It’s All Their Fault

I think it’s high time we stop all this hippy nonsense of trying to live happily together and solving our differences peacefully. There’s obviously a huge problem in the gaming community, and it’s the sort of problem that can only be solved by the judicious application of overwhelming force.

Everyone is arguing about where the blame lies for the flood of bad games to the market. Desensitized reviewers, jaded designers, corporate whoring, stupid players, hackers, script-kiddies, the media, money-hungry lawyers – take your pick. But really, it boils down to two sides: Game Developers vs. Gamers.

Every message board, mailing list, chat room – heck, even a few prayer circles – is full of bitter debates laying the blame for lousy games on one side or the other. We need to stop trying so hard to find compromises and just lay the blame solidly with one of them so we know who not to receive our guidance from when choosing future games.

We’ve got two very different sides here, and if my years of being a faithful Tina Turner fan have taught me anything, it’s that two men enter, one man leaves. I give you: the blame!

Obviously, This Is Gamers’ Fault
Gamers, by and large, are idiots. They represent the basest of human desires. All they really want is a game that consists of one button. When you push it, someone gets kicked in the crotch while a large-breasted woman jumps on a trampoline in the background.

They constantly lament the quality of games in modern times while extolling the virtues of the “old games” – remember those games? Humanity was destined for greatness and we were set to solve all the world’s problems, but then some jerk had to eat the forbidden fruit of the 3-D Graphics Processor Tree, and we were all marched out of Eden to the dark wasteland beyond, with nothing but a copy of Postal to keep us company.

Gamers want great games utilizing technology that still hasn’t been created – technology so fantastic it’s going to make them take out a second mortgage just to afford the mainframe computer it’ll require to run the games. And they want monthly updates and expansions added to the game, with entirely new continents, races and quests. But they want to pay no more than $10 – and no subscription fee, of course!

Then, of course, no matter how great a game you invent – a game with dynamic dialogue, a brilliant and unique questing system, a completely balanced PvP combat system, amazing abilities for the player to create their own content – Gamers are going to ignore it and instead buy millions of copies of a buggy game that lets you decapitate someone and then urinate on their corpse. And then they’ll have the audacity to complain about their lack of choices.

Who needs them?

Anyone Can See The Developers Are At Fault
If Game Developers could take time out from their rock-n-roll parties full of illicit drugs and prostitutes, we could open up some honest dialogue about all the things they’re screwing up in their games. Unfortunately, they’re too busy yelling at their valets for revving the engine too high in their limited edition gold-trimmed Ferraris to have much time for the likes of us.

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Developers have forgotten their roots. They don’t even play the games they work on anymore – everyone knows they outsource all their play-testing to child sweatshops in China. And they don’t even bother reading the feedback, they just hire a bunch of web goons to troll their forums and delete any posts from anyone criticizing their game.

They design the same game over and over again, repackaging it with only the most modest of graphics improvements and a new main character that was a supporting character in the last version of the game. They consider the game “improved” when they’ve fixed a bug that was present in the previous version – even if this “fix” creates three entirely new bugs.

Developers plan their games in the most ridiculous fashion. They’ll create a gun with laser scopes, hair trigger, explosive-tipped-armor-piercing bullets and full-auto switch – and then, when you go into the game and use it to mow down everything in your path, they’ll blame you for turning their game into a violence-fest, when all they intended was for the rifle to be used to open stuck doors. You’re not playing the game how they designed it.

We try to make it easier for them. We post exactly what is wrong with their game and how they can improve it on every forum we can find. Instead of listening to their customers, though, Developers instead choose to ignore us and continue blithely on their way, designing games no one is going to want to play.

A Solution?
There’s only one thing we can do here: Games have to be outlawed. We have to dismantle the machine, yank out every cog. The only good games – games that spawned this whole industry – were games that were created when there was no industry and no Gamers out there to play them. Once being a Game Developer became a legitimate occupation and being a Gamer became socially acceptable, the entire thing was ruined.

It’s too big, now. We have to turn back the developmental clock, lower our expectations and go back to simpler times. Clearly, the blame rests on both parties, and there’s nothing that can be done about it. Let’s be honest here: Gamers buying games that don’t suck? Developers listening to their player base? That’s just not going to happen, and a bit unrealistic to expect it to do so. It’s easier for everyone if we just start over.

Just think of all the really interesting books you can read if you give up gaming and start reading! Of course, there’s a bit of a debate raging about readers and writers – each side saying the other is making publishers release garbage.

But I think I have a solution for that …

Shawn “Kwip” Williams is the founder of N3 (NeenerNeener.Net), where he toils away documenting his adventures as the worst MMOG and pen-and-paper RPG player in recorded history.

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