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sacred_flame
26-11-2011, 05:41 AM
This (http://www.kotaku.com.au/2011/11/modern-warfare-3-isn%E2%80%99t-an-un-game-john-walker-you-are-an-un-player-and-that-is-okay/) Article was just posted on kotaku and i feel they missed what John was saying. They seem to be thinking that John was expecting a sandbox game, but what I think he was saying (having read the review a few days ago) is that he doesn't like the way that games are treating the player as an optional part of the experience. Leaving them out of the game so to speak, that their only role is to move the script along rather than to have any meaningful effect on the events.

interested to see how others interpreted it.

Zaboomafoozarg
26-11-2011, 06:37 AM
Allow me to paraphrase:

"Dear John Walker,

MAN SHOOTS GOOD! ME SHOOT MANS! GAME TELL ME SHOOT MANS, AND I SHOOTS THEM GOOD!

Cordially,
Brendon Keogh"

Malawi Frontier Guard
26-11-2011, 06:46 AM
Why do I even click Kotaku links.

sabrage
26-11-2011, 06:50 AM
Whereas I didn't get bored with the original RPS article, I did with the Kotaku one. So that's my meta-critique.

DigitalSignalX
26-11-2011, 08:30 AM
We play videogames by participating with them as equals, not by becoming some god-like master over them. We enjoy entering a game, suspending disbelief, and voluntarily giving in to its limitations and restrictions and doing what is asked of us..
So when you can't open a door till your NPC teammates catch up and open it for you, that's playing as an equal, suspending belief and following orders? Riiiight.


Certainly, you are more than welcome to try to play Modern Warfare 3 any which way you want. Go for it.But you can't. You can't play it any way at all other then the way they want you too, and at the pace they want you to. If I want to open the door? I FUCKING CAN'T.


A game that leads the player can be just as meaningful, significant, intelligent, stimulating or exhilarating as a game that lets the player do whatever they wish (within the games confines).This is only true if the player doesn't realize every step of the way that he's being led. If the game's design, the level progression, scripting, the interactions all coordinate in such a way to propel the player forward in the correct way without him knowing it - then you're right. But getting to a door and waiting for NPC's isn't it. Seriously. It's not rocket science, it's BAD GAME DESIGN.

(the door is symbolic of all scripted events basically where you have to wait for scripts to play out before you can proceed)

R-F
26-11-2011, 08:59 AM
I hate Kotaku. It's so amazingly, shockingly shit.

Subatomic
26-11-2011, 09:25 AM
What the writer of that article (and a lot of people commenting on it) don't seem to get is that the fundamental probplem with MW3s campaign isn't the lack of player freedom per se. Every game restricts the player in some way, some almost have no freedom in the way they are played (think Tetris), some have a lot of freedom (think Morrowind) and most fall somewhere in between. Every game has rules that are in the end artifical but neccessary because of technological limitations, the needs of the narrative or for gameplay reasons. But while good games have consistent, comprehensible and unintrusive rules, bad games have rules that make no sense, are applied seemingly at random and thus become immediately noticable by the player. MW3, Battlefield 3 and the likes fall firmly into the latter group.

Fiyenyaa
26-11-2011, 10:25 AM
Modern Warfare 3’s single-player campaign is currently sitting atop my Favourite Game of 2011 list.

Wow. Ho-ly crap. Seriously. What?
I mean, I know these things are subjective, but I guess there really is no accounting for taste. Weird, man.

Taidan
26-11-2011, 10:26 AM
But while good games have consistent, comprehensible and unintrusive rules, bad games have rules that make no sense, are applied seemingly at random and thus become immediately noticable by the player. MW3, Battlefield 3 and the likes fall firmly into the latter group.

Pretty much this. Consistency is everything in "good videogame" design.

On this issue though, I'm going to go out on a limb and both agree and disagree with both John Walker and Brendan Keogh from Kotaku Australia. (Side note: There are different Kotakus, and it's not quite fair to damn them all as one because of the shoddy, lazy, sensationalist writings/stealing of a few staff on the "main" site.)

While I haven't played Modern Warfare 3 yet, (and probably won't for a long time, unless somebody lends me a copy on the xbox soon) judging by my experience with every other game in the series, and the steady path they've been evolving along, I'd say that un-game would probably be an apt title for this newest instalment. I just don't see that as a bad thing.

From what I've been hearing about the game, it's reached the point where it seems to have abandoned all ambitions of being a "good videogame", and is instead reaching to be the very-high-tech equivalent of all of the "interactive movies" that exploded in popularity in the wake of the popularisation of the CD-ROM drive in the early-mid-90's. That's okay with me. I mean, those thing were terrible videogames, (going by the way I, at least, usually judge videogames) but some of them were still great pieces of entertainment.

From reading both articles in full, it appears to me that the two writers are judging the same game by two different sets of criteria. Our own Lord Walker is reviewing the game as a game critic. He notes the poor consistency of the gameplay, technical faults, it's moral reprehensibility, and the laughable ineptness of it's low-brow story-telling and scripting. Judged by those standards, he's bang-on right. Modern Warfare 3 is clearly not a great work of art, or even a great videogame. But is it trying to be?

Kotaku-Down-Under's Mr Keogh, on the other hand, has reviewed the game from the point of view of somebody who wants to sit down, turn off their brain and be entertained for a short period of time, but at the same time still wants to engage, on some lesser level, in the way that only the interactive media that is videogaming can provide. He's taking into account the presumable ambition and audience of Modern Warfare 3, and the simple basis of whether or not he personally had fun. In that respect, he's calling out Walker for looking at the game from the "wrong perspective".

(The irony of this is that we can now turn around and inform Mr Keogh that he's a bit of a hypocrite, and that his review of the RPS write-up has exactly the same shortcomings as those he claims exist in the RPS review of the game itself. He's ignored the aims of Walker's review, and not taken into account it's intended audience. It would be like writing into a magazine aimed at pre-teen girls, and critiquing their review of a manufactured boy-band.)

So, there we go. Two different reviews, one from the point of a critic who views games purely on their own artistic and technical merits, and one from somebody who's concerned only only with their value as a piece of popular entertainment. They're both right at what they do. And then there's some silly reviewing of a review, which is... regrettable.

Xercies
26-11-2011, 10:47 AM
It seems weird to me that John Walker the guy who likes Adventure Games which are pretty much story over gameplay doesn't like these new fangled FPS games which are kind of the same thing. Something I've noticed.

