- May 22, 2013 4:10 pm GMT
- 0 Comments
It's been over a month since I've submitted a blog (hello, again, by the way!), and it's because I've had nothing that I felt was profound to say. I believe that if Im just echoing somebody else in my ideas, then there's no point in me writing them.
Okay, well now I have something to say, and you are all free to rage in the comments below. I brought my crowbar for protection this time .
NOTE: I won't be posting about the catatrophe that was the XboxOne announcement today. I do have something to say about it all that hasn't been said yet, so I should probably say it soon before someone else beats me to it...
Zyxe's latest blog discussed Gamespot's recent increase in articles discussing social issues in gaming, and asked for the community to respond to tis question: love it or leave it?.
Now, such user blogs are usually met with a lot what I would call pushback from those reading it, but Zyxe took an approach that was purely to generate discussion, and it worked. She refrained from putting in too much of her own opinion so as not to turn anyone away from the question she was asking, there were only a few comments on her blog that I would deem worthless (i.e. not contributing anything to the discussion at large). I applaud Zyxe for her ability to generate such civilized, thoughtful discussion.
I must admit, I expected less from the community, but Zyxe refrained from putting too much of her own personal opinion on her blog, which is what would usually generate less-than-desirable responses from other users.
So, where am I going with this? I'm very glad that I finally saw our community engaging in intelligent discussion, but Im sad that we cant do that with opinion-filled pieces and articles. Whenever an article that is slanted and someone's personal bias appears, a lot of people cover their ears and yell, "LALALALA, I cant hear you!" and then comment as to why the writer of the article is stupid/fat/ugly/communistic/closed-minded/too biased, et al etc. It's a disturbing trend that needs to be discussed.
The issue we're running into as a community is that when someone presents an opinion thats remotely dissimilar to our own, we consider it as an attack. We can't even discuss our opinions on consoles without calling each other out for being elitist/stupid/retarded, or whatever insult you can come up with. It's ridiculous. Choosing a console is a rather arbitrary decision in the first place, and arguing over which one is superior is childish and silly. It comes as no surprise that when we talk about something of considerable magnitude, such as sexism, that we cannot hold civilized conversation, either.
This is my statement to the community at large:
Gaming is a unique industry. It wasn't too long ago that video games were constantly under attack by the media for being too violent, sexual, for bringing down test scores and grades, for creating socially backwards outcasts, and more. Thankfully, that era is, for the most part, over. Video games still get attacked for violence, but I think we can safely say that those arguments are holding less and less sway over the general public because gaming as a whole has become widely accepted and adopted by an increasingly mainstream audience. This is what we've wanted for a very, very long time.
However, with such advancement in gaming's scope, there comes the inevitable scrutiny that comes with being so massive. It's not a bad thing; every form of media undergoes it. Television, movies, books, music, it hasall been brought to the table and examined for hints of sexism, racism, homophobia, and other things that we as society would see as detrimental to the medium and insulting to the groups being affected. Its to be expected, and instead of screaming at those trying to generate discussion about those things and telling them to go away, we should be engaging with them and showing them how we have matured as a community.
Its completely fine to be OK with these problems. If they don't affect you, why would they bother you? That's fine, that's fair, but please, please don't yell at people who recognize the issues still present in games who try to bring light to and correct them. Just because you're okay with them doesn't mean they don't exist.
Diana Allers' personality goes as deep as her cup size.
If you really think they dont exist, that's fair, just be civilized when creating a counter-argument. Both sides exhibit the issue of plugging their ears and ignoring each other when debating about these issues. Instead of listening to each other, the community wishes to engage in a massive dick-measuring contest to see who can insult each other the fastest. This gets us nowhere, and it shows that perhaps we havent grown up, we havent matured, and were still a bunch of bickering children who cry when we are told weve done something wrong. Can you imagine what that makes our community look like to outsiders?
"Why should we care? They aren't gamers." We should care. What do you think those senators that are making decisions about violent games being sold see when they go into the comment sections of our websites? If we want to be taken seriously and not be seen as a bunch of 14 year olds in our parent's basements, we must start taking discussion seriously.
When someone sees something sexist or exploitative of a certain group in games, they're not trying to take your games away from you, they're trying to improve a medium they enjoy. I am a proprietor of the idea that too many times female characters are robbed of their agency in games, but that doesn't mean I think that games (or game developers) are evil or sexist as a whole, and I certainly dont believe that people who play and enjoy these games are bad people. Much of the community would think otherwise, simply because I think that sexism is an issue in games I am automatically viewed as having a certain set of viewpoints and will immediately be attacked for them. It's childish. It's presumptuous; it's everything we dont want to be viewed as.
We need to talk. We need to discuss. We need to open our ears and hear every side of the argument, and we need to consider it.
We need to stop talking and take Navis advice for once. We need to listen.
NOTE: I have been suffering some issues with LiveFyre, sometimes the comment section won't load, and sometimes it will load but I won't be able to post a comment. If I cannot respond to a comment, it's because of that.
The Hottest New Gaming Console! EXCLUSIVE!
- May 22, 2013 10:54 am GMT
- 0 Comments
READER APPRECIATION STUFF:
First off, let me say I appreciate you all giving me feedback on the Chinese Knock-Off Gaming blog. I considered making it into an editorial series and plan to do another one some time in the future! So yup, I greenlighted myself or something. But seriously, thank you for your feedback, regardless if you liked it or not (or just thought it was okay). Anywho, on to the next subject:
EXCLUSIVE: HOT NEW SEXY GAMING ACTION!
