Wednesday, September 14, 2011

EPISODE 57: "Supreme Responsibility" (3rd UPDATED)

3RD UPDATE: The link at ScrewAttack seems to be working again, and for obvious reasons I encourage fans to visit THAT LINK. The YouTube link version has been removed, not out of disrespect to YouTube fans, but out of respect to which is the primary host of the series.


Aiddon said...

Gaming culture, could indeed, use a bit of a kick in the ass when it comes to dealing with issues from now on. The same goes to game makers. Like the recent Deus Ex and Dead Island controversies were met with WAY too much dismissive hand-waving and overly-defensive attitudes, as well as some SEVERELY disturbing cases of what could only be described as closet misogyny for the latter (though admittedly that was more of a Hot Coffee incident than anything). Game makers could also start doing more to stop this CoD crap that emulates Red Dawn and start doing some Apocalypse Now. You'll never see Activision doing that though since any sort of moral ambiguity/depth gets in the way of what amounts to gratification for blowing off some faceless dude's junk.

Anonymous said...

That was a fantastic episode, Bob. I agree that we should be trying to make gaming as whole better now and make shooters intelligent. Also, Holy F*ck! Strawman's sons!

Blizzard Boy said...

Bob, I am really starting to dig this story thing. Great episode and great points. I think that as gamers we should refuse to play with assholes but that developers should also start banning said assholes if they get...I don't know, "Flagged" by the community too many times. I highly doubt however, that Activison will start alienating that big a chunk of their player base unless there is a MASS appeal by people like us (i.e. non-assholes) demanding they do so.

Misterprickly said...

I agree with a lot of what Bob says, when it comes to FPS games and the online community.

I remember the days of "Day of Defeat" and "Unreal Tournament".

We would set up servers and invite
outsiders to join in on the fun BUT the moment we started to feel overwhelmed by the shit storm of douchebaggery that comes with playing a game online...

Most of us stopped playing the games all togeather.

I love the occasional violent game as much as anyone BUT when "the violence" becomes the only selling point... It makes me wonder where we (gamers and developers) went off track.

I love fighters but even I couldn't play the new Mortal Kombat.

I used to laugh at those who found games "upsetting" but now I find myself being upset by them.

How far is too far and how much is enough?

Sylocat said...

Ah, so they're straw ninjas.

Christian said...

...I like Mike's Hard Lemonade.

Good arguments in the episode, though. And I do love the Watership Down reference.

Arturo said...

Link's not working anymore

Anubis C. Soundwave said...

I'm getting a 404 error when I click the link:


Uh-0h, You SCREW ED up big time!

The page you are looking for either doesn't exist or has moved.

I cleared my browser's cache (Firefox 6.0.2), and checked my lesser browser (Internet Explorer) just in case.

It's lost somewhere in ScrewAttack's servers for me.

Anonymous said...

Link appears to be dead due to a Screw Attack error. Can you post another link?

smile said...

You've been hitting these videos out of the ballpark recently. The skits are improving immensely too.

I'm in two minds about this - I'm an advocate of free speech and I am aware that the consequence of that advocacy is the rise of the lowest common denominator as a market driver. I agree that Modern Warfare and the culture that has arisen from that series is a wart on the ass of gaming, but I will defend its right to exist.

I think, with videos like the one you've made, the best we can do is use that free speech to rightly hold these games and their developers accountable for their unreflective worship of militarism.

TheDVDGrouch said...

Defiantly a discussion a long time in the making. I especially enjoyed your comparison of Video Game culture and Heavy Metal culture.

I think it might very well take a Full Metal Jacket of video games to shock certain people out of their current behavior.

PS. No I did not see that twist coming very good all the same.

Hammbone said...

Good job as always bob. i have to admit my jaw dropped a bit when you pulled out that fistful of straw.

on dead island: yeah its just an inside joke. yeah they are not in good taste but it most likely wasnt mean spirited. so i give it a pass. i got some raunchy nsfw inside jokes between me and my friends why should i be mad that other do the same.

on Deus Ex: what? i see no controversy... for every slang talking bum that is black there are at least 20 that are scientists/engineers.

both of these are manufactured controversy and have no actually foundation of being neither racist nor sexist.

