Posts Tagged ‘editorial’

Editorial: Why Games Should Enter The Public Domain

A few days ago I inadvertently caused a bit of a fuss. In writing about GOG’s Time Machine sale, I expressed my two minds about the joy of older games being rescued from obscurity, and my desire that they be in the public domain. This led to some really superb discussion about the subject in the comments below, and indeed to a major developer on Twitter to call for me to be fired.

I wanted to expand on my thoughts, rather than leave them as a throwaway musing on a post about a website’s sale. But I also want to stress that these are my thoughts-in-process, and not those of RPS’s hivemind. This isn’t a petition – it’s an exploration of my thoughts on the subject. Let’s keep that in mind as we decide whether I should indeed fire myself.

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The Ignorance Of Crowds: Why Open Development Is Crap

No wisdom here.

Open development is just about the worst idea for games.

People like to think they’re pretty special. And people do tend to have a habit of thinking what they think is right, and those who disagree are wrong. In my case it’s actually true, but unfortunately that’s not always the case for others. And really, honestly, the very last thing I want is other wrong people to be influencing the games I’m going to play. Developers have to stop asking other people how to make their games.

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Kickstarter Pledges Are Risky Investments, Not Purchases

2014 is going to be the real Year Of Kickstarter. While the phenomenon became enormous in 2012, and saw continued enormous successes in 2013, it’s this year that’s really going to count. This is the year that so many of those multi-million dollar projects are due to appear. It’s going to prove, I would like to argue, the year that we are going to change our understanding of what a Kickstarter pledge really is.

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Horror Stories: A Maddening Lack Of Imagination

I didn't have to mock this image up to illustrate the article

Looking through the recent releases on Steam, a casual observer might believe that there’s a horror game renaissance underway. In the last few weeks, several games have appeared, with titles like Paranormal and The Orphanage. I’ve installed a few of them, heard them go bump in the night, and then moved on. Despite some quality releases, horror is in a rut. And it’s an unpleasant one.

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Editorial: An Appeal For Unrealism

“Realism”. It’s probably the most common phrase I read in the forests of press releases that tower over me every day – boasts of a game’s attempts at realism. “Realistic weapons”, “realistic gravity”, “realistic AI”… And each time a part of me looks up into the sky, raises its arms, and wails. “Buuuuut whyyyyyyyyyyyy?!”

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Misogyny, Sexism, And Why RPS Isn’t Shutting Up

There were two sessions in a row on Wednesday afternoon at this year’s GDC. The first was a panel of women in the games industry, discussing the causes and results of the #1ReasonWhy and #1ReasonToBe phenomena – the reasons to be and not be in the games industry. The second was Feminist Frequency’s Anita Sarkeesian, talking about the positive and negative consequences of her Kickstarter campaign, and the way forward from here. I came out of the first – vivid, passionate declarations of purpose from the likes of Leigh Alexander, Mattie Brice and Brenda Romero – feeling certain that the industry and its audience was on a wave of significant change. An hour later I came out of the second – Sarkeesian’s challenging and demanding story of recent horror – re-grounded to the current reality, introspective, and further determined.

There is a clear message: Rock, Paper, Shotgun will never back down on the subject of sexism and misogyny (nor racism, nor homophobia, for that matter) in games, the games industry, and the games journalism industry. Good times are ahead – we can see them.

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun Apology For Using Female Writers

We made a mistake. It’s important as a website that readers can trust that we are up front when this happens, and willing to admit to our failings, and promise to address them. And as recently as last week, Rock, Paper, Shotgun let a woman write an article. We would like to apologise to our readers for any offence caused.

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Editorial: Let’s Not Pre-Order Games Any More, Eh?

Over the last few years, gaming pre-orders have become quite the most peculiar thing. What was once the province of the over-excited has now become one of the most crucial revenue streams for big publishers, with games offering as many as eight different versions of their bemusing pre-order bundles, where you can buy the game months before it’s finished, on the promise of some plastic tat and a book of concept art that the game doesn’t look like. And throughout, we’ve been suggesting that no, you really shouldn’t be partaking. And in light of the recent disastergeddons of Aliens: Colonial Marines and SimCity, it feels appropriate to reiterate that.

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Editorial: The Pre-Order Heist


Over the last few years we’ve seen the pre-order become a central aspect of gaming. Heavily relied upon by both major publishers and the smallest indies, more people than ever are paying for their games long before they’re even finished. And with Kickstarter and its crowd-funding sisters, the matter’s become even more complex and nuanced. Shops tend to so massively over-stock on major console releases that there’s no real need to bagsy a copy, while PC games are of course infinitely available via digital channels. And yet pre-ordering games is a bigger thing than ever before. Why’s that, eh?

Time was you could loudly declare yourself for or against the concept – now it’s a subject that requires a little more thought. I’ve given it some below.

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Hmm: EA On Steam/Origin Mega-Sales

I wasn't sure how to illustrate this piece, so here are some puppies in a box. Aww.

Having been doing an awful lot of dev interviews for this site and others over the last couple of years, I’ve become increasingly wary of the out of context quote. Not because I believe they’re inaccurate (at least, not usually), because if you say something you should damn well be prepared to stand by it, but because picking out key words or phrases creates a wholly new context. That is, a man stands on top of a building with a megaphone and unexpectedly bellows a forceful proclamation at the world. That’s never how it happens, even in those rare interviews where the subject goes into it with an intention to push a specific agenda. While their opinions are their opinions, the contentious statements that become headlines almost always form part of a larger, calmer conversation where they’re led onto certain topics.

Hence, EA’s Origin boss David DeMartini saying Steam’s mega-sales “cheapen intellectual property” did not involve DeMartini leaning in close to the journalist at GamesIndustry International, raising a clenched fist with fire in his eyes, spittle on his lips and an expression which suggested he hoped everyone at Valve would spontaneously combust. Instead, as you can see if take the time to read the full interview rather than have an immediate reaction to that quote on its own, he offered a considered answer in response to a very specific question, which was itself part of a wider-ranging chat.
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