Ever since the dawn of humans, there has been a drive to innovate, dominate and consummate. However, people have had trouble combining all three without the use of questionable substances and flexible ethics, trying once in the 1960s with the practice of "free love," and once again in the 1980s with the widespread trend of "fresh powder" and something called "synthesizers." Lately, though, there has been a severe lack of sexily-dominant innovation. Gone are the days of "good vibrations," "pet rocks," and "quotation marks." How will anyone innovate? How will anyone dominate? How will anyone sexy?
Today is the day everything changes! TODAY is the day where folks will be able to combine their need for the new, the ultimate and the sexually attractive!
TODAY, I present you with:
Some crap from the 90's that not a lot of people outside Japan owned!
Yes, gamers today are striving for something new, something hot, something they want to make sweet, sensual love to. Well too bad, get sad; the new generation of consoles are more interested in having relations with your pocketbook than your pretty little mass of gray matter! However, there's plenty of innovative sexy dominance to be had with the amazing Some crap from the 90's that not a lot of people outside Japan owned:
First and foremost, gaze upon those hunks of corded plastic at the bottom of the image: these newold devices called "wired controllers" allow the player to hold something in their hand that manipulates the image on-screen and, most impressive of all, there are absolutely no batteries or recharges required! The old-school design allows players to believe they're playing an old, outdated console because THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT YOU'RE DOING YOU STUPID IDIOT! Get ready for the future yesterday with the ability to control poorly-rendered 3D characters on your spankin'-new CRT! As any gamer worth their weight in cartridges knows, though, controllers are not everything. There's also menus!
Tired of menus? Tired of having to start the system up, select the game tab, then select the game to play the game inside the thing that plays your games so you can play a game? With the all-old SCFT90TNALOPOJO, all you have to do is use your finger or equivalent appendage on the seductive "power button" and you'll get a little swishy animation, followed by the game thing you put in!
(game things you put in sold separately on e-bay for high prices)
But gamers, true gamers, I'm talking about the kind of people who would honestly find it completely awesome to actually be a game, want more than a controller that's not going to run out of battery power when the ******* boss has just one-half a bar of health left after you've spent all ******* day just trying, I mean REALLY trying, to get it so you can 100% the game and be done with it (****); and a start-up screen immediately followed by the game. Yes, true gamers want that thing you put in there that has the game in it!
Oh heck yeah, you know you want a game copy. With this piece of 90's dinosaur crap, you will be able to take a disc and play it RIGHT AWAY! That's right, no installs, no patches (even though sometimes you wish there was one)! SCREW THAT NOISE, you want to just start playing video games so you have a good excuse to snack on junk food! Boy oh boy, does this thing have games, too:
You want a Japanese dating sim where you're hitting on Japanese high school girls like a creepy old man minus the creepiness of hitting on real Japanese high school girls? YOU GOT IT!
You want a poorly-rendered adventure game with voice acting done by people who you suspect have severe speech imp-imped-problems and/or brain injuries? COMIN' RIGHT UP!
You want a side-scrolling shooter where you play as a mess of blobs shooting at giant husks of corn while wacky music plays? WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU BUT YEAH WE GOT IT!
You want it, you silly person
Social networking is also something that exists but who cares, you just want to share these wonderful games with someone! Your buddy wants a game copy, too. However, your buddy is far too poor and jobless and moochy and probably is stealing from your wallet when you're not looking to afford the cool games. How do you solve this problem? Easy, you lend him the game and he can play it! That's right, you don't have to have them pay a fee or break their legs for stealing $20 from your stash (the latter is recommended, though), you just have to give them the game and it plays! JUST LIKE A REAL GAME!
With all these dominant sexy innovations, the old hunk of Japanese plastic from the 90's is by far the biggest bang for your buck. For only about $40-50 used at some used game store or online retailer, you will be able to enjoy all the obscure games of yesterday, today!
I look forward to you enjoying old stuff and complaining about the graphics!
Wii U > Xbox One
- May 21, 2013 9:58 pm GMT
- 0 Comments
Getting really tired of seeing this >Wii U meme all over the place. Figured I'd flip it around and have some fun with it. Anyway, perhaps I made the mistake of watching the Xbox unveiling while in a bad state of mind, because this conference annoyed me and infuriated me. There is far, far too much fluff going on with this new Xbox. It's getting harder and harder for me to consider the Xbox an actual gaming platform now. When you unveil your new "gaming system" to the world for the first time, and the first feature you talk about is ... TV integration? THAT'S A PROBLEM!
Instead of getting excited for the upcoming Xbox, I see a console that is no longer a box. The box cannot exist without about 300,000 other boxes called servers spread throughout the world. MS has put so much of an emphasis on the Cloud that they've spent hundreds of millions improving their networks. The next XBox isn't what you buy at the store; it's what you pay per month. Quite frankly, you cannot enjoy the Xbox One without an always online credit card connection. At least that's the impression I got.
Oh, and of course, there's the reports about the always online crap and the used games fees again.
(According to Xbox Support's Twitter, the GS article is false https://twitter.com/XboxSupport3/status/336937800702238722)
Obviously, MS wouldn't be spending any of their unveiling time denying or confirming these reports. We probably won't receive official confirmation until E3, but damned if what I've heard isn't damning.
As for the next Kinect, I don't want it. I made the big mistake buying one back in 2010, which is still sitting in its box. The problem is, I simply don't have the room for it. I won't have the room for Kinect 2.0. Same goes with Illumiroom. Why push something so hard that can't be enjoyed by everyone? Push more games. All you need for games is a TV and a controller. Don't keep pushing Smartglass. Don't keep pushing Kinect. Push games. PUSH GAMES!