SirKicksalot
26-11-2011, 10:54 AM
So when you can't open a door till your NPC teammates catch up and open it for you, that's playing as an equal, suspending belief and following orders? Riiiight.

But you can't. You can't play it any way at all other then the way they want you too, and at the pace they want you to. If I want to open the door? I FUCKING CAN'T.

This is only true if the player doesn't realize every step of the way that he's being led. If the game's design, the level progression, scripting, the interactions all coordinate in such a way to propel the player forward in the correct way without him knowing it - then you're right. But getting to a door and waiting for NPC's isn't it. Seriously. It's not rocket science, it's BAD GAME DESIGN.

(the door is symbolic of all scripted events basically where you have to wait for scripts to play out before you can proceed)

I also hated Half-Life 2.

Actually I didn't, but I can barely stand replaying it because I have to wait for the scripted stuff to happen all the time. Same thing applies to Call of Duty. I remember Kieron Gillen argued that IW is one of the few studios that got the Valve style of scripting right. The gap between MW3 and BF3, Homefront, MoH and frankly any other imitator is astronomical. Anyone that claims they're just as bad/good/broken/same game is wrong, and that's a fact.

You open plenty of doors in MW3. I also think it's fucking stupid to complain that you have to wait for your team to position itself, especially since Call of Duty manages to do it in under 5 seconds, but whatever.

JackShandy
26-11-2011, 11:03 AM
I gotta say, it's really weird to respond to a fairly impersonal here's-the-facts-ma'am review with a personal letter that constantly uses the word "I".

As for the arguments, it's gotta be a conversation. The player says some things and the game says some things, and both things are interesting and important. If the player says too little, you're shutting them out, and they're not going to feel like they have much to do with what's going on.

The ideal is You Do Things => The Game Reacts. MW3 doesn't do this well.

Heliocentric
26-11-2011, 12:05 PM
The door was the pinnacle of Deus ex's design.
Open with key, multitool the pad, hack a security system, blow the door with explosives, smack it open with a crowbar/nanoblade or marvelously bypass the door by a vent, leap over a fence (with or without stacked boxes) or just take another route.

c-Row
26-11-2011, 12:41 PM
Every game restricts the player in some way, some almost have no freedom in the way they are played (think Tetris)

That's one of the examples many people gave over at Kotaku, and I disagree. Tetris gives you a rule set but lets you work towards its goal the way you want, rather than telling you that you absolutely have to place the square block in the lower right corner to advance.

Subatomic
26-11-2011, 01:02 PM
That was sort of my point. Tetris gives you a very simple but strict sets of rules that are easily apparent to the player and based in the logic of the game. Within these rules however, you as the player are free to do what you want and are either rewarded with a highscore or punished by a game over. The rules are there, but they don't bother the player too much.
In a game like MW3 (I'm speaking about single player only here obviously), there are arbitary rules on what you can or can't do that are often neither obvious to the player nor entirely based in logic, and worse they are often inconsistent between setpiece A and setpiece B. Because of that, the rules become so apparant to the player they feel constraint by it. Nobody cursed Tetris for not letting them rotate blocks diagonally, but a lot of players hate MW's SP because it arbitarily doesn't let you open doors on your own or punishes you for being faster than the game's scripted master plan. In MW3 you clearly see the seams of it's design, in Tetris you don't. (Obviously, that's a pretty unfair comparison between Tetris and a vastly more complex game, but it hopefully illustrates my point).

TailSwallower
26-11-2011, 01:04 PM
It seems weird to me that John Walker the guy who likes Adventure Games which are pretty much story over gameplay doesn't like these new fangled FPS games which are kind of the same thing. Something I've noticed.

I don't think this is an accurate observation at all. Adventure games definitely try to tell a story, but modern FPS games in the MW-vein are about spectacle, not story. There's also the fact that Adventure games are cerebral and FPS are twitch-based, so there's really no logical comparison between the two (unless you were just trolling, in which case, ignore me).

But yes, I've said it before, Kotaku AU is far superior to their American counterpart. I'd been following Kotak(a)u for a while and decided to add the US site to my feed as well and was simply amazed at how shite it was in comparison.
I think the article was well-written, and I'm sure it was a great and convincing read for the demographic he was aiming for (fans of the series, obviously [I can't help but think the whole thing was just to get hits, but that's neither here nor there]), but after reading both his and Walker's pieces I know who's philosophy I subscribe to. I'm glad you enjoyed MW3 Keogh, but I'm going to keep supporting devs that are aiming for more than a just reiteration of last year's installation in the series.

c-Row
26-11-2011, 01:07 PM
That was sort of my point. [...]

Ah... sorry for missing that. I just saw "Tetris" and thought you were trying to make the same argument like them, when in reality we both had the same opinion. My bad.

Unaco
26-11-2011, 01:24 PM
Wow. Ho-ly crap. Seriously. What?
I mean, I know these things are subjective, but I guess there really is no accounting for taste. Weird, man.

Take it you've played it all the way through then, and so can adequately judge this man's taste. What was so terrible about it that it's inconceivable someone would rate it as their game of the year?

Nova
26-11-2011, 01:24 PM
Better question. Why appeared John's MW3 review for RPS on Kotaku?

GraveyardJimmy
26-11-2011, 01:39 PM
Actually I didn't, but I can barely stand replaying it because I have to wait for the scripted stuff to happen all the time. Same thing applies to Call of Duty.


This is a pretty valid point. Kleiners lab, being in city 17, talking to resistance fighters. You are constantly waiting for the scripted conversation to be over. Half-Life 2 doesn't get stick for this, but Call of Duty does.

deano2099
26-11-2011, 01:41 PM
It seems weird to me that John Walker the guy who likes Adventure Games which are pretty much story over gameplay doesn't like these new fangled FPS games which are kind of the same thing. Something I've noticed.

Not really. If MW3 had a story on par with To The Moon or Dreamfall I think he'd like them a lot more. But if you're going to reduce the gameplay so much that story becomes the main focus, then you need to have a very strong story. And I lose count of the number of adventure games I've seen John pull apart for having bad, nonsensical or derivative stories.

Stellar Duck
26-11-2011, 02:14 PM
This is a pretty valid point. Kleiners lab, being in city 17, talking to resistance fighters. You are constantly waiting for the scripted conversation to be over. Half-Life 2 doesn't get stick for this, but Call of Duty does.


To be fair, Half-Life 2 is seven years old at this point. Modern Warfare 3 is brand new.

