Journalist Tells Industry To Grow Up

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See one-See all logic. It makes me want to beat people up. Like this person.

Apparently she's in game journalism for 8 years. I think she saw more games than bikini squad. How about you read (and think) what she's actually talking about before having the urge to beat someone? Right now you're the one with 'see one see all'-logic.

How so? Do you even know what the logic is? I assume you're just here to create arguments because you have nothing better to do, because you know not what the see-one see-all logic is. If she's been in the gaming journalism industry for 8 years, chances are she isn't very subjective to change and just dislikes how games are made nowadays.

A crapload of people think the gaming industry is dying nowadays. Even I thought so, but then I took another look and saw that we continue to rise into an increasingly more beautiful golden age of gaming. When you take a second look and think on a different perspective than your own, you tend to change your mind.


Games are supposed to be an escape from reality. You WANT to feel like you're built like 10 brick s$%thouses and are carving corridors through hordes of enemies and you WANT your female protagonists to be slim, attractive women. YES, ATTRACTIVE! I'm sorry that it doesn't truly represent 'real life'....but that's the point....IT'S NOT SUPPOSED TO.

And that's precisely her point.

When people watch a film, it's to experience a story.
When people listen to music, it's for the emotions being portrayed.
When people play a game it's for "blam blam, boobs and guns!!!"

Of course it's not as clear cut as that, but in general the point stands.
Yeah, games could just stay as pure escapism, or they could become a fantastic art form in their own right.

As much as some may hope for it, video gaming is unlikely to become an 'art form'. And even if it did, it wouldn't be appreciated as such. You're right, she may be arguing that, but she has fond a way to turn an innocent truth such as that into an insult. Gaming IS totally make believe and we WANT the tits and violence and she says it shouldn't be anything other and we SUCK as a result (a bit changed, but yeah, you get the point).

Meh, my opinion is just my opinion. She's right, and she's wrong at the same time...kind of hard to describe what I mean and my dinner has arrived =P

Aren't developers simply making stuff they think that will sell? I don't really see how that's their 'fault'

Chaplin needs to play some better games, There are plenty of games out there with mature themes. You may need to wade through some crap to get to them but it's the same with every other medium.

That's part of the problem though. You don't have to "wade through the crap" to find good examples of music as art, or movies as art. There are most definitely good (in the definition of being wholesome, while also being entertaining) games out there, but nobody knows about them. Even most gamers don't know about them. And when the community at large barely knows about them, how can we expect outsiders to consider them?

Whahah...Dom looking for his wife... Cardboard drama dumped into the game for the sole reason of being able to say: "Look at the emotional depth!.. sob ....LOCUST!!!! BANG BANG BANG...".

It would've been funny if it weren't so sad.

Yeah....the industry definitely needs to grow up...FAST...before FPS will be the only game in town.

I guess that she makes some valid points, I guess, but I just find myself not giving a shit anymore. All of this 'the industry is filled with retarded adolescent man-children hybrid abominations' got pretty fucking old pretty fucking fast when it first started to appear and time has not helped.

Nearly every single person who has said that games are too focused on the male audience are not game developers, they're journalists and authors who talk about video games rather than create them and while journalists have an influence over the market they never have as strong an influence as the people who create the content for the market, the game developers. Nobody has a greater influence in the shape of gaming, nobody. If Heather Chaplin and her ilk want change to occur than they should do something themselves, not bitch about it over the Internet.

Imagine if someone wanted corn but all the nearby farmers had been growing wheat for generations and didn't see any reason to change as it would be difficult and they probably wont be able to do it. What would be the best option to get corn in this instance? Bitch to the farmers and call them wheat-tarded for their refusal to grow corn or, grow the corn yourself and in time eat as much of it as you can? Chaplin is the person that will bitch to the farmers and demand things exist to her specifications and as a result she isn't achieving anything and just makes herself look like an idiot.

