The Sunday Papers

Sundays are for rest and recuperation. Or that’s the fantasy. In reality you are just fighting on another front, in a different kind of war. Perhaps you will get just enough downtime to read some of what has been written about your beloved videogames. Or perhaps not.

  • There have been many dismissive pieces of writing regarding this year’s E3, but I was surprised to see Gamasutra editor Kris Graft adding his voice to the anti-E3 choir: “Go to E3 and try to identify trends, you’ll soon realize that you’re looking into the past. E3 2012 could’ve been E3 2006. It is a museum without the informative placards. It’s an archaeologist’s dream. It’s a reality show starring a washed-up rockstar. It’s old gameplay. Old themes. A parade of old business models meant to pacify retailers, patting them on the head to assure them that they will be as relevant five years from now as they are today. E3 2012 was a fool’s circus, more than any other E3 that I’ve been to. It insulted my intelligence, and insulted my enthusiasm for video games.”
  • Pat from VG247 was making similar noises of dissatisfaction with the industry tradeshow: “There was no talk of mobile gaming. And there was no talk of PC. Again, E3 proved it’s incapable of being anything other than a triple-A publishing show. As the big-name component consolidates, the freeze deepens. E3 is a dinosaur facing the Ice Age. It represents an old marketing model draped with booth babes, a consumer show parading as trade for the good of no one. We’ve been here before. Why do companies like EA bother? Electronic Arts, to take an example, is healthy through growth in digital, a savvy company well aware of how quickly the market’s shifting. What does E3 give EA? Or Ubisoft? Or THQ? Coverage? Haven’t we learnt from the Q4 release crush just how diluted messages get in a crowd? Aren’t we just back at the situation that crippled E3 last time? Maybe it’ll take JR to walk out again before ESA gets off its ass and actually does something.”
  • From Magical Wasteland, this was a little cruel, but it made me laugh.
  • Richie Shoemaker talks the guys behind Infinity, who are setting their sights on Kickstarter: “The largest challenges can all be linked to financing. We’ve solved all of the hard technical R&D problems required to bring such an innovative technology platform to market. Unfortunately we still lack the resources to hire enough programmers to finish the game within a more ideal time frame. The cost of the talent we need can easily approach $300k+ paying fair market prices for a single year of development so it’s a non-trivial amount. There are ways to offer incentives, such as equity, for people to work for less salary than they are worth but it’s more difficult to find people willing to make those sacrifices – particularly within games instead of say web/mobile which has a much different startup culture.”
  • SneakyBastards on DayZ’s take on stealth: “Despite its player-driven stealth gameplay, DayZ is not an emergent game. Emergence is something defined by the interaction of systems, whereas the ones that govern DayZ are as basic as can be. It goes beyond emergence, appealing to and being a reflection of raw human behaviour. Like EVE Online, but with less ship-spinning and more cross-county hiking, DayZ is a bastard simulator; one which richly rewards the sneaky approach with the permission to continue to exist.”
  • The Guardian on attempts to link videogames with increased aggression: “BAAM – their acronym is as violent as their website – have produced some ‘research’ on video games in the form of a press release, which has been eagerly reported by the Daily Mail as part of their wider campaign against the ‘corruption’ of children by sex, nudity, violence, and other stuff you can find at Mail Online: “Children ‘made rude, uncooperative and aggressive by video games’ with some playing for more than two hours a day during term-time.” Yes, we’re back to this again.”
  • At What Point Does A Game Become A Toy? “I was one of those brainless, aimless sort of children who was always digging holes in the back garden: holes for a cat to fall into, and holes that accidentally exposed crucial pieces of council infrastructure. From Dust allows me to return to my long-lost hobby, but with fewer risks of accidentally uncovering the local cesspit while I’m at it, or disinterring the beloved remains of Compton the hamster, who died in late 1990 during a burst of ill-conceived hamster gymnastics.”
  • And while you are over at Eurogamer take a look at their closer examination of the Unreal 4 tech.
  • Slate’s piece on cyber-war is interesting.
  • Self-promo bullpoint: Here’s an image from my procedurally-generated open world game, Sir You Are Being Hunted. And you want something to read, well our lead designer talked 3rd-party Unity tools.
  • A teaser for a short film by Chris Wood.

Music this week is a sample of Thomas Koner’s Novaya Zemlya, a particularly bleak ambient work inspired by the Novaya Zemlya archipelago, which lies off the coast of Russia in the Arctic Ocean. (Out tomorrow.)


  1. Bobka says:

    I actually quite like the clouds in SYABH. Very painted sort of look. Nice.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Aye, ’tis quite pleasing.

    • Kynrael says:

      Yeah, I love the aesthetics :)

    • Hoaxfish says:

      that was my thought too, reminds me a bit of Love as well. Going for another art style other than “photorealistic” or “everything is pixels because we couldn’t afford better” is nice to see.

  2. Toberoth says:

    That watercolour sky looks brilliant, Jim.

