Letters to the Editor

The Future of Gaming


In response to “What if the Players is Black?” from The Escapist Forum: While the article raises a valid point, it misses the larger message: that video games aggressively employ stereotypes instead of creating real characters, no matter where they come from. I don’t think every game needs a black character. (Or a white character, for that matter.)

Looking at the proportional representation is only good for a quick surface check. Cole from Gears of War is a good example: he’s one-dimensional, but compared to his white comrades, he’s Denzel Washington, so it’s hard to come down for Epic on this. By contrast, Fahrenheit has an intricate story involving a bunch of normal white people and basketball-loving Superfly Johnson… ’nuff said.

I would also like to note that Rock Band’s character creator allows for convincing black people as well as stereotypes.


I would hate video games to go down the road of political correctness, i.e. you have to have a realistic non-offensive black character in the game. I’m not white, and yes it would be nice to make an avatar exactly like me, but if it means the filling the ranks of the soldiers in WWII with a rainbow of colours, I would rather not have it.

Games just need a good storyline, the color and culture of the characters should reflect the society of the game developers, because you are best at writing what you know best, i.e. your own experiences and dreams. Otherwise you just end up making junk no one can identify with.



In response to “Hippocratic Game Design” from The Escapist Forum: Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk were doctors, Denis Dyack was a taekwondo champion and instructor, and Drew Karpyshyn was a loans officer.

All of this only reveals the importance of general studies and education in comparison to specific formal education focused on game development. Both are important, but the wisest approached is to mix them.

All of this is good though, it means there is hope for me as a law student to get into the games industry (making games, not as a game lawyer). 😀



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In response to “Bark! Bark! Bark!” from The Escapist Forum: I am right there with Wendy. As a voice actor, most of us always wonder “is that all?” when recording soundsets for NPCs and all. I honestly think that there is enough variation in WoW and the original RTS games, but some of these games nowadays are just ridiculous.

Does anyone remember The 7th Guest and The 11th Hour? Robert Hirschboek had so many of those taunts to record…some were repetitive (only because I was losing those minigames), but I wanted to reach into my PC and throttle Henry Stauf. *shakes fist*

My favorite, though, was the last puzzle of the 11th Hour. Stauf beats you in the Othello-type game, and then: “Are you coming…or are you just breathing hard?”

OMG I froze…and then I laughed my butt off.

And then promptly beat him the next time.

I think that it would be great if there were more barks. Just more booth time for me. 🙂

Brad Venable


In response to “Crossing Boundaries” from The Escapist Forum: I’m glad you acknowledged that people can get up to interesting things with video games when they decide to talk about something besides sex & violence. I also agree that the varying international standards on these two issues make it so a game featuring either can be a nightmare.

But where there’s a will, there’s a way, and expecting people to get creative can hardly be considered a bad thing. Shakespeare had to deal with ridiculous censorship all the time, he improved his metaphors and analogies. Germany, due to its ban on violence, now produces the best interactive fiction and adventure games. A hostile environment for art is capable of pushing artists to be more creative rather than just dryly feed people the same message in the same manner.

L.B. Jeffries


In response to “Private Buffoons” from The Escapist Forum: This topic touches (somewhat lightly) upon one of the consequences of always-available, ever-evolving content: Information overload. Unless you are a speed-reading hermit who does nothing but surf the web and sleep, you cannot possibly find, visit and keep current with every website that deals with your interests. (Though I also would be hard-pressed to say what interests a speed-reading hermit who does nothing but surf the web and sleep would have, besides surfing the web and sleeping.) Everyone is going to miss out on something, somewhere, despite the best efforts of these aggregation websites. It might be for the best if that happens, as well- moderation in everything, you know?

The Rogue Wolf

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