That said, I'd replay HL2 any day over playing MW3. Based on the first two Modern Warfares I wouldn't like it. I find the scripting too blatant and the game is infuriatingly unwilling to let me play it. Doom is linear as well, but at least Doom let's me set my own pace.

Heliocentric
26-11-2011, 02:14 PM
This is a pretty valid point. Kleiners lab, being in city 17, talking to resistance fighters. You are constantly waiting for the scripted conversation to be over. Half-Life 2 doesn't get stick for this, but Call of Duty does.

Personally? Call of Duty can have you bored on the first play through, halflife not do much. Although I found combine soldiers exceptionally dull to fight.

You can't go back through. Only a few open arena fights like ep 2's finale hold up. I replayed all of halflife+ eps with my son, but at times it was like pulling teeth... Oh look a steady stream of smg wielding civil protection... Again.

Taidan
26-11-2011, 02:53 PM
Better question. Why appeared John's MW3 review for RPS on Kotaku?

Kotaku occasionally republish articles from other websites. It's always stated that the article has been republished with permission, and there is always a link back to the original article.

I have no idea if any money changes hands, or if people simply let their articles be republished to drive more traffic back to the original site, but it doesn't seem to be a harmful practice, and it gets some pretty good articles a lot more readers.

GraveyardJimmy
26-11-2011, 02:58 PM
Personally? Call of Duty can have you bored on the first play through, halflife not do much. Although I found combine soldiers exceptionally dull to fight.


I think to me the recent call of duties are like big budget hollywood action movies. You probably wouldn't want to see them again and are completely forgettable, but can be quite impressive at first glance with all the effects.

I haven't played MW2 or 3 though, so cant comment on those campaigns, but Black Ops had a pretty interesting campaign, but I don't think I would replay it.

For the record I've played HL2 through 3 times and its episodes twice and I'm not a fan of the new CoDs (I did enjoy 1, United offensive and 2 though). I just dont think its campaigns (not port/pricing/server issues) are necessarily deserving of all the vitriol it gets from PC gamers.

Demiath
26-11-2011, 03:24 PM
From the Kotaku article:

So this is what I ask of you, and of all videogame critics and players alike: stop using “freedom” as a metric for a game’s quality or, even worse, for a game’s gameness. Every game is a dance between player and code, but that doesn’t mean the player always gets to lead.

Says who? Brendan Keogh is certainly welcome to have his own perspective on the proper balance between linearity and freedom, but here he's arbitrarily asking PC gamers (like John Walker and anyone reading this) to give up on our long-standing commitment to genuine interactivity and meaningful player agency. In the "interrelationship" between player and code a lot of us prefer making choices instead of being herded down a scripted corridor, but apparently that's just objectively "wrong" somehow...

GraveyardJimmy
26-11-2011, 03:31 PM
From the Kotaku article:


In the "interrelationship" between player and code a lot of us prefer making choices instead of being herded down a scripted corridor, but apparently that's just objectively "wrong" somehow...

To be fair, he does say "that doesn’t mean the player always gets to lead. " So using player freedom as a way of judging a scripted shooter isn't the best test. I remember thinking the scripted sequences in Call of Duty united offensive were great, being on the jeep as you fled the German attack to warn the frontlines was pretty exciting. That means I put that campaign pretty highly, just as I am really enjoying skyrim for its freedom of choice, they are different styles of game and need to be judged according to what they are trying to do, not one standard for all.

Keep
26-11-2011, 03:50 PM
I think there's one good (albeit strawmanning, but hey) point in that counter-criticism: a game doesn't have to cast you as the hero to be a good game.

You can get a lot of interesting mileage out of playing the character on the side. An RTS where you were one centurion rather than the general, for example, would be fascinating.

But there're three things I don't like about Brendan Keogh's defense of MW3:
1) He's missing the point to think that what John Walker wanted was to be A Big Damn Hero.
2) MW3 isn't actually like that.
3) He's not actually defending that idea.

Take 'em in reverse order:
3) If a game casts you as a subordinate - genuinely, now, not just as an excuse for why you have to obey its orders - it makes the game even more demanding and in need to player freedom. You are responsible for some little corner of the world. You will be held accountable if that corner goes wrong. So the battle at large may be won or lost regardless of you, but your area of control still needs you, and if anything requires more resourcefulness to manage than if you were a Big Damn Hero.

Brendan Keogh doesn't want that game. He wants a game that orders you around and relieves your decision-making brain from duty for a while. He doesn't want a game that asks even more of him than usual. MW3, luckily for him, isn't actually a game about participating, about being a cog doing its bit for the machine. It's not a game at all really.

Because

2) MW3 isn't about giving you a role within its world. You don't "participate" at all. You "submit". Much as BK tries to argue otherwise, you are the Big Damn Hero. Without your input, this world would not exist, would not unfold, would not be.

It might mask your role by calling you a grunt, but it actually casts you into the framework of "The world needs you! Act! Act now!" You are a hero. That's what you're meant to think.
What makes it frustrating so, isn't that your boss calls you his lackey. It's that the game universe does. It's obvious your possible inputs are so rigidly defined as to be meaningless. You can't act at all. You can't do anything other than obey, follow, accept.
The game treats you like a shmuck, but it wants you to think you're heroic.

Now, this is not a bad thing. This is not me condemning the genre, because when it all goes well these games do make you feel like you're really effecting the changes that you freely wanted to make. That's what BK argues in his last paragraph: you don't actually need freedom. When it hits that sweet spot, when your motivations and the game's motivations are aligned, it's simply a fantastic experience. You don't notice the stage props, the fake doors, the strings from above. It feels compelling, and the illusion is so exhilarating that caring that it's an illusion is what really misses the point.

But

1) John's review was essentially trying to say that the game didn't hit that sweet spot. The game repeatedly revealed the stagework, the strings, the impotent nature of your role. He didn't actually care about being the Big Damn Hero and so railed at being cast as a subordinate. What he wanted was an illusion to take him in. He didn't get it. And as a result, he railed against his role - but not his role as character, but as player.

TillEulenspiegel
26-11-2011, 03:54 PM
stop using “freedom” as a metric for a game’s quality or, even worse, for a game’s gameness
Progress Quest is not a game.

Per Sid Meier, a "series of interesting decisions" is still a good way to measure the value of most games. A game void of interesting decisions is probably just a test of motor skills, which isn't very interesting.

