Classical Studies

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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Second, research to date hints that violent behavior can be linked to much more invested time than two hours per day. Fourteen hours a week is considered almost “casual” by gaming standards, an amount of time leaving much more left over to fair grounding in the “reality” of employment, families, etc.

Third, no mention is made of local conditions, cultural background, nor the decades of attempts to qualify and quantify the effect any media consumed in dedicated chunks may have on the behaviors of their more hardcore participants. To date, all causal relationships appear to be anecdotal, attempts to link the latest hot button issues within the constraints of sound-byte delivery – a constraint you are not bound by.

As a result, I felt this bit did a disservice to the debate, adding a reference point which would not stand up to any serious scrutiny. A better handling of the subject would involve a conscientious overview of the history of media and violence, perhaps culminating in an objective summary from representatives of both sides of the debate.

– Darniaq

To the editor: Nice website, but you seriously need to do something about your layout. It’s a real pain to read. Granted it looks nice and flashy but I’d rather have good content (which you already have) in a nice, simple, readable format (see

– Pratik Patel

To the editor: Excellent content and great read. But badly presented. Please have the font size enjoyable to read or the site code flexible to scale.

– jt

To the editor: The Escapist is just what I’ve been wanting – I’ve always preferred the look of magazines to the look of Web pages, but dislike the physical clutter they produce. Your site’s a soup that eats like a meal, as it were – the ease of access offered by the Internet with the design sensibility of a print magazine. I salute you. And I’ll be back for more.

– JH

To the editor: I love The Escapist – great articles, good formatting and wonderful insight. I have a suggestion/request – repost/reprint the web page in a mobile format friendly manner. Call it, I’ve tried to read the escapist on my Treo, and it’s more than a little bit difficult.

– Tawnya Carr

To the editor: Great design, great articles. Arresting and engaging. Thanks.

– d

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