Monday, July 11, 2011

Everybody Watch "Jimquisition." NOW.

Jim Sterling is easily one of the most divisive voices in games journalism, but underneath the exaggerated persona is usually a pretty salient point. This week's episode is one of them, and you should totally give it a watch.

DISCLAIMER: Jim Sterling and I are both employed by The Escapist. However, I have not been asked or otherwise compelled to promote his show - this is a free plug, because I like the episode and think it deserves to be heard from.


Aiddon said...

Bob, NO. Fuck. Jim. Sterling. He is nothing more than a pushy, smug, pathetic asshole who needs to be taught his place. He doesn't deserve to be listened to. He legitimately is a professional troll who gets off on people bitching about him because he just loves the fact that there is nothing anyone can do to knock him off his throne

Jko said...

Bob, I love your work and am oftentimes inspired by your depth of thought and how willing you are to look at all sides of the puzzle before coming to your own (if sometimes unpopular) conclusions. You're well-spoken and educated, and eager to tell people when it's time for simple fandom and when people take things to extremes and need to "calm the fuck down". I respect you for being everything Jim Sterling isn't.

He is purposefully inflammatory to the point of hyperbole, as is the common troll tactic. I agree that the latter parts of his Jimquisitions oftentimes contain at least a nugget of insight, but it is hardly in proportion to the hot air he spits out beforehand. As you said yourself when discussing trolls, words mean things. In the case of Duke Nukem Forever, for example, he wrote horrible slanderous text, and was surprised when DNF's publicist took it personally and lost his temper. He wrote a followup letter complaining that when he finally received an apology, it wasn't sincere enough to soothe his own bruised feelings. The man is a hypocrite. There's no question that he's good at what he does, nor that he's capable of good work, but when he presents so much material in such a heavy-handed insensitive way, it's impossible to take him seriously at all.

Given your stance on the average internet troll, I'm genuinely surprised you'd endorse someone who operates as he does.

9jack9 said...

Shit, Bob.

Did you just seriously delete my last comment for linking to an article showcasing Sterling's history of unsavory sexism?

I hope that's not the case cause I'll have lost a considerable amount of respect for you.

The link in question:

Avistew said...

I went to check because it's you. Otherwise I don't watch Jim's videos anymore. And you know what, I totally agree with his point, but it didn't make the video any less painful to watch.

Won't expend on that since it's your blog and not Jim's. I'll probably go comment on the forums instead.

But yeah, he's right, linear games are replayable when they're good, just like books, movies and songs are, and you don't need to add multiplayer to games just so they can be played again.
Here you go. Anyone who's read my comment doesn't have to go watch the video anymore.

Aiddon said...

I thank you for having to suffer through that for us. Were we in a bar I'd buy you five drinks

Kindberg said...

This is my favorite movie from Jim Sterling:

Take out the video of him talking about bias too, they are both so good and funny.

firelordzero said...

Am I the only one likes Jim Sterling? A lot of people complain Jim's personality but I think most people fail to realize that that is a persona that Jim created. It is a parody of the hyper ego centric male dominated opinions that dominate gaming as a whole and allow games like Duke Nukem to be popular. Does Jim do a lot of trolling? sure. but it's always to make a point. And also his game reviews are almost always 100% his opinion he gave DNF a terrible score because he thought it was a terrible game, not because he wanted more views or whatever. So yeah lay off Jim people he's one of the most honest Gaming Journalists out there

AmzRigh said...

While I find I usually agree with what he has to say (this time being no exception), I find Jim Sterling to be an incredibly obnoxious and unlikable man. I'd almost think the persona he projects really does more to harm the side he argues for — I mean, who wants to be associated with such a raging asshole?

You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar; if Mr. Sterling actually cared whether people agreed with him — cared about changing people's minds — he wouldn't act like such a royal douche. His rants can only be preaching to the choir, because nobody else is going to listen to him (and even a lot of the choir will tell him to fuck off). He's just a troll, making both sides of the issue look bad.

