To the editor: I have really been enjoying my weekly reads of The Escapist. And, more often than not, feelings of anger, sadness, resigned apathy and a healthy bit of righteous fury accompany those reads as well. That is not a bad thing, however, as they all stem from well written articles by talented and insightful writers who challenge me to think in new directions and look at the industry as it is, instead of how I wish it were. Even when I remain opposed to their arguments, I have a better foundation on which to stand than before my opinions were challenged.

What primarily prompted me to write to you was Max Steele's exceptional article "It's All Real to Me." My high appraisal is not garnered due to the arguments in the article matching many of my own opinions, which too often becomes the criteria people use in judging editorial writing. Instead, it made me think about the issues under examination from a fresh and thought-provoking perspective. Indeed, I frequently rant to friends, much to their chagrin, I'm sure, about the influence of marketing on various forms of art, particularly games and movies. Usually, after somehow fitting in a caustic barrage against consoles, I end up leveling my wrath on the mass consumer, start muttering about the state of humanity, and give up in a resigned huff. Mr. Steele's enlightening article, however, gave me some food for thought, fuel for the fire, and added a little to my usually dwindling hope for the future of gaming.

If there are smart folks out there in the industry reading the words of the smart folks at your magazine, even this grizzled old gamer is willing to be patient and look forward to what the future may bring, ranting all the while, of course.

- Greg Gursky

To the editor: I continue to enjoy watching the growth of The Escapist, both in size and in reach. However, I was disappointed by the short "News Bit" regarding gaming violence in Issue #5. For such a contentious and current topic, an entire issue could be dedicated to this discussion alone, instead of adding a datapoint of questionable relevance.

First, Asheron's Call 2 is extremely tame by the standards of violence in video games. While it includes combat as a central feature, a much better example of obsession-inducing immersive violence would be Guild Wars, World of Warcraft Battlegrounds, or, even more so, games from outside the genre, be they Real-time Strategy or First-person Shooter.

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