This is embarrassing. This is MS at its most embarrassing, and I'm talking more embarrassing than Kinectimals. More embarrassing than Usher Raymond. It's so embarrassing, it makes me embarrassed just to know that I own an Xbox 360. It is appauling to see a company who practically bullied their way into the industry full of people who felt they had no business being there and shut them up by bringing freaking gamesm into shifting so much into social and media integration and focusing on games as an afterthought (turning Rare into a shovelware Kinect developer is reprehensible). Yeah, Sony's doing more social things too, but they're actually doing it alongside games.
All this XBL and Cloud fluff. All this Kinect. All this SmartGlass. These futuristic integrations because we're too lazy to look for a freaking remote. It's so god damned unnecessary, and MS will have one helluva time convincing me that I need to buy their machine. It doesn't matter at this point now. I'm so done with MS that I don't care how many new exclusives they release, it's not worth putting up with all the MS BS that comes with it. Oh, and what the hell is with the name? Xbox One? The first Xbox was the Xbox One. Is MS so inept that they forgot how to count?
Yeah, you can bash the Wii U all you want, but it's more of a gaming console than the Xbox One will ever be. Don't agree?
Lessons in Far Cry: Expectations
- May 21, 2013 7:01 pm GMT
- 0 Comments
Playing Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, I realize something is amiss. Some reviewers describe it as easy when I find myself dying quite frequently. Of course, my experience with the Far Cry franchise was practically null before I started Blood Dragon, minus a twenty minute MP ass whooping I took against friends about 4 years ago. Id say that a lot of Blood Dragons enjoyment comes from an implication that the player is familiar with the franchise canon. On the other hand, my tag is badgamer83.
My interest in Far Cry 3 started as a simmering curiosity and went, inexplicably, to a boiling enthusiasm to play the game. Even before Blood Dragon was released, this weird itch came over me, a voice in my head whispered tales of grand adventure, blowing stuff up, and an open world experience with decent story telling. I wish-listed it, not so subtly dropped hints of wanting it to friends on Steam and decided Ive had enough of waiting, this Friday, May 24th, I will pick up Far Cry 3!
What could I possibly expect out of it, though? Maybe Im hoping this will make me better at FPS and enjoy the single player ride, as opposed to the oft-infuriating multi-player modes out there. Thinking back to how much I enjoyed Uncharted 3 and how it seemed to improve my gaming skills (for lack of a better term), thats what I want to accomplish in playing Far Cry 3. I feel like exploring, blowing s**t up, driving off cliffs and learning more about gaming in general would just be the bees knees!
Of course, theres some speculation that the game could end up at least a little disappointing. I am sure that Ill have a blast with it all the same. So, for now, Rexs adventure goes on the backburner as I anxiously wait to hungrily devour the sights and experiences of Rook Island and learn more about what Im capable of.
Today's Xbox Reveal Desires
- May 21, 2013 3:22 am GMT
- 0 Comments
Later today, Microsoft will unveil its latest Xbox. For months rumors have been swirling around about the hardware, software, and features of the latest box. Today the truth behind these rumors will be revealed. But I don't want to talk about what I think will come today, but instead what I want to see. Most of these things almost certainly won't come to pass, and a couple likely will, but that won't stop me from wanting the best possible box from Microsoft and the best possible presentation.
1. Focus On The Games - We know that Microsoft almost certainly will be pushing the multimedia capabilities of the next Xbox, but if I had my way I would want a system that focuses on games first and everything else second. It is nice to have an all in one box in my room, but if I had to choose between the ease that comes from a single box and the quality that can come from a system designed first and foremost for games, I would always choose the latter. We know the multimedia features are coming. We don't care. Show us the games today and talk about the other stuff at an event focused on people other than gamers.
2. Announce Free Xbox Live - Probably never going to happen, but I would love if Xbox Live took the PSN approach and offered online play for free. Sony's PS Plus service has put Microsoft to shame this generation and with Sony's promise to vastly improve its network on the PS4, Microsoft might lose the current advantage it has as far as speed and ease of use is concerned. I think it's also important for Microsoft to realize that one of the big reasons people stuck with Xbox Live this generation was because they started there and all their friends were there. In the end it didn't matter how much better a game was on a Sony system. For any game that people wanted to play with friends, they played on the system those friends had. In the US, chances are that system was an Xbox. And the reason for that was that Xbox came out first, and in its first couple of years, the PS3 was a pretty awful system with even worse marketing. This time, though, the releases of the systems will likely come within a month of each other, and Sony looks to have fixed many of the key problems with the PS3. Microsoft doesn't have the advantage of a much better start this time. They need to push their features if they want to win back the highly coveted Call of Duty crowd.
3. Don't Announce an Always Online Xbox - Please, please, please, don't make people always be online to play games. Not only is it encroaching on the rights of consumers, but many people throughout the world do not have access to constant internet service and it would be a shame for those people to not be able to use the next Xbox. I expect if Microsoft pushes always online then consumers are going to fight back. We've yet to have a case like this reach the Supreme Court here in the US, but I would definitely expect them to have to issue a verdict on this issue. When buying a game, in theory consumers own that game, or at the very least a license to use that game. By saying that people cannot play their games when their Internet goes down it could be argued that Microsoft is trying to restrict people from using their property. That is a major battle and one I hope Microsoft would not win. In addition, it means that when Xbox Live one day goes down, all those games will be worthless. It's a major issue and one I hope Microsoft will avoid altogether by simply letting people play offline.