I am a male. i have made jokes about women going back to the kitchen. I am also a huge supporter of gender equality. dont listen to a joke out of context and claim it is a serious belief.

Aiddon said...


Because the DI incident WASN'T. FUCKING. FUNNY. Period. There's a difference between "raunchy" and just mean-spirited; it's like how Jeff Dunham making racist caricatures of Arabs is just dickish yet Louis CK commenting on the idiocy of homophobia is fucking hilarious. Or Richard Pryor mocking his own suicide attempt was edgy and timeless while Eddie Murphy gay-bashing in Raw just came off as whiny and insecure. Seriously, give the guy who caught that tasteless chauvinism a goddamned medal (though whoever forgot to yank out the file left in is a grade-A idiot). What REALLY disturbed me more was the fact that WAY too many goddamned morons on sites like the Escapist were giving each others pats on the back while spouting stuff like (and these are REAL QUOTES) "And what if he was being serious? Feminists are unreasonable creatures. So unreasonable they surpassed PETA a long time ago. They deserve all the hate they get", "Sheesh, dev was just saying what we were all thinking." or "I approve of that joke. Feminists are fucking stupid anyway." These are just a few of literally DOZENS of comments I saw on ONE thread alone. So, no, this is not cool, this is downright creepy. It's not so much the actual tasteless joke as it is gamers having this weird asshole conception of "men's rights" like something rich douchebags who bitch about when they're not feeling secure in their masculinity.

The DE incident is also pretty bad. There is NO way someone in Detroit should be speaking that way, even in the current times. That's like seeing those Minstrel Show crows from Dumbo all over again, except we don't have the "things were different back then" as a reasonable cultural filter. And again, it's more the spineless, defensive stances of the gaming community (including professional journalists) that pissed me off. Yes, gaming is becoming SO much more sophisticated...while we also apparently still think Amos and Andy is okay. Ugh. Gamers and game makers need to grow up and start taking a little responsibility for crap like this.

Jannie said...

Aiddon, I'm black, and a girl, and I live in Detroit so let me speak up and say: yes black people do talk that way, it's called Ebonics. No one cares. And yes it was just a joke, not some personal insult. No one cares. No. One. Cares. And no one should.


I'm not going to get into the usual anti-online gaming malarkey and anti-shooter subtext roiling just beneath the surface, or the idea we need an "online police" to make everyone nice to each other because that's untenable at best and ridiculous at worst, or the crack about making Full Metal Jacket the game because it wouldn't sell a single copy, wouldn't change anything, and if anything it'd just make shooters look "arty" and therefore legit, having the exact opposite effect you intended I reckon. I'd say "give it a rest" but I did already, elsewhere, so I'll just say "Whatever". It pisses me off that what I love has to be the boogeyman for retrogamers for some reason I don't understand (insecurity I'd reckon but, again, whatever) but I just give up on that front so fine, I don't care...

What i do care about is this mentality that we somehow "won" the battle against anti-gaming zealots. We didn't beat them they just lost this battle. They can't regulate games but they can still make it impossible to get or make them in other ways. I mean, abortion is legal but many states have rules on the books to make getting one prohibitively difficult. And yeah I just compared gaming to the pro-choice movement, I'm edgy that way.

If you take anything I say away from this at all, let it be to not give people false hope because these people are petty, fanatical and vindictive and they're not going to stop trying just because one avenue is now closed. These assholes are venomous and dedicated to a cause, a cause utterly against everything we--all of us, retrogamers, shooter fans, people who buy Wii party games, ALL of us--stand for.

I know it feels good to think that finally, it's over. But it really isn't, and trust me by the time it is three more console cycles will have passed.

If I were asked to suggest something I'd say maybe we all put our differences aside, team up with "Big Gaming" and try to out-spend these people with lobbyists. If EA, Microsoft, Nintendo, Activision, Squenix et al all put their heads together with the community as a whole we may be able to really crush these people. But until then, if any of you take away anything I say at all from this, don't start giving each other bro-fists just yet because they still can chip away at us even cause real damage. False hope is as dangerous as no hope.

An aside: I really didn't see that ending coming, and it made me genuinely laugh. Though I'm the minority as someone who actually LIKES the storyline, on the whole, so yeah.

Garrick Winter said...

