Queer Eye for the Gamer Guy

In response to “Anyone Can Play Guitar” from The Escapist Forum: Interesting background for the music giants of the video game industry. I never thought that Rock Band was something the creators stumbled upon through luck, but I had no idea of just how much effort and research was put into the project. Good to see that Machover and his students are seeing the fruits (and large sums of cash) of their labor…

Ronald Meeus:
…they’re looking at Microsoft’s Project Natal motion camera technology for Rock Band 3 as a way to give players even more ways to convey musical intentions in a videogame. But Machover recalls that Egozy invented something way better himself nearly 15 years ago. By sheer coincidence, he stumbled upon a technology that could detect simple gestures from the amount of electricity that a human body absorbs.

So…are future installations going to deliver an electric shock?

I mean…maybe if they are configuring it such that the shocks are in minute/unnoticable packets…but still, you better hope the controllers your sending out have a 0% defect rate. If not, your gonna have a lawsuit on your hands…(unless every game ships with a waiver…)


So the idea began with creating the tools by which an unskilled musician could compose and play professionally, and ended in a colored-button-pantomime?

I guess by those standards a hot-dog eating competition is the cure to world hunger.



In response to “The Language of the Game” from The Escapist Forum: Meh. I doubt you wouldn’t find the same thing in any subculture. Don’t you think musician might compare their relationships to the ease or lack thereof of playing a song, or how different brands of instruments handle? Hell, just a few weeks ago there was an article saying pretty much the same thing about Star Trek, and I only came here to post this because I wrote ‘to boldy go’ on an entirely different site and reminded myself of it.

The Random One

Well written! Can’t say I’ve done anything like the fighting game analogue myself, but the opening paragraph rang pretty true for me. Sometimes I get a little enthusiastic when I meet another gamer and go off on a tirade, only to realize that other people are looking at us like we’re insane. Good times.

Oh, come on. It’s still English. Other languages have their subculture slang as well. If you ever put that you speak “Gamer” on a resume, you will get laughed at. This really isn’t worth writing an article about.

Really? Something’s not worth talking about if you can’t put it on a resume?



Recommended Videos

In response to “Why Your Game Idea Sucks” from The Escapist Forum:

So the guys who had the idea to make World of Goo also suck? I find it hard to believe that all of us are such idiots and can’t come up with at least one good game idea…

The guys who had the idea for World of Goo would suck if they had just left that idea as just an idea. It is only after they spent several months of their lives creating art, programming, and levels that the idea was actually worth something. World of Goo is not an example of a game being created by an 2 every day Joes with an idea. Both creators brought a considerable amount of talent to the game on top of their ideas.

Between all of us there must be a million good game ideas, but they are all worthless until the time and effort is put in to make something playable.

hamster mk 4

Where’s the meat?
Congratulations, you’ve neatly re-defined the line between them and us whilst simultaneously leaving open the big questions of how is someone supposed to break into the industry without a wealth of titles under their belt or a money tree in their back yard.

This negative attitude prevalent in the industry is why the homebrew market is taking off big time, the same can be said for the music industry currently in the face of internet sharing and independent publishing. Both suffer from a lack of innvoation because of market driven economics i.e. wanting to make money as opposed to the desire to just make a game.

Considering that studios are putting serious effort into XBLA titles these days, I get the impression there’s a few people on the inside wanting to see change to the status quo.


I think I see your point, but the introduction didn’t lead me there. At first I thought you were trying to say that amateurs don’t have great ideas. What it seemed to come to was that, no idea is great enough to be worth something on its own. You can’t sell anything until you’ve turned that idea into a fully-fledged game. If that’s the argument, then certainly, I agree.

However, as has been pointed out by others, this doesn’t preclude amateurs from making games. The indie scene is filled with many successful games, all made from a “great idea”. Sure, they didn’t end up selling it to a studio for money, nor did they find somebody to invest in their idea, but they were able to turn their idea into money, it just required them doing the work themselves.

And I think that’s what the point of this article is, in which case, I agree. You can’t expect somebody to buy your idea and turn it into a million bucks — there are so many ideas already out there that they don’t want yours. But, if you’re willing to develop it yourself, you certainly could turn your great idea into something successful.

Hopefully this is what you were thinking too. The introduction made it sound like you were against amateurs of all types. Hopefully you weren’t down-playing the indie scene.



In response to “Parting Ways With Our NPCs” from The Escapist Forum: I can really sympathize with missing NPCs. Even as a tabletop gamer I feel that. When I create an NPC that I really love I want to keep them around, but alas they must end at some point. I think the worst is to put so much effort into making an NPC or an enemy really cool and not getting the right reaction from the players. Seeing something you absolutely love mocked and ridiculed by your player characters. Even when you’ve put a lot of effort into designing an interesting boss battle with a boss you’ve spent a lot of time and effort on (I do concept art for my own D&D campaigns) creating, which is conquered after about 3 or 4 rounds. I recently had an experience where I designed a mini-boss encounter that I thought would be cool and difficult for the players which they defeated in (no joke) 2 rounds. I was pretty bummed.

I almost get this sense of sadness when I finish a game because I know I’ll never see those characters again doing something new. I think that’s one of the reasons for the popularity of the sequel, people want to see all their favorite characters again and I can only assume the developers have similar feelings on the matter.


As a player, I really really miss Durandal from the Marathon series (Bungie’s glory days). Talk about a multi faceted character! He left deep marks in my perception of NPCs that last to this day. Poetic, psychotic, grand, self centered – very human and also very alien. And through all the games, just bright green words on a black background.


related content
Read Article Connecting the Dots for Fun and Profit
Read Article Gamers as Creators
Read Article Best Of
Related Content
Read Article Connecting the Dots for Fun and Profit
Read Article Gamers as Creators
Read Article Best Of