Tag Archives: Sierra-on-line

The cool kidz

We all heard it, we all are aware of it, yet what makes a kid a ‘cool kid’, what makes a game a ‘cool game’ one would state that this is by public demand, by public indication. Yet what is true indication? What is indication that is not badgered by trolls, by marketing department and their minions? Do you? I certainly don’t. Social media and public opinion are so far apart you can park China between the two views. The views on public request (demand sounded too harsh) and public indication are factors of transparency and as we know social media is many things, transparent is not one of them. And thus we get to the question at the start, what is a ‘cool kid’? You might want to think that this is about kids, but it is not. 

This all started months ago and I was reminded of it today. You see, sometimes we just want to relax and play a game, a mindless game, a simple game and that is how my mind wandered back to 1991 and Sierra-on-Line’s ‘Jones in the fast lane’. I will grant you that the game could use an upgrade, a new view, new names perhaps 1-2 additions, but granted the game was close to perfect. The idea that you can just spend some time chilling playing a simple game is to a lot overwhelming. I thought I was alone, but over time I have seen a whole range of people seemingly desiring a game like this. You see, there is nothing wrong with a lot of games, but it is about the chase, about the achievement, about the hunt. I reckon the only exception was Ubisoft when they gave you the tour of AC Origin with the expansion and all the places to visit (like a beer maker). It was not about running, it as about seeing how much there was in that game and it was awesome. But time have shown us a whole range of games that a players like Google (or Amazon) could add to their systems, but they are all so hung up on replicating what the PS4 and Xbox One already have, why?

In this Nintendo is equally a contender, but they have their own setting of these games and they are doing great. Is that not the larger setting? How come Nintendo blew away Microsoft? Because their games were cooler? Higher resolution? No, the games were what the people wanted and that banked them an annual revenue for 2021 of $16.534B, a 37.34% increase from 2020. Did anyone consider that this is due to more than a really good console? And the additional news is that Nintendo generated approximately 42.6 percent of its gaming software revenue via digital unit sales. You still think I am kidding? Streamers have options, but if everyone looks in the same direction, they all miss out. The idea was that one of my IP could secure  well over 50 million consoles. One source now stated (one I actually trust) is that I was 50% too low with my estimation, and it was not some version of Jones in the fast lane, but it would be unique to streamers and Amazon has the lead as Google decided not to develop its system with software solutions. I am willing to debate this as a mistake of 50% is rather large, but in my favour, it works in my favour, so screw it.

In all this there is the setting of what do the Cool Kids want, but no one is digging on what decides what a cool kid is, and with the Nintendo revenue they all (Sony included) are looking in the wrong direction. They are all mesmerised by public opinion, all whilst no one verifies the transparency of that danger, especially whilst there is no clarity on what public indicators are. Where those indicators are and how they can be tested on the actual population? These are questions, I have no answers here, merely the fact that it needs to happen before Microsoft does something stupid again and pushes everyone in the wrong direction, like lemmings to an abyss. Which would be a shame and in this I sided with Amazon Luna (for the obvious Google reason) If they alter and expand on what they have they could have it all and as soon as the first evidence comes out proving me right everyone will adjust course to get some of the crumbs of that revenue pie, but if I am correct the one taking the lead will remain in the lead and merely cluster more gamers to their side and I expect that this is merely the beginning. 

So lets start again, when did we accept that we needed to have Game X on platform Y because that is what the cool kids want? Consider the definition “Trendsetters, often in reference to hipsters; those worthy of emulation.” How is emulation of a trendsetter based on a 5 year old game a cool kids exercise? Resident Evil 7 (2017), Aragami (2016)? Yes they were good games, but emulation 6 years later? Amazon is as guilty as Google is here and they need to up their game, or change entirely. It is up to them what they do, because Microsoft is casually taking up people hiding behind their Game Pass and when people are in one camp churning them is a lot harder than you think in gaming. Oh, and when you considered to follow some virtual Cool Kid and you learn you are duped, what defence will you rely on? I reckon none at all.