Not to suck up (even if I were making this point elsewhere, I'd probably draw the same comparison), but your style is a wonderful contrast to his, Bob: you both present very strong, sometimes controversial, sometimes vitriolic ideas. What makes your rants so much better is the presentation. Jim argues, "Listen to me because I'm awesome." You argue, "Listen to me because what I'm saying makes sense." Your vitriol comes off as righteous; his comes off as Cunty McCunterson. This not only makes yours far more enjoyable to watch, but allows yours to be employed directly in an argument, being that it's actually convincing and not condescending and hostile.

(Additionally, Jim totally fails at arguing for going straight for the ad hominem attacks on a goddamn strawman.)

Ava Avane Dawn said...

Good to see that more people are aware of jims douchebag attitude towards women... I'm not yet clear as to if I should just ignore this person completely, or watch the things that make sense to watch.

MovieBob said...


I have not, to my knowledge, deleted your or anyone else's posts from this talkback; and I would not have done so for this reason - you have my word on that.

Mads said...


I don't think his point is important.

Maybe it's because I'm a pc gamer and pc games started doing this back in 1995. Maybe it's because I think the idea that a game only has a base quality - whether or not it is good - is ridiculous. Maybe it's that arguing that the only reason for replaying is the enjoyment you had the first time is something I disagree vehemently with, so I'll nitpick him for simplifying to the point of making no sense.

The reason doesn't really matter. You linked me. You even used punctuation for a dramating pause, then wrote NOW in caps.

You gave as warm a recommendation as can be and it's...meh. Bad recommendation for this blog follower bob.

Knight The Arsonist said...

I love his videos. He's a troll, sure, but a troll who's right, which gives him all the value he needs.

9jack9 said...


alright, I know that it was posted briefly but if you said you didn't delete it I'll take your word for it. My apologies for implying otherwise Sterling just manages to push my buttons.

Scott Glasgow said...

Wow! I absolutely LOVE the divisiveness that Jim Sterling gets. Mainly because I get the joke, also, because he uses his persona to call out the idiots for what they are. If you can't laugh at the hyperbole than just don't watch it, you can get much 'tamer' renditions of the same arguments on stuff like Rev Rant.
The best part of his shtick though, is how his very persona, the facade that he creates to do his rants over, is the very same image that a large amount of the web trolls out there try to create. The same people that keep ranting for him to stop.
I for one, hope he never stops.

Aiddon said...

judging by those sexist, homophobic comments he threw around on Twitter as well as his repeated misogynistic tendencies in articles on Destructoid (which is a REALLY bad site) I am hesitant to even think that his persona anything but what he really thinks. He is not Louis C.K., Richard Pryor, or George Carlin, he's Jeff Dunham, Carlos Mencia, and Dane Cook. Forget being just another asshole, he's just a horrible human being who deserves to run right into a pool full of cancer

J.C. Hedges said...

I enjoy Jim's silly arrogance and unlike most people apparently I'm capable of taking a joke.

He's a funny guy and makes good points. I wish we had more outspoken guys like him around.

Viredae said...

Really, i hate to start taking sides on this argument, but from most the "examples" of his sexism that I've read, he really came of more like a shameless lech than a sexist, and yes, there's a difference.

Mainly, one is a person that believes that men are better than women, and the other is someone that is extremely (even abrasively) opinionated, and that seems to be the case with the people who hate his videos, in which he plays a character for gods' sake.

MajorRed53 said...

I think it's cool that you give shout-outs to fellow game commentators, but I feel he is a good example that disproves your FAQ on why you want to add so much to your game videos. Jim does make some good points, but I have to force myself through his "gimmick" to get it. Even then, I can't say I enjoyed it afterward. If he had just given his perspective, I'm sure I would have enjoyed it a lot more.

Lord Fluffy said...

I have yet to agree with anything Jim says. and it doesn't look like it's going to happen at any time.

as far as i'm concerned this is the last jimquisition i'm watching. it's painful and anger educing qualities are just far beyond anything i can handle

Thomas said...