This was a great episode! I think it's important to have this kind of discussion. Censorship is never the answer, and its good they were struck down; rather, gaming culture is in need of introspection and self-criticism.

Passively tolerating all sorts of hatred and violence in our culture is no way to progress - not in the eyes of society, not in our own social experiences with other gamers, and not even with game development.

If gaming culture rejected macho militarism and the fratboy mentality more actively, we might see a greater diversification of mainstream games made to appeal to mainstream gamers, rather than let all the indies make the interesting games while funneling the big bucks into more brown shooters. Publishers just need to get the impression that their demographic isn't what it used to be.

Needless to say, if anything changes, it will be a long, slow process. Hopefully, by the time we're all seniors, gaming and gamer culture will be a friendlier and more diverse place (shooters and all).

Steven said...

I know what to do ANYONE who owns a gun should be banned from playing online FPS games because there psycho enough anyway.

Mads said...

Jannie, you're my f'n hero.

I was trying to get the Deus Ex point across to Aiddon in several comments when Bob made a blog post on it; he never confronted the arguments head on, so it's great to see my point of view vindicated.

@ The subject
Well, we could ask for review systems of people we play with.

Counter strike is already outthere, and you can't stop people on skype from getting all asshole'ed up in private while they run around shooting terrorists.

But you can stop the verbal and other abuse if sufficiently advanced grading systems are implemented. If you couldn't get your experience points in modern warfare unless you occasionally reviewed players using the voice-chat and text chat functionality in those games, people would do it and take it seriously. It would be used every time someone was being a dick.

Game companies would be able to filter out the assholes from the rest of us, and we'd be able to play in peace.

It would slowly but surely destroy the subculture of raging asshole gamers. I don't think games would appeal less to breivik, but it's _something_.

And yes, more games where killing people is ambiguous...that would work well for me, too.

Arturo said...

Very nice and thoughtful in what's already been a string of nice and thoughtful episodes (by that I mean the current story).
Good job, Overthinker

Aiddon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

On the YT-Version I left a comment which basically said the same as I was about to say now. Someone answered to that comment, but I didn't get the chance to reply to him. So I hope you're reading this:
Well, first of all, good episode. Second: I understand why the SCOTUS verdict is an important milestone for us. But the whole time, there was one thing that bugged me about it. I'm from Germany, a country which, as you may or may not know, has pretty strict regulations when it comes to games. There are a lot of these I don't like, but one I think is pretty good: If a retailer sells a game to a kid that is not old enough, he's actually breaking the law. And, as far as I understand (correct me on that one) that was what this was primarily about. So now we "won" and kids may go and purchase GTA. And that's good?
Don't get me wrong. There are retailers with a conscience and also parents who look out for what their kids are doing. But there are also retailers who don't give a damn and parents who use their kid's console as a substitute babysitter. And you should also not get me wrong regarding another thing: I'm no one to say that kids playing "mature" games is wrong, period. I played games for 12-year-olds when I was 8 and games for 16- and 18-year-olds when I was 14. I say it depends on the maturity level of the player and whether his or her parents think he or she is mature enough. And the system in Germany doesn't prevent parents buying their kids games they're legally too young for. So you could still play it. But I have one question (which also nicely fits with this episode): If we celebrate that kids can legally buy CoD and other MP-FPSes, aren't we basically celebrating the thing that in the end creates those immature assholes that taunt you with racist and homophobic names while telling you they're doing your mom tonight? I mean, most of them are kids, aren't they?

Djymn said...

Fantastic episode Bob! Intelligent as ever and genuinely thought provoking. And I have to say the final twist actually had me in stitches. Thank you for something to think about and for a damn good laugh!

Aiddon said...


Uh, DUH, I know what ebonics is, in fact I know that even within THOSE inflections there are lot of different varieties of it due to the mixing of regional accents. I'm not ignorant of stuff like that despite being white as a goddamned ghost, even having quite a few black friends. However, I've NEVER encountered a black person who literally might as well be saying "Yessa massa" like they were Buckwheat or Jar Jar Binks. That's the kinda accent I expect out of the 40s or MAYBE the modern deep south like Louisiana if I wanted to stretch it, but not in in Detroit or other areas like it, it's REALLY out of place and really...disturbing.

