestures at the camera. The reason they got away with that. Because these people they were photographing weren't members of this industry, they were jokes that would be the inevitable population of an industry event.

That's fun? That's professional? That's mature?

The game's industry can be professional, mature, self-respecting and still have fun and still be "out there". And when gaming culture starts accepting this fact and growing up a little as opposed to throwing the little E3 hissy fit it is now (seriously it's worse than last year) not only E3, but everything about the industry will get better.

I'm just going to chalk the bad attitudes this year up to growing pains.

If you all you out there in gaming culture really want E3 to be lousy and die, whether you are an escapist writer, forum poster, or just another gamer. Keep it up, it will happen. But the industry needs to change, and it is going to happen eventually anyway. I'd much rather see an event like E3 at the end of it.

(this one is going on my blog)

Sounds harsh, don't mean it to be, you write very well, just this 'me me me' style gets annoying.

Honestly, it's hard not to take criticism of any kind personally, especially when the word "annoying" is employed, but I understand where you're coming from. I think. And I'm not offended. Not really. Much.

I suppose if I understood anyone else's thoughts and feelings as well as I do my own I'd write about them, but I don't. So no luck there. We're both stuck with me.

As for Smile and Nod, this is my semi-weekly editorial column here at The Escapist, the contents of which are often little more than a distillation of my current thoughts on a given subject. Some people find that interesting. Others don't.

In the event you find the column not to your liking, I can't promise to return your money (the content of this site is offered for is free) or your time (as the fortune cookie says, "time lost can never be regained"), but I have provided within the title of the column itself a suggested course of action which a number of people have used to great effect, not only in response to my writings but in any situation where they might have otherwise been tempted to employ overly harsh criticisms. They report feeling a uniform sense of well being and accomplishment at having avoided unnecessary conflict and negativity, and the recipients of their smiling and nodding have almost universally suggested they appreciate the attempt at civility and would do business with them again.

Thanks for taking my comment with 2 grains of salt, I do understand the nature of the column, I think you are just on the end of a multitude of similar-styled editorials I've read lately. I'm wondering if this is a new journalistic trend, or one that I'm just becoming aware of. Either way I will continue to read your material because it's light-hearted and unbiased - and you look like my brother, and he's cool :-)

slyder35:
I'm wondering if this is a new journalistic trend, or one that I'm just becoming aware of.

It's quite a common narrative style, especially in so called "Editorials".
Personally. I felt that it all could have been cut down in size somewhat. That said however, it wasn't even remotely close to being called "badly written". And as Russ has commented, this is his space, for his thoughts and if you consider that the whole thing's for free, Ican see no room to complain!

I just get worried about how many times Russ compares things to strippers.

slyder35:
No offence Russ but why are all your articles self-narrative blogs? I can see the whole 'world through your eyes' approach, but it often feels like we are reading your auto-biography piece by piece. Maybe I just don't get this journalistic style - or don't like it. It's similar to listening to radio DJ's waffling on about what an awesome weekend they had.

The_root_of_all_evil:
I just get worried about how many times Russ compares things to strippers.

In both cases, I think the appropriate explanation is that the best writing comes from what you know.

I was tempted to register another alias so as to see my name in unbiased non-italic to post this, but then I remembered that I try to attempt an authentic existence. I chewed out another contributor awhile back and didn't get kicked out, so I'm hoping I can throw obsequious and equally honest thoughts about an editor and similarly not get kicked out. If not, it was a nice ride, life goes on.

There is no writing that is not 'me me me'. It doesn't exist. Modern journalistic techniques for the AP and similar try to convince you that they are objective when they are anything but. Truth is derived when we have the full measure of a person's experience on the table to juxtapose against our own and thereby triangulate commonalities, human nature, universal aphorism. Anything else is a lie.

Because all writing is 'me me me', writing that presents itself for what it is is a braver kind of writing, a more risky and dangerous thing. I've seen news articles that don't even bother posting bylines, which out to be against the goddamn law. There is no objectivity. We can pretend otherwise or we can lay it all on the table and let the audience do with it what they will. I have always admired the brutal and unflinching introspection in Russ's work, and I hope he doesn't ever back down. This kind of writing is getting more rare, and is therefore increasingly fundamental and necessary to capture the truth of our times and culture.

For the record, though, I think that capture should involve Gamecock as infrequently as possible. =P I thought they were cool initially, too, but the recent shenanigans smack of an ugly egocentricity of an earlier age. "Suck it down" was never about the games.

For the record, though, I think that capture should involve Gamecock as infrequently as possible. =P I thought they were cool initially, too, but the recent shenanigans smack of an ugly egocentricity of an earlier age. "Suck it down" was never about the games.

I can see where you're coming from there, Erin. I used to dislike the Gamecock folks for precisely the reason you suggest you enjoyed them: Because I thought they thought they were cool. In fact, I was ambivalent about this trip to LA because I wasn't sure if getting wrapped up in their mess was a good idea, in spite of how interesting it might be to capture on film.

Yet after spending a great deal of time with them, and asking Mike some hard questions and hearing his honest answers, I have to admit that I've softened. The strippers, by the way, made me extremely uncomfortable. I did not want to be a part of that scene. But Mike's honesty and unabashed enthusiasm made me rethink a lot of assumptions I'd made about the industry and even my own part in it. Anyway, I hope the film turns out and that folks dig it.

As for the comments about my work, thanks for the kind words. Rest assured I have no intentions of backing down.

So after the old movie metaphor we're now comparing the gaming industry to the music industry? Is that really the way forward?

Interesting/thought provoking, although I have to agree with mark_n_b.
I don't think we can critise something for something it isn't trying to be. To reference the who as per the article, if we were to lampoon them for their 'lack of Beethovenian method' they could quite rightly screw up their faces and throw our snobbery back at us, if this was never their purpose what business do we have asserting that they have failed at it.

By that logic I am a failed astronaught, race car driver and mad scientist - all things I have never aimed at and have never achieved.
a pithy point, granted, but I've had too much coffee

i bid you adieu

 

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