On the one hand, I do like Jim's videos and arguments for the most part. On the other, upon rereading the twatter conversation linked in the comments, I have some difficulty bending over backwards to believe that he's significantly more progressive than the average 13 year old on XBOX Live. I'm willing to give a very wide berth to the satirical or ironic use of offensiveness, but if there's a subtext, I'm not seeing it.

Andrew said...

So, did anyone posting here actually watch the video in question? It makes a very salient point about the industry's needless reliance upon tacked-on multiplayer as opposed to making games good enough to be replayed on their own. It's actually a pretty simple point he gets to in the first minute of the video. And it happens to be one I agree with.

So I don't have anything against Bob posting this on his blog and really cannot understand all the hate being piled up on Jim. Even if you don't like the character he plays (and that is a CHARACTER, just like the one Stephen Colbert plays) that does not detract from the soundness of his point.

Lord Fluffy said...

i take it back. i actually agree with jim on this episode. so there ya go. i can agree with him on this statement.. but that doesn't mean this wasn't still painful to watch.

so i guess unless you say i should. i won't watch another jimquisiton

Antonio Black said...

Not to sound like an easily entertained fanboy or anything, but him just mentioning Metal Gear Solid was enough to draw me in.

Laserkid said...

The man has an excellent, and correct, point...

...but he is EXTREMELY annoying to listen to.

I would like to see him adopt a less extreme persona to make his points as though I agreed with him, I came out with an overwhelming urge to kick the man in the balls for his douchebaggery.

ConanThe3rd said...

Ah the Jimquition, a show that gets to the point and has a refreshing narrative taste (One man's angry, self satisfied, rant against the world) that doesn't get mixed into the point.

I find it's recommendation ironic on this, a blog about a show that has forgotten these things.

Kyle said...

I like Jim Sterling. I'm glad you liked his video.

Kindberg said...

I really enjoy Sterlings videos,
and since he joined the escapist, I always wondered if people would change there mind about him (those who think badly ofc) if someone like MovieBob recommended him.

After MovieBob now have recommended him, it would be interesting too see what people would think of Sterling, if Extra Credits recommended him (under the assumption they like him), too see if a recommendation from them has more value than MovieBob ;)

Afterall Sterlings first video on the escapist, he was framed a Extra Credits rip-off. I guess some people only need one source of information on a given subject and thats it :O

The way people alien him makes it seems like they alien his points, which is scary.

Phantos said...

For a guy supposedly trying to get people talking about games in a more serious and reasoned manner, linking your audience to Jim Sterling is fucking irresponsible. And assuming we would enjoy or learn from that festering wound on intelligent discourse is insulting.

I cannot in good conscience support anyone who hates his audience, video games and himself this much. Get help, Bob.

Pat said...

Yes, this video makes a good point. However, it is a point that could have been summed up in about 10 seconds: "Games often lose points for supposed lack of replayability simply because they don't tack on alternate endings or multiplayer. This operates on the faulty assumption that we would never want to play the same game twice no matter how good it is. This is stupid."

Certainly he could have elaborated on his point in more topical ways. He could have brought up the criticism rallied against games like "Portal 2" and "Child of Eden" and used those as recent examples of his point. He could have gone into the fact that people rarely play the multiplayer mode of a game for very long before they either go back to playing Halo or CoD, or just find a different game to play. Most people who play online regularly usually have specific games that they prefer to play and while they may play their most recent purchase online for about a week, it rarely lasts, so it really seems like an illusion of replayability. He could have gone into to the sense of entitlement we get simply because we expect an arbitrary yet quantifiable amount of entertainment from a $50-60 purchase.

Unfortunately, he basically decided that instead of elaborating on his 10-second point, he would simply blather on "satirically" for four and a half minutes about how stupid people who disagree with him are and how they are ruining the industry.

The saddest part is, based on his stints on "Extra Consideration", he seems like he's a pretty intelligent guy who could make interesting points when he's not trying to come off as a troll.

"Jimquisition" is basically if the Antithinker got his own show. He might have a point buried under "satire", but satire should not be done for its own sake, particularly when it makes the speaker come off like an enormous douche. Satire only works either when it's funny or when it enhances the point in a way that it couldn't have been if it were made in a more traditional manner. In this case, Jim is not funny and his "satire" doesn't enhance his point in any way.