    • Toberoth says:

      Bobka! :-D

    • Terragot says:

      Take Unity’s standard assets eerie sky + Photoshop Water Colour filter = Instant Fanbase!

      • Lacero says:

        The saddest thing about photoshop is that it makes it so easy. When others write an effect for use in something else it doesn’t impress people so much.

      • Jim Rossignol says:

        Instant prototyping, which is sort of the point of Unity, imo.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      Heh, the sky is placeholder-tastic, but at least folks like it.

      • Toberoth says:

        Photoshop or not (as others have said) I really think it fits the look of the terrain rather well. Any ideas for how the final sky is going to turn out?

        • Jim Rossignol says:

          Similar, I hope, but animated. We’ll see what we have time for.

          • Toberoth says:

            Cool, really looking forward to the game :-) Good luck with it!

          • YourMessageHere says:

            If you’re trying to capture the feel of British countryside, you absolutely need to animate the sky, and link it to lighting. I’ve spent a lot of beautiful afternoons on Hadrian’s Wall, which looks a lot like what you’re showing and describing as your vision. The change of light and weather, the effect of wind and cloud and rain, is entirely fundamental to the sense of place; you just don’t get it in a town, or anywhere else I’ve been. When the light changes, the place transforms completely, and it changes often. I urge you to prioritise this!

    • Soon says:

      It is lovely. Captures the British countryside pretty well too. I would suggest the equivalent of upping both contrast and brightness and making the green more green (are you using some sort of brown filter?). Although, I’m not really accounting for monitor differences and stuff.

    • hosndosn says:

      For a moment I thought this has some Love style shader magic going on.

  3. Shortwave says:

    Nice to see so many people writing about the horrible failure which is E3.
    I tried to watch it on G4 and it was too painful to tolerate it.
    Went to IGN and it was still painful, but tolerable…
    But holy hell, it’s like 90% of the interviewers/hosts never played a game before.
    As if they just actors being paid to act like gamers and think everything is new, exciting and hip!
    : /

    I will admit though, I thought Nintendo’s pitches were respectable and looked great to me.
    But I mean, it’s Nintendo and I don’t think anyone can blame them for taking themselves too seriously.
    I just hope their motion has truly improved in accuracy for the Wii U. I’m also hoping the new controller will easily be able to work on PC (Dolphin much?) and be modded to have all kinds of really awesome uses. Perhaps even for audio production. : P

    • Jesus H. Christ says:

      are motion controls even going to shipped with the wiiu (beyond the six-axis type thing in the tablet thingy)?

      • Shortwave says:

        Oh crazy, I didn’t realize that it isn’t.. I had to go look into it.
        I actually just assumed that the thing had it built in somehow.
        Now that I’m thinking about it, I think that’s a great move. Ha..
        As I was saying, I think it’s too inaccurate for me to fully enjoy motion games on the Wii.
        It’s good for people who actually use and love the fitness games I suppose and fun for kids but just way too sloppy for anything over skillful I find. But yea’ it is Nintendo I remind myself.
        Either way, getting it out of the way would likely mean more solid titles instead of a bunch of gimmicks to sort out. I’m down.

        In theory I guess the old remotes will still work with motion? Options are nice.

      • Jamison Dance says:

        The gampad thing has an accelerometer and a gyroscope, so tilting and movement responsiveness will be similar to the iPhone. I am really excited to see what they do with it.

    • Sard says:

      Gamespot’s Bonus Stage show made this E3 for me.

      20 min conversation with Tim Schafer. Part where David Jaffe interviewing journalist. And other interesting talks.

    • Roshin says:

      I sort of agree on E3. Even though I can’t confidently comment on the state of the industry, I can’t remember being this bored by an E3 before. Usually I watch the videos while eating popcorn, but this year I couldn’t force myself all the way through a single presentation.

      Reggie is a brilliant speaker and he usually has an easy time, because Nintendo always has something interesting to show off. This year, it felt like he really had to make an effort to keep everyone awake. Nice to see Miyamoto, even if he looked high as a kite and kept going “Pikmin!! Pikmin? Pikmin!”…

      Winners were Valve for not taking part, all the indies for doing the right thing, and possibly Reggie for finally saying that his body was ready. :)

      E3, canned applause and “Look. I’m totally pretending to actually play this game” presentations.

      • Baines says:

        E3 is so predictable. Everyone knows what is going to be said. Everyone knows what is going to be shown, particularly with the bigger, safer titles that gain all the attention. Everyone knows how things will be reported.

        It doesn’t even matter when “everyone” is wrong, because “everyone” has all the bases covered already. What I mean by that is even if something does or doesn’t happen “as expected”, it happens in a fairly predictable way anyway. There is nothing to shock or surprise people. Did people expect Square to show off new graphics? Probably not, but the graphics they showed off aren’t really a surprise given Square’s focus on how their games look. It’s not like the days when videos and images of the SGI 3D Final Fantasy demo were floating around. People expected Capcom to show off Resident Evil 6, but even if Capcom hadn’t shown it, people would have taken it in stride. Maybe they’d have been a bit worried for the title, but it wouldn’t have thrown them or anything.