So no matter where you game, as long as it makes you happy that is fine, but I personally believe that gamers are missing out in a few ways and in part it is the lack of broader substance, they all run after another Far Cry, an Elden Ring, or whatever is shouted as ‘the cool game’ and there are plenty that are actually cool, but do you really think that a $109 game is sold less than a year later for $29, because it was supercool, or because it was too buggy for its own good? I let you be the judge of that. 

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And that was a hard sell?

OK, we all have these moments where we think ‘I can do that’, in my mind I can be an NHL goalie, becoming the wall in a goal that no one can pass (Wayne Gretzky eat your heart out). I can be as delusional as I want to be thinking that I could be the goalie of the Edmonton Oilers, the San Jose Sharks, or perhaps the Vancouver Canucks. Yup, nothing wrong with my capacity to dream, but what happens when we truly believe that? When we create something bigger than ourselves? I have created the IP of 5G, of videotapes that have not yet released and the other day I came up with the concept of a new TV series, based on an all time classic. Yet what happens when we add our own spice to the equation? In my case it is a space station, it is about 500 meters, roughly vibe shaped and when the 8 people wake up, they realise that they are no longer home, but they do not know where they are. It is that setting that I used to create a new series. So far 8 episodes per season. 

As I started, I got to (avoiding spoilers as much as possible)

Introduction, backstory

Here we start the introduction of the 8 people, it seems a little familiar, because that is how introductions tend to be. We see it from the first person, then the second person, all are confused and all are a little scared, both the males and females alike. The 16 represent different people, the pragmatic lady where we see flash backs where she is a bag lady in Chicago, now cleaned and like the others in some kind of a white overall, the African American who is on the flashback a hedge fund manager, cold and calculating, a mechanic from Paris Texas, looking at the rooms around him, having his own thought. The story continues and as we see the rooms who are all spic and span, we end the episode where they see a large window with fish, corals and no light in sight. The fish are according to one of the man, really deep sea fish.

Where are we? (+ continuance backstory)

The story continues, but more focussed on the where they are, with here and there a small back story recall. We see the icons on the doors, the coloured icons on the wall, the 3d maps and icon based settings of the rooms, as they are setting in their new environment, three groups form, two groups of 5 and one of 6. At that the groups start to focus on the icons on their overalls, speculating on the icons of gender and trying to work out the meaning of colour.

Symbols, iconography, Rosetta Stone (+ continuance where are we?)

One of the 5 groups finds a stone, The icons that are around them and on them and the stone gives three other versions of the symbol, the gender, the setting mechanical, financial, medical, logistical, and many more, they all reflect on what is on the station in one way or another. It is the that another group finds a tablet, and group three finds another display tool. When they unite they compare notes and they united in the rosetta stone room to share the knowledge they have found and what they think things are.

First breakthrough, water

They are still in the setting that thy do not know just how deep they are, there is nothing to set the stage of how deep they are, the entire setting is a little unnerving. Yet they start to identify icons and when they see the icon for water, they all rejoice, their first stage of survival is found, they now have water, thirst and the need for a bathroom.

That was a bidet. second breakthrough food, first 24 hours passed

As they approach the first 24 hours in their new environment, they find the food stash, the C-Rations give light to them being in a military experiment. 

The map room, memories, the last hour of some

In this episode they find a map room, giving them status, giving them a view of the size of the station, and we see the last moments of some of the members, their abductions are in a stage where they were in a bad place.

Coffee corner with coffee, the map room continuance, more water

As they are outside to the map room, the corner there is a place where they relax a little. The setting is one where they discuss what some of the systems are, and as they are somewhere deep in the ocean, they are not willing to test the devices that much, fear sets in, but everything looks OK, they sit together translating the icons as much as they can. It leads to a different water symbol, one that turns out to be the showers, they have found a place where they can clean up.

Almost 48 hours, the view of a lifetime, where are we? and what is that?

