Archive for June, 2013

They [Don’t] Know Us So Well

Posted: June 17, 2013 in Gaming, Gender Bias
Tags: ,

I stumbled across this article last week:

5 Things Every Game Company Gets Wrong About Gamers

I have to say, I think they did a fantastic job of pointing out the things about the newest games and gamesystems that piss me off the most.  The fact that Gaming has forgotten about why it exists – the Gamers.  Slick, flashy cinematics are edging out actual gameplay within these new titles giving us less and less to do.  Apparently they think that gamers have gotten resistant to having to move their digits to actually cause things to occur on screen?

I think part of the reason it struck such a note with me was that in spite of the media buzz around the new Tomb Raider and it’s leanings towards  rape as motivator , I wanted to play the game.  I was in fact excited to play the game.  And then I got it home, popped it in and watched through the endless opening cinematic.  Eventually, cinematic ends and I think “great, lets get playing”.  Only, not.  you do a little moving, a little button pressing and I think “okay, we’re in the tutorial”.  Then I’m back in a cinematic but I’m being asked to wiggle the controller at a specific time.  Or press the button right…now! Or I have to sit through it again and again.  My guy nailed it on the head – it felt exactly like Dragon’s Lair.  Shiny, glossy and completely controlled.  As is pointed out in the article at the top of my post, not everyone enjoys watching a cinematic.  Some folks take that time to grab a glass of water, check their email or what have you.  Only in Tomb Raider, if I chose the wrong time to do that, I end up starting the damned cinematic all over again.  And if I’m 3/4 of the way through one of these transitional sequences and press a button slightly too late – back I go to the beginning.  This doesn’t feel challenging to me, it feels suffocating.  It’s game play for dummies.  I want a certain amount of challenge.  I want to feel I’ve earned the abilities my character has in game.  But I don’t want to be pressured in to this sort of over-stressed situation where a microsecond mistiming means the tedium of attempting a thing over and over.

I won’t go into the entire article point by point, though I do think they all hit home with me in a similar fashion.  But it’s definitely worth a read.

Angry Game of Thrones Music Video

Posted: June 5, 2013 in Geek Culture
Tags:

http://www.collegehumor.com/embed/6879795/axis-of-awesome-you-like-got-i-read-the-fcking-books

Caught this one thanks to a quick post on The Mary Sue and it just gave me a warm smile of amusement.

This is something that lovers of geek fandom have been complaining about for some time now and I have to admit that I’m of two minds about it.

On the one hand those of us who read Lord of the Rings, or Game of Thrones or enjoyed any of the numerous comics over the years feel that due to our long standing love of these things before they were cool or cash cows for Hollywood we are better, smarter and somehow deeper human beings than those who just stumbled on whatever was showing at the cineplex or being hyped on tv. We suffered the years of name calling and exclusion and we turned to our books for comfort. They were things to be read, discussed and re-read for missed meaning. How dare these popular kids who refused to see the value in our bibliophilia try to hop on this bandwagon now just because someone somewhere found the right shiny package to put it in. It’s understandable when you look at it that way that those who feel that they suffered for their love would be angry that these usurpers could just come in and claim ownership.

On the other hand though without the mass excitement of those who ignored the previous incarnations of our beloved fandom, some fantastic geeky movies would never have been made. It’s unfortunate but true that if Avengers had only appealed to geeks it probably would have been nothing more than a dusty script on a shelf. And HBO wouldn’t have made GoT if they didn’t think they could sell it to people who would never have even considered reading the books previously.

One question though – what about the folks who couldn’t stomach being so uncool as to visit a comic book shop before seeing Dark Knight Returns but who now have decided maybe it’s worth while? Those who after seeing Harry Potter decide to pick up the books and give fantasy fiction a chance? Does expanding our geek population dilute us as fans? Are these people the fake geeks that everyone accuses them of being? We all had to find our way to it somehow, there was a day for all of us before we found our geek loves. Maybe we should consider giving them a chance.