        I also can’t help but think that E3 has to be hurting some games in the publicity area as well. Kind of like holiday releases, everyone throws their games out at once, and only a few are really going to get noticed. E3 coverage on game websites is a constant scrolling of articles, and afterwards people are only going to remember the big names.

      • Gormongous says:

        Complete side note, but Reggie actually coined “My body is ready” at E3 2007: link to

        Still, like some yahoo said in the Youtube comments thread, it takes good humor to reference a meme you accidentally created five years ago.

  4. Anthile says:

    Also, here is my favourite gif of the week: click!

  5. Colonel J says:

    Ooh a new Thomas Köner album, I didn’t know this was coming thanks Jim. Love his stuff.

    RPS Sunday Papers – blackening your Sunday with Dark Ambient and strange electronica since 1873.

  6. AmateurScience says:

    The Graft piece really nailed it for me, I remember being so excited for E3 10 years ago, so much info about so many games, new announcements, all sorts. It had a genuine role as the beginning of the marketing push for the Autumn release crazy-time. Now publishers are far more likely to make the big announcements on there own terms where they don’t risk having there message gazumped by something else which makes me wonder what E3’s role is now, or whether it even has one.

    Also, the concept of the ‘booth babe’ makes me cringe. Loved Rachel Weber’s piece about CVG’s ‘treatment’ of the issue: link to

    • Hoaxfish says:

      In a similar line to that booth babe article… the stupidest thing I’ve seen this week was someone attacking Far Cry 3 for showing boobs… from an author who has written other articles that are the height of the whole “show us your tits” attitude.

        • Hoaxfish says:

          link to

          note the author is listed as “LA Video Game Babes Examiner” and has articles including “Catherine’s Sexy Cell Phone Pictures”, “A bikini model is scared to tears by a Wii horror game”, “Sexy women fight each other while dressed as Mortal Kombat characters”, and “Overlooked Video Game Babe: Pitgirl from Monday Night Combat” (which roughly reflects 100% of his articles)

          The articles occasionally come with “mature dating” adverts, though that’s really just matching the context.

          Actually, re-reading the article, it seems he’s more upset that the rest of E3 isn’t embracing that level of nudity.

    • alundra says:

      Typical feminazist hypocrisy, they demand female bodies not be scored, but leave them alone and see how they start throwing raunchy comments at the male body.

      • Chandos says:

        Oh look a cute little troll! Aww… look at him trying to troll with those weak attempts. You’re gonna be a big bad troll one day, aren’tcha!

        • SkittleDiddler says:

          That was quite humorous. Those kinds of responses to alundra’s goofy rants are the only reason I haven’t blocked him yet.

          • alundra says:

            Yeah well, I gotta admit it, whenever I see double moral standards I feel attracted to it, just like a fly is attracted to an steamy pie of shit.

          • NathanH says:

            Mmmm…. shit pie.

  7. TsunamiWombat says:

    Tl;Dr; Rawr E3 and games Journalism is dumb

    I was complaining about this to my father as we watched together (he doesn’t play, but he finds it all interesting). Games are a billion dollar industry. Many of these big IP’s are multi-million dollar properties. So why are they treating their tradeshow, where they introduce these products to the mass media, to their consumer, and sometimes to their stockholders like a five cent dog and pony trick show? These are non-minor sums of money we’re talking about. Entire publishing companies with their fortunes could rise and fall on the success of these games (just look at THQ if you don’t believe pitching lemons can fuck you over).

    I can understand why the Reporting Media portion is a joke – because non-written games media in general is a huge fucking joke and even very intelligent very critical individuals like Jim Sterling have to get on a camera and act like a fucking clown to get their points across apparently, and the publishing parents of these “Game News” companies aren’t willing to spend the cheddar on COMPETENT staff or take the financial risk of not acting like a derpy ponce and possibly alienating their viewer market. In short, games journalism (excluding present company of course!) is a slight of hand routine done by jaded and cynical publishers who have such a low opinion or outright ignorance of their chosen media that they feel no need to invest mentally or financially in any meaningful way and such a low opinion or outright ignorance of the intelligence of their viewers that the very idea of projecting something intelligent and hard hitting seems like it would be self defeating, because anything not burbled by a pair of perky tits in a skintight miniskirt reading off a twitter wall (YES G4 TALKIN BOUT YOUSE) is immediately threatening to their thuggish cro-magnon viewership. Thats not even going into the abusive and unsanitary relationship between publishers and media. SO YEAH. I GET WHY THE MEDIA COVERAGE IS SHIT.