I had the misfortune of playing a few hours of MW3; the game parts of it are nothing more than a dull shooting gallery. Even CoD4 gave you a bit of freedom to wander around and confront difficult challenges in the way you chose, and it was a vastly better game for it.

Ninjafoodstuff
26-11-2011, 04:02 PM
You are an alright guy!

That was my favourite bit.

Rakysh
26-11-2011, 04:31 PM
I think he needed to be more patronising. Oh wait, that's not physically possible.

The Innocent
26-11-2011, 08:46 PM
That's the stuff that got me.


...so I want to begin by saying that I have utmost respect for your opinions and for the endlessly awesome writing you produce...
You are an alright guy!
...you are an un-player. And that is okay! Every time he said that kind of thing, I pictured him as a big pink bear with huge eyes filled with enormous pupils, looking lovingly down on me while patting my head and explaining why little me Just Didn't Get It.

Some of his other statements made me raise an eyebrow:


We play videogames by participating with them as equals, not by becoming some god-like master over them. I've read this sentence about a dozen times now, and I still don't get his meaning. I understand the point he's trying to make, but... I don't believe that I participate with my videogames as an equal. I don't even know how I could accomplish that.


It would be a sad, sad world if we all loved and hated the same games.I don't really get this either. First, I don't know if the world would really be sad if people loved/hated the same things. It might be sad for us to think about that from our multi-opinioned perspective, but I think that if we lived in Mr Keogh's theoretical mono-opinion world, we wouldn't consider ourselves sad at all. We might even be very happy now that every variety of strife had been permanently resolved! I probably spent more time fascinated by this bizarro world than I did about the rest of the article.

Second, even if I could get past the first point, isn't he arguing (despite his assurances that it's okay for Mr Walker to have another opinion) that an opposing perspective is objectively wrong? I mean, he doesn't just say that he disagrees, he says "You, sir, played the game wrong." That doesn't jive with all his assurances that it's okay to believe differently. There's a fundamental difference between saying "I disagree" and "you're wrong." So when it comes down to it, isn't he a proponent of his theoretical "sad, sad world"?

Other than that, I thought his article was okay. In all fairness, Mr Walker probably wasn't into the spirit of the spectacle-fest. Brendan just enjoys MW3, okay bro? No time for freedom in games when you're saving Freedom itself.

Nalano
26-11-2011, 08:53 PM
That's the stuff that got me.

I've noticed similar devolutions of rhetoric and decorum in Salon.com and Slate.com. Their columnists end up sounding like elevated internet posters, not professional writers. God forbid, for instance, you criticize Farhad Manjoo for being an Apple fanboy because he will start flaming you in the comments.

thegooseking
26-11-2011, 09:03 PM
I told Brendan, in a comment on his blog, to consider the audience. I think John's statements were appropriate for the RPS audience, but not so much for the Kotaku audience. To say nothing of context. There is a wealth of stylistic context throughout RPS's posting history, without which John's argument doesn't make much sense (in a "people taking jokes seriously" kind of way). Decontextualising it by posting it on another site was kind of a bad decision.

But I'm going to have to say the same thing here. Brendan was writing for Kotaku, and in the opening paragraph of his blog post on the matter (http://critdamage.blogspot.com/2011/11/youre-playing-it-wrong.html), he does acknowledge that in the editorial he says "one or two crazy things". Because that's the sort of thing Kotaku thrives on, I guess.

Nalano
26-11-2011, 09:07 PM
I told Brendan, in a comment on his blog, to consider the audience. I think John's statements were appropriate for the RPS audience, but not so much for the Kotaku audience.

But I'm going to have to say the same thing here. Brendan was writing for Kotaku, and in the opening paragraph of his blog post on the matter (http://critdamage.blogspot.com/2011/11/youre-playing-it-wrong.html), he does acknowledge that in the editorial he says "one or two crazy things". Because that's the sort of thing Kotaku thrives on, I guess.

That's probably the nicest way in which anybody has ever made the point that Kotaku sucks.

And that blog post, if I may continue a theme, is an un-apology worthy of most politicians.

archonsod
26-11-2011, 11:50 PM
I think to me the recent call of duties are like big budget hollywood action movies. You probably wouldn't want to see them again and are completely forgettable, but can be quite impressive at first glance with all the effects.

That's the problem though. Full Metal Jacket has better graphics and these days my DVD player offers me almost twice the amount of interactivity the average CoD game does.

CuriousOrange
27-11-2011, 05:27 PM
It's true that Half Life 2 is guilty of that sometimes. But the difference is it makes up a huge amount of a CoD games. It happens fairly rarely in the HL2 games. And when it does happen it's not just bro fisting.

Wulf
27-11-2011, 06:45 PM
The mind boggles. Are we really comparing Generic Warfare to Half-Life 2? Isn't that kind of like comparing Last Action Hero to Bladerunner? Don't you dare say it isn't.

If we're looking at the story and the world, HL2 is actually fairly damn compelling, and that's why it's one of the few shooters I actually like. Mr. Freeman being mute is irritating sometimes, but you can tell that they do have some tale-tellers there, pensmiths able to scribble down a plot that I'd want to read. Portal 2 was the evolution of that, in every respect, where we all held Valve up as silver-tongued bard of the games industry.

So a fair question would be more: Why doesn't Portal 2 catch shit for doing what Generic Warfare does? Do I really need to continue this paragraph? Hokay. The story is shit, utter shit. It's always been that way. So asking me to play Generic Warfare is sort of like asking me to watch Last Action Hero. The sort of people who watch LAH are the people who play the GW games, they play them for explosions and eye-candy, they play them to turn their brains off and to watch some spectacle that plays itself.

In my book? That sort of thing embodies everything that's bad about the games industry. It desensitises people to violence, glorifies violence, and then tosses that in a pot filled with shit, a plot so thin that a fly could breach it by landing on it, and characters so faceless you'd think that some sort of Doctor Who villain had stolen their identities. You take all that, and then you stir. You stir, and you stir, and you pepper in guns, explosions, death, gore, vehicles, and more explosions.

But the story is still paper thin, the characters are still faceless, and it's still all shit.

This is why no one should ever dare even compare Half-Life 2 to the Generic Warfare games, and if anyone were to even try comparing Portal 2 (which takes all the unnecessary low brow stuff out to concentrate on the good stuff) to the Generic Warfare games, then my opinion of them would bottom out.