4. Put the PS4 Hardware to Shame - Again, not going to happen, but I would love for Microsoft to at least match the hardware in the PS4. All signs, though, point to the next Xbox being a much inferior system from a pure processing standpoint to the PS4. Notably, the next Xbox will supposedly not use GDDR5 RAM but standard DDR3 RAM. While quite a few people don't really understand the signifigance of faster RAM, many would argue that the speed of the RAM is just as important, if not more so, than the overall amount. The vastly inferior RAM that Microsoft will probably use is going to ensure that games will simply always look better on the PS4. Add in the fact that the PS4 is rumored to have a much faster GPU and Microsoft is going to have a really hard time proving their system is worth getting for gamers, especially because both systems are most likely going to use near identical parts. In such a situation it is quite easy to say that one system is more powerful than the other, unlike currently, where the use of different architecture means that direct comparisons are sometimes difficult.
5. Don't Be All About Kinect - Kinect is going to be a focal point of the next Xbox. For things that aren't games it is a great way to control the system. Give it a Siri level of intelligence and it could be a great thing. Watching TV and see an ad for a product you want? Wouldn't it be nice to ask Xbox where to find the product and read reviews and so forth. Ordering food on Xbox is possible even now, but seamless (get it?) integration with an online food ordering service would make dinner and a movie an easy thing to achieve without ever leaving your couch. But as a gaming controller, Kinect is never going to replace a normal dual analogue setup for certain types of games. Yea, the increase in fidelity offered by the Kinect 2 might make things easier, and there are definitely games that can be made with the Kinect in mind, but make it a 10 minute segment of an hour long presentation. I don't want to hear that every game on the next Xbox has to use Kinect in some way. That isn't how it should work. Developers need to make Kinect games with Kinect in mind. Shoe horning additional functionality into an existing game just is never going to work as well as it is supposed to.
But imagine a VR system like Occulus Rift combined with something like Kinect and you could see how a true virtual reality experience might be possible. Even using Illumiroom with other Kinect features could lead to some cool results. How awesome would it be to control an interface like Robert Downy Jr. does in Iron Man? Move an object in real time with your hands, and have that object move beyond the confines of the TV, or use the Occulus to literally make the world evolve in front of you. Imagine combining an Illumiroom type Kinect system with the Occulus Rift. You could literally make a fully working simulated version of the room you are in and what you are doing and view it all in what would seem to be a fully realistic environment. It would be actual virtual reality, and it is possible with Kinect and Occulus Rift. But unless Microsoft is ready to unveil that type of tech later today, then show off a couple Kinect games and then move on. And in all honesty, I don't believe that the next Xbox will have the horsepower to actually do that, speaking to create a 1080p image on an Occulus Rift you actually need a 4k screen and recent tests have shown that not even 3 Geforce Titans in SLI can manage 4k on the most demanding games like Crysis 3.
6. Don't Worry About Backwards Compatibility - I know this is going to rile some feathers and it rightly should, but I'll try to explain why I don't think the next Xbox should be backwards compatible. First off, the thing that makes this hard is that the next Xbox will most likley use an x86 based CPU, unlike the PowerPC IBM CPU used in the 360. This means that the only option for backwards compatibility is putting the actual physical 360 hardware inside of the next Xbox (as Sony did with the original PS3's) or use emulation (as Microsoft did this generation). The first option is simply going to be too expensive and I'd personally rather not spend an extra $75 at least on the system to have a 360 included in it. The second option is going to require some of MS's best engineers to work on emulating a bunch of stuff. That's fine, but I would much rather have those dudes working on software for the new Xbox instead. Look at how much of a graphics boost Sony got when its top techs came up with MLAA. Suddenly, AA, one of the most processor costly effects in gaming, especially on modern deferred rendering engines, was suddenly cheap to use. Games could add in a ton of new effects and increase texture and model detail just because of that simple algorithm. Microsoft, meanwhile, had to wait until Nvidia came up with the similar yet inferior FXAA before they could use cheap AA in their system. Point is, I don't want Microsoft to have its top engineers working on making old stuff work on the next Xbox, I want them to make brand new software that will make new Xbox games look and run much better. Honestly, if I really want to play a 360 game I will play it on a 360. I think the other option is to have some sort of attachable device that you could plug into the next Xbox that would essentially be a mini 360. Doing that though would require a connection with much faster bandwidth than a USB drive. You'd need something like Apple's Thunderbolt tech to make something like that possible, which will again increase the cost of the system, and is honestly pretty useless. I have a 360 now. Why would I sell it and buy an add-on instead of just keeping the 360? Not all that hard.
7. Finally, and maybe most importantly, have some really cool games to show off. Sony really knocked it out of the park with their demonstrations. While Killzone maybe wasn't quite ready for the primetime, the stuff from third parties looked great, and having Bungie on stage was a big coupe. The challenge will be showing off enough big guns at this event to get people talking, while still saving enough surprises to outdo Sony at E3. Of note, Naughty Dog has yet to show off a game, Meida Molecule hasn't shown their PS3 game, Guerilla is working on a new IP they might show, and the Resistance team at Insomniac most likely has a PS3 exclusive under their belt. Add in a probable new Final Fantasy reveal and Microsoft will have some major work to do if they want to show up Sony next month.
