In response to “Making Money on the Mac” from The Escapist Forum: With a title that reads as “Making Money on the Mac” also comes the question of “Is it worth making games on the Mac?” and “Is it harder than on the PC”?
This article would be class with a follow up where Mac devs share their views on this machine.
Maybe PC devs should be asked their opinion as well first, to see what the Macs think of that.
In response to “Proud to be Different” from The Escapist Forum: Interesting article, but at the same time it makes Running With Scissors seem … delusional.
The Postal series can have its fun moments and it’s definitely got some over the top stuff that you just don’t get in other games, but all that creative energy goes solely into shock value. The problem with games who rely so much on shock value is that when you’re halfway done with it the shock value is gone. You’ve been watching this stuff for a few hours, it’s just level design at that point. When that happens, you lose most of the hook your game had.
It is still intriguing that he points out how the violence is user created. The game doesn’t force violent actions, it simply encourages it through all the options for weapons. From shotguns to urine, the game is screaming “Shoot that guy and piss on him! You know you want to!” Why shouldn’t it? The whole point of Postal isn’t standing in line at the bank, it’s about doing exactly what you want to do to that line you’ve been standing in for half an hour. It’s the fantasy we’ve all played out in our heads at some point in our lives.
Now what am I trying to get at, you ask? Why do I condemn shock value, yet seem to encourage it? Well, my main problem with the Postal series is that it’s sandbox in it’s purest form. It’s not really a game, it’s a fantasy violence simulator. There’s no real structure, no real plot, just missions and violence. That’s where all the negative reactions come from. I submit a challenge to Running With Scissors. See if you can make a truly great game that’s rated T or lower. See if you can put your ideas about fantastic AI and gaming as an art into some real practice and eliminate the shock value Postal depends on.
– Lance Icarus
In response to “Inside Job: Kids and Games, Part Two” from The Escapist Forum: Parents absolutely should be mystified by ESRB components and why a game receives a certain rating. The only thing that separates Onimusha 3: Demon Siege and Manhunt is “Strong Language.” The actual content of those two games is very different in terms of what each asks a player to do, yet if one were to compare the backs of the boxes, only the “F-bomb” would seem to separate them.
As for automatically limiting time, I’ve longed for a machine to plug quarters into that keeps the console going just like in the old days. Kids want to play? They put down their hard earned cash just like we used to. (Goodness I’ve just aged myself!) By attaching value to their time, I think gaming could be placed in perspective with other desires/needs. Too much of children’s entertainment is “on demand” and it’s so pervasive and available it’s very hard for parents to create limits effectively. When I was a kid, we had ONE television set. Now I’ll wager most home’s sets outnumber individuals in the house. And don’t get me started on the unlimited programming now available. 😛
(That, of course, is another issue, but I can’t help but feel that in our affluence we have let the cat out of the bag and no one really wants to put it back in themselves. They want someone else to do it for them.)
It’s so relieving to read something from “the trenches”, as it were, which shows that the lunatic fearmongering isn’t actually what the general public thinks. It made me weirdly excited to read quotes from parents who were so positive about games, and who were so serious about trying to be the best parents they can be with regards to them. I definitely agree that there need to be more websites like the fantastic GamerDad which specifically target parents who may not have any great knowledge about games and what playing them entails. GamerDad is great for reviews and content descriptions, but I’m getting this wonderful utopian vision swimming through my head of a forum where non-gamer parents and gamers like us can come together, where parents can ask questions about games and we, being more knowledgeable, can answer them.
I’m not sure why all this is exciting me so much; maybe I’m getting to the age where the prospect of having children of my own is actually on the horizon. Or maybe I’m just a sucker for that Can’t-We-All-Just-Get-Along utopian vision.