It can be difficult to create games and even more difficult to create influential games, it can be very daunting to make a studio or even getting a solo project off the ground but if she actually gave a shit she would get her hands dirty and do some actual work. You can't change anything by shouting from sidelines, you need to get involved for things to happen.

Because Chaplin and everyone like her are all to happy to tell developers what to do without actually doing anything themselves I find it very hard to take anything they say seriously.

well since the producers want the developers to make things the customers want, maybe her ire should be directed at us customers, but as others have said i don't play games because i am mature.

i play games to have fun, some times it's mindless fun or nothing but a male power fantasy (heaven forbid i have a power fantasy), sometimes it's deep and thought provoking

my question to her is what she has against people enjoying a fantasy outside of drugs

Fuck it, I agree with her. As much as everyone likes to say "It's the same for movies and music", the simple truth is that, for all the crap films and albums that have been shovelled out in the last few years, we've still also got There Will Be Blood, No Country For Old Men, The Hurt Locker, Up, Wall-E, Milk, The Wrestler, The Dark Knight, Pan's Labyrinth, Waltz With Bashir, The Last King Of Scotland, as well as (moving on to albums now) 10,000 Days, In Absentia, Watershed, Vicious Delicious, Black Gives Way To Blue, Crack The Skye... basically, for every piece of expensive crap, you can find something intelligent, emotional and just plain brilliant. If even one mainstream game is released that tries to do something similar, the fact it's doing it at all is enough to have the entire industry commenting on it (see Heavy Rain).

Hey, at least star wars games aren't misogynistic, and there are genuinely good games out there, however many use games for escapism, that is why I hate realistic cover-based shooters, I want to either feel completely out of the game or completely immersed. (this brings us the Prototype to KotORII scale). She is just playing too many overly generic games.

I'm reminded of Yahtzee's "For all my banging on the 'games are art' drum, art is only as good as the culture that surrounds it."
It's easy to see some sexist overtones in her statements, but I don't really feel that that's a line of reasoning that holds up under speculation., I feel that she should be criticizing how self-absorbed the game journalism world is, instead of it's immaturity.
I'm wondering why she was assigned to cover games. When you're covering a sub-culture, you don't hire someone from the mainstream go investigate, you hire someone within the culture to tell you what's going on.

I have to say that there are exceptions to these points...

But then I'm reminded of how the Game industry has perfected "boob physics," And I find myself in agreement with what she says.

Keane Ng:
Journalist Tells Industry To Grow Up


During a journalist rant session at GDC last week, Heather Chaplin, a writer who covers the games industry for grown-up outlets like NPR, railed against what she sees as a business dominated by "stunted adolescents."

"You aren't men," Chaplin told developers. "You are stunted adolescents."

Chaplin, the author of Smartbomb and a reporter for National Public Radio, says she's frequently put in the position of a "translator" who has to explain to people why exactly games matter and shouldn't be derided as anything more than manboy power fantasies. It's understandably hard to do that when games are frequently about killing hordes of aliens or barely-dressed babes or killing hordes of aliens while playing as barely-dressed babes.

So Chaplin's tired of it. No more excuses. You can't say games are only like this because it's a young medium, she argued. Back when they were around the same age, film was on the eve of Citizen Kane, and rock n' roll already had The Beatles and Bob Dylan. Well, I'd argue that 60's Dylan was as much of a stunted adolescent as Cliff Bleszinski, but that's an argument for another day.

Chaplin's point is that it's not the medium that's the problem, it's the people who are shaping it. "It is you guys as game designers who are deeply mired in 'guy culture,'" she said. Guy culture, you know, big dudes with big guns and thin chicks with big boobs, instead of things like responsibility, introspection and intellectual growth.

"When you're talking about culture-makers, this is a problem," Chaplin remarked.

So, what do you guys think? Do games need to grow up, have they already grown up, will they never grow up, or is this all just a bunch of nonsense? I sympathize with Chaplin's position and admire her vehemence, but I'm inclined to not agree entirely. I mean, did you play Gears of War 2? Dom looking for his wife? That was some seriously mature stuff. I cried. Guess some people didn't.