Half-Life 2 wins because Barney, because Kleiner, because Dog, because G-Man, because Vortigaunts, because gravity gun, because of the self-parodying "Last Free Man" cliche, and because of its world. Portal 2 wins because it takes all the good parts of that and leaves out what few bad parts remain. Generic Warfare isn't even in the same league. Sorry.

GraveyardJimmy
27-11-2011, 06:58 PM
The mind boggles. Are we really comparing Generic Warfare to Half-Life 2? Isn't that kind of like comparing Last Action Hero to Bladerunner? Don't you dare say it isn't.

No, we are comparing an element of one game with an element of another. A mechanic, not the quality of the plot.

dan.
27-11-2011, 07:11 PM
Wulf automatically voids any argument he's trying to make by implying that Last Action Hero is shit.

Lukasz
27-11-2011, 08:24 PM
Wulf automatically voids any argument he's trying to make by implying that Last Action Hero is shit.

No... I don't think he does that. I mean... what kind of person would imply that LAH is shit? that's just evil.


HL2 has lots of parts where your role is limited but they are not long. Beginning is, Kleiner's lab for few minutes and then Black Mesa east. Rest of the game you are fighting like you want. Most maps are fairly open, so even if your progress is linear, your actions are not. You can also skip a lot of content (especially during vehicle sections.) or you can explore a little.

So comparing HL2 to COD is not fair as HL leads player by hand often but more time than not it gives player freedom to fight how he/she wants. COD leads player through whole game, through storymodes, through every single fight.

Skalpadda
27-11-2011, 08:38 PM
At least in Kleiner's Lab you got a teleporter to play with, not to mention the facial animations were a marvel at the time, so being railroaded into paying attention to the characters for a few moments didn't feel like a big deal.

QuantaCat
27-11-2011, 10:33 PM
ehhhhhhh. if you deconstruct the story of HL2, it isnt that good, really. It was a constant thrillride with a decent story backing it up, but what the hell, the story could have been loads better. Like James Wallis mentioned on the STAGConf, "Why is there a fucking zombie level in HL2? BECAUSE THEY CAN, AND ITS FUN."

c-Row
27-11-2011, 10:42 PM
Wulf automatically voids any argument he's trying to make by implying that Last Action Hero is shit.

Yeah, what's wrong with Last Action Hero? I can watch that movie and enjoy it just as much as I love Blade Runner or Moon, but I never played any GW shooters beyond a demo (and that only was "ET: Quake Wars" even).

vinraith
27-11-2011, 10:42 PM
ehhhhhhh. if you deconstruct the story of HL2, it isnt that good, really. It was a constant thrillride with a decent story backing it up, but what the hell, the story could have been loads better. Like James Wallis mentioned on the STAGConf, "Why is there a fucking zombie level in HL2? BECAUSE THEY CAN, AND ITS FUN."

The story is mediocre, but the characters are much better done than is typical of the medium.

Mihkel
27-11-2011, 10:51 PM
I don't really know how people can compare MW3 nosedraggin to HL2? HL2 had: open levels, secrets to discover with various references, extra stuff to discover (health packs, ammo, guns etc.), physics based puzzles, element of experimenting (gravity gun or playing around with the crane in that one level for example). I would even go as far as to say that glitching was a good thing in there just because it gave a player with an imagination and will to discover shit to do more stuff in there. All these things MW3 does not have, it's a straight fucking line. Don't get me wrong, HL2 has nosedraggin but not to the crazy extent MW3 has.

Lukasz
27-11-2011, 11:09 PM
I don't really know how people can compare MW3 nosedraggin to HL2? HL2 had: open levels, secrets to discover with various references, extra stuff to discover (health packs, ammo, guns etc.), physics based puzzles, element of experimenting (gravity gun or playing around with the crane in that one level for example). I would even go as far as to say that glitching was a good thing in there just because it gave a player with an imagination and will to discover shit to do more stuff in there. All these things MW3 does not have, it's a straight fucking line. Don't get me wrong, HL2 has nosedraggin but not to the crazy extent MW3 has.
That's why people compare MW to HL2

HL2 is linear, hold my hand, scripted action shooter done RIGHT.
Yet MW is everything what HL2 was but done badly.

but not as badly as BF3 right? I haven't played it but saw two videos of SP and those were shit!

strange headache
28-11-2011, 12:01 AM
The sort of people who watch LAH are the people who play the GW games...
I liked Last Action Hero, but never played any Modern Warfare games.

Drake Sigar
28-11-2011, 12:15 AM
If he goes after Big Trouble in Little China next, I will punch him out.

dan.
28-11-2011, 01:52 AM
I think the differnece between Half-Life 2 (and, by extension, the original Hlaf-Life) and Modern Warfre 3 is thta the scripting in HL puts you front and centre, i.e. cool scripted shit is happening to you, whilst in MW cool scripted shit is happening around you, making you a passive observer.

Or something. I dunno, I'm quite drunk.

Nalano
28-11-2011, 01:52 AM
If he goes after Big Trouble in Little China next, I will punch him out.

If he goes after Punch Out, we'll have ourselves a samurai showdown.

Lukasz
28-11-2011, 02:08 AM
Poor wulf. he made a lot of enemies today.

i don't have anything else to add except I want HL2 episode 3 goddamnit.

thegooseking
28-11-2011, 02:59 AM
I think the differnece between Half-Life 2 (and, by extension, the original Hlaf-Life) and Modern Warfre 3 is thta the scripting in HL puts you front and centre, i.e. cool scripted shit is happening to you, whilst in MW cool scripted shit is happening around you, making you a passive observer.

Or something. I dunno, I'm quite drunk.

I'm not sure about 'passive'. That carries some connotations that I don't think are quite right. And, see, this is where I agree with Brendan. Agency is not the only thing that sets games apart from movies, and thinking that it is is oversimplifying the matter tremendously and doing a disservice to gaming. And while Modern Warfare pretty much totally discards agency, it does everything else that sets games apart from movies very well. Well, apart from challenge. It kind of sucks at that, too. But everything else else.

Now the original Modern Warfare actually used its lack of agency to make a point about empowerment and the lack thereof, but as we come to the third title in the series, I think that's inevitably a little played out. But the point is that Modern Warfare is still leveraging strengths of the medium that most people don't ever consider. Whether that makes a good game or not is debatable, and I can't say it's my favourite thing ever, but from the perspective of gaming in general, I do think it's vitally important to explore the other strengths of gaming rather than just getting hung up on agency all the time.

Hensler
28-11-2011, 05:22 AM
The guy had his arm and leg cut off in Oklahoma, give him a break. It's hard to be a player one handed in a wheel chair.