But with the next Forza being revealed today most likely, Call of Duty officially on the docket, and a new Kinect game from Rare and Harmonix almost sure to make an appearance, that leaves Microsoft with few reliable names to call on. There's little chance that a new Halo is ready to show speaking Halo 4 launched only six months ago, which leaves Lionhead as the only remaining major internal studio at Microsoft. They haven't released a game in a couple of years, so it is probable they have something to reveal. But the list of games so far doesn't have any huge reveal in it. Forza is nice, but with both GT6 and Race Club coming from Sony, it will take quite a bit for Microsoft to win the racing title. That leaves a couple close second party studios to pick up the slack. I would love to see Alan Wake 2, and have the game be what the first game was promised to be back when it was announced in 2005. And Epic has shown off several great tech demos over the past couple of years, but I would expect and hope that they have a great new IP ready for display, although that might be something to save for E3. I guess the big thing is that Sony has a ton of first and second party studios and a significant number are in a good place to announce a new game, including some of their most acclaimed teams. Meanwhile, Microsoft has only a handful of studios and both Gears of War and Halo saw releases in the last six months. They are in a tough spot and I hope they manage to pull some great tricks out of their hat. A couple other wildcards are Ryse from Crytek which is rumored to have moved to the next Xbox, and possibly a new Crackdown. Really, though, sequels are nice, but Microsoft needs some major new IP if it wants to compete with the more powerful PS4 and its current relationship with both consumers and developers makes that seem highly unlikely.
Compromise - Least Bad Solution for Nintendo's YouTube Plans
- May 19, 2013 9:31 pm GMT
- 0 Comments
I would like to put forth my figurative two-cents on this particular issue concerning Nintendo's latest business plans.
Personally, I would prefer that Nintendo of America and those opposed to it declare truces with each other, back off from their stances and sweep the issue under the rug until it rears its ugly head again - hopefully until after the unlikely event that human civilization as we know it no longer needs money.
(I wish that I was completely joking about that, but I am digressing.)
If they still want to be at loggerheads with each other then, then they, and anyone with a stake, such as the "Let's Play" video-making folks, should compromise and go for the win-win solution of sharing revenue.
That is because any other outcome (barring that everyone just drops the issue and goes on business-as-usual) has everyone losing.
IF THE OPPOSITION GETS ITS WAY...
Before going further, I would remind people that the notion of property is one of the oldest lynchpins of human civilization. If the newer aspects of modern civilization, namely freedom rights, are allowed to trump it, then we are going backwards, just like we would if property is to ascend above freedom rights.
That said, Nintendo is certainly thinking that it is entitled to revenue that is generated by YouTube videos that feature its properties. A legal argument against this will be terrifically difficult to formulate, but if litigation is pursued anyway, then we run the risk of having Nintendo harden itself, and a hardened Nintendo will very likely be an ugly Nintendo.
You may want to be reminded that Nintendo of America had signed the letter to the Congress of USA in support of legislations that protect IPs. There is not any strong evidence that Nintendo had thrown its weight behind SOPA or withdrew support from it, but it just might think of having a more blatant official stance if the likes of Lamar Smith brings that bill out of the shelves again or creates a new similar bill while Nintendo is contesting a legal challenge against its attempts to claim all ad revenue for said YouTube videos.
In other words, we risk having this issue being blown into something bigger if it escalates into a legal battle.
If Nintendo loses, there is of course the old-but-difficult-to-dismiss expectation that a Nintendo bereft of a potential source of income becomes weaker and lousier at making games; money is how the likes of Nintendo gets the resources and ideas to make games after all. A weakened game-maker is rarely a good thing for anyone with a stake in the gaming industry, the people who make those Let's Play videos included.
Of course, one can just say "f*ck Nintendo", but not everyone hates Nintendo, is it? We can look elsewhere other than Nintendo, but such antagonistic scenarios are likely to repeat with other game-makers instead of Nintendo until the involved parties learn to hand figurative olive branches to each other.
IF NINTENDO GETS ITS WAY...
That would be awful, because it would turn into a lose-lose outcome for certain.
To elaborate, there could be a boycott of Nintendo's properties by YouTube content-makers, since they don't get any income from making videos featuring Nintendo's properties if Nintendo gets to eat all the advertising revenue. Barring die-hard Nintendo supporters, they have no incentive to make videos on the game-maker's products, especially if they depend on the ad revenue for their livelihood.
Nintendo, and any other game-maker that has similar plans, can forget about being paid for marketing work that it does not fund.
However, the ones that would lose out most are game consumers who are doing research into possible purchases. They may well lose the sources of information that those YouTube videos featuring games could have provided.
In addition, such an outcome may well stall the advent of a new kind of career that is being formed in this Age of Information, namely that of people making a living making videos on the Internet.
I am aware that some of you have more than enough scorn for such people to utter statements such as "Get a real job!" - among other far less courteous remarks - but some of us actually like seeing new kinds of careers coming into being.
A COMPROMISE: SHARING REVENUE
If Nintendo has any wisdom, it may want to consider proposing the sharing of revenues. It is more than likely to run into opposition anyway, of course - there will always be people who believe that they are fully entitled to all of the revenue from the advertisements that accompany their videos, as well as those who believe that Nintendo should be reamed.
However, I like to believe that most of those opposing Nintendo's move to attempt to claim the ad revenue in their entirety would reciprocate if Nintendo was to propose sharing of revenues.
If they could shake hands and work out the proportions of their shares, this agreement can even turn into a partnership of product promotion, e.g. Nintendo gives them preview builds of games to make videos with and such. That would give the likes of Nintendo more partners to highlight their products with, in addition to the established gaming sites.
Most importantly, the regular game consumer would benefit from this, as there would be richer sources of information on games, upcoming or existing.
Here's hoping that Nintendo and the opposition would come together for the win-win.
P.S. My account is still afflicted with one of the glitches that have been reported here, so I won't be able to reply in any way in the LiveFyre thread below.