Also, the man on who first brought the whole DE thing to light...IS BLACK. So it does look like some African-Americans do get pissed off at this kind of crap. So don't say "no one cares" when in fact you're just saying "I don't care.

Smashmatt202 said...

Right, finally getting to the Supreme Court case... Maybe it's a good thing you waited for this... Let's the aftereffects kind of sink in a bit...

There's been a shooting? My condolences.

"G-Wiz" and "GPlay"? Umm... Something tells me I'm not going to like this... then again, "G-Wiz" makes me think of Aqua Teen Hunger Force.

Wait... Is this anyway related to G4? They suck balls. "Sessman Adler"? I don't know who that's a parody of, but whoever it is, I bet it's a spot-on interpretation.

I'll tell you one thing, though, everything said about EA was completely spot-on.

STILL think pirates are better. I'd elect a pirate into the Senate anyday!

Not to mention, those ninjas are pretty stupid. :P

It's one thing to parody Seth MacFarlane, it's another to "claim" it's animated when only the mouth is chown opening and closing. Also, straw man cameo!

Smashmatt202 said...

Anyway, about the Supreme Court ruling. I WAS kind of nervous, but thank GOD they made the right choice! Huzzahs are in order! Like, 3 months ago...

I remember reading about the Justices of the Supreme Court made fun of the guys who wrote the law, because really, they're pretty stupid themselves. Or rather, it was purposely made vague so that it would end up being more controlling. Still, it was great to see them poking fun at the poorly worded mess!

It DOES disturb me, though, that some of them were willing to let the law pass if it was better worded, though... Even more so that it was a 7-2 win. Yeah, we still won, but it doesn't hurt to have a little hindsight on the matter.

And besides, it's pretty much the job of the Justices to decide of something is Unconstitutional based on the laws of our country, so I can't blame them for basing their decision on that and not on morals. In fact I kind of respect them for it.

Corporate interests, huh? Sounds pretty corrupt. Should I be surprised?

That's a good question... Now what? Well, now, it's time to improve ourselves and our games... Extra Credits should help with that... somewhat. We have to do the rest, though.

Anders Breivik? God, I hate being behind on current events, but it seems to happen a lot.

Well, what an asshole, killing people just to get attention. The Call of Duty thing doesn't even matter to me. He killed women and children all to stroke his super-macho ego. Yeah, I guess it's a good thing this didn't happen before the Supreme Court ruling, but I'm too distracted by how disgusted I am with this guy...

In fact, it seems that everyone's realized that's not a big deal anymore, because like the Overthinker said, the fights over. So yeah, let's just concentrate on ignoring this guy and his insanity.

I like how you kept reinforcing how you said you loved games, like you know this was going to light some fires... But not in a purposeful troll sort of way like you do with the douchebags of gaming, but with with brutal honesty... And while it's true that these games aren't "murder simulators"... Why did he bother bringing that up, anyway?

Ah yes, I remember you showing me that clip... I searched YouTube, and many people on YouTube cut that part out, instead saying The Pro "abused his power". Geez... What's wrong with us?!

That's a nice comparison to the "Metal" craze... We SHOULD be like that. We should openly say we're not like that and shun and scold anyone who acts like that!

GREAT episode! SPECTACULAR episode! I'm showing this to everyone I know! That likes games...

Okay, how the Hell did Ivan managed to break the ice?

Not to mention, not only are the ninjas stupid, they're also wusses... OMG, that's almost brilliant... Jack Liberman said he's not associated with those crazy, nutty ninja losers, which is exactly what we should say about the worst of gamers out there!

Wait... the Cyrothinker's made of STRAW?! Oh man... I think I know where this is heading...

HA! Serves you right, killing off an annoying guy that still had a point! Did I see it coming? Well...

Jannie said...

I'd like to ask those people who suggest that we start banning and shunning people who "act like that" to define "that".

Act like what? Over-competitive screaming matches? Insults? Swear words? Harsh language? How far to go with this?

See that's the root problem with political correctness, as Bob once said, political correctness is just being nice to each other. Well, no shit, but the problem is EVERYONE'S definition of "nice" is different in some small way, and to determine what, universally, "nice" should be is so beyond impossible it's mind-blowing to me there are people who think it would be a good idea to base LAWS around something so nebulous. I mean, when people talk about a slippery slope, this is what they mean.

