To the Editor: [In regard to Jason Smith’s “The Cost of Gaming“] While I’m in agreement with the overall thesis, I have to take issue with the last two points. Ridding the industry of software obsolescence and creating a universal console would certainly bring down costs, but in converting the industry into a more typical media-media player paradigm, you’re neglecting the unique relationship that this particular type of media has with its player.

Major cinematic innovation is only rarely defined by the technological progress that precedes it. DVD is relatively new, and while it adds some novel new features, the essential experience is the same as it was in 1930; you’re still probably going to sit in front of a screen for one and a half to two hours, and watch whatever flickers by. Games have a more complex relationship to its media technology – most games would have been inconceivable five years prior to their release date – and many innovations in game can take place only because the hardware only suddenly became available. Software obsolescence is then a necessary evil (though backward compatibility can mitigate this), and the idea of a universal console a la 3D0 becomes a notion that would put stranglehold on much innovation within the industry.

-Jeremy Cohen

To the Editor: I Read the article in your latest issue “Mainstream Shopping Mainstream Gaming” and I completely agree with it. I feel that the original gamers are being pushed out of the way by the mall-rat, Abercrombie and Fitch generation.

But the author forgot one major problem in the gaming culture; that is the level of discrimination within the culture. I, myself, am a classic gamer. I love the old DOS adventures like Monkey Island and King’s Quest, but the newer FPS-type gamers do not understand the true beauty that is a classic game. If we want the culture to be revived we must come together as a group and accept the fact that we are all gamers. Period.

-John

To the Editor: I don’t typically write to sites because I don’t feel the mail actually gets read, but I had to tell you how pleased I was to read your magazine whether you read this email or not. Each article in the past two issues has focused on something I enjoyed reading and I read every word. I don’t need to tell you how rare that is in the online world (I am sure you already know). “Trust Me” by Mark Wallace was a fantastic read and spoke about my favorite new/old game. I finally have a site I can forward friends to that reflects how I think about the gaming world without providing a disclaimer about stupid marketing based articles.

-Mike

To the Editor: I feel inclined to agree with what Eva wrote in your letters section last issue. While I love anecdotes and editorials I found “Girlz don’t exist on teh Interweb” equally trite, especially compared with “Confessions of a GameStop Girl” in the same issue. Both were editorial in nature, but while “Girlz” was a one sided opinion piece, “Confessions” was objectively reported and introspective, and I’d love to read more of the same.

More annoying to a Life Sciences student like myself was Chris Crawford’s title article in the same issue. I’d go as far as to say all Chris’s assertions are either misleading or just plain false, and his irksome, demeaning writing style has hung on my mind for some time. In fact, I almost wrote a series of boring correctional letters no-one would ever read.

But should I really have to? You as editor are responsible for making sure that facts are backed up by research, and for a scientific piece that does not mean “Why is sex fun?” It means at the very least a book by someone with a PHD in biology, like Richard Dawkins, and preferably a scientific paper from a citation source like PubMed. As a final word of advice to make your life easier, remember this as a general rule; no-one did anything because our cavemen ancestors used to. Evolutionary behavior goes much farther back than that, and the cavemen you’re thinking of weren’t our ancestors anyway.

-Doug Inman

To the Editor: This is in reference to the letter from Eva in issue 26, and although I’m new to The Escapist I wanted to comment on her take on the article by Whitney Butts “OMG Girlz Don’t Exist on teh Intarweb!!!!1

I’m a 33 year old female who has been gaming since I was 13. I got hooked on D&D about the same time as Tetris so I was thrilled when the MMOGs came out in force. I met a nice guy, proceeded to get him addicted to videogames so he wouldn’t complain about my own addiction *evil grin* and then got married. My husband went to get my Christmas present last year – a 23″ monitor. When he told the salesguy it was for his videogame addicted wife, the poor guy totally freaked. He then asked my somewhat amused husband what was the best way to find a gamer girl. My husband’s response was to tell the guy to look for a girl who has multi-colored hair.

I’m currently addicted to FFXI and have been playing that game for two years and I can say it’s finally getting good because a lot of the idiots (OK, a few of the good people too) have moved over to WoW.

First, Eva, sorry but I have had exactly the same experiences that Whitney has had, in fact just last night. Honestly I am extremely tired of explaining to the young guys on the game that girls do play games. Yes, I’m the tank and will save your 13 year old butt because I know how to hold hate. No, I won’t send you a pic, or tell you where my picture is on FFXIplayers and really I don’t care if you believe me because I don’t need you to justify my existence or give me permission as a female to play.

But, I find the mature guys don’t have an issue with me, so yes, I agree, Eva, it does totally depend on who you are hanging out with. The Linkshell (aka Clan, Guild) that I hang out with is mostly older people (above 18), a mix of males and a few females. Sure there is fun banter and even some flirting going back and forth, and the occasional “omg please don’t log cuz we will all turn into barbarians when the girls leave.”

The problem, though, with these MMOGs is you need to play with other people. My other gamer girlfriends have gone onto games that don’t require as much time associating with the rabble, or they won’t play online at all. When they do go online they play with their husbands/boyfriends, only, so they can be shielded from the aforementioned idiots.

What is the solution you may ask? Girls keep playing, keep telling the idiots that they are in fact idiots, keep kicking their butts, keep being beautiful, sexy and smart and most importantly, have fun!

-Samantha Jane

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