Letters to the Editor

Paid to Play


In response to “Piracy and the Underground Economy” from The Escapist Forum: I like this article for being an extremely good compliment to this article, especially since I read them not 5 minutes apart.

I like the idea of reducing the price point for games by removing unnecessary packaging materials, but in the end I doubt that would work. Big-name retailers, at least in America, would never stock a product without professional-looking packaging, and publishers would never consider attempting it – both would be too paranoid about the potential loss of sales. All commercial industries here live and die on appearances, and they go to great lengths to make the customer think their product is superior to their competitors.

Honestly, I don’t see the game prices ever becoming reasonable. It started out as a luxury hobby, back when only the wealthiest people could afford a computer, and games have always been at the fore-front of technology. The big publishers are too focused on making sure that any games they release use the absolute best (read ‘most expensive’) tools and technologies, meaning that the biggest games will always have that luxury price. I’d really like to see more companies making lower budget titles, with lower prices, that still get just as much publicity and attention as the huge AAA titles – basically take a step back and produce something that would have been a AAA title a few years ago, and targeting the people who buy old used games because they can’t afford the latest and best.

– Flionk

You’re saying that piracy is good because it supports the livelihoods of poor people in developing nations? Game developers are trying to make a profit – not to give people a ‘job’ (stealing their work)

I got the idea that you think that it’s unfair for a game company to charge american prices to developing nations since the people cannot afford them. This is nonsense – these are DEVELOPING NATIONS! Developing nations don’t HAVE as many luxuries – every country has gone through a phase where only the rich had any sort of luxuries whatsoever. That doesn’t mean that the price was unfair, it only means that there was not enough disposable income for everyone to afford luxuries. It’s a sad and unfair world, but to defend piracy by saying that it helps poor people in asia and brings games to those who wouldn’t otherwise play them? That’s just a weak rationalization for theft.

Don’t get me wrong, i’ve pirated my fair share of video games (never for profit) as I’m a college student who can’t afford all the luxuries he wants. This doesn’t excuse my piracy, but at least i’m willing to admit that I’m stealing.

– Mista Kurtz


In response to “Like a Kid Aagain” from The Escapist Forum: Do you really think that’s what these games do?

You draw a distinction between GTA and Gears by virtue of the former taking itself less seriously – and that seems reasonable – but that’s also a weakness. It’s a weakness because when creating fictional worlds the setting needs to take itself seriously in order to remain immersive.

What the teenage boy demographic wants is a chance to be a rock hard combat hero in a world full of monsters. Every satirical element, every self-mocking touch, every place where the core concept is diluted with “grown up” concepts of fun is a place where the game fails to deliver that experience.

I’m sure that you still want immersive fictional worlds (and if not, that’s sad). That’s all this is. And if the particular worlds are not to your taste that’s fine, because there are plenty of other options.

– Dom Camus

The article seems to imply that all of our enjoyment from video games comes from an attempt at reliving childhood. It seems to say that the wild imagination which is represented innocently is good, but the aggressive imagination is bad. In my opinion, both are natural the growth of a child, but this isn’t the primary issue.

I liked both Galaxy and Gears and for obviously separate reasons, but neither because they reminded me of my childhood. As some other people on here have stated, I’m not 30 but a mere 21, so I’m liable to change. I rarely, if ever, connect a game with my childhood except if it’s a long running series of games, like Mario, Mortal Kombat, or Sonic. In these situations, I’m not usually connecting the current ones with my childhood memories so much as comparing the games to their predecessors to see how far we’ve come.

In addition, I think some games are very separate from childhood, dealing with situation far removed from the understanding of the average child. A kid wouldn’t understand the complexities of games like those of the Metal Gear Solid franchise. I think the writer is looking a little too hard for the connection that is actually just a change in video game taste.

– BleachedBlind


In response to “Click Here for Hot Man Love!” from The Escapist Forum: I hope my parents aren’t going to see my history with a title like that : ) Just joking, it’s a very interesting article.

I think the internet can increase or decrease social interaction depending on how you use it, like with anything else. You can make alot of friends on the internet, often from other cultures. And I always send emails to my friends, and organize things through email. And you can research things on the internet etc etc. It’s pretty useful thing if you use it right. I personally wouldn’t even consider nude pictures and that. It’s like when people put personal info on myspace and wonder why they are being stalked!

– kahori

That was indeed a very well written article. I was lured in by the promise of Hot Man Love, but… I should have known better. Didn’t stop me from going, “oh hot damn, where is the Escapist going with THIS now?”

Regardless: The internet has absolutely helped me deal with my bisexuality in ways that I can’t even begin to express a gratitude for. Without finding and learning about and meeting people of similar states of confusion regarding what is right, I would almost certainly have ended up repressed, confused and scared of this part of me.

– Yan-Yan


In response to “Stas and Squares” from The Escapist Forum: That was a great piece. Arthouse games are rapidly becoming my favorite stuff to check out on the web. The best thing about them is you can slowly see their themes and ideas cropping up in more mainstream titles. Points in the game where the player is being convinced to voluntarily quit, game designs that induce emotion, and the progression of the medium in general thanks to these people doing something new and getting people to check it out.

I also hope Braid at least gets the Steam treatment like Everyday Shooter.

– L.B. Jeffries

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