Ok so lets say the community "flags" people and then the game companies single them out for punishment. How do you know, since online matches are not televised or recorded, that wrongdoing has occurred? And that's the BEST case scenario.

The other option is to, as Bob suggests, shun these people. All fine and good but now you set the stage for some bad noise to go down and they can do the same and then everyone starts trying to drive the people they don't like out and then gaming breaks down into clique subcultures at war with itself...over what? Some kid yelling at another online? Yeah that's what gaming needs a civil war over.

And of course, then the other other option, and what "we" really want is to just dispose of online gaming, shooters and any kind of modern gaming AS IS and hey while we're at it just roll back the clock to Christmas Day 1985 and start selling NESes and carts again because that's the real meat of the argument, and you all know that.

Well if I may offer an actual suggestion: how about we stop pretending some people yelling at each other online is a problem, stop blaming modern gaming for bullshit that WE ALL KNOW it is not responsible for, and just move forward into the future. Remember that? The future? That thing that doesn't include a Japanese gaming monopoly and chintzy, outdated mascots for every console? You know where it isn't 1990 anymore? That future?

Kindberg said...

The ban would only be affective in usa. the affect of that on the whole world is debatable.

If the rest of the world lost american-fps games from such a ban. Other countries would take over, as long as there is a market for them.

Mads said...

@ Jannie
In most games, it's perfectly possible to record and store large segments.

In Starcraft 2, a 3 hour long game will weigh in, in less than half a megabyte. That's peanuts these days.

So if someone "grades" someone negatively, you just keep the segment of that player only really need to be concerned with very little data to keep a permanent record.

Also, so long as the system only filters repeat offenders out, such that very abusive players aren't exposed to ones that are almost never abusive, that's hardly punishment. It just sanitizes the community and makes sure that people who aren't abusive when they game don't become more so by a culture of bad manners. Abusive players will still play - but they won't be allowed to hate on anybody who doesn't deserve it.

It's just one small thing we can do to make gaming a friendlier hobby.

I'm not saying gaming is responsible for anything bad - but I am saying that we could do well to sanitize our culture a little.

If someone plays games under the nickname Herman Goring, for example, I think that's abuse of the freedom given to that player. I think that should score the player a mark in the little book of assholes. I think the rest of us should then have a "play without assholes" option in the settings of the game.

Is it so horrible to want to phase out people from our communities who are there in part trolling for other nazi sympathizers? To say "we want nothing to do with someone like you?" ?

Aqua said...


Okay, I'm going to go ahead and throw out my possible mis-conceptions about Bob and try to be more realistic here.

I sincerely doubt he's on some quest to utterly destroy online gaming or the FPS genre. He's not an idiot, and I'm sure everyone here realises the implications that such an occurence would actually have on the gaming market as a whole.

Pretending things like online abuse aren't an issue is childish at best. While you can never truly weed out every problem person online, that does NOT excuse it getting to the level it has, and if you think it does, you are several leagues under a sea of denial.

Even the most corrupt order is still a form of order, and most if not all will be more than happy to settle for that over the derisive chaos that these games are often shown to host online. If you don't WANT some corrupt order, MAYBE it's time to fucking do something about it.

Why is it that I can't enjoy a game like MW2 without listening to that shit? I don't mind a little online competition in any game genre, and even used to enjoy playing the occasional FPS match with friends back in the PS2 era. Yet now, when there's an even easier way to play against others, I have to be subjected to that simply because of what?

'Ok so lets say the community "flags" people and then the game companies single them out for punishment. How do you know, since online matches are not televised or recorded, that wrongdoing has occurred? And that's the BEST case scenario.
' That, is a fucking excuse, and nothing more.

It was bad enouh I had to find myself distancing myself from a game genre I liked more and more simply because of the monotony, but this one was an even more bitter pill to swallow. I used to enjoy EVERY game genre, but now I have to limit myself for what? These excuses?

I find it funny how you think that FPS gamers including yourself are the victims here, or at least preaching that you are. There are 26 PS3 games I own. 16 are shooters. 6 are First-Person. That's not even including the ones I bought for my Wii.

