To the editor: Congratulations on being the most intelligent and well written gaming related mag out there.
So, what do you guys think the next step for gaming is? By my reckoning, graphics and presentation will have reached the real-life, picture-perfect plateau in about another ten or fifteen years. Then what? Virtual Reality? Sweaty nano-tech body suits and huge gyroscopic balls to spin around in? Or maybe metal head plugs or fleshy bioports? Is it too soon to preorder my holodeck?
-Tobi & Nick
To the editor: First off, I want to thank all of you at The Escapist for creating a truly quality piece of literature for those in the gaming community who have a deeper agenda. Your magazine has helped to assure me that there ARE others who are looking at gaming as a true culture rather then just a foolish pastime or hobby.
I write to bring you and your readers aware of what I believe could be an epidemic within the gaming community. Recently, Hilary Clinton, in a speech, condemned video games, particularly Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. It is her belief, amongst other politicians’, that video games encourage violent acts among children, and she suggests putting stricter censors on them.
I have nothing against parents wanting to protect their children from violence and sex. But the restrictions that are currently in place, I believe, are good enough, and should be left alone. The ESRB’s rating system accurately labels video games and warns potential buyers of the content. My concern lies in the fact that sales of popular, more ‘adult’ videogames will plummet if restrictions are tighter and developers will begin to cut down on production of these games. I know that sales of games such as Half Life 2, Doom 3, and the GTA series itself are so high production wouldn’t stop, but rather be tamed, so that lower ratings would be placed on the games thus producing higher sales. Producers such as EA may force these restrictions on developers.
I would hate to see the process of creating a video game be halted because of some politician’s rant about one particular game. Let’s be careful as we watch these events unfold.
To the editor: I enjoyed Jason Smith’s article on Player Created Content in Issue #4. However, I thought perhaps there was a missed opportunity here.
In gaming there is, of course, much Player Created Content. Whether it’s Unreal mods or Second Life activity spaces, players have the tools, the time, and the talent.
However, there’s also Player Directed Content, assets created by developers but the use of which is determined by the players. Good examples are games like Star Wars Galaxies, Ultima Online, or A Tale in the Desert. Players play mini-games in order to “unlock” specific content they then can “direct” around the game world.
For example, a player can decorate their SWG house with countless items as almost every item in the game exists as a 3D model. However, in order to get these items, players must build them, find them, buy them, or loot them. UO was similar. ATITD uses much more detailed mini-game systems, to the point where every item in the game starts as ingredients and requires long multi-step processes to turn into final goods.
The benefit with this approach is two fold:
1- Nowhere near every player has the time, desire, or talent to truly create content from the ground up. They do, however, all enjoy some amount of personalization and customization.
2- In persistent virtual worlds, developers have more control over the content that players are allowed to play with.
To the editor: I dig the magazine, and I really like the design – the layout is beautiful. I like what you guys are doing a lot (so far).
Just a quick note – perhaps it’s possible to put some easier next/previous navigation? Larger buttons, somewhere on the sides (esp. the previous button)? I like the minimalism thing, and I wouldn’t want to destroy the design philosophy, but it would be quite annoying if print magazine could only be flipped by holding a tiny corner in one specific place, and otherwise they’d just be stuck.
Hah. Keep up the good work. You guys inspire me to write.
To the editor: I’ve caught some of your stuff on the web, and I really like it. The writing quality is the best that I’ve ever seen in anything related to gaming – it’s sorta like the New Yorker of gaming.
Anyway, I just had a few questions/suggestions:
1. I find it really hard to actually read the articles. When I read a site like NYTIMES.com, I usually click ‘single page format’ and scroll down. I like having articles on a single page. I’m working off of a high resolution laptop, and usually when I read stuff on the web, I find myself increasing the font size. Unfortunately, when I increase the font size on your magazine, it overlaps the borders and that makes it hard to read
2. Will this ever be available in print? From the format of your website, I take it that its layout is magazine-like. I would suggest an exclusive web format, maybe like slate.com, for the website, because reading pdf files on the computer is tiresome due to scrolling issues.