o.k. i know this has nothing to do with your blog, but glitchspot has mischief makers as rated ao for animated violence. epic fail?
Dear GS Homeslices,
Like some of you, I recently watched the video interview between Tom McShea and Greg Goodrich of EA, titled "A Matter of Authenticity". Like many, I left my two cents regarding my sentiments on military FPSes and the US military's company culture and ongoing wars for profit. Probably to the dismay of many a brainwashed fanboy.
While I'm as suspiscious of Tom as I am any journalist, he did make some damn good points. Particularly in regard to the very unrealistic nature of so-called "war" games and EA's claims to "military authenticity". Of course, Greg felt "disrespected" and all the little military FPS fanboys came out in droves to dis Tom. Being a vet, from a combat MOS (Infantry), I found myself siding with Tom.
Greg gave the redundant speech that, as a vet, I've heard until I can puke: "...they're laying it all on the line for my freedom and so that I can play these games..." (buuurrrgggllll!)
For starters, Greg is trying too hard to validate a highly contrived piece of work. Micheal Bay himself could stand in awe at how much effort and money goes into creating this slickly produced bs.
Secondly, the US military hasn't been involved in a "necessary" war since WW2. The US military has spent the last 60+ years and almost 50% of federal tax dollars invading 3rd World countries and propping up puppet governments: US military "liberates" people (blows up their home), replaces government with puppet government, puppet government cuts off necessities to the peasantry and sets up sweatshops...rinse and repeat. The Pentagon is Wall Street's best friend.
If any of the military themed games were "authentic", you'd be pretty put off by actual military life. You'd spend far more time cleaning your M4 than firing it. You'd find yourself in a company culture of sameness that borders on fascism. And you'd answer to very bullyish "leadership" under autocratic rule. Most enlistees only do a single term, because the company culture is so very wonderful.
Bare in mind, I joined at 32 out of desperation for employment during the peak of the "great Recession". At 19 or 20 I may have been just as brainwashed as anyone else. But, at 32, I'd been in the real world (civilian adult) long enough to know bs when I see it. Thus, I took care to not let Stockholm Syndrome settle in.
Greg claims that actual vets and service members took part in creating these games. This much I can believe. Some vets would take part in something like this -but for very selfish reasons. Let me explain:
(1) These games allow vets and current service members to experience military life the way they wish it was. The vast majority of them did their 3-6 years with nothing to write home about. As I described, military life is pretty damn miserable. Even in a non-combat zone. These games allow these guys to have the Hollywoodized Micheal Bay-like experience they signed up for -but never got.
(2) Many of these vets and service members are gonna spend the better part of their lives as civilians skating by on "veteran" status. From VA benifits to VA programs to employers hiring vets for the fat tax right offs. If the military company culture looks good, than the vets look good. It's in their best interest to make sure that military company culture is portrayed as altruisticly and heroicly as possible. Cameras present while gunning down kids in Afghanistan not withstanding. So anything that romanticizes it wins cool points with many a vet.
Take Care, Treat the Hype Like What It Is & Don't Buy Into It
The biggest problem I had with Tom was that FPS' should have 1 shot kills no matter where you get hit. But as far as realism goes, if it was meant to be real, we'd have characters taking shots at the range, and things like, so you got a point there.
Having a realistic shooter would be quite stupid, imagine washing the military vehicles and afterwards eating a sandwich followed by a nap. Pretty dumb from EA to call their war games "authentic".
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Dude, you didn't read the blog. Did you?
I, and Rheinmetal, did a stretch in the US army. And our arguement that Greg of EA tried too hard to validate a piece of fiction was crystal clear. And, if you were ever in (you obviously weren't), you'd know the military's company culture is a mindjob.
As I stated in (2), many vets will play along for ULTERIOR reasons. You know, the guys in the rehab clinics spewing Rambo fairy tales. Now buzz off of my blog!
