In response to “My Big Fat Geek Wedding” from The Escapist Forum: Normally I love playing old, out-of-current-memory games, but I think Marriage: The Wedding Game is a little too old-fashioned even for me. For one thing, it’s WAY too expensive. No antique should be that expensive, it’s ridiculous. For another thing, I’ve seen firsthand that people get bored with it really quick. My mom and dad entered co-op play six months before I was born. They stuck it out for 22 years, and it was a fucking nightmare for both of them. Every time anyone I know plays this game, it’s fun and exciting for the first year, and then it turns into a grind-fest.
And don’t even get me started on the expansion pack, Marriage 2: Babies. It’s a money-pit that preys on the unwary, dragging down all hopes of tranquility, stability and financial independence along with it. And what’s worse, you can’t buy Marriage without your parents and every other member of your family putting constant pressure on you to get Babies too. The advertisers just won’t leave you alone!
Like so many games these days, all the best elements of Marriage were cribbed from its boardgame antecedent: Living Together. Nobody knows their history anymore, so nobody acknowledges the debt that modern forms owe to their historical predecessors.
Fact is, you can get all the tactical co-op bliss out of LT that M:tWG provides, without the ridiculous expense, just as people have been doing for thousands of years before the advent of modern hardware. But nobody wants to be old-fashioned, and nobody’s got the attention span for it.
– Razzle Bathbone
In response to “Someone Stole My Magic Sword” from The Escapist Forum: Wow. I was fascinated by this article from the sheer fact that even though I take pretty good precautions myself and somewhat technical savvy….it only takes one slip, one overlook, one errant click and BOOM…you’re hosed.
I remember years ago when my AOL account was hacked, and I called CS, spent who knows how long on hold and being transfered aroudn restating my case and even AOL made me feel as if it were indeed my fault and little. I cancelled AOL just after that and never went back.
But I’m not sure I could do that with the two MMO’s I play. I’d be pretty devestated myself if I thought about all the long hours, weekends, skills I invested in bring my character to virtual life….they are almost an extension of me in a virtual way…and I would feel violated as if my best friend took my girl.
Like I said, I above average when it comes to be tech savvy and can usually avoid most of the pitfalls, but there is always someone out there smarter. I can’t beleive I was juct recently dupped into a stumbling upon IE AntiVirus, and it must have been 10 minutes before it donned on me what the hell just happened. It is up to me, despite having McAfee and Secuirty Updates turned on, that I still have to search the web for malware scrubbers that always seem one step ahead of the cleanup crew.
I too look forward to the days where legal matters take a more prominent step in online justice and is taken more seriously.
– Alone Disciple
The “Just a game” argument does tend to (at least from my perspective), lose ground when there is tangible money on the line. Poker and Blackjack are “just some games” but if you’re found cheating at them, bad, bad things tend to happen. Somewhat the same in this case.
“Gamer” is handing “Publisher” a sizable fee, much like a “gambler” would hand a “house” the same. Granted, unless you’re building character accounts to sell, there isn’t much of a possibility of profit, but, the basic mechanics are the same.
Now, granted, still a good idea to keep your info quiet (no need to say that “My account is XYZ, and my password is ABC123”). But there are compromises, and sadly things happen. What’s a good way to deflect this? Well, it wastes paper, but maybe mailing receipts to users maybe something like, once a quarter would help (paper trails are good. Can be copied/forged, but something more concrete than a he said/she said.)
In response to “Excellence Never Goes out of Date” from The Escapist Forum: I think this article would have been a lot better if you had stuck to talking about classic games, rather than doing the by-now cliche rant about how games are all copying each other, and we don’t have as much diversity and blah blah blah. As long as the big developers are making money, they’re not going to change so complaining about this is useless. Point out a way for creativity to equal making more cash and you’ve got an article.
Also, I think “classic” gaming is romanticized a bit. Nobody watches old silent movies. The very first films were just footage of a train moving and things like that. Some DOS games are basically the equivalent of that kind of footage. It was just a bunch of programmers seeing what they could do, not really something worth playing anymore. You mention Hitchcock, but Hitchcock was making movies well into the history of film-making. He started in silents and then his “classics” are from the 50s and 60s. That’s 60 or more years after films first started being made. So, you can’t really compare Hitchcock to DOS games. There was quite a lot of film history for Hitchcock to draw from before he started making films. Hitchcock is probably more comparable to our current period, the Bioshocks and Metal Gears.
I think you just didn’t think hard enough about some of the comparisons you’ve made.
– arrr matey
I find myself strongly agreeing with the idea that lowest-common-denominator game marketing is highly toxic to a fresh, creative game industry. Recently, I have had the distinct pleasure of playing through the original X-COM: UFO defense for the very first time. While the interface takes some getting used to, and the squad combat can be fiendishly difficult at times, booting it up in DOS-BOX for the first time and watching the beginning slideshow with MIDI accompaniment brought me back to a better time in games; bookended nebulously by around 1992-1993 with the release of Ultima 7 and Doom, and 2000 with the release of Deus Ex. I miss having games be really able to let my imagination run wild, and supply a game experience that was not a laundry list of things that the game must do to appeal to the biggest audience.
In response to “The Game Design of Art” from The Escapist Forum: Learning how to read and figuring how to use the DVD player can be considered the ‘learning curve’ of reading a book or watching a movie. These are the main points of access to these mediums and their artistic payloads.
The difficulty with games is that more often than not, the interaction is not as intuitive or fundamental as these other mediums. Once you know how to read a given language, you can access all the titles of that language. Once you know one DVD player, you know them all. However, more often than not, each game requires individual learning of the controls to experience the significant effect.
Games tend to be overly complex and laden with options and interactivity. In many ways, this can form a barrier that seems purposely designed to seperate gamers from other users, in much the same way that literacy differentiates those who can read from those who just look at the words without understanding. Such is the clarion call of ‘challenging enough for gamers’.