Smashmatt202 said...

Jim's videos are good in that they provide yet another look at games. I don't really agree with him, but they offer a different way of looking at the medium that perhaps not many people look at.

bwmedia said...

I find his persona rather amusing because it is tongue in cheek. He's playing an entertaining character (he hopes) and then breaking out the facts and opinions. I actually found the show just prior to this episode and have watched a number of them so I do get the joke

He also has a good point. Linear games can tell just as good a story as sandbox games, if not better. Plenty of games, even if they have no story at all, are incredibly fun and you can find new ways to play it. Tell me you haven't played Robot Unicorn Attack, a game with no alternating path story (or story whatsoever), multiplayer, or variation, on more than one occasion because it lacked those three elements?

Furore said...

Wow, lot's of nark. I'll keep this short.

1. I agree with Jim's basic viewpoint in this video.
2. I don't think he's "controversial" so much as despised.
3. I've seen the Giant Ego persona done much better elsewhere. Mr Sterling just makes it incredibly grating.

Thanks for the hard work, Mr Chipman, I always look forward to more from you.

SatansBestBuddy said...

Ah, Jim Sterling.

Smart man, makes a lot of really good points, I've agreed with him more times than I have with you, Mr. Bob Chipman.

But he is a douche and a twat.

I think I've seen maybe a couple of episodes of his show that don't completely kill his message by his overbearing "personality", and none of them have been during his Escapist run.

Sylocat said...

I could handle Jim Sterling being an asshole, if I had ever seen him make any points that hadn't already been covered much more insightfully AND more entertainingly by Yahtzee, James Portnow, and yes, you, MovieBob.

Jim Sterling is a hack who copy-pastes from articles by more witty and articulate people than he, and dresses it up with an insufferable clown act, taking ten minutes to say what anyone else would take ten seconds to say.

His bigotry is exactly the sort that you railed against in your "Correctitude" video: He's a bigot who accuses anyone who calls him out on his bigotry of being "Politically Correct™" and being "unable to take a joke." He's Carlos Mencia and Jeff Dunham rolled into one, and he is exemplary of everything that is wrong with The Escapist's trajectory.

vlademir1 said...

First... while he has something akin to a point, he's too busy stroking his own ego to deliver it effectively.

His something akin to a point amounts to "games are enjoyable because they're good". That's damn near a tautology. His supporting statement amounting to, "A game has replay value if it's fun to play and/or has a story that's fun to experience again." is outright broken conceptually.
There are a multitude of players who buy and play games purely for the multiplayer experience and never even touch the single player part of their games. Saying that their form of deriving enjoyment from their games is wrong is tantamount to saying that this segment of the gamer community has no right to an opinion on the direction of games as the medium continues to develop, and if that's going to be true for one market segment why shouldn't it be just as true for any other?

We all enjoy different games for different reasons. Some of us enjoy story and gameplay, others prefer gameplay and social interaction, for still others it's the visual art and story with interactivity being incidental to their enjoyment, et cetera and of course that varies from game to game for many (most?) of us as well.
In the end, who are any of us to proclaim any effort of those making games to appeal to any group's reasons for enjoying this medium an unneeded distraction from the parts we enjoy? I have to ask, because that is exactly what Jim Sterling did in the video you linked to, Bob.

Johnny Josefsen said...

I´ve been following Jim Sterling ever since his Heavy Rain Review and his Objective review of Final Fantasy XIII. I like his stuff, not all of it, but i like that he´s critical. When it comes to games, i´m pretty damn critical too, soo he kinda resonates with me.

TheWon said...

Sorry Bob, but I hold the videos I watch to a certain standard. There are guys on Youtube right now. Who make better points with out having to curse or be a jack ass for 95 percent of their video.

imsmart said...

This isn't as great as when you recommended Extra Credits, but it's tolerable to okay I guess. I can't believe that more people don't get angry when gaming companies think that quality is just another optional feature. I see Jim's got some haters too, and they don't seem too self-aware, that could be a good source of entertainment.

the entertainment junkie said...