@nate1222 No one was stating that the culture isn't a mindjob. I did notice however that you liked to state that "many" vets will play for ulterior reasons (mostly focusing on guys in rehab clinics). I noticed that you did not bring up any of people who are still active who are playing the game when holed up in their barracks, or wherever they might be. And you can doubt my service record all you want bro. I know what my MOS was, so do quite a few others who can vouch for me. So go ahead and keep stating opinions. Did EA make the game entertaining? Yes, is it engaging? Yes, is it realistic, of course not, it's a game. Is the storyline authentic? Your opinion and Tom's vs others opinions of an authentic storyline differ greatly bro. I also find it funny that you state that Greg's calling out Tom to discuss his editorial was a publicity stunt. Tom's entire editorial and him answering Greg the way he did was a publicity stunt, albeit the way he did it was shameful and disrespectful. Now that I am done reading your nonsense, I am done with your blog, and your opinions.
I did bring up "current service members". Read (1) in the blog.
And, if you're done with my blog and my opinions, leave.
I haven't seen that video yet but you made me really interested...can you give me the link to that video please? I cannot find it :/ and GkitchSpot's search is kinda awful today...at least for me
It's a video game, which is inherently unrealistic. It would have to be unrealistic to be entertaining, since almost everyone I've talked to that was in the military said that it was boring most of the time, and when it's not boring, they'd rather it was boring.
"...it was boring most of the time, and when it's not boring, they'd rather it was boring."
Yeah, that was experience in a nutshell. That and a rather fascist company culture that I grew to seriously dislike.
I get Tom's point: Why call it "authentic" when it obviously ain't? Of course, Greg went into an over the top speech trying too hard to validate it. That's when my gag reflex kicked in.
Hype in games? I usually buy games that I'm interested could careless on where the hype status of each game is or what the reviewer says about a game, seeing there has been plenty of games that scored poorely I liked. By Suspicious wonder if that is getting paid to give a game a High Score or not? I sometimes think they do.
i only watched 10 mins of it.... now i love playing war games, but i wouldn't call myself a fanboy of war games... just wanted to get that out of the way... anyways, i Tom McShea thougea sounded ridiculous.. out of all the war games made so far, i don't understand why he would attackGreg Goodrich with that nonsense... all the war games have that revive feature... and like Greg said " He added the hardcore feature."... i just don't understand why Tom kept pushing the issue of why the game wasn't realistic... when clearly you can see that Medal of Honor is going to be alot like any Call of Duty, or Battlefield game... oooo i almost forgot... Let's not forget the comment that Tom made.. "why don't you make a game where you have 10 people that try to get through the mission together, and if anyone dies, than they don't come back, and if all 10 people die then you dont pass the mission"... ok, it doesn't sound like a bad idea, but i don't know 10 hardcore game players that would sit down with me and play an entire Campaign Mode like that... Really all i'm saying is, how can you complain about this game, and not say anything about Call of Duty, or any other war game when it comes to being realistic...
He didn't attack Greg in particular. He called out the military FPS genre in general and mentioned EA's recent offering. During which, Tom mentioned Greg. Greg decided to answer it in person -as an obvious publicity stunt.
During said video interview, Greg goes on this passionate rhetorical speech about hoe emotionally involving the story is. Greg tried too hard to validate a disposable product. A dispoasable product which is very interchangable with others of its type.
Greg also went on the tired ass rant about "service and sacrifice" which, any vet excersizing CANDOR will tell you is bulls___. Some vets will play along, for ulterior motives of course. Read the last two paragraphs of my blog. They are numbered (1) and (2).
I actually don't really understand the reason of that discussion. Like, Tom's absolutely right, the combat isn't authentic. But why are they going on and on?
E3 only brings the worst out in people since most of the games dont come out till Xmas. I found your view to be insightful because there really does seem to be a difference between reality and fantasy there. Games are fiction and real life is reality. So in essance keep it real.
I was really surprised by the response that video drew. People like to hate on modern military FPS, but apparently they like to hate on Tom McShea more. I found it rather shocking, however, that people were so quick to defend what is, in essence, a flimsy marketing campaign from EA and Danger Close. Their game isn't all that authentic or respectful of what soldiers have to endure, yet all they have to do is claim that it is and people will become too reverent of their "noble" efforts to challenge them.
Audiences are so in love with the idea of artists creating "respectful tributes" to those that deserve them that they can't bring themselves to see projects like Warfighter for what they really are. Even when someone succeeds as well as Tom McShea did in pointing out just how hypocritical and manipulative that sort of marketing stance can be, people just don't want to hear it. That willingness to excuse uninventive, uninspired games is what will keep video games from truly evolving as a medium.