Demiath
28-11-2011, 05:38 AM
To be fair, he does say "that doesn’t mean the player always gets to lead. " So using player freedom as a way of judging a scripted shooter isn't the best test.

I'd say a substantial part of the whole rationale for a PC-oriented site like RPS is precisely to critique extreme linearity from the point of view of another perspective on what gameplay could and should be, informed by the formative classics of the platform (which have never been as rail shooter-esque as CoD is now). As long as you're clear about what you're doing, I think it's always right to critique games for what they don't do, even if that means paying considerably less attention to what they do get right (which should always be duly mentioned, of course). That's where the whole "game criticism as inherently subjective" angle comes in (which I'm normally skeptical of, since good old fashioned objectivism is something I do believe in and value in all writing); defined as a choice of focus regarding what means something to you as a player given your own inclinations, expectations and long-term views on where interactive entertainment ought to go from here. In short, freedom is always the right metric if freedom is what we truly care about.

Nalano
28-11-2011, 08:11 AM
I propose a new game genre:

Screw being Mario, having to fight thousands of goombas and koopa troopas in order to save the princess.

Let's play the princess! Eight hours of sitting in an empty room, doing nothing, as an NPC valiantly attempts to open the door for you.

Grizzly
28-11-2011, 08:40 AM
I think the differnece between Half-Life 2 (and, by extension, the original Hlaf-Life) and Modern Warfre 3 is thta the scripting in HL puts you front and centre, i.e. cool scripted shit is happening to you, whilst in MW cool scripted shit is happening around you, making you a passive observer.

Or something. I dunno, I'm quite drunk.

You are quite accurate nonetheless.

Okami
28-11-2011, 11:37 AM
Skimmed the Kotaku piece, found one paragraph starting with "We humans.." and closed the tab in disgust.

Snargelfargen
28-11-2011, 03:38 PM
There is definitely something seriously wrong with the way the scripted encounters in CoD take place. Maybe I'm just a freak but I find Call of Duty's single player too difficult. I literally couldn't beat the first level in Modern Warfare 2 on the easiest setting.
To give a little background, I'm decent at the man-shoot genre; I've played them for years, starting with an unhealthy obsession with Half-Life and UT Classic. To give recent examples, I almost always get the most kills in Brink games with or without bots*. During a free to play weekend, I actually managed to win a deathmatch game in Modern Warfare 2, and I was usually solidly in the middle of the pack, despite having never played it before.
But then I tried playing the single player campaign at a friend's house. I died horribly again and again, everywhere. It was ridiculous. After about an hour of difficulties, I tried some skirmish scenarios with the same results.

After reading Walker's review of MW3, I'm beginning to understand why I bounced off the single-player so quickly. The game actively punishes the player for taking initiative or trying to predict what an opponent will do. Spatial awareness and a mental map of the battlefield become meaningless when opponents spawn according to some secret formula. Had I just stopped trying to play the game, things would have gone much easier.

*Yes Brink is a team game. I usually contribute by keeping all the first aid and supply points capped, and disrupting chokepoints by sneaking behind them. I help, really!

TillEulenspiegel
28-11-2011, 03:48 PM
As long as you're clear about what you're doing, I think it's always right to critique games for what they don't do, even if that means paying considerably less attention to what they do get right
That's the only kind of review that I find particularly useful. I don't really care about what a game gets right if it's not the type of game I'm interested in playing.

If the only thing MW3 does well are the spectacles to be passively gawped at, does it deserve credit for that, just because it did *something* well? No, not really.

gundrea
28-11-2011, 04:05 PM
If I wanted to play a game like Modern Warfare I'd go see a movie.

Snargelfargen
28-11-2011, 04:09 PM
I recommend Black Hawk Down.

thegooseking
28-11-2011, 09:05 PM
I think another important thing, and in fact a much simpler thing than I mentioned before, is that whether linear or nonlinear is better is debatable, and might not even be a meaningful question, but as to whether developers are better at making linear or nonlinear games, the answer is linear, clearly. Just about every great nonlinear game I can think of has huge flaws that are absent from the great linear games. That's not something inherent about nonlinearity; it's just that game developers are still learning how to make nonlinear games better.

And I do think that might change in the future. I certainly hope it will. But it's the way things are right now. And yes, the industry has to get to grips with the things it's less good at, so it can get better at them, but in the meantime, suggesting that there's not also room for the industry to play to its strengths is a little absurd.

somini
28-11-2011, 09:41 PM
Whereas I didn't get bored with the original RPS article, I did with the Kotaku one. So that's my meta-critique.
You are the un-Kotaku-Reader...

soldant
28-11-2011, 11:54 PM
So MW3 is criticised for essentially being a sequence of events that you watch unfold without a great deal of interaction, or interaction which is largely meaningless. This makes it an "un-game". I agree. So my question is, are "games" like anything by Tale of Tales also "un-games" and therefore shouldn't really be called "games"? Arguably they have even less gameplay than MW3 and revolve around a fixed sequence of events with little real input into how the game plays. The Path deviates a bit in that you can miss content but otherwise it's still a linear progression from the start to the "wolf" to Grandma's house, and none of the scenes have any interaction beyond encountering them. Are we creating a new sort of genre that acts like an interactive diorama?

Lambchops
29-11-2011, 12:27 AM
@ Soldant

As far as Tale of Tales go its best to read there own words on it and form your opinion from there.

http://www.bit-tech.net/gaming/pc/2009/04/08/the-path-interview-are-games-art/1

Can't really what this specific interview entails (and don't want to reread in case it was one of the ones that irritated me) but in general they get off to an admirable start by saying the want to create art (it might not personally be my cup of tea but fair play to them for doing it) but then start acting all sneering at some stage and come across a bit arrogant, which always tends to rankle me somewhat.

soldant
29-11-2011, 03:43 AM
As far as Tale of Tales go its best to read there own words on it and form your opinion from there.
Yeah I personally dislike Tale of Tales and pretty much any of these attempts to sell their "art" by pretending it's a game. Tale of Tales particularly irritate my veins because they're deliberately vague and ambiguous with their elements (to the point of outright stating that nothing has any intended meaning) to pretend to be abstract. And they have the gall to charge for it! That's the only reason they label them as "games" - to try to make cash out of it, because nobody in the art world is interested in this second-rate, clumsy crap.