My thoughts on the idea Another Gaming Crash
- May 19, 2013 1:14 pm GMT
- 0 Comments
For some time now, many have been speculating on if gaming is setting itself up for another crash. Maybe not like the one in '84 but seeing a number of studios closing, and the AAA games being bigger and more bloated and not making back their production costs (see the Tomb Raider reboot), and the industry's greed getting worse and worse. It's not unrealistic to think the PS4 could be a $700 system with $70 games. The average Joe doesn't have tons of money to put into high end systems and games and has cheaper alternatives in the form of tablet games. Meanwhile the hardcore gamers and the studios seem to be blind to this more interested in fancy graphics and "emotional polygons" and honestly I'm tired of it all. I like games but I'm tired of the industry greed, developer's egos and fanboys..oh the fanboys but instead of writing a big long editorial discussing about this possible crash I saw The 25th Hour and I heard Edward Norton's famous monologue about NY and I started think of a verion I had for my thoughts on all this. Of course I had to censor it because GS doesn't like naughty language so either you are all going to love this or hate this.
F*** you? F*** me.
F*** this whole gamer culture and everyone in it.
F*** the Xbox Live brats, screaming their racist, homophobic slurs into headsets. Stupid spoiled brats.
F*** EA, money grubbing corporate pigs, self styled masters of the universe with their DRM and on disc DLC figuring out new ways to rob gamers blind. You think we don't know about this. Give us a break. Activison, Microsoft, Sega Nintendo. All of you.
F**** the stuck up elistist PC gamers and they're $1000 gaming rigs. Not all of us are made of money you know.
F**** the "fake geek girls" with their anorexic bodies and fake boobs making it hard for us legitmate girl gamers to be taken seriously. You're not foolin' anyone honey!
F*** David Cage and his "emotional polygons."
F*** the hypocritical parents who condemn games for making their kids violent then throw an Ipad in the little snot's faces because it's a cheap baby sittier.
F*** the NRA using games as a scapegoat. Yeah let's destroy the 1st Amendment to protect the 2nd amendment. That makes a lot of sense.
F*** the mobile game makers, making half assed things, calling them games then shoving as many microtransactions into them as possible.
F**** Gamestop and their crummy trade in value and their overpriced used games. You force your employees to shove preorders and magazine subscriptions down our throats and can't even pay them decent wages.
F*** the fanboys and their whiny malcontent.
F*** this industry and everyone in it. From Japan to Europe. From the studios in California to the lofts in New York. Let an earthquake crumble it. Let the fires rage. Let it burn to f***** ash then let the waters rise and submerge this whole, rat-infested industry.
No. F**** you kbaily. You're getting too old for this.
Maybe Film-Makers Can Do Something with Games: A Remark about Wreck-It-Ralph
- May 18, 2013 10:03 am GMT
- 0 Comments
Customary opening picture to let you know what I am really writing about. Picture includes insignificant cameos.
IMPORTANT FOREWORD: This article is perhaps better directed at those who have seen and still remember the movie, as I am rather averse to describing scenes in a movie with anything more detailed than vague statements.
Now, I have to admit something here, if you haven't heard this already: I am very jaded about film-watching.
Perhaps I had been watching one too many films that I had once found awesome that everything else that came later felt bland to me - such as Brave, which I find to be filled with one too many story devices that I have seen before.
However, I am personally glad that once in a while there is a movie that slaps me silly for thinking that I have seen everything to see in movies. It so happens that the latest one is a game concerning movies.
I mean movie concerning games. I am not going to edit this out.
CLOSE-TO-MISLEADING MARKETING FOR WRECK-IT RALPH
I have to admit here too that I am one of those people whose first thought that comes to mine when they hear about game-related movies is an expletive. I certainly have thought the same about Wreck-It Ralph. I suppose that I don't have to tell you much about movies with video game licenses that give the impression that they are only there to feed off their license sources' popularity.
The irony that Fix-It Felix Jr. and many other games mentioned in the film are almost completely fictional could have made me less suspicious of Disney's product, but that Disney is jumping on the bandwagon of the dubious marketing stunt that is faking things about entertainment products of the past did not make me any less skeptical and cynical towards this film.
Here's another thing that I have to admit: I had immediately despised Wreck-It Ralph when I heard that it "celebrates" games and video game characters. Such cameos seemed like yet more frivolous promotion and popularity-exploitation to me, and I would say that my impression of these cameos did not change after having watched the film.
That gaming is now starting to become accepted culture (and thus profitable for the likes of Disney), barring attempts by some parties that are trying to demonize it, made me even more leery of this film.
All of the above prejudiced me enough to forget about Wreck-It Ralph after I learned about it.
SIDE NOTE: "SO HOW DID I COME ABOUT TO WATCHING IT?"
Some almost-expiring 75%-discount coupons for a cinema franchise had me picking months-old Wreck-It Ralph out of the rest that the occasional anti-hipster in me could care less to name.
I did not pick 3-D of course. To me, that's still a fad, though I suppose that some time into the future, there may be an astoundingly refreshing 3-D film that slaps me silly for thinking of it as a fad. This is not a joke, by the way.
Another thing that I have to admit here is my bias towards animated films. I really don't want to see familiar faces in films anymore, as much as I like certain actors/actresses; familiar voices are alright to me. That is why I tend to pick animated films instead of the rest as they tend not to have characters looking like their voice talents.
Yet there are exceptions.
On a near-related matter, I have to say here that film-makers who are making films with game licenses don't seem to consider that some actors/actresses could never even come close to looking like the game characters that they are portraying. They tend to make live-action films anyway, and that irks me a lot.
THE (REST OF THE) MOVIE SANS TWO POIGNANT MOMENTS (MORE ON THESE LATER)
Most of the movie was dull to me; it was trope after trope.
There is yet another "anonymous group" of conflicted people sitting on chairs in a circle. Fictional characters living in digital worlds that are visualized as facsimiles of the real one was done yet again in this film.