@WTA2k5 That just turned me on. *heh*
Since gamers are a large and widespread group nowdays,they can be very easily manipulated by a good advertising campaing.It seems that marketting researchers understand well that playing the "patriotism" card will bring in a lot of positive feedback,while the criticizm will be met with insults by brainwashed corporate drones,or "proud,freedom loving ppl"...
Today,video games won't evolve into a truly artistic medium,or anything similiar.There are various reasons for that,first and foremost,this easy manipulation of gamers.Other reasons are AAA titles that are meant to be nothing other but a product created to sell,without taking any risks,and the downfall of middle tier developers,because of too high development costs.Today,you're either a very influential corporation like EA,Ubisoft,Activision,or a small and generally insignifficant indie developer.That is very destructive for the gaming industry...
No matter how much Greg wants to claim that his game will get you emotionally invested and make you think, I seriously doubt that'll actually be the case. I can't imagine this game actually being thought provoking in any way.
Also, Greg and Tom's discussion really can't go anywhere since Tom hasn't played the full game yet, so it just becomes this propaganda piece by Greg since Tom can't really refute anything he's saying. I say they should do this again in October after the game comes out and Tom has had a chance to play it.
Like you I have an actual experience from the army during the 14 months of my military service. I have taken part in combat exercises, battle simulation and also I have fired with several guns and anti-aircraft systems. Also I have spent most of my time there doing a lot of cleaning, shining, moving heavy items, making coffees and sandwitches, selling ice creams and cigarettes, playing chess and watching a lot of TV. :-)
I don't like shooters of the type of "Call of Duty", or "Battlefield" for two reasons: Firstly because they are unrealistic. In battle you never go out and aim the head of the enemy. You only fire to a general direction where the enemy is positioned, and that is happening not so much to actually kill anyone, but to create a shield of fire in order to march and gain territory. There are some occasion that you might actually come face to face with the enemy, but at that time, you will most probably run and hide to save your life.
Secondly I'm against the American role in the middle East and other countries. Honestly I cannot play a game and assume the role of an American soldier in similar operations. I know it's only a video game, but personally I feel bad to play such a game.
Zombies! I like killing zombies. I prefer to get lost inside a mansion full of zombies in RE, or slicing zombies in half with a laser sword (lol) in DR2, than anything else that might upset me.
Thank you. I feel the exact same way on those issues.
I don't want the real experiences of military life to be diluted by the way these games portray it. As I stated, even in a non-combat zone, military life flat out sucks. And the fact that most of what America's (and a growing number of countries') military is used for has NOTHING to do with defending a country needs to be honestly acknowledged. Seeing it Hollywoodized in games and movies makes me wanna puke.
Gaming is about ESCAPING reality; not REPLACING reality. Which seems to be the aim of these military FPSes. Thank god for FPSes like Unreal Tournament and Time Splitters!
This is excellent! Thank you for taking the time to write this.
The FPS genre is stale, and has been for years, but it still appeals to the mindless troves who line developer's pockets. As long as people keep buying (and pre-ordering) rehashed and half developed titles like Black Ops 2--nothing will change.
And authentic? People can't handle authentic: Violence and mundane alike.
Agreed that the PFS genre has been stale for years.
I still love Unreal Tournament and UT2004, because they don't attempt to be "real" nor "authentic". They're just hyper-creative fun and they're not ashamed of it nor do they attempt to validate themselves.
I loved the Time Splitters series for those exact same reasons.
And people can't handle "real" military life. That's one of several reasons why re-enlistment rates are so damn low. Hell, I hated it and I wasn't even in combat.
Yeah,it seems any form of authenticity and realism isn't allowed in games anymore,various reasons like bad publicity and too many whiny organizations promoting censorship and other similiar crap.Best example of this is displaying acts of killing and violence in childish ways...
