In response to "I've Got to be a Macho Man" from The Escapist Forum: A good read although as I read through the article I couldn't help constantly thinking "What kind of people would take a game like Gears of War so seriously?" I thought the over the top macho characters were am amusing throwback to games like DOOM and Duke Nukem.
I'm getting sick and tired of games and gamers who seem to want it all. When I played GoW, I wasn't expecting a harrowing tale about the last hope of humanity. I was expecting a mindless shooter with mindless characters and that's exactly what I got. You can call me stupid for enjoying such a game but I don't really care because the key word is "game", its not meant to be taken seriously, its meant to be a source of entertainment.
I've strayed into a bit of a rant here. It just annoys me how seriously people take video games sometimes. I don't enjoy fan boys and 12 year old douche bags screaming "fag" down their mic's on Xbox Live but in my opinion the kind of people who think they are too good to play a game like Gears of War and enjoy it for what it is are just as bad.
One thing I noticed in Gears that's been touched on a bit in this thread is that the game, while predominantly over-the-top machismo, did have some serious elements. As the game goes on it seems more and more like the over-the-top machismo is in a large part a cover for the fact that most or all of the CoGs are scared out of their minds. Marcus even mentions it directly to Dom at one point, when Dom admits to being afraid of going underground -- "Don't tell Baird. He's scared shitless as it is." And that's all part and parcel with the 1980s sci-fi space marine thing that seems to have been the main influence on the game outside of Resident Evil 4.
The blatantly American nature of Gears and Epic's parking lot full of expensive cars also bring to mind kind of an interesting parallel. Silicon Knights, a bunch of artistes who put extraordinary effort into setting and narrative in their games but whose games are also not known for their technical execution, don't seem to have gotten along very well with Epic. Silicon Knights are a bunch of Canadians from the quiet Ontario town of St. Catharines. I don't think there are any Ferraris in the SK parking lot.
In response to "The Cliff Bleszinski Interview" from The Escapist Forum: After the 'horrors' that I've heard about 'CliffyB', I definitely didn't expect to see what I read in this interview. He seemed quite an amiable guy. Gonzo and somewhat over-the-top? Mayhaps, but I would actually love to meet him. What does his status as a video game celebrity/playboy game designer has to do with anything? Why does it necessarily make him a dick? Honestly, I've digested so much bile regarding Cliff Bleszinski that I expected some over-confident prick, another Romero. Instead he seems to know his material and he makes several valid points that shouldn't be disregarded.
Anyway, great interview and a nice in-depth look at an interesting individual.