[Via GamePolitics, MTV Multiplayer, Pixel Vixen 707]


Hugely misrepresented analogy on her part. She asserts that music was in its infancy during the times of the Beatles? Uh, what about Mozart? Bach? Beethoven? Is Miley Cyrus, then defined as some sort of holy grail of musical ingenuity? New Kids on the Block? No real offense meant to her here, because I actually listen to VPR exclusively in my car. But, I think just as with her analogy, she's seeing only what she wants to see in the industry, and not what is.

There will always be a calling for blood, gore, boobs, and such, because games _started_ for, and will always be for younger crowds. So, of course, there will always be a calling for those types of games. However, to say that's all there is, is quite simply not true. We could start all the way back with...Pong. The first video game, which had none of the aforementioned so-called 'adolescent' attributes. You then have Myst, Riven, the Mario Series, the Metroid Series, Heavy Rain, countless PSN and XBL games. Countless windows desktop games.

Her perception of the industry is clearly clouded by the overwhelming amount of money pushed into advertisement for the games she see's as adolescent in nature. The problem is, the _emerging_ and growing market on consoles is adults. That segment of the gaming world, is currently in the minority when compared to the amount of children/teens/young adults that play games. And since gaming is about money, a great many companies target the largest audience possible for profit. One could say the same about Miley Cyrus. Good music? No. Innovative in any way? No. Sells like hotcakes to tweens? Absolutely.

I was going to say "take the stick out of your hole" but in a way she's got a point.

Games are shaped from who play them though. If the target audience remains the same then I don't think games are going to change. But really, pointing at onechambera is hitting below the belt.

She didn't mention it but, honestly, Oneechanbara is pretty much an excellent illustration of what she is talking about.

You know that classic rock comparison? Everyone still likes the insanely crazy awesome bands like KISS. KISS is takes everything over the top, then blows the top apart and keeps going higher. Basically, KISS is the fun games.

I completely agree.

Look no further than the Escapists constant "OMG BEWBS!" news posts.

It's not that there aren't games (there are games which do what she says they need to do) but rather the attitude in the culture. That bewbs are a news item, and that when someone like her questions us our attitude is "shut the fuck up bitch, you don't know anything!"

The perfect example is the Atkinson debacle. He was right in some cases, calling us lower class or hooligans or whatever. We disagree with him, so what do we do? Send death threats.

There's an inherent immaturity in the culture as a whole that we need to get rid of.

It's no different from anything else. A group of idiots ruins it for everyone. Well, we need to be louder than the idiots. At the moment all we tend to do is complain, then boycott, then descend into chaos. It's like a monkey trying to build a wheel, getting mad, and flinging feces. Our intent is good, but we seem to lack the ability to go about it in a dignified manner.

Yes, well there is that, but unfortunately the gaming industry is too much like the Animé industry; things like Fanservice and token lolis aren't going to go away while there is money to be made out of it (or at least perceived money).

Perhaps the problem isn't with the people making the games but in the lack of development to divide different parts of the industry. I don't find most "mature" rated content to be necessary to the gaming experience, and it seems to me that there is a rather large part of the film industry devoted to similar kind action heroes to the ones in Video games, and it seems that they get away with it easier. So what makes games easier to criticise?

In the end we are just pressing brightly coloured buttons or clicking a mouse to make an on screen character jump through hoops. Although I do disagree with her though. If she is saying games like STALKER are immature and not "intellectual" then she is an idiot. That game has so many clever things about it. It's got a clever story, excellent endings and many other good points. But still games are what they make I guess, I'm not sure what I think on her point actually.

No no no. Due to the interactive nature of games, there's a whole other world of fun to be had. It doesn't compare to watching a film because when you're watching a film you're being told a story that will progress with or without you. With games, you're needed.
The point I'm trying desperately to get to here is that all that 'intellectual growth' bullshit can be had elsewhere if that is solely want you want. Our medium can cover anything, and that needs to be accepted.

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