Ralph was yet another initially villainous character turn jaded, and this coming a few years after a certain other animated movie.
The appearances of cameo characters were ultimately inconsequential and at best little more than gags and nostalgia-bait. I certainly did not bother to spot this-and-that game character in the movie's scenes.
The true antagonist of the film was perhaps easy for experienced movie-goers to pick out even before said villain was revealed due to the inclusion of a certain speed-related (and hazardous) past-time as a story element.
The elements about the film that I appreciate the least are the inclusion of a femme fatale and her unlikely love interest and yet more savagely destructive bugs. I find these tropes very tiresome.
Then, there are perhaps some pokes at gaming culture and its Internet-based half, specifically when one character misheard/mispronounced "Duty" as "Doodie". This is perhaps not a coincidence, and if it is indeed a poke at Activision's money-printing franchise as I suspect, I do not appreciate it as such poking is yet another tiresome, juvenile fad in the gaming community.
I find it disappointing that the rest of the movie is so run-of-the-mill when compared to the two moments that will be explained shortly.
THAT TWO POIGNANT MOMENTS
I don't know who is credited with these two moments. However, I doubt it is Rich Moore as he is mainly an animator; Moore's student, Jim Reardon, is the kind that makes parodies out of popular works of fiction; I don't know who Phil Johnston and Jennifer Lee is.
If none of them can be credited with these two scenes, that would leave Clark Spencer, who is known for having been a producer for some animated films that would have been thoroughly run-of-the-mill if not for certain similarly heart-wrenching moments. Of course, it can be argued that the contribution of producers to their films are hard to trace.
Now, if only the rest of the movie can be written in such ways.
TAKE-AWAY: I wish that film-makers will just shed the tendency to exploit that other entertainment industry and focus more on what they do best: making films. Specifically, they should throw any tendency to make use of their licenses to market their films, and instead focus on creating what they believe would be particularly memorable moments - just like they would do for any other film, if they have the calibre to keep this in mind all the time.
Whoever that thought of those two scenes in Wreck-It Ralph certainly had, and I would say that the sub-segment of films that concern video games is a lot better off with the likes of this movie being in it.
P.S. I am aware that I haven't made a blog post for a long time; that is because I feel that it is pointless to do one when I cannot reply to any responses, which in turn is due to a glitch that prevents my posts from appearing in LiveFyre threads, including the one that you might write a post into below. However, I suppose that I was impressed quite a lot by these two moments in Wreck-It-Ralph that I was inspired to write this anyway.
P.P.S. I recall that a certain GameSpot editor wrote an editorial about Wreck-It Ralph. Can anyone recall it exactly?
Let's Pay: Stealing the LPers' Income
- May 17, 2013 10:07 pm GMT
- 0 Comments
Content ID matching is a topic that I haven't keep up on, but know it's been around for a while. Basically, it's something that YouTube does to YouTubers who make income via advertisements on videos that contain content held by copyright owners. Instead of taking the videos down, they redirect any ad revenue generated away from the content producer and to the copyright holder. So, anyone who makes a Let's Play video and received income from the ads now loses it to the publisher, provided they claim it. Nintendo has now laid claims.
Personally, I feel Let's Players should be left alone. I don't think copyright law particularly applies to this situation, as I see it differnently than animated music videos or recut films. For a song artist, they can potentially lose a sale of their song because someone can hear it off of YouTube. For a movie, someone can watch it off YouTube. For a game... you can't really play a game off of YouTube. And honestly, if someone just wants to see the game played without playing, they're still not going to buy the game, regardless if the LPer gets ad revenue or not.
Let's Plays are valuable sources of information. Not only do they demonstrate a game being played to help out a person struggling through a specific level, but it's also a resource that a consumer can use if they're researching a potential purchase. Stealing away an LPer's income source for making these videos is akin to charging writers for reviewing their games, or for writing FAQs and strategy guides.
Should Major League Gamers be charged for training on a publisher's video game? Should a portion of the prize money be allocated to, say, Capcom because someone won a tournament playing Street Fighter X Tekken? Now, I know what you're thinking. "No, because they're sponsored." or "No, because it's promotional; they're advertising the game." Well, Let's Players are also promoting these publishers' games. The publishers don't have to pay these YouTubers to talk about their games, but instead are stealing their income for doing so. This is like CBS signing over checks to Square-Enix every time a GameSpot employee talks about Tomb Raider.
Here's an interesting thought. Why not Sony charge whoever plays the game that's being shared to them over the PS4? Why should some guy on the other side of the country be able to play someone else's game for free? "That's unfair!" Right, and so is taking ad revenue from LPers, who BOUGHT the game in the first place! And in case you don't want to read the article I linked, I'll just pluck a quote out of it.
"Theyre [Let's Plays] a great form of advertising and sadly, the way Nintendo is punishing people for playing their titles is going to do more harm than good, when it comes to exposure for their games. YouTube personalities will be less inclined to make lets play series based on Nintendo games since they get no revenue, which decreases exposure. Word of mouth exposure has always been one of the most premium forms of advertising for games."
Exactly. The only difference is that these LPers are making a few dollars doing it. They're taking time out of their day to spend playing YOUR game, which they BOUGHT, and spreading the word. If you as a publisher are really bothered by that, then how about you pay them instead? You didn't play the game for them, so how dare you take away what they earned?
I know this is a grey area, and I can see exactly how copyright law would apply to these situations, but that doesn't mean I think it's right. I don't like the way it works, and I think it needs to be reformed. It also sucks for me personally, because I was thinking about doing this in the future. Now, not so much. If I really have to agree with this copyright law, then I figure I how about 100 different publishing houses money, because I earn a living shelving their books in my library.