    What I DON’T understand is why the media projection, the delivery by the companies, is equally as assnine and insipid. These IP’s mean everything to these companies and they can’t even be assed to take the time to get a competant spokesman to come out onto a stage to talk about their product? They need some guy related to the lead programmer and an attractive and insightful female comedian they proceed to hamstring with an idiotic script and a trained monkey for a stage partner (LOOKIN AT YOU UBISOFT)? At least Nintendo can say “Oh we Japanese, we not spreak engrish so good” in some patronizing lie for the moronic sort of way to cover their obvious inability to market (an excuse that obviously doesn’t hold water since Nintendo is a multinational corporation but you understand what i’m saying here), but what possible excuse could a giant like EA, Activision, or Ubisoft have?

    Absolutely none. In the end, it’s because they themselves realize E3 is a joke, a milkbone thrown to the evolutionary throwbacks of Traditional Games Journalism and brick and mortar distributers. E3 is a pizza party for a little league team, and we’re all invited to come and pretend we give a shit about their chances in the local season and cheer them on for being good little troopers woo. More importantly, so long as it’s accepted, why bother wasting valuable time, money, and energy on anything else more intelligent? Stockholders may be watching, but they can receive more private communications and marketing material. And if we hook some of those moronic cro-magnons who buy this shit while we’re letting Johnny Gamestop and Susy G4 have their very special day, well, all the better.

    • AmateurScience says:

      Rawr E3 indeed. Sit down, here’s a cup of cocoa *pats knee* tell me all about it.

      • TsunamiWombat says:

        not sure I know you well enough to be sitting on your knee, especially since INSERT ARROW TO KNEE JOKE HERE but I will drink your cocoa.

        I woke up on the Angry side of the bed this morning. But the otherwise is Bitter Misanthropy, so it’s not much better.

        Edit: The irony of decrying the lowbrow mediocrity of traditional games coverage and E3 with a swear and offensive metaphor filled internet rant is only now striking me. Oh god, what have I become.

        • AmateurScience says:

          Idiots making our hobby look like a brainless cavalcade of boobs, swears, neck stabbing, tea-bagging and dude-bros high-fiving the brutal death of faceless mooks will bring out that kind of reaction in anyone good sir. Worry not.

          • Dr I am a Doctor says:

            Yeah I get you, when I get labeled a mass murderer just because I play video games it makes me so mad I want to violently kill some people

    • Shuck says:

      The odd thing is that E3 represents the game industry “taking things seriously.” Even a relatively small company can easily spend millions of dollars on a booth, between decorations and the basic cost of being there. I’ve seen companies spend absurd amounts of money going to multiple expos to flog a single game. I shudder to think how much companies like Microsoft and Nintendo spend.
      E3 grew out of the dysfunctional culture of electronic device expos, but I think it’s at a point where exhibitors feel like there’s this formula they have to stick to to gain attention from the press (which, given that portion of the industry, is probably true).

      • Apolloin says:

        Everyone’s remembering that E3 is pandering to the Traditional Journalists and to the Traditional Distributors, but you’re all forgetting who the other big winner is at E3.

        Here’s a hint, it’s not the consumer, because anything that is worth talking about happens off the show floor at private events with a carefully massaged guest list. It isn’t the Developers either, because Devs usually get treated like a cross between performing monkeys and pit ponies during the run up to E3 – a conference which is set right at the time when everyone wants to be heading somewhere warm and sandy with an increasingly disaffected family they haven’t spent enough time with.

        There’s something to be said for the possibility that E3 is an excuse for all the suits to get together and party with their peers, but the truth is that this is mostly a bone tossed to upper-management by the REAL villains of this piece so that they get their expense vouchers signed off on. Marketing and PR.

        Here are the people who are REALLY responsible for the hideous excesses at E3, a tradeshow created and perpetuated solely so that they could feel equal to their automobile and electronics peers. Removing E3 would probably halve some project’s marketing spend and we all know that without junkets and swag and paid-for parties Marketing would have to fund the rock star lifestyle out of their own pockets. It amazes me that more people haven’t spotted this – I got the picture at my very first tradeshow (ECTS) when I clocked the head of Marketing staggering back from a lunch where he’d spent more on wine entertaining his cronies than I’d have cost my bosses in overtime for the whole run up to the show, if they’d actually been paying me overtime, of course.

        The whole thing is a con. Cancelling ECTS didn’t hurt European games sales one iota and I imagine that the year they cancelled E3 didn’t do the global industry any harm either.

        • Shuck says:

          You’re on to something there – I know of some obscenely expensive expo parties put on by a dev studio that had a certain portion of the company living inappropriately lavish lifestyles (especially given that it was a start-up) at the company’s expense all the time (until the company collapsed). Though I’ve also seen company management meet with our foreign publishers and get treated to nights out that cost more than my yearly salary, so it’s not just marketing with their snouts in the trough.

  8. rustybroomhandle says:

    One of the E3 grumpitorials asks whether E3 can even exist in its current form.

