In response to "The Best of All Possible Worlds" from The Escapist Forum: Wait, I may have misunderstood, but I got from this article, "Games shouldn't be realistic, because realistic games aren't fun."
Which just makes me say, "Games can be whatever the developer wants them to be, even if it's realistic, because some people think that realistic games are fun."
Seriously, I would like to play a gritty game set in the Civil War or something. Very, very few games ever actually try to take on important, real-world issues like movies or books do, and I think it's time. Why does no one try to make a game that sends an important, real-life message to the player? If books can change people's lives, games should be able to, also. Games should be able to motivate players to take action in their own lives, not just their virtual ones. If people did more of this, I think that most of society would see gamers with more respect.
It's not 'critics' who want more ambiguity in games - it's gamers. Anyway, why can't there be room for both simplistic 'good guy vs bad world' tales and more complex ones where the player's character has more of a choice about the morality of his character?
Besides, it's not the ambiguity that's the point - it's having a choice.
In response to "That's Entertainment?" from The Escapist Forum: There's a lot of nostalgia clouding this review, particularly towards film.
There has never - never been a time in the film industry where everyone was daring, everything was fresh, or everything was a gem except maybe in the very early years of film, when it was a brand-new medium.
There will always be games that do nothing special, that follow the formula, that stick to the beaten path. That will never change. The thing that makes games like Braid or World of Goo great is that they are different and fresh.
If all games were different and fresh, none of them would be. If you get my meaning. You can't break the mold with a mold already in place.
And for its purposes, genre-movies and "genre-games" are good for what they are. There's a kind of comfort in knowing exactly what you're going to get. And both game developers and filmmakers are counting on that when they make movies or video games.
For every David Lynch, there are a hundred Michael Bays - and it's just not true that films used to be different, "back in the day". It's just that back then, maybe the films weren't car-chase-gunfight-films. They were westerns. How many westerns were released in the "golden age of film"?
How many were special?
Yeah, I'm gonna side with the folks arguing there never was a Golden Age. Not in film, even Pauline Kael in the 1960's devoted mountains of paper to bitching about movies back then. And not in games, even during the 90's.
For every Gabriel Knight there was a cheesy live action adventure or an Altered Destiny. For every Warcraft II there was an RTS knock-off.
Sturgeon's Law is just as true as ever, 90% of everything is crap. Always has been, always will be. And every year, a few gems rise to the top and prove that they were the ones that broke the trend.