I pointed this out a while ago in a thread and had almost everyone accuse me of being a degenerate lowlife lower-class sub-human who burns art for warmth in winter. Tale of Tales make bad art and even worse games, but because they're pretending it's a game apparently it's auto-awesome. Figured I'd ask if I can finally confirm they're not really games, because of MW3 is considered an un-game then anything by Tale of Tales most certainly is.

hamster
29-11-2011, 02:41 PM
Yeah I personally dislike Tale of Tales and pretty much any of these attempts to sell their "art" by pretending it's a game. Tale of Tales particularly irritate my veins because they're deliberately vague and ambiguous with their elements (to the point of outright stating that nothing has any intended meaning) to pretend to be abstract. And they have the gall to charge for it! That's the only reason they label them as "games" - to try to make cash out of it, because nobody in the art world is interested in this second-rate, clumsy crap.


My assorted thoughts on the whole thing:

In the interview they said there was specific meaning ascribed to each individual element (including the jars) and that they weren't just tossing random things to befuddle the player in an attempt to appear complex. Don't know if that's true or not though since i haven't played the game.

But I otherwise agree with your view point. I think subjective interpretation doesn't make sense. As an artist you are there to present a world-view, an emotional, logical, psychological conflux that has been defined, chosen and outlined from a conceptual infinite. UNLESS somehow the art element the artist has chosen is recognized to create powerful (not of a specific type) but differing emotive/cognitive reaction. Alternatively the element is chosen to create a sense of confusion. Either way, both elements still carry artistic DESIGN and therefore INTENT. It is somewhat like attempting to prove that human beings can act illogically (without premise) - ultimately a fallacy.

I don't like the point about artistic elements that the artist is not aware of. This is an incorrect way of framing it. If the element is in the artist's subconscious and he is unable to articulate and understand it, this doesn't mean that there is no artistic intent. It just means the thing is rooted so deeply in his subconscious he is unable to comprehend it on a conscious level. Still, subconsciously (or consciously) he knows it is an effective device.

Then the bit about how games can or cannot be art. Wasn't there this contemporary art asshole who took a blank sheet of paper, put a dot in the middle, and passed it off as art? You could equally say that the observer has far too much autonomy in interpretation (at least in this case). I would say that that's a far more convincing argument than accusing all games of offering too little directorial control/too much player freedom, since games are by definition and at its core, a bunch of rules that constrain.

Yeah, the only good art is art that successfully communicates its message to the observer. No one cares that you went on an acid trip and had the most profound epiphany and you wish to share it in painting but fail to precisely (within reason) convey it.

Nalano
29-11-2011, 08:02 PM
My assorted thoughts on the whole thing:

In the interview they said there was specific meaning ascribed to each individual element (including the jars) and that they weren't just tossing random things to befuddle the player in an attempt to appear complex. Don't know if that's true or not though since i haven't played the game.

But I otherwise agree with your view point. I think subjective interpretation doesn't make sense. As an artist you are there to present a world-view, an emotional, logical, psychological conflux that has been defined, chosen and outlined from a conceptual infinite. UNLESS somehow the art element the artist has chosen is recognized to create powerful (not of a specific type) but differing emotive/cognitive reaction. Alternatively the element is chosen to create a sense of confusion. Either way, both elements still carry artistic DESIGN and therefore INTENT. It is somewhat like attempting to prove that human beings can act illogically (without premise) - ultimately a fallacy.

I don't like the point about artistic elements that the artist is not aware of. This is an incorrect way of framing it. If the element is in the artist's subconscious and he is unable to articulate and understand it, this doesn't mean that there is no artistic intent. It just means the thing is rooted so deeply in his subconscious he is unable to comprehend it on a conscious level. Still, subconsciously (or consciously) he knows it is an effective device.

Then the bit about how games can or cannot be art. Wasn't there this contemporary art asshole who took a blank sheet of paper, put a dot in the middle, and passed it off as art? You could equally say that the observer has far too much autonomy in interpretation (at least in this case). I would say that that's a far more convincing argument than accusing all games of offering too little directorial control/too much player freedom, since games are by definition and at its core, a bunch of rules that constrain.

Yeah, the only good art is art that successfully communicates its message to the observer. No one cares that you went on an acid trip and had the most profound epiphany and you wish to share it in painting but fail to precisely (within reason) convey it.

Long story short: The message the artist is trying to convey is art. The means for him to do so is craft.

At our most generous, we cannot rate the artist of Tale of Tales on his art because his lack of skill in his craft makes it difficult to do so.

DigitalSignalX
29-11-2011, 11:42 PM
Dragon’s Lair, a game where the entire experience is a series of quick time events. There isn’t a single element of player control, not even camera. It’s merely press this button sequence to proceed with the movie.

Discuss.

Nalano
30-11-2011, 12:07 AM
Dragon’s Lair, a game where the entire experience is a series of quick time events. There isn’t a single element of player control, not even camera. It’s merely press this button sequence to proceed with the movie.

Discuss.

I dunno. I mean, "Dragon's Lair?" That's not a gritty modern shooter.

thegooseking
30-11-2011, 12:47 AM
Dragon’s Lair, a game where the entire experience is a series of quick time events. There isn’t a single element of player control, not even camera. It’s merely press this button sequence to proceed with the movie.

Discuss.

Dragon's Lair was made back when people thought interactive movies were a good idea, though. That's a different thing.

soldant
30-11-2011, 01:14 AM
In the interview they said there was specific meaning ascribed to each individual element (including the jars) and that they weren't just tossing random things to befuddle the player in an attempt to appear complex. Don't know if that's true or not though since i haven't played the game.
They do say that they're not a random collection but that any meaning you get from them is entirely on your own, not from them. But then they try to say that there is meaning in them. If the artist flat out says "Yes it means something but no it actually doesn't" then they're clearly trying to be vague and largely devoid of meaning so that the can claim their art is more "abstract" and that the player is creating their own meaning. Which is ridiculous because if you accept that, it's just a meaningless set of possibly connected elements with no purpose or message. It's like assembling a bunch of Lego bricks and calling it art.

That's what I can't stand about Tale of Tales as a form of art; their meanings are either sledgehammer obvious or have no real meaning, while they act all high and mighty as if they're bringing friggin' Picasso to gaming. Not to mention the fact they basically shit all over gaming in the process, outright stating games are just shallow forms of entertainment... which they will promptly use because nobody else will buy their abysmal collection of pointless sequences or ham-fisted messages (whether intentional or not). I think the worst of the lot though is The Graveyard. Literally a straight line, song plays, game ends. Buy now to see the old lay die on the bench!