So I guess my big question to you is, why do I have to simply accept this, instead of wanting something done about it, when this isn't what I payed to enjoy?

vlademir1 said...

Bob, I rather enjoyed this episode and especially the Watership Down reference, it added a small additional layer of depth to what is otherwise a fairly two dimensional joke character.

@Blizzard Boy, et al discussing how to censure the asshole-ish behavior, the problem with flagging people is such systems inevitably get abused and keeping data tied to every flagging instance will slowly consume server resources, even a small 1KB of data per instance will quickly get into huge throughput issues (reading from and writing to disk are among the slowest operations out there), which would lead to significant increases in server side lag and diminished gameplay for everyone. Not having a human checking the data, which would require the aforementioned saving to disk, will lead to rampant unchecked abuses which would gut the innocent as well as the guilty of their ability to play their games. The best solution is likely to be a client, or at least client account, side blacklist, where you can turn them off on your end and not have to listen to the BS that the random twelve-year-olds (mentally, if even not physically) throw out all the time. If it's account side, that metadata could in theory be datamined for those who are generally undermining the positive gaming experience Microsoft and Sony are, in theory, trying to offer for the vast majority of their audiences.

On PC we get the benefit that since the server host is usually right there as a player (for many games anyway), they can directly censure people for disrupting play and kick them out if they don't learn their lesson. It obviously isn't universal, but it still happens quite often.

Antonio Black said...

Hm...didn't see that coming...

Here's my two bits on gaming culture though:
See, like most subcultures in our society we need to reach a high point before we can clearly establish low points.
Supreme Court's decision? High point.
The work of sociopathic assholes such as Eric Harris, Dylan Klebold, the guy from the Virginia Tech Massacre, and Brevic (who all played FPS games)? Low point.
Very, very, low point.
As a culture, we've seen things, but overall we haven't peaked so to speak. I'm waiting for the days when our culture has blossomed into a beautiful existence that is recognized without stereotypes. Those days will be brief. The Beatniks had the 50s, the Hippies had the 60s, the Yuppies had the 80s....after that they went downhill and eventually ceased to be anything more than nostalgic counterculture that only exists ironically.
Society will catch up to us, as time does to all men. Our days may be fruitful in the past, present, or future, but we have a ways to go before our culture is able to go out with a bang, not a whimper.

Laserkid said...

You know, there was a system for flagging people out of world of warcraft dungeon runs, intended to kick out assholes.

You want to know what happened? Oh, you happen to lag out for a minute, guess what, you just got kicked. Oh, your DPS isnt as good as someone wants it to be? kicked.

Giving ban tools to GAMERS IS A VERY VERY VERY VERY VERY BAD IDEA. The potential for abuse is far too high, especially FROM the assholes its intended to stop.

Instead, I think a report system is the best way to do it, in the afformentioned world of warcraft - if someone is making an epic dick of themselves in text chat they can and have been banned from the game permanently by the blizzard GMs. This can't police everything such as Ventrilo/Teamspeak/Skype, but it polices what they CAN police. Xbox live audio can and has been used against douchebags by moderators before - see your incident listed in this and a previous episode.

The only thing that can be done to prevent douchebaggery is to - NOT BE A DOUCHEBAG. I know, novel concept right? No one can control the actions of others, you can only control yourself and how you react to others. I will say that assholes online can and should be shunned by the community as a whole - the problem is they have their own douchebag community that the game companies cater to.

To take it back to ANOTHER previous game overthinker we have two different gaming communities here. The nerdcore hardcore that Sony looked straight past to get its playstation flock going - the "casual" gamer crowd of the late 90s that now considers itself hardcore compared to the "casual" crowd of the wii.

This crowd by and large does not give a flying fuck about these issues and feeds on itself for a community. Be honest, any of us here that actually care about this responsibility PROBABLY DON'T play these games to begin with.

Then theres the other shoe, what is it about these games that attracts douchebags? It's because these games are designed to sell to the (for a lack of a better term) "DUDE-BRAH" crowd, and so they buy it and act like they always did, and always will. Short of saying these games should not be made (which I am not saying or advocating) - I'm unsure there is any effective solution to this.