This starts in the so called coffee corner, there is a button that was out of sight, one of the women finds it and presses it, the wall moves up and they get to see the vast blackness of the ocean, or so they think. So as the stare t the blackness, they see the light come from the side, it is bright light, and as the view becomes more in sight, they all realise that they are staring at the sombrero galaxy, almost a dozen times bigger than the Hubble telescope can project. Then one of the men realises something and they run through the corridor to the other end of the corridor, where a similar wall is, they press the button and they get to see the spiral galaxy, it is absolutely huge, they are not in the ocean, they are in space and they are far from earth, the view ends season 1. So far I got most of season 2 designed with a rather spooky cliff hanger towards Season 3 and I got to be a little eager beaver when I set up the cliffhanger to season 4, but left the rest of season 3 alone.

Yup, that was my creativity, and I reflected on the Rendez-Vouz with Rama, a book by Arthur C. Clarke, a book he wrote in 1973. My introduction to the book was a video game produced in 1996 by Sierra On-Line. It was my introduction to the story, it is what drove me to make my version of it whilst trying to embody the thoughts of Arthur C. Clarke (based on 2001). 

So when will you design something unique to you? I got my creativity with me, the list is long and distinguished. And I do not care where this ends, I have a plan with my 5G IP and it will more than set me right for life. The direct way to deal with greed is to make the other thoughts public domain, so that no one can claim them and they are basically free to use, that too is an option in IP, only the greed driven forget about that part of the equation. Should you deny that part, then have a little look at the HSBC bank and the FINCEN document leak, look at that level of greed and consider where we are. When we see the facilitation to crime to this degree and we realise that governments are basically doing nothing, you know where you are and I bet you haven’t even realised that you are without a paddle. I think that Arthur C. Clarke got it right when he named the vessel the Rama. He got it right 47 years ago, so how wrong have we been for the last few decades?

Just a thought to consider.

 

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As we trusted games

There is an interesting article in the Guardian I had an issue with to some degree. There is nothing wrong with the article itself, Keith Stuart made a good piece and it reads well (at http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/nov/13/games-reviews-are-changing-from-product-assessments-to-tourist-guides), so it came out last week and I only saw it just now.

First paragraph: “A decade ago, a games publisher would send out early copies of its latest release to magazines and websites. It would arrive with some sort of embargo restricting the date of any subsequent review coverage. Then, before the game hit the shelves, there would be range of critical responses to read through. That’s how games reviewing worked for 30 years“, well apart from the embargo, which I was never got. That is pretty much how it went. I started my reviewing in 1988. The age of CBM-64,  Atari ST, CBM Amiga and the IBM PC, which had something graphically ‘state of the art’ called ‘EGA’, the enhanced graphic adapter, which added up to the 15” resolution roughly the same of the average low level smart phone today. Games were in CGA and even though the quality of graphics was low, the quality of gaming was exceptionally high (for what we knew in those days). Roberta Williams (Sierra-on-Line), Peter Molyneux (Bullfrog), Richard Garriott (Origin) and Sid Meijer (Microprose) were the titans of gaming; they are the most profound, but not the only ones from those days.

The second part is the first part I disagree with “Now, it’s so much more complicated. Publishers don’t like releasing code early. It’s not just about protecting sales of mediocre titles (though that happens): they worry about piracy; they worry about major spoilers that could put players off purchasing a game that is highly narrative driven“, I personally believe that it is about mediocre titles. The worry of piracy is less an issue, for the reasons that consoles don’t really allow for piracy any more (compared to the days of Atari ST and Amiga), PC Games need more and more internet authentication (like 99.99% of them), and there is a truth in narrative driven games. When a $50 MGS Zero can be played in less than 30 minutes (according to Gamespot), you know that there is an issue. I go for the mediocre side, because in case of Ubisoft, we saw Watchdogs, AC Unity and now Far Cry 4, Far Cry 4 might have gotten themselves a 85% rating (only 70% on Gamespot), yet this is below par (for such a triple-A title), it means that Ubisoft failed to deliver a main title with a 90% plus game review this year, which is a really bad thing. In addition, Destiny didn’t make the high numbers and on the PlayStation 4, the only titles that truly showed the rating was ‘The last of us’ an amazing game originally released on PS3. From my point of view, it is one of the worst release years in a long while. No matter how new Nextgen consoles are, there is a level of competency lacking more and more.

