Letters to the Editor

About Last Night …


In response to “Why Do We Bother” from The Escapist Forum: I’m reminded of the beginning of Scott McCloud’s book Understanding Comics. In it, he speaks of his earliest experiences with comics, how at first be believed them all to be worthless superhero garbage. Eventually a friend persuades him to give comics another chance and he falls in love with the craft. On the next page he concedes that most of what’s out there is poorly written and crudely drawn, but comics don’t have to be that way.

If you look at any medium, most of what you’ll find is worthless but there is the occasional truly amazing thing out there. How many truly godawful movies does it take before we get one as good as [insert your choice for best movie ever]. How many comics are written before we read one as thoughtful and heartfelt as Maus or as complex, nuanced and intricate as Watchmen? Novels were originally treated as a worthless form of entertainment just like video games are today. I haven’t done any research but I bet most art forms were not instantly accepted to be worthwhile and even then were still filled with worthless iterations.

It’s amazing because the modern forms of cinema, television, video games and comics are all relatively new art forms and we get to live in a time where we can witness the growth of them. It’s a time when change is sweeping us and it’s going to take a while before the general public gets on board.

One of these days, scholars will look at the origins of the art forms, perhaps asking students to slog through the primitive games of the past, looking for meaning and insight into culture. Even know, video games are quite diverse. The games I play come from all over Europe, Japan and Korea, even such obscure countries as Croatia. There’s something awesome here and at some point, we’ll all accept it as great but until then, it’s our art form to love and cherish.

– Ayavaron

[b class=’accent’]In response to “Why Do We Bother” from The Escapist Forum[/b]: I’m I worked in the game industry for 8 years right out of college. I’ve always loved the diversion from real life. That’s all it really is, a diversion. There are artistic merits within the diversion, but none that really benefit anything outside of the diversion itself. We’ve seen games crossover to other diversions like movies and books, but essentially provide the same benefits in a different medium. I cannot make the case for this diversion to others. It’s similar to when I try to explain to non-hockey enthusiasts why I like the sport of hockey. Just because I tell someone what I like, doesn’t make it any more palatable to that person. Oftentimes what we enjoy comes from early experiences that leave positive impressions in our mind, so we spend the rest of our lives in that comfort zone.

– bduff

In response to “Fei Long and Justin Wong ” from The Escapist Forum: “You had to be there.” Maybe that is true after all because I fail to understand how you reached your conclusion. While your premises are interesting, and investigation nationalism and racism is always important, you have made out the different categories to be monolithic.

I think the burden is still on you to show that racial or national allegiance is a key factor in elite competitive gaming (XBox Live, along with WoW, is another story). It’s my experience that the Daigo fan club cuts across racial and national demographies. Or is Diago’s play style an exception to the rule? I think the reason why so many robotic, precise and methodical players crop up is that the game mechanics make it so effective. We only get to see the elite Japanese players, and they leave a skewed view. If we go to Japan we’ll probably find just as many cocky, flashy, and impatient players bubbling beneath the elite. And they are more popular than the Justin counterparts. That’s my impression anyway.

My point is that you might be over analyzing this. Sure gamers are conscious of race but we are a lot more conscious of skill. And because we play face to face, the other stereotypes that we might have had about race fade away with increased camaraderie. Or did I miss something? Was the EVO audience predominantly made up of Japanese players cheering their own?

– donquixote

In response to “Fei Long and Justin Wong ” from The Escapist Forum: Being an “Asian-American”, myself; I think the assertion of two view points “American vs. Asian”, seems a bit narrow in context of the event, EVO 2004. I was there to witness the action and entered a tournament or two. Although, there were a few dissenters among the audience, a good vibe was generally expressed amid the competitors and spectators. I presume a varying degree of inclinations incurred instead.

A bit more background information should be given to readers about Justin Wong, and the warring opinions of “The East Coast vs West Coast” that plagues the competition. Between the fighting game communities, therein lies its own rivalries. In a particular game, MVC2, the competition is fierce within the U.S and Americans can claim to be victors. Most followers of the scene are quite familiar with the escapades of Justin Wong and his cohorts whom reside over in the eastern side of US. Brought with them was the challenge of besting the side with the most wins and a younger king, if you will, who has yet to be dethroned. Now compound that with legions that clamor for his defeat and you can see the passionate outbursts of their reactions.

However, the points you bring up our astounding, be it bad or good, your article gives some knowledgeable insight into the many different social issues in the melting pot that is America. And it’s great to see some different commentary on the theme within the industry.

– Gnomey

About the author