Season’s Gaming

To the Editor: This is the third issue in a row where Bonnie has written another one of her college-student articles on girl-gaming. In the interests of fairness, I’d like you to either keep the girl-gaming articles to the girl-gaming issues or include alternative viewpoints. Whenever Bonnie tells us about the girl gamers (or girl games), I’d really like to hear about homosexual gamers, transgender gamers, hispanic-american gamers, asian-american gamers, black-american gamers and irish-american gamers. If we’re going to start segmenting the gamer community along gender lines, we should go all the way. If we don’t, then we’re elevating girls to a level we don’t allow for any other minority. And I don’t mean one paragraph per group – go out and hire a writer to include a full article from the perspective of each of those demographics for every single issue.

Just do the readers of The Escapist a favor, though, and when you get writers from those demographics try to find ones that aren’t still playing with the basics of literary and social criticism like a kid with his (or her) first bee-bee gun. The only thing worse than the splintered and divisive nature of Bonnie’s articles is her writing itself.

-Nathaniel Givens

To the Editor: I’ve really been enjoying The Escapist for some time now. I just happened upon the article “Hardcore Casual” by Joe Blancato, and found it to be perfectly in-line with my current state of thinking.

I’ve started my own indie game development company and have recently been debating in my mind the overall usefulness of our products. Reading an article like Joe’s shows me that there Are people who, like the four of us, desire games that are fantastic in gameplay value, but not entirely focused on the hardcore audience.


From The Lounge: [Re: “Obscurity Below the Radar” by John Szczepaniak]

The black market of gaming is the new hunting for the more “civilized” person. Think about it. Hunting was all about having the rarest species hanging in your living room or turned into stuffed animals, maybe to brag about it, maybe for just self-satisfaction, any reason you can think about. The rarer the animal, the better – even better if it was an endangered one. And there were hunters who killed those animals because there was a market, an obscure and hidden one sometimes. But there were always people buying them (and they still do, shame on them)

And now? Collecting those special hardware items, getting the rarest software around, I feel is the same thing. They’ve traded the guns for consoles, gun cartridges for game ones. It’s all about getting what others can’t, and keep it, or sometimes share it (with the consequences shown in the article).

I call it human nature. It will always happen with any kind of activity that brings some emotions and excitement into people, and recognition among peers. Hunting, gaming, is the same. At least now we’re not killing innocent beings for them (I hope not).

Very interesting article!!

-A. Appel

From The Lounge: [Re: “Sisyphus Gaming” by Simon Abramovich]

I have to say, your association of Sisyphus to gaming is very interesting, and that myth’s metaphor is, I think, very important for game designers to appreciate. If you know a bit of computer science, Sisyphus’ recursive labors are reflective of the inherent uncertainty of whether or not a given algorithm will halt, or go into infinite recursion (what’s called the Halting Problem). The philosophical benefits of understanding that in relation to games is includes an important lesson about crafting a player’s experience: The player is not a punching bag, you should send them to heaven instead of hades.

-P. Dugan

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