TLDR: This is an issue of a subset of gamers that feed on themselves, even if we shrugged them all off sucessfully they'd still play with eachother and the issue would go nowhere. If gamer banning tools were given, that subset would abuse the hell out of it and make gaming even more miserable for the rest of us.

NEXUS said...

If its time to face the issues there is a very large laundry bag to get through.

Should CoD (as a generic example) cease to exist? no, I don't think so, however I do think it needs someone to provide some contrast, and I think a fair portion of the gaming community is already asking for it, so there is a pretty much viable market.

Is the average gamer immature, childish, misogynist, racist and so on? I think the flop that Duke Nukem Forever was (even though it did make some money) and the general bad reception it got both from critics and overly hyped fans proves that we expect more.

On the other hand, a small thorn bothers me every time I hear someone complain about the "shallow action gorish" games as if they were THE ONLY games, anyone that has ever took the trip down graphic adventure lane, or play anything published by BullFrog (boy do I miss that particular studio) knows there is MUCH more to games that the mainstream AAA shooter of the year.

As for the attraction to psychos like the one cited on this episode, we are still the new entertainment, I've said this before, every other entertainment and cultural medium, from books, to music to movies to games, has been through the same process, and the psychos are always susceptible to the latest new thing. I think that as long as we continue to prove there is more to gamers than bloodthirsty ranting pre-teens, there isn't much more we can do about them, just reject them as "one of us".

Another important issue I would like to be addressed is the "Games as Art" vs "Art is boring" argument, taking games as a form of art is not going to extinguish the blockbusters, if you don't like those kinds of games you don't need to buy them, a lot of people do want them though.

Finally there is the weird love/hatred relationship between the corporations and the consumers to solve, consumers are much too often seen as the enemy and corporations spend large amounts of money on figuring out how to fight piracy and end up annoying and outright insulting their legal clients, I think the piracy war is just as the drug war, instead of trying to fight out the drug makers and dealers, figure out why people get addicted to drugs in the first place, or even goes to them, and try to fix that! I'm a firm believer that easy accessibility, good quality and fair price are the key to getting people to willingly pay for original games and say no to piracy, the Humble Indie Bundle system is the BEST example of how the system should work in my opinion.

NEXUS said...

Forgot about one thing, its about time for the game industry and the gaming community to acknowledge that gaming is not limited to US, wealthy Europe and Japan, a great deal of markets are being ignored and we love gaming just as much as those three (I'm from Argentina, Latin America).

Not only consumers, many of us such as myself have a great passion for making games and being an active part of this industry.

Ravehunter said...

Hey Bob, your video was good up until 11:30 when it froze. Please to be fixing, somehow.

TheAgriPunk said...

Really Cool! New format continues to get better!

counterpoint said...

ok, bob, that was very funny at the end there!

tomspeelman said...

Really well thought-out stuff here, Bob! Personally, I've become really wary in the last few years with how popular Call of Duty and other FPSs have become over the years. The violence is incredibly detailed and rather disturbing to say the least. I really think that, much like most Internet forums or YouTube, a user on say, XBL, should be flagged/reported on for his rude, profane, and vulgar behavior.

John M Osborne said...

@Walter44 -

No, that's not what it means. It means that laws can't be made to restrict it, as historically we haven't been able to make laws restricting any other form of artistic expression. Why? We have violent media, and most of it is political. It's hard to ban all violent media without having freedom of speech here.

Now the distinction is very different from Germany - as we have very different histories when it comes to Freedom of Speech.

No, a kid cannot come into a store and by an M-rated game. He may be legally allowed to, but most stores will not sell it to him due to a tacet agreement between publishers, retailers, and their customers. If they were to sell it to a minor, they could be put out of business from bad press.

The ESRB is a privately run ratings system rather than run by the government, like PEGI in England.

Now to expand on this, I actually like most of Germany's free speech laws, and its distinction between violent speech and political speech.

Unfortunately the history of political speech in the US includes violent speech, amongst other things.

Also, culturally I have a bit of an issue when sexual content is restricted for teenagers, but they can blow a hole in a virtual person's face.

William G. said...

Call me whatever you want, but I actually found the CoD screens of brutality MORE disturbing than the Oslo stuff you showed. Maybe it was because how realistic graphics have become, but I found myself more put off by those images than anything else in the video.

BTW, nice twist at the end!