I can't stand it when I blast an enemy with a shotgun from a point blank range,and see NO bullet wounds at all,while the kill lacks any sort of impact,bullet and body physics are horrible.Sadly,that is very widespread and present in almost every shooter released nowdays :(
Now keep in mind I'm not looking for extreme gore levels,I'm just looking for a more mature display of violent acts,that carries some weight to it.Acts of violence don't look surgically clean and easy at all,like most games display them...
before i go back to the relevant part of this blog. i am planning to join our country's armed forces but i made a decision to stay with the Army National Guard.i rather be a soldier waiting till i get the call of a event happening in america than being deployed overseas and going through third world country i know that ANG troops do get deployed overseas also but most are in the USA and will be avaliable when a national emergency happens.
anyways back to the relevant prt of the blog. i agree with Tom. a lot of these shooters are still far from actual realism,i have a uncle that had joined the army he a army vet now post Vietnam war vet. and meanwhile there fun but there not that realistic my uncle told me war is tough you see others and your friends dying.if they put some random events in the game that has a important squad member dying then that could show the player abit more on the realism of war but then any true form of realism "ruins" the game for the gamer -__-.anyways i think the FPS genre needs a break or a big big time refresh but wont happen soon. great blog.
@berto64 The games will never be realistic enough mainly due to the whole Respawn thing, since you can't actually respawn when you die.
Games like COD or BF are just getting milked now plus costs more than normal shooters. Still looking forward to Black Ops II, hoping it brings something fresh and new to the table
While I agreed with what Tom said , I'm not quite sure what his overall point was ( I only ready the written article , not the video) , yes modern war ''shooters'' are far from realistic , but I didn't quite see what his overall point was... whether his point was that these modern war shooters (like Battlefield , CoD , etc. ) shouldn't exist or whether they should be made more realistic (which would in fact ruin the purpose of it as a game ) , if you know please elaborate.
Tom's point (9 minutes in) was the latter: more realistic.
One idea he sprung up was that if a non-scripted event occured, like a teammate getting killed, it would effect the game by reducing your team members and forcing you to change your tactics. It would also provide a much more thoughtful view of war in REAL LIFE.
That can actually work. It does in games like Fallout 3, where if you comit certain acts, the story loses options and characters respond to you differently henseforth. It adds moral weight to the story and forces you to THINK.
Of course, most military FPS fanboys don't like thinking very much. And Greg clearly lacks the imagination required to implement something like that. The CoD devs are just as bad. Very Micheal Bay-ish of them.
@nate1222 I would tend to disagree on that front then , because ... if the games were actually ''accurate'' you'd be able to take .. hell ... 2 bullets ... 3 if your lucky without being disabled or killed ... when you die , the disc would wipe out any memory of any gameplay you ever made , etc. etc. if you were to make a truly accurate war game noone would touch it , because war isn't fun at all yes? Correct me if I'm wrong but war is hell , and the point of games is for entertainment/fun. I would place a safe bet that not even Tom would want a 100% realistic experience of the game. I would say that he would probably end up picking and choosing how realistic he wanted it to be. Personally I remain fairly indifferent about the entire topic , I don't really play ''war games'' so to speak anyways , but I see what you/tom are saying.
But, even if they just allowed you to restart from your last save point knowing that your previous mistakes -or just the chaos of war- had a profound impact on the story, it would be a step in the right direction.
Again, look at Fallout 3:
If you kill an innocent person and others see it, it effects how others respond to you.
If you kill a character (or let them die) with potential side quests and story arcs attached to them, it eliminates them.
If you help a character that you don't need to help, others respond to you more positively.
You can start from a previous save point and choose to do things differently. But just knowing the toll it takes on the story and the games world hits you in an emotional way and encourages you to try a different approach. Given that you're NOT a deuche. ;)
If more of these military FPSes at least attempted to do these things to show the power of CHOICE and that some choices can actually negatively impact you, I could have more respect for them. But guys like Greg are too cowardly to even consider it. He's business man -NOT a creative risk taker.
A somewhat good example of that point about non-scripted games would be Brothers in Arms games.I do remember if your squadmate dies,he's dead for the rest of the level,and will respawn only after you complete the mission.And in BiA games,a squadmate less really forces you to change your tactics,especially in later levels...
Nice,I only wonder for how long will GS allow it to stay.Very strange standards they have these days,you can troll and flame whoever you want,but can't express an opinion that some consider unpopular without a possible moderation or censorship...
I just remembered a rumor about 1up,a gaming site where staff suposedly edits some comments they find disagreeable,like industry criticizm.Never confirmed it,though,as I never used that site...
Seems GS is heading in that direction...
It seems that GS is heading in that direction pretty damn fast. As I stated in my previous blog, they're not only bought but blatantly so.