Xercies
30-11-2011, 11:48 AM
If the artist flat out says "Yes it means something but no it actually doesn't" then they're clearly trying to be vague and largely devoid of meaning so that the can claim their art is more "abstract" and that the player is creating their own meaning. Which is ridiculous because if you accept that, it's just a meaningless set of possibly connected elements with no purpose or message. It's like assembling a bunch of Lego bricks and calling it art.

But there is something about that that could be conceived as art, if the author didn't intend for something but the audience got something out of it who are you to tell the audience is wrong. Death of The Author and all that.

hamster
30-11-2011, 12:36 PM
But there is something about that that could be conceived as art, if the author didn't intend for something but the audience got something out of it who are you to tell the audience is wrong. Death of The Author and all that.

If the audience isn't divisive and by and large agree that the element is symbolic of this particular theme then it is very unlikely that the artist included the element unintentionally.

But what Soldant really meant, which I agree with, is that you can't just throw random clutter, rely on the myriad of subjective interpretations from your audience, and pass it off as art. Taken to an extreme, it allows you to specify any random thing as art. And there is no in-between: either the stuff you include is completely random, or you have included it by design i.e. you intend your audience to construe it in a specific manner.

But that wasn't the impression I got from the interview, nor did I detect an air of superiority on the interviewee's part.

soldant
30-11-2011, 02:54 PM
But what Soldant really meant, which I agree with, is that you can't just throw random clutter, rely on the myriad of subjective interpretations from your audience, and pass it off as art.
That's exactly what I'm saying.


But there is something about that that could be conceived as art, if the author didn't intend for something but the audience got something out of it who are you to tell the audience is wrong. Death of The Author and all that.
At one point in the interview they attempt to claim that elements have meaning, but then turn around and say that they have no intended meaning. It's entirely possible for a person to view a piece of art and get a different meaning from what the artist intended, or for the artist to hide their own interpretation of their art. That's not what happened with The Path, they've clearly tossed together a bunch of sequences and either did it deliberately to create an event (which means they have real meaning) or they're random items with no real connection and they're being deliberately ambiguous to hide this fact and pretend that they're artistic. Everyone comes up with an intended "meaning" for The Path (the more common being that it's about rape, which barely works except for one of the girls) but it has no meaning. If the artists themselves can't find any meaning in something with very specific form and sequence, then how is this good art?

The "game" medium they put it in, with all the animation, pretty much locks some sort of intended meaning in. It's not a bunch of abstract shapes or an abstract interpretation of real life with all sorts of crazy representations, each event is linear and static and was designed that way, so whether they want to admit to it or not they clearly did have a meaning there. But the problem is that if they did have an intended meaning, their approach was hamfisted and sledgehammer-style, which makes it pretty crappy art. They probably knew this and instead play the mysterious card.


But that wasn't the impression I got from the interview, nor did I detect an air of superiority on the interviewee's part.
I'm basing that off the way that they dismiss games in general as shallow entertainment while decided that their own "games" are an acceptable vehicle for their "art". In other words: "We've figured out we can sell our bad art as a game if we pretend it's an artistic game. We think games are a lesser medium, but we need a dollar."

Xercies
30-11-2011, 09:41 PM
To be honest i still don't agree with you with that, I think it totally had a meaning and to be honest there not really doing anything any other artist wouldn't do. Loads of artists make a mystery about the meaning of there art because if they actually came out and said it part of that arts value would dissapear.

Taidan
01-12-2011, 12:14 AM
Dragon’s Lair, a game where the entire experience is a series of quick time events. There isn’t a single element of player control, not even camera. It’s merely press this button sequence to proceed with the movie.

Discuss.

I think I addressed that issue on the first page of this thread.

It's not necessarily a great videogame, going by the standards that most of us use to judge videogames, but that doesn't automatically make it a bad form of entertainment.

I'm sure there's a great market out there for people who want to watch cartoons with a very limited level of participation. Or more likely, want to watch cartoons where they can make the hero die a horrible cartoon death on a regular basis...

Hey, I'm getting the genesis of an idea here. Wouldn't it be awesome to make a Dragon's Lair-style game where an annoying, unlikeable protagonist "wins" by default, but if you perform the QTEs correctly you get to kill them in a variety of ways? I could see that being popular...

Keep
01-12-2011, 12:28 AM
Hey, I'm getting the genesis of an idea here. Wouldn't it be awesome to make a Dragon's Lair-style game where an annoying, unlikeable protagonist "wins" by default, but if you perform the QTEs correctly you get to kill them in a variety of ways? I could see that being popular...

That'd be awesome.

Worth adding to: http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/forums/showthread.php?616-Offbeat-Game-Ideas&highlight=game+ideas

soldant
01-12-2011, 12:58 AM
To be honest i still don't agree with you with that, I think it totally had a meaning and to be honest there not really doing anything any other artist wouldn't do. Loads of artists make a mystery about the meaning of there art because if they actually came out and said it part of that arts value would dissapear.
I agree that Tale of Tales had a meaning they wanted to convey. It's obvious, they really don't have a choice with using a "game medium" for their "art" because they're making all the sequences which play out in a specific way. But they then go out of their way to claim that their elements have no real meaning... while also saying they do have meaning... but they actually don't. The artist might say "Yes, they do have an intended meaning, but I'd rather leave it up to the viewer to draw their own conclusions" then that's fine. But ToT instead play it coy as if being deliberately ambiguous and vague is artistic. It isn't, it's just ridiculous, and it's what makes their art particularly bad in my eyes. They're basically claiming it's undirected and pointless.

Xercies
01-12-2011, 11:15 AM
I was just thinking, i think tales are like that to create controversy and in this inyernet age controversy gets you hits. So the whole thing about games being rubbish and not having any meaning is attention seeking. If they didnt do this i dont think us gamers would have heard of them.

So yes you could say there being a bit childish which kind of works with games

soldant
01-12-2011, 12:52 PM
I was just thinking, i think tales are like that to create controversy and in this inyernet age controversy gets you hits. So the whole thing about games being rubbish and not having any meaning is attention seeking. If they didnt do this i dont think us gamers would have heard of them.

So yes you could say there being a bit childish which kind of works with games
I agree entirely. Which is why I hate them with the burning rage of a billion suns. I really wouldn't care but they're selling their "games". I can't believe people would want to pay for that kind of stuff. The Graveyard is easily the most ridiculous thing they sell though.