Posts Tagged ‘editorial’

Hmm: EA On Steam/Origin Mega-Sales

By Alec Meer on June 6th, 2012.

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.
Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , .

294 Comments »

The Kickstarter Dilemma

By Alec Meer on April 23rd, 2012.

Sing for your manhour-based supper

Be it Kickstarter, be it IndieGoGo, be it whatever new flavour of eBusking comes to pass, crowdsourced funding of indie games’ development is a remarkable and wonderful addition to this ever-changing industry. It will lead to great things, I am quite sure. But it does present a number of issues for the media – or at least for this particular site, whose loose remit is ‘post about what we’re personally interested in.’ Lately, that comes with an additional responsibility.

1) If we post about a Kickstarter project, we’re essentially implying our readers should donate to it. Everyone makes their own spending decision based on their own feelings and research of course – but it can still be the case that for many of our revered readership, the deal wasn’t even on the table until it appeared here.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , .

229 Comments »

It’s Time For Games To Offer Us Solid Food

By John Walker on April 3rd, 2012.

My nephew demonstrating the consumption of games.

When a 35 year old is in nappies, there are one or two questions to ask. (Like, “Would the big boy like his milky-wilky?”, before the spanking begins.) It’s usually a sign. So why does the 35 year-old video gaming still feel like it’s in its infancy?

We’ve been using the excuse that the medium is so young for as long as I’ve been in this business, and since my career couldn’t be considered youthful any more, gaming sure doesn’t count either. Certainly, the first few films might have been people falling over, but 35 years in and they were making All Quiet On The Western Front. We’re making Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare. So why is that? Does it matter? Is this how games are supposed to be? And who am I to be making such rash generalisations?

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , .

263 Comments »

Escape! Escape! Embracing Skippable Combat

By John Walker on February 23rd, 2012.

Thanks Craig!

The argument was made by Jennifer Hepler six years ago. Back then the BioWare writer argued that if dialogue can be skipped in games, then why not combat?

Ignoring the hideous treatment Hepler has received this week, and we will be*, the argument remains a truly excellent one, and one I want to explore.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , .

510 Comments »

Don’t Blame Games For Norway Shootings

By John Walker on August 3rd, 2011.

The target's in the wrong place.

After the recent tragic events in Norway, of course various media outlets and officials looked to find a connection between the shootings by Anders Behring Breivik and computer games. (After the same groups had sought to find a connection between the shootings and Islamic groups, as well.) It’s normal practise, as what was once a confusion over new media has now reached the far more insidious position of being a received opinion: that videogames cause people to become violent, and in extreme cases, inspire them to go on murder sprees. It’s important to realise, this has never been demonstrated, let alone proven. Studies come and go that suggest links between extensive sessions of playing violent games and minor changes in the brain, but none has ever shown any demonstrable causal link to real-world violence, and many have suggested no such link exists. In the end such attempts to create links between a tragedy and the perpetrator’s having played games end up becoming tasteless attempts to score aimless political points. Sadly, in reaction to the news in Norway, a number of Norwegian shops are no longer selling a range of first-person shooters. I want to explore this, and argue why this is actually a very dangerous response.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , .

269 Comments »

A Death Is For Life, Not Just For Quickload

By John Walker on May 12th, 2011.

He doesn't like it when people keep coming back to life.

People often discuss the importance of “immersion”. It’s a pretty silly word. But while we at RPS like to tease those who claim their game will have “more immersion” than others, the core concept makes sense. It’s wonderful to get lost in the moment, carried away by the fiction. To physically dodge as the fireball comes toward you. To groan in pain as you land on a spike. To care when an NPC friend is in danger. And it’s obviously a widespread frustration when that “immersion”, that suspended disbelief, that embracing of unreality – whatever you want to call it – is broken. So I have a question. Why are we so quick to accept death?

Read the rest of this entry »

, , .

178 Comments »

Editorial: THQ’s Online Pass DRM

By John Walker on January 6th, 2011.

Nope, you're not getting in.

What do you own? Not “pwn”, you nu-gamer young person. But own. What do you pay for that’s yours to do with as you wish? Food, clothes, knitting needles. But what about games? When you pay money for a game, do you own it? Increasingly, not in any understood meaning of the word. Like music over the last couple of decades, we’re currently sleeping through having our rights as consumers taken from us, while the prices stay the same. If you buy an album, do you own that music? No – not at all. If you do anything with that music other than listen to it on the CD it came on, or as the files you downloaded, then you’re breaking an ever-more spurious collection of laws. And increasingly, gaming is going in the same direction. What was once considered sharing – and we’re not even talking about copying here – is now being treated as theft. And THQ, as reported by Shacknews, are going out of their way to prevent sharing or re-selling of Homefront.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , .

133 Comments »