    I say yes it can and will continue to do so. There’s obviously a market for all this gruesome non-PC-focused sameyness, since these people show up in droves to cheer at the presentations.

    And I say yay, it’s a good thing. The show seems to be for investors who don’t care about games for any other reason than to make money, and they take their investment cues from shows like this. It results in all the non-creative bollocks to be compressed into one corner, leaving the more interesting section to thrive outside of its trite money-obsessed confines.

    • Cinnamon says:

      There’s obviously a market for all this gruesome non-PC-fovused sameyness, since these people show up in droves to cheer at the presentations.

      All that means is that the fanboys are taking over the industry and conventions. It does not mean that the console toy game development industry itself is healthy.

      • rustybroomhandle says:

        But “fanboys” is a valid market, and I’m going to guess a rather large one.

        • Shortwave says:

          This.. : (

        • Cinnamon says:

          As long as you don’t want games to be anything other than the equivalent of superhero comic books then that’s fine.

          • InternetBatman says:

            Hey, super hero comics have way more variation than E3 games. They’ve also inspired decent movies, something that no game has yet to achieve.

          • Cinnamon says:

            I guess I just don’t care about super hero comics or movies. I also don’t care if no game ever inspires a summer blockbuster movie.

          • InternetBatman says:

            But still, superhero comics vary from Watchmen to Ex Machina to the Sandman (arguably). Discounting them is a mistake.

          • Cinnamon says:

            Watchmen and Sandman were failed attempts to break the genre out of what it is. There might still be some things at the periphery that are more interesting than others but you can hardly call it a mistake to not compulsively follow everything in a field you don’t get much pleasure from.

          • AndrewC says:

            Watchmen changed the entire field of superhero comics. You push your argument too far.

            Now: Superhero comics enjoy a fraction of the sales they used to. This is because they chose to only appeal to the fanboys. If you do this the market can not gain any new fans and the market stagnates, leading to it shrinking. Appealing to fanboys is, beyond leading to icky things, bad business.

          • Cinnamon says:

            It changed it in some ways but in others it did not. Alan Moore himself sees it as a failure in terms of it’s legacy which is why many comic fanboys hate him now.

            Had an influence: Yes. Influence was good and made comics more intelligent: No.

          • AndrewC says:

            Your arguments confuse me. Could you clarify as to whether you think Watchmen – and not what it inspired – is any good?

          • Cinnamon says:

            I don’t see what relevance my level of love, hatred or indifference to Watchmen has to do with this. It’s not for me anyway since it’s in large part jokes about and references to the crazy world of old superhero comics which I’m not that into.

          • AndrewC says:

            I don’t really understand this conversation. So can we agree that superhero comics, in general, are moribund and preaching to the fanboy choir is a bad idea?

          • Shortwave says:

            I like turtles.

    • bill says:

      As someone said on the gamasutra comments, the target market for E3 is SpikeTV viewers.

      But as someone else said, if you are making a show to appeal to SpikeTV viewers then you will permanently be stuck on SpikeTV… and we don’t really want gaming stuck there.

    • Shuck says:

      “whether E3 can even exist in its current form.”
      It’s debatable. Console development is hurting right now, and the extra disappointment of E3 this year is in large part due to its irrelevance in the game industry at the moment. The next gen of consoles may make things worse in that doubled dev costs will mean fewer games going after bigger slices of a shrunken pie. On the one hand that’ll mean bigger budget productions that spend more on marketing (and expos), but the shrinking number of games may not be enough to fill E3, and with costs increasing overall, they may find the attention boost from E3 to not be big enough to justify the expense.

      • Shooop says:

        The consoles themselves aren’t the problem. The problem is no one wants to do anything but the same thing over again but with better graphics or a half-assed morality system bolted on.

        Console darlings like the God of War and Metal Gear Solid series have been semi-retired. Now there’s a ingenuity vacuum that no one can seem to fill.

        • Shuck says:

          Part of that is due to the dire financial straights that AAA console (and therefore multiplatform development) finds itself in. The cost of failure has gotten so enormous that no one dares take risks anymore, so no one dares innovate. Projects have to be based around proven gameplay (that also hasn’t yet grown stale) to get green-lit. The only way to advance or distinguish a game is via improved graphics, but with the long console cycle, that hasn’t been possible for a while.

  9. Kollega says:

    Dinosaur E3 faces its Ice Age: why ESA must act now


  10. Tony M says:

    I am dumb. Can someone explain the joke of the Magical Wasteland article to me.

    • YourMessageHere says:

      The idea is that the writer is no more attractive to the woman he’s talking to, nor is he any less patronising and self-aggrandizing and generally obnoxious, than the people he’s denigrating. I think.

      Not the Sunday Papers’ finest linkage.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      It just made me wonder what booth babes do at the end of the day. Go to their hotel room, change into something comfortable, and go to the pub where nobody will recognise them out of costume?