This links directly to the next part of the article “With triple-A releases now costing $30-50m a pop, no wonder the companies responsible want to control the dissemination of their data and messaging. As in movies, everything is geared toward that opening week – millions of dollars of marketing, the acres of shelf space bought at key retailers – everything has to work just right“, if everything has to work just right, it made me wonder why quality assurance was not managed in better ways. If we see the failing that Assassins Creed Unity shows, gaming is overdue for an overhaul, especially considering the cost of such a triple-A game.

It saddens me to say, as a Sony fan, it did hurt me to see that PS4 gamers have not met the high octane game quality I had expected, I was personally more impressed with several titles exclusive on the Xbox One.

The next part is one I do completely agree with “And then the games themselves have changed. Most new titles have intricate and extensive online multiplayer elements – or they require you to be online just to download updates and/or because publishers want to keep an eye on you“, even though in several regards online play is less and less appealing, or just plainly inferior, the updates are more and more an issue. GTA-V, which is regarded as a good game ended up having a day one 1 Gb+ update need. Which is not the worst, but it shows a level of pressure to market deadlines and not quality. Our broadband internet connections seem to have removed the need of quality testing and fixing before release.

Then we get the part that is indeed an issue “The industry is always telling us that games aren’t products anymore, they are services. You get the initial release, but after that, you get updates, downloadable content, new modes, missions and experiences … So what are you reviewing when a game comes out? It’s potential? It’s raw functionality? You are not reviewing the complete experience anymore” Keith is nailing the nail on the head with a massive hammer, we are now getting a service, not software, but if we see the option that a bought game is nothing more than a service or a potential, how can we be treated fairly as a consumer, when we do not know the full article we are buying? It is a dangerous development when we buy not a game, but a concept. We are not there yet, but the danger is slowly creeping towards the installation drive of the computer we use for gaming, and with that approach is a larger and larger danger that the PC/console will get invaded in a hostile way and how can we be protected when not the system, but the game becomes the backdoor into our private lives, because that is a danger that several parties are not yet looking at (as far as I know).

The rest of the article, you should just read on the Guardian site. I do not completely agree, but Keith gives a good view of his reasoning and it is sound and well worth reading. The question becomes where will we go next? There is more and more indication that people (gamers), are less and less interested in the MMO/multiplayer experience and more into a quality solo play game. There is also a feeling from many that Multiplayer is more and more about micro transactions and less about quality fun. Most will accept micro transactions in free multiplayer games like ‘Blacklight’ and ‘War frame’, we can accept micro transactions to get the weapons that really pack a punch, yet with $90 games, people are not interested in additional charges. Even though in the situation of Black Flag, the additional $4 to get the weapons or technology advantage is nice, and the option clearly states that the upgrades can be gotten in the game whilst playing it. It is left to the person to choose. There is nothing bad about it, but when we see AC: Unity, where micro transactions can get up to $100, questions should be asked, even if those parts can be unlocked through playing. Now, I am not judging the $100 micro transactions, but there is a worry why such a purchase is even offered, how much can be leaped through? The worry is not with Ubisoft’s Assassins Creed: Unity, but after the ‘lessons’ many players were taught through Forza 5 how unsettling micro transactions were. Yet, in all honesty (as I am not an Xbox one user), can they be normally unlocked? If so, the issue is not really there, yet the value of high end cars, when we consider that in Forza 5 you get driver payouts of 35,000. However, some cars go into the millions, you need 285 level updates to be able to afford the 1964 Ferrari 250 GTO and that is only one of many cars, which seems to be an unacceptable way to push people towards micro transactions, it left many players with a bad taste in their mouths. If we look at the issues we see, no matter how we feel about a game, there are sides we’d not agree with and there are sides we are truly against. This varies per player, and as such we need to balance view and feelings, because there is no denying that gaming and games are all about emotions. We go for the games that drive our passion. I myself have been a massive RPG fan, yet when I look at the Elder Scrolls Online (ESO) game, I see little interest to continue this path, yet when I look at Mass Effect 3 and Diablo 3, I see and I experienced the best multi-player ever. To illuminate, ME3 has micro transactions, yet the boxes can be gotten by playing multi-player games, each round gets you credits and the higher leveled you played, the more coins you would get, and then you buy a box with random stuff, some good, some amazing and some average. Diablo has no micro transactions; multi-player there is just great and makes the bosses harder, which gives you better loot. There are not the only good games, there are more, and there are many games are nowhere near this good.

