L.A. Times Has A Go At Gaming News

By John Walker on February 24th, 2008 at 11:39 pm.

Aw, it’s so cute when the big, mainstream newspapers try so hard. Yeah, I’ll patronise them until the day they give me a high-paying job. It’s coming. I can feel it. Smell it.

Technology in action.

Covering the rise of the indie game, the Los Angeles Times gets all frothy and excited with a plucky-underdogs-make-good approach as the little people take on the behemoths of the gaming industry. Like, for instance, Portal!

Highlighting the shift, the conference’s Game of the Year award went to “Portal,” which was developed by a team of students from the DigiPen Institute of Technology in Redmond, Wash. The puzzler beat out big-budget industry franchises such as “Super Mario Galaxy,” “Rock Band,” “Bioshock” and “Call of Duty 4.”

That’s right. Those impoverished folks at Valve have finally stuck it to the man, showing the big players with all the money, infinite resources, worldwide online distribution platform, massive franchises with which to package unknown games… Sorry, I lost track of my thought. Tuesday? Yes, I can do Tuesday.

The point of the piece, to reach to their defense, is that the Big Three are now publishing indie games via their pay-for downloads. So we’ll see World of Goo on the Wii, and The Dishwasher on XBLA. They then get all muddled about Sims Carnival, somehow thinking it’s related, but thankfully reel things back in by mentioning Google and YouTube, although strangely failing to namecheck Facebook. What are they? Unhip?

Look at me! I’m totally sticking it to them. Zing, burn, all over the place.

We like Rod Humble. And we like to pretend he likes us too. He takes full advantage of the LA Times’ thinking developing indie games from scratch is the same as using a drag-n-drop game creator for the Sims, and says,

“The whole idea is to broaden the kinds of people who could make games. We asked ourselves, ‘What would it be like if my mom could make a game?’ “

We don’t know your mom, Rod. But now we think we know where The Sims 2 Teen Style Stuff came from.

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12 Comments »

  1. Yhancik says:

    (psst, the Sims Carnival links points to World of Goo)

    I read an article in an unspecialised magazine yesterday that was talking about the indie scene. Which is nice. Well until they somewhat linked it Gran Turismo 5 Prologue. Mh…

  2. rod humble says:

    I do like you guys. Mum, we have been rumbled. :)

  3. Sarcasmorator says:

    You know newspapers don’t pay all that much, right? I’d hate to see you disappointed.

  4. Meat Circus says:

    Oh, Mr John and your withering disdain. Where has it been of late?

    Moar pliz.

    At least they mean well. They’re trying to understand, the poor dears, in their own confused liberal arts graduate luddite I-wanna-get-with-de-yoot way.

  5. Max says:

    I read basically the same story on the Wii news channel. I thought “What? Valve aren’t small… :/”

    Not sure who provides the Wii news though. Some French agency I think.

  6. Turin Turambar says:

    Facebook! Facebook! Facebook!

  7. Tak says:

    I just *love* how all these groups that were quick to jump on the ‘games are for little boys who only got old and never gew up’ bandwagon are turning around now that the industry is pimp-slapping everyone else around with it’s huge wads of cash. Even better, they still fail to understand even the simplest things about the scene/industry as a whole. First the writer’s guild wanting writer’s credits and WGA members and all (so…the whole team is writers at some point…do they all have to unionize?) and now silly little pieces like this.

    Part of me should be happy that people have moved pass the ‘games are for…’ stuff and onto at least making an attempt to cover the industry, I just wish they wouldn’t be so…simple? about it.

    (for the record I don’t know who this particular fellow is or his past works, and am speaking more of mainstream media/culture as a whole than this single article)

  8. Michael says:

    Who here subscribes to a newspaper or buys one on regular basis?

  9. UncleLou says:

    I do, why?

  10. Bob Arctor says:

    Me too.

  11. Michael says:

    Well, I asked because I was wondering how many gamers get the actual cellulose newspaper versus getting their news online. From what I’ve seen, very few people buy the paper now-a-days, and of those, most do it for local ads not for the articles, etc.

    Could it be said that gamers don’t read proper newspapers? Personally I’d much rather go to RPS for my gaming needs, than to LA Times.

    Where am I going with this? I don’t know. I think it’s something about newspapers doing gaming articles to try and win over our demographic, while failing miserably.

    I’m hungry. Eh?

  12. Okami says:

    I buy a newspaper every morning, so I’ve got something to read on my way to and back from work. Guess, I should get myself a subscription and save some money….