      • Apolloin says:

        Cocaine, I think, is traditional. There are other rumours as well, but it would be unkind to repeat them here.

        Remember that the booth babes actually competed for the jobs they’re doing. I don’t see how boothbabing for games is any worse than boothbabing for an auto tradeshow, or a movies tradeshow or a car audio tradeshow…

    • The Greatness says:

      Don’t worry, you’re not alone.

    • Shuck says:

      The Joke, as far as I can tell:
      Game Developer: “You must be sick of all these stupid game nerds hitting on you. Want to go out?”

      • Jay says:

        The joke is that the piece is a fairly vicious parody of a profoundly embarrassing craigslist personal doing the rounds, in which an e3 attendant publicly asked a booth babe out because he thought they ‘had a moment’ at her booth.

  11. MaXimillion says:

    Sure the press conferences are a joke, but when Sony has a big booth for a F2P PC-only shooter I can’t see how you can justifiably claim that the PC or new funding models aren’t present at the show.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      I suppose it’s more that Sony didn’t even mention this biggest/F2P/PC game in their presentation (which was 100% Playstation, I think).

      It’s their “face” I suppose, asking you to not look at their hulking thighs.

  12. thegooseking says:

    The Guardian article provokes the standard responses about how Hesiod was complaining about “the youth of today” being surly as far back as 800 B.C. (I’m not sure he immediately leapt to blaming it on some newfangled thing, but I’m sure that’s only because he lived a couple of centuries too early to blame it on Thespianism).

    He (Guardian writer, not Hesiod) does raise an interesting point, though: that games might actually make people less uncooperative. Videogames are always telling us what to do, and we do it. I’m not sure what evidence there is that that trains us to be cooperative, but the field of persuasive games couldn’t exist if it wasn’t at least potentially true.

    • EPICTHEFAIL says:

      Oh, the Guardian is whining again, color me shocked. I don`t have enough knowledge of the British legal system to make any kind of educated argument, but these guys deserve a libel lawsuit from an industry bigwig. Or ten, perhaps. I thought we were done with this bullshit half a decade ago.

      • thegooseking says:

        Uh, the Guardian article is defending videogames and criticising the Daily Mail’s coverage of the subject. Maybe I should have been more clear.

      • NathanH says:

        Uh, the Guardian article is on our side, old chap.

      • ReV_VAdAUL says:

        I did like how when this was on the front page of the Guardian website it was just a picture of the author looking stern and a misleading headline like “Games cause violence.” Angrily I clicked the link to see what rubbish they were spouting and instead it was a good and balanced article.

        Still though I generally like the Guardian’s coverage of most things so I was surprised they were taking such a Daily Mail-esque line and was happy to realise they weren’t.

        • Apples says:

          Something weird is going on with the Guardian, because recently an article about dinosaurs (giving a rundown of how our ideas about dinosaurs changed over time and speculating on what else we might discover about them) was posted with the headline being something like “If we can’t figure out how heavy dinosaurs were, WHAT ELSE IS SCIENCE WRONG ABOUT?”. Apparently the authors do not decide on the titles of their articles, and someone is doing a stunningly poor and biased job writing them.

      • Eddy9000 says:

        And the ‘appropriate username of the year’ award goes to…

    • pepper says:

      Well, to be fair when games tell me what to do(press this, goto X) I always get slightly annoyed thinking ‘Who are YOU to tell me WHAT to do you bloody game, I AM YOUR MASTER’.

      Maybe its just me.

      • thegooseking says:

        I’ve always been a fan of subverting game goals and instructions, and finding my own ways to play, so I definitely understand that, but in my case it generally happens after I’ve finished the game as I’m “supposed” to once.

        • Koozer says:

          “Oh my god! They’re attacking from the west! Quickly, defend this position!”
          *runs to the east to jump into unfinished, glitchy bits of scenery*

          • LionsPhil says:

            I think my pièce de résistance was breaking the scene in Deus Ex where Black Helicopter becomes trapped in Hong Kong. He goes to blow the far doors open for you, but between that and timing the other platform rising at the right moment, all of his missiles are blocked—for they genuinely did that whole scene in-engine, under player control. No cheating, just augs.

            You can even blow the doors open yourself with a LAW after that point to get back on track.

            These days it’d be a cutscene with “cinematic” acting.

  13. Gap Gen says:

    The Infinity guys should stop working on tech and just get a game out to get some cash flowing. Their engine looks awesome, but it’s looked awesome for years now and no-one’s been able to play with it. It seems like they’re mainly lucky that the slow console cycle has meant that graphics haven’t advanced much in that time.

  14. Yosharian says:

    From the Gamasutra article:

    “The video game industry wants to be respected as a medium that can be held up to the same creative standards as a New York Times best-selling book or an Oscar-winning movie.”

    No it doesn’t. It just wants to make shitloads of cash.