I have only discovered Jim Sterling since the Jimquisition, so I don't know about his past, but his videos on The Escapist are a lot of fun to watch. Yes, he says things not everyone will agree with, but so does this blog, and that's a good thing, because it will generate discussion.

Kurosawa said...

Hey Bob.
How about... NO!

Adam said...

C'mon, Bob. I watch your stuff regularly because I find you to be one of the most intelligent, compassionate, and progressive popular voices in the games industry (along with the Extra Credits guys and some others). It hurts me to see you prop up clueless, misogynistic asshats like Sterling.

Damian said...

Is it just me or is there alot of hate in this comment board. I mean I get the fact that Jim presents stuff in a way thats different from bob, he finds call of duty entertaining after all but if his name wasnt mentioned I wouldve thought you wer all talking about Slobodan Milošević reborn.

Popcorn Dave said...

I dislike Jim for the way he uses his ridiculously overplayed "persona" to pad out his fairly simplistic arguments, but yes, I definitely agree with his point here. Many of the games I replay the most are linear games that just give you an awesome ride from beginning to end, not games that try and drag you back with gimmicks like achievements and collectables.

I would also say that some of the gimmicky extra shit that games throw in actually DETRACTS from replay value sometimes. For example, 100% completion systems are meant to add replay value, but in many games it's so absurdly difficult to fulfil all the conditions that you end up aiming for 100%, hitting a wall at 80-90%, constantly trying those same few challenges over and over until you lose interest, then never playing again.

I'm a massive fan of New Game Plus modes though. I think one of the reasons we all love Chrono Trigger so much is that after we beat it once, we were able to play again and again without any of the pressure of the (admittedly easy) gameplay and just breeze through the story in a few hours. All JRPGs should do it, really. After I've finished a 40 hour plus JRPG the last thing I want to think about doing is starting the whole thing from scratch and losing another 40 hours, but I probably wouldn't mind "skimming" through and seeing my favourite bits again without having to start at level 1.

Daystar Eld said...

I'm sorry, but everything I love about your shows is what irritates the hell out of me for Jim's, even if you're both on the exact same page on the same issue.

It's not a Red Oni Blue Oni thing either: I love Yahtzee's Zero Punctuation, and from a basic description it might be hard to tell the difference between him and Jim. But to me the difference is as plain as Bill Maher vs Glenn Beck. The former an elitist jerk who is a comedian at heart. The latter takes himself seriously.

I don't believe Jim uses a persona, and if he did, it wouldn't make me think any better of him to use one like that. Lack of judgement in presentation is the difference between having a debate with someone and shouting at them while holding a knife.


Juan said...

People fall for Jims trap so often. I don't even know how, he is so obvious about it.

Even so, I actually enjoy many of his reviews, he is obviously being over the top, but he is acting in character, not as an actual person.

Caladors said...

I am sorry but did you just recommend 4chans attempt to spew it's vile poison onto the rest of the internet? Really?

I love your show, here I loved it on youtube when it first came out and I love big picture and escape to the movies, it's decided where I put money and I still have GAME OVERTHINKER V23 as one of my first favorites on my channel.

However I am legitimately disgusted with this comment. He isn't insightful or shocking he is the torture porn of video game commenter. I watched his first show and I wasn't impressed but what the hell I will try one more time and come on your recommending the guy who has anthropomorphic penis images to help illustrate his point? Really?

Nerd, Geeks, and whatever name is thrown onto people who enjoy video games is not helped by this person, aside from helping the horrid stereotype attached to us he doesn't have anything to say. The answer to video game sexism is more sexism just reversed; What; Excuse me?
Lets get this straight, sexism is not sexy. Sure Hollywood has man candy shot now just female 'money shot' with the come heather look. That's not sexism, we have societies that are based of peoples appearance like or not and that be it Jason Statham using 'undress fu' or Lucy Liu showing her body.

Sexism, is wife bashing, it's DVO orders it's a lot of things but none of them looks as good as either Lucy or Jason, no matter how much you peal off sexism it will never looks as good as either of them.
Come on man your more than just a random blogger you represent us.