Bonus Content: Rich's take on Nintendo's claims.
Sweet, Sweet Card Game Loving
- May 15, 2013 5:10 pm GMT
- 0 Comments
For the past I dont know how many years, Ive been quite the card toting warrior. Battling mostly friends and the occasional friendly match with a stranger in Magic the Gathering, Yu-Gi-Oh!, and good old Pokémon. As I grew older, some of the games seemed less engaging. Pokémon felt stagnant and Yu-Gi-Oh!, well it had run its course for me. But MTG was always there for me, with something new and shiny (mostly shiny) and some new way to experience the game. In that horizon comes with a lot of fears and hopes.
Now, all I play is Magic the Gathering, however Ive seen a vast emergence, I do use that word lightly, of trading card games. Some are physical but most are digital. Games like Rage of Bahamut, Cabal, Deity Wars, Shadow Era, Carte, the list goes on and on. People complain about the whole paying to win aspect of these digital card games. But thats what the card game is about, buying and trading cards to get ones to fit a players style or even just to collect. Personally Im a player and collector. Mobile card games, these are a very shady bunch. They require players to spend money on so few cards and have a very low chance of obtaining a really good ultra-rare card.
Rage of Bahamut was the first one I tried. It was fun, but felt more like an RPG rather than a card game. The interphase was card focused but more on leveling monster cards, fusing them and enhancing them. To win against other players and quest bosses, it all came down to numbers. Is a players monster card team powerful enough to take on the enemy? It wasnt all that competitive, more recruitment based. A player joins a guild, randomly accepts or adds other players to get points to spend for free on card packs where they get an insane amount of the weakest monster in the game. Once in a blue moon getting any variety. Rage of Bahamut is not the only culprit, Deity Wars and other such games have the same model with a different paint of coat. I realize its all dependent on the player whether or not to spend money on them, really my fear is that this is what people are going to think of when they hear Trading Card Game. And in no absolute way is there any real player interaction other than people asking to trade and join their guild or be in their friend list, for the sole purpose of increasing their own wealth. No hate to those games listed beforehand just business practices like that really hurt the honor of the card game. (I think that sounds like a martial arts movie)
Some people complain of expansion packs for card games and how its hard to get into them with so much that has already been released. I will agree with them, but offer the alternative of wikis and guides, as well as asking other people. The card game community isnt based on elitism; people are generally nice during matches and when spectating. Also they do offer trial decks at comic shops.
As mentioned before there are digital card games that do not suffer the whole money-grabbing tactics of the companies. Hero Mages, is a bit like Dungeons & Dragons. Shadow Era, does have an in game currency but it offers the RPG feel where you duel characters and after you win you get experience and gold. As you level up you get 25 shadow crystals, the currency needed to buy packs and digital card sleeves. What Shadow Era does right is that it doesnt require too much money to be put into it. Players can sell cards they used shadow crystals for to gain gold from the merchant. Then can purchase cards using that gold. So it balances itself out, players dont feel to shamed to be putting money into it. That system also gets rid of any feeling of rushing players to buy more now. Carte, a pc only card game, had a great system, brilliant card art, but failed in the marketplace. It was easy to get single cards in the game. But packs required a lot of cash, and when it was just starting out it was an overload of packs and cards. And for a digital game it didnt have much of a tutorial or guide on buying cards, it felt that way. Digital card games cant make players feel too overwhelmed to buy or purchase in bulk at once just to enjoy the game.
With Pokémon not doing so well in sales from what I gather. Yu-Gi-Oh!, is still going to be around, even if it isnt as strong as before. Magic, need I say more? There is a young cub entering the card game ring. Cardfight Vanguard, or simply Vanguard to players, it has the same humble beginnings as Yu-Gi-Oh!, where players play the game thats played in the anime. Only one difference makes Vanguard more interesting is that if a person watches the anime, they actually learn the real rules. This really impressed me from watching nearly all of Yu-Gi-Oh!, with most of the stuff they do that really isnt in the actual game. Cardfight Vanguard, follows a fantasy story in a reality setting, but puts the card game as a card game not the means to saving the world or sucking away peoples souls. The card games in the anime do get pretty tense, I was watching them as if they were real games. Not wanting to spoil the plot or story but it is highly recommended. Watching the anime made me go through nostalgia with Yu-Gi-Oh!, and I have been considering purchasing a starter deck or two to check it out. Its fan base has been growing since last inquiring about it. Im actually glad that another well-crafted card game can stand up to Magic, Yu-Gi-Oh!, and Pokémon, while its basically in the infantile stage.
Card games are going through a massive change now that phones and tablets can handle a lot more now. People are missing a lot of good stuff with these Ponzi scheme built mobile games, and are being cheated on most (not all obviously) digital card games. The ratio of getting foils and rare cards drops significantly because its computer based. Shadow Era, for the record has a good ratio for getting good cards and being able to profit from useless ones is good. One game I should have addressed is Eye of Judgment for the Playstation 3, and that one just failed. It seemed like a good idea, had potential but didnt quite get enough people. There is another game called Elemental Monster Online. $5 gets you a booster pack of 24 cards, it seems decent.
(Shadow Era is a bit reminicent of MTG, but with a class focused twist.)
Of course within card games and gaming itself people are going to have to give in some money to buy cards. Its a matter of Is it worth my time to get better at this game? As with any competitive game there are tricks and the like to use. No person should feel burdened to buy a card pack or two, rather fell excited to buy something new to see what they can get and a new deck to utterly own against their opponents. Hopefully Vanguard can stand the test of time and be in the big leagues. And when that happens, I want to be right in the fray.
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