    • thegooseking says:

      I’m not sure it can be said that the industry per se “wants” anything. People within the industry want things, and, broadly speaking, various factions within the industry want (different) things, but I don’t think the industry itself wants anything.

      • Shuck says:

        If we anthropomorphize the industry, it “wants” what every industry “wants” – to stay alive (i.e. maximize profits), otherwise it will no longer exist as an industry. (This is not necessarily the same as “shitloads of cash,” however.) The people in the industry certainly don’t “want shitloads of cash” because we recognize that we’re in the completely wrong industry for that.

    • NathanH says:

      I think by “video game industry” the writer meant “some people who write about games”.

      I’m tired of those people denigrating video games, though. We’ve already surpassed such limited things as books and films in creativity, in my opinion.

      • Jim Rossignol says:

        I’m sure there are people who work in the industry, not just commentators, who care about more than cash.

        • NathanH says:

          I’m sure there are, I didn’t intend to imply otherwise. I agree with thegooseking that speaking about what an “industry” wants doesn’t make an awful lot of sense. I guess you can say that the industry as a whole will tend towards what makes lots of cash; that seems plausible.

        • Yosharian says:

          Ah but I’m not talking about them. Developers, aside from mega-developers like Blizzard (and even they’re not immune to it) are only as creative as the leeway they’re given from publishers. Publishers hold all the power, and they most certainly are only interested in making money.

          When was the last time you heard a major publisher saying anything about wanting gaming to be taken seriously as an art form? No, it’s only ever about how much they can extort the gamer for more money without them getting wise to it. I.e. day one DLC, endless map packs, ‘premium’ services. Big dick publishers trying to wrestle control of their money-making power back from perceived threats such as used game markets, pirates etc.

          Not saying one way or the other whether that’s a GOOD thing or not, I’m merely highlighting the inaccuracy of the statement made about the industry.

      • Apples says:

        “We’ve already surpassed such limited things as books and films in creativity, in my opinion.” Is this sarcastic or can you provide an argument to support this? As someone who reads constantly and has seen a few ‘classic’ films, the state of video games puts me in deep despair in comparison to books and films. I guess it depends what you mean by “creativity,” though.

        • NathanH says:

          Obviously “creativity” doesn’t really mean anything, and video games are so outrageously different from books and films that the idea of comparing them is fundamentally silly. But I figure that if the “other side” are allowed to do it then so can I. Anyway, I’ve always been more excited by story-making than story-telling. The video game possibilities of player agency, interactivity, emergence, and so on, are far more interesting to me. I see the endless comparisons with films and books as a massive distraction from the strengths of video gaming.

    • InternetBatman says:

      Considering that the book industry’s biggest focus right now is on formulaic YA novels and the movie industry has produced Michael Bay, I really don’t think the video game industry is much different from them.

      • YourMessageHere says:

        Surely the irony is that Oscars and NYT bestseller lists are transparently not anything like barometers for quality, but in fact are industry attempts to further publicise and thus flog already reasonably successful works?

        • ReV_VAdAUL says:

          This is probably what makes the criticism of E3 so trenchant even if the author does make that mistake. E3 is videogame’s Oscars or NYT best sellers list in that is the biggest showcase of the medium to those who are not regular followers of it.

          As you say, in all three cases it is set up to be a money making exercise not the positive showcase of the medium we would like. The “best” stuff is never going to get promoted or shown to outsiders in the manner that the low risk, lowest common denominator stuff is thus in whatever genre the lowest common denominator stuff is going to be the most widely known.

          Which is a shame and a considerable problem but it would suggest that expecting the NYT best sellers list or E3 to promote the “best” of a medium is folly. Other avenues must be found to promote the richnessness and variety of games rather than hoping to reform E3.

          • InternetBatman says:

            I think they already have been, in form of PAX and that game developers conference. I feel like E3 will wax and wane because of the nature of the show, but those two will keep fairly steady.

            I do think that people are more negative about E3 this year because few interesting games are being shown, so they can’t ignore the shallowness of the industry. Once a new Dragon Age or whatever comes out, they’ll be the same as they ever were.

  15. Dr I am a Doctor says:

    How does anything get “inspired” by a radioactive island?

    • Revolving Ocelot says:

      There’s an entire series of games inspired by a giant chunk of radioactive concrete. I’m sure an island can provide much more inspiration.

      • Dr I am a Doctor says:

        I don’t know, bro. Chernobyl reactor was and still is a synonym for nuclear meltdown and a source of mutations, at least in the mideastern europe, and STALKER does a good job of expanding that setting and shifting it into a scifi (is this the right term?) story.
        But New Earth only has some radioactive waste and the tsar bomb going for it.

    • ReV_VAdAUL says:

      Probably the best answer you’re gonna get: Ze Frank: Where do ideas come from?

    • JackShandy says:

      What a weird question. Radioactive islands are super inspiring.

