Letters to the Editor

All in the Cards


To The Editor: If Christian game producers want to be taken seriously by the mainstream market (in particularly the overseas European and Japanese market) they’re going to have to stop designing their games as blatant propaganda and misinformation.

I grant that I am basing most of my opinion off of the highly-publicized (and widely maligned) future game Left Behind: Eternal Forces which I’ve noted includes some particularly juicy creationist nonsense. Such a thing may work in Bible-belt America, but try selling that stuff elsewhere and you’ll find the market won’t bite.

A lot of video games (which even I, an atheist, have enjoyed) include Christian themes, such as faith, redemption, salvation, divine providence, and messianic fulfillment. My favorite game of all time features a protagonist named JC who can progress through the majority of his challenges in non-violent ways and can come to embody a kind of divine trinity! That’s about as blatant as I want my rhetoric served though … when the game starts spouting propaganda it ceases to be a game and becomes a tool for proselytizing.

– J. Azpurua

In response to ‘OK Computer” from The Escapist Forum: The simple fact is until they can make a product that actually works really well for men, no internet sex toy will ever hit the mainstream, because it is men that are the ones seeking a sexual experience online.

Women have the rabbit and the pocket rocket and what do men have? Sure there are toys designed for men, but they are no better than the old tried and true low tech methods we’ve been employing since the dawn of time. Where’s our masturbatory holy grail?

Personally I don’t think we can overcome the anatomical, material, and engineering constraints of mechanically pleasuring the male organ. However, I do know this: If you build it they will come. How’s that for a pun?

– heavyfeul

In response to “One Hand Behind My Back” from The Escapist Forum: I was just thinking about one handed gaming a couple weeks ago, while on a crowded bus. My DS Lite is a big step backward for mobile gaming on some levels as the stylus controls require some stability to use accurately. I can’t perform surgery in Trauma Center while bouncing around in a bus, you know? And I wish Ouendan let you mash buttons as an alternative to stylus controls. There are a few people out there who enjoy playing DDR with the gamepad instead of a dancemat, afterall.

I think maybe handheld systems need more buttons on the back of the system. Something like the PS2’s dual-shock controller. The Dual shock has 6 buttons and a joystick all within reach of a single hand.

– shihku7

In Response to “Dancing for Jesus” from The Escapist Forum: I can track one major reason why religiously-themed games never caught on big: Video games still bear the relics of their history as a programmers’ hobby. Programmers are usually very cynical, very scientifically-minded, always wanting to find out how things work, and not trusting anything that they’re “not supposed to” understand (which, in all fairness, is a stigma many religions carry).

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In addition, that programmer’s mindset still is the dominant one throughout the industry. These are the sorts of people who’ll look at anything overtly religious and write it off as either an overbearing attempt to “save” them, or merely an exercise in preaching to the choir (in a fairly literal sense).

I’d probably be annoyed if my rhythm game told me in all candor to praise or worship anything (side effects of the programmer’s bias, I suppose, but I am a programmer), but it is refreshing to see more variety entering the industry – especially a vastly different sort of variety, which is what stands the best chance of expanding the medium. I wish them good luck.

-Bongo Bill

In Response to “Dancing for Jesus” from The Escapist Forum: I think it has less to do with programmers specifically and more to do with human nature. I don’t think it matters if you’re a programmer, a physicist, a doctor, a musician, a secretary, or a mini-mart clerk: faith is a deceptively difficult thing to understand.

Plus, I think there is a common misconception that science is the enemy of religion, especially with current political climates being what they are. But, that idea is only a throwback to 15th century thinking (Galileo, Copernicus, et al) perpetuated by zealots on both sides of the argument. Reality probably lies somewhere in between.

Anyway, my point is that the denial of the existence of God is not so much the property of scientifically-minded folks as it is the property of anyone who might not believe in something that they cannot empirically experience. But, yeah, religious games are usually teh stinky.

– DrRosenRosen

In Response to “Guitar Heroics” from The Escapist Lounge: It comforts me to know that there is someone else out there who bought a PS2 for the sole purpose of rocking. They all thought I was crazy, they said there were other games out there, but it didn’t matter to me. I had no aspirations to roll the universe into a ball, destroy ancient Chinese armies, or hit my opponents in the nads repeatedly with a polearm or pike.

My PS2 isn’t a game console so much as it is a guitar simulator. When Guitar Hero 2 hits, my friends and I will most likely go missing for several days until our wrists start to deform into immobile claws.

– zackola

In Response to “<Gran Tourismo HD: game Not Included” from The Escapist Lounge: I don’t want to interrupt all the fun you lot are having with your rant, but I think you might be a bit confused with respect to the facts of the case.
GT-HD comes in two versions, “Classic” and “Premium”. Stephen Rokiski may want the Premium version, but the rest of you without a doubt want Classic, which comes with 750 cars and 51 tracks included in the price. The Premium version is the one to which the quoted prices apply. There are far fewer cars and tracks available currently because they’re all being modelled (both visually and behaviourally) to a ridiculous degree of precision.

To say that having a product like that released commercially is bad for gaming is a very odd position to take. High production values and meticulous attention to detail are something I’m personally very happy to see and use of micropayments for vehicles seems like an intelligent way to balance the high cost of producing the game assets with the desire to keep the game moderately accessible to those who want to try it.

In my view micropayments are a good tool. Like any tool they can be used well or used badly. The Chromehounds stuff I consider bad. GT-HD, from what little we know so far, looks good.

– Dom Camus

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