In the end it is about good gaming and plenty of games have it, but my issue is as mentioned earlier, overall quality is down, more often not properly tested, whilst as Keith Stuart states it, newer games seem to be about buying the concept, not the finished product. How games get higher in graphical quality, yet not in gaming quality. Is it just about the new systems, or are we faced with a new level of designers, that cannot stand up to the older titans, the actual visionaries. Titles like System Shock (1+2) can, when graphically updated, compete with the RPG games that were released almost 20 years later. If you want to consider First Person Shooters, then in my mind, Metroid Prime 1+2 are top notch achievements that have not been equaled. They were released on a system inferior to the PS3 and Xbox 360, so why are there no games of that calibre? Well, that would not be honest, they have games of that calibre, but they are equals at best, two games, and the first one 12 years old.

This shows the issue I have with the statements some make. ‘A new game each year’, now we must allow for the fact that marketeers will make wild statements at any given place to keep the press at bay and well fed, so we should not overly ‘analyse’ that part. An example can be found when we look at the Tomb raider series, a series that has seen highs and less so. The series also illuminates a flaw in the gaming industry, when we consider the earlier games we see an amount of gaming that is unparalleled, especially when we consider the first two games. No matter the graphic levels, the games were truly large in comparison and some of the levels were amazing in design. The cistern in the first one and the ship in the second one show a level of design the last one cannot even compete with. What took days in the first two games, took a mere 15 hours in the last game. I will agree that the graphics were amazingly unreal in that game, the game looks large but the levels are in the end small. I saw it as opportunities missed on several levels, but not for the quality of graphics. the interesting side is that Tomb Raider shows the gaming industry as it moved from storyline and innovation towards graphics and narration, which is not that big a mystery. Yet in that shift we have lost levels and game time. Which is why the appeal of RPG is vastly growing, the option to play long times, to visit places and go it your own way and speed, not hindered by narration, scripted events and scripting is more and more appealing to the gamers at large.

Even though many are focusing on the next generation of systems, the next level of gaming is not ready. As I see it, 2015 will show a large rise in quality of gaming, but the true gems will not come until 2016. Mass Effect 4 could be such a game, but will we see true innovation, or will we see a sliding line as the Assassins Creed series have shown. This thought also has a drawback. Good gaming is based on vision, a franchise is about evolutions and forward momentum, but visionary is not a given, but for good gaming an essential need. This is where the wheels tend to come off the wagon. God of War 3 brought that, the AC series did not, it brought iteration. Mass Effect might, and so far, the hype of No man’s sky is likely to bring new boundaries in gaming, but the reality is not always a given and as such, we can only wait and keep faith with the developers, which is why their change and their approach to gaming is so essential to us. There are of course issues with other approaches too. Even though the title ‘Whore of the Orient‘ sounds appealingly original, but will it be so? Time will tell! The danger isn’t what will be good and what won’t be. The issue is that we know how rare visionaries in gaming are. The last proven one was Markus Persson (maker of Minecraft) and Microsoft bought his idea for a mere 2 billion (it’s not that much when you say it fast), which is the highest amount paid for a gaming IP EVER! Consider Microsoft paying that much for one title and you know how rare visionaries in this field are, which is exactly why games are not set in one year increments, and why franchises seem to be key for gaming, but there is a new iteration that some forgot. The upcoming release of Elite, a revamp from the original game decades old, shows that good games are rare and will stand the test of time. The initial interest for Elite could be regarded as proof for that.

So is this about trusted games, trusted developers or new endeavours?

I have one thought, but I keep it to myself, it is important that you the reading gamer make up your own mind. I have given my thoughts on that what I experienced and what I value. I ignored some parts as they are not my cup of gaming, which we all have, out there are leagues of GTA lovers; I am not one of them. I do not debate the 90%+ score, gaming is for gamers and there is space for all of us, no matter which part we run to, from Silent Hills to Mario land. there is space for all of us, some will slaughter in the world of Unity, some crush in the lands of Diablo, we have our preferred places, yet the overall issue is not where we play or who we play as, but the quality of what we play is now in question, it has been in question for some time now and it seems to be getting more and more visible as the industry is pushing for revenue on 5 systems. My direct worry is that we end up with a product based on a 60% effort, which is something none of us had signed on for.

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Evolving our lives!

This article is not for the faint of heart. This is not for the people who think that life is all sunny and joy. So if you are any of these people, then read not on and return when my next story comes online.

You see, in my mental world I am about to pick up an axe, I sneak upon the man who has no idea what is about to happen. I sneak, slowly into the den, the door was open this warm September and he likely hoped for the breeze to cool him down. Suddenly he feel one hot gush of water over his chest, he looks down, it is not water. It is the hot blood gushing from his skull, the blood that rains is his, he cannot shout out, blood is everywhere, he falls on the rug with a ‘thump’, he is no more! I hear the voice from the kitchen ‘what was that dear! Are you alright?‘ I hear the footsteps, she is not walking fast. I move to the left into the shadows, I see her silhouette, she seems to see the blood and that what was left of her husband. I had already placed the hunting knife in my left hand; it slices through her throat in less than a second. She goes down on her knees, looking at me, not having any idea why she is getting hurt. She had died before her head hit the ground.

I get the knife and the axe and roll them in linen. I grab the bottle from the bag and place the knife and the axe within the canvas bag with linen coating. I add ammonia to mask the scent of the blood, in case a police dog gets near. I look at my feet; they are covered in lamb coated overshoes. My overall is thin but sturdy. I take out the billy club. I slowly walk to the staircase; I hear the sounds of gunfire from a video game. I sneak up slowly and see that the door of the room is ajar. A boy sites with his back to me, it is time to put on my ski mask. I slowly sneak in and observe the equipment and I hit him hard to the side of the head and quickly turn the sound up by a lot. Not hard enough to kill him, that is not my goal. He is reeling at the edge of losing consciousness; I slap his face hard with an open hand. The leather glove makes the sound more intense. I pull him up and hit him in the gut with enough strength; he buckles over gasping for air. He looks up in sheer terror. I gag him with duct tape and cuff his wrists at the back, I drag him downstairs.

I place the cable ties on his thumbs and index fingers as close to the Opponens Pollicis as possible. He looks at the bodies of his parents, he is now truly afraid. I look at him and say “Zoe Quinn and Phil Fish did not care for your harassment!” I put the mask on his face; the nails will slowly but not fatally bite into his face. Last I tighten cable ties as much as possible. Within the hour, amputation will be the only option left to him. His life will never ever be about gaming of harassing again! I walk away with the bag in my hand, not giving the little troll a second look. Within the hour all evidence that I ever existed will be gone, so will I and he will only know fear until his dying day!

This is just a story! This is nothing more than a rant of frustration, dressed in the cloth of a short story, dealing with my frustration like Percy Bysshe Shelley, Stephen King or Virginia Woolf. Although I tend to take the high road, this time it is Slate who has the high moral ground (at http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/bitwise/2014/08/zoe_quinn_harassment_a_letter_to_a_young_male_gamer.html), it is an excellent article by David Auerbach about more than just a gaming scandal. I am all about gaming; I have always been all about gaming. The fact that more and more women are entering this field is filling me with joy. Yes, for now this market is all about the man, but consider that over time, we have seen women leading in artistic fields. We have given our souls to Diablo, Minecraft, Oblivion, Fallout and a league of other games. Would it not be great if we get another wave of amazing games? For now Tombraider has sold itself short. The game is nowhere near the first two which broke the mould of good gaming. We saw the rise and fall of Origin, Rare and several others, all bringing us great games. Now women come and I hope we see a host of amazing games to follow. So when I see such hate and harassment from men (99.4233% sure that the harassers are not women) it just pisses me off. The fact that these people are not hunted into extinction gets to me to some degree. I did not get the hate people showed because Caroline Criado-Perez successfully championed for Jane Austen to be the new figure on the ten pound note. For the same reason I do not get the fact that Zoe Quinn is persecuted either. The idea to bring the awareness of depression is a great idea; I wish I had thought of it. It had several review, our own Tim Biggs of the Sydney Morning Herald wrote “Tim Biggs, writing for the Sydney Morning Herald, also stressed the lack of fun in the game, and went on to say that the game was ‘a testing and, at times, a boring experience to go through.’ However, he praised the game’s execution, and acknowledged its importance as a tool for raising awareness of depression and for helping its sufferers“.

OK, not the greatest review for a game, but who remembers Superman for the Nintendo 64? I still consider it the very worst game I ever beheld for reviewing!

So, why is there such an overwhelming hate for these women. This all was brought to light because someone speaking out for them (Phil Fish). I did not play his game either, but the movies and the views give an interesting and original game play. So, it does not look like anything Ubi-Soft releases, but consider that ‘their’ Prince of Persia released in the 80’s (Broderbund released it) had no great graphics either, now it is a billion dollar company, we all have to start small.

So what about Zoe Quinn?

Well, the accusation is that she slept with a reporter to get a better review, but that is not entirely correct either. She got harassed shortly after the release and before her ‘ex-boyfriend’ made his claims. So what is it about this particular group of losers who feel so threatened about women in the gaming industry? They must be losers, because if they were not, then they would have their own brands of success, but that seems not to be the case. I think that if anonymous is the idealist it claims to be, then they would stand up for these women and publish the names and addresses of all of these bullies, you see, trolling is all fine, as long as we all know who you are, they become liable. It should stop two issues with one group all at once. But are the allegations true? Actually, does that matter? Perhaps a journalist got ‘lucky’, perhaps not. The real question is, is it a good game?

Yet, the issue does matter, you see, her ex, who is ‘hiding’ on his blog and accuses her of acts. Hiding the fact that the relationship was a bust and she did not stand still, she created something! Motherboard quotes “he accuses Quinn of sleeping with various prominent figures in the video game industry, including a writer at Kotaku“, so basically she knew a few guys, is that criminal? the information motherboard gave (at http://motherboard.vice.com/blog/zoe-quinn-slut-shaming-the-feminist-conspiracy-and-depression-quest) “Gamers have been complaining about corruption in video game journalism for years now” is not new, look at Gamespot and the massive amount of additional visibility that Ubi-Soft enjoys as a sponsor should raise more than just a few flags. But how far does this corruption go? And it is alleged corruption, the question remains, is it really corruption? I started reviewing games in 1988. I got the games, I wrote the articles and I got paid for the published articles. In addition I got to keep the games. I had to pay for the consoles myself (except for 2) and the chief editor kept the Atari Lynx for himself, an act which was slightly irritating, but not the greatest of issues. I went to the ECTS (the UK edition of the E3) a few times, which I paid for myself and deducted it from my taxes. So where is the corruption? I gave an honest review of the game and sometimes if the game was bad I did not bother writing a review for the simple reason that I only got up to 5 pages per issue, why spend it on a bad game, whilst a good game is so much more fun to review. I also tried to steer away from the ‘big titles’ at times; I did not jump onto Command & Conquer in 1995, like everyone else but choose Wing Commander 4, Tekken 2 and Rayman instead. My ex hated Rayman (the end of level laughter), I never regretted my decision. Everyone wrote about Command & Conquer, I showed them different games. The question still remains, why hate Quinn?

Is it because her ex-boyfriend turned out to be a loser? let’s be clear about this, if he was in a relationship and she did cheat on him, he should be angry and walk away, I do not care, it is her life and her choice and if so he is free to walk away and perhaps be angry for a little while, yet he is the only one with the smallest degree to be angry, the other hundreds have absolutely no valid cause for such trolling and harassing behaviour. Consider that we start trolling all the cheaters, the man too! Spam mail would drop to 0%, there would be no bandwidth left for spam mails, which might be a new novel idea to get rid of spam messages.

This is all so stupid, because in the end, the real gamers want to know if the game is any good. In her case, does it matter? Her game was to bring forward awareness of depression, if that works, what could be better? Even if the game is not the greatest one, it is likely to be a whole lot better than Superman on the Nintendo 64. In the end, I hope groups