  16. magnus says:

    Thomas Koner eh? That’s kind of ironic, I’ll be listening to some Porter Ricks soon; link to and for consistency some Nurse With Wound;

  17. InternetBatman says:

    One of the gamasutra comments made an interesting point. Recent generations have been stuck in a permanent adolescence, and the E3 reflects this. I don’t think it’s better anywhere else either. Movies and books are also trending towards teenagers. Sure there’s a continuum of expression in all mediums, but it feels like everything is trending downward on the age scale. E3’s prominence is above all a symptom.

    I don’t think this will last forever, and I think a lot of people are getting sick of always getting what they want. I’m optimistic for the future. But all of this is just my personal feelings, and it could be that I’m inaccurately mapping the changes of myself and my friends to the wider world.

  18. Timmeister says:

    Hey ya’ll, I have started doing a playthrough of S.T.A.L.K.E.R Call of pripyat on my youtube channel. Having never played it before, it has come out with some interesting situations. Just thought some of the RPS crowd might be interested!

    Here is the first part. link to

  19. Premium User Badge

    FhnuZoag says:

    Chris Hornbostel at Quarter to Three has been doing a number of interesting and insightful articles into the 38 studios collapse. Worth a read.

    link to

    • Shuck says:

      Oof, apparently the situation was even more absurd than I realized. I knew the management for Big Huge left the company, but I didn’t realize it was for pointing out how ridiculous the obviously ridiculous revenue strategy was.

  20. Jannakar says:

    E3 is a dumb as the VG games industry as a whole, weighted for sales and marketing muscle. I can’t see that E3 has changed at all over the years at all – or at least E3 is still a mirror to the industry.

    What has changed is the maturity of the people who use it as a reference for the state of the industry (more mature, maybe looking for validation as games as a higher art form) and the people who represent the target audience for games (unchanged – sex and violence obsessed male teens)

    Not that long ago E3 seemed to want to take itself more seriously and became invitation only. There was a great deal of bellyaching about ‘gamers’ losing a place to come get excited about games – PAX was spawned and then E3 reverted to _exactly_ the same format.

    Maybe journalists in the VG industry have a more mature outlook on games in general but the industry and E3 in particular have not.

  21. Hoaxfish says:

    I’m not sure how you could “fix” E3 so that it covers everything in the industry. It might simply be better to make it like “Game Month” or something, where everyone just gets to host their various advertising events or put out their big trailers over a whole month, rather than everyone trying to cram into a single convention hall.

  22. Andy_Panthro says:

    Posted this a little late on the kickstarter thread, but perhaps more folks might see it here:

    link to

    Quest for Infamy, a new adventure game from the guys that remade King’s Quest 3 and Space Quest 2.

    It’s a little like Quest for Glory, and has a playable demo (which I haven’t tried yet), but if it’s up to their remake quality it’s worth putting a little money down for. They don’t even want much money, so I hope they’ll make their target.

  23. MythArcana says:

    I’m glad RPS is just now waking up and smelling the stale coffee because I’ve been saying the same damned thing now since 2009. Our beloved game industry has gone the way every other retail powerhouse has gone and even twice as silly.

  24. Muzman says:

    There was someone recently sort of apologising for E3 by saying “It’s the Oscars, not Sundance”.

    Oh no, it’s worse than that. It’s the Grammy’s and the MTV awards rolled into one. Even when it’s up to date it’s still kinda lame.

    Still, maybe it’s a good thing. Every media industry needs its oblivious lumbering dinosaurs to take potshots at.

  25. Jason Moyer says:

    I suspect I’d hate this year’s E3 a lot more if it weren’t for the plethora of Dishonored interviews and gameplay demos that I’ve watched over the past week.

  26. felisc says:

    On the subject of Novaya Zemlya, this is a very good documentary about the island/nuclear/people. It’s in french, and annoyingly enough people are dubbed, so no yummy russian for your ears. There are some fantastic images though, it’s worth viewing even if you turn off sound : link to

  27. Cargo Cult says:

    Ooh, ooh, ooh – can I jump on the self-promotion bandwagon here?

    If anyone liked my Google Reader ‘interesting things’ feed (and apparently several hundred people did) – you may (or may not) have noticed Google kindly stopped me from adding anything to it.

    So, I’ve created an entirely* new blog-thing for your enjoyment. Expect plenty of links to rusty, spacey, sciencey and technology-ey things. It’s not directly about games, but I make games don’t you know.

    So there you go. Is this spam? YOU DECIDE.

  28. Reefpirate says:

    The only thing that mattered to me at E3 was PC exclusive, featured a modern payment plan, and is seriously innovating and pushing multiple genres forward… Planetside 2. So it’s a bit disappointing this wasn’t mentioned in the E3 critiques, but overall they’re right. Most of the coverage of the show I watched was very uninspired.

  29. Shooop says:

    What did happen to E3 anyway? Has anyone kept watch on it the past decade and is able to tell exactly when it stopped being a respectable trade show and a mind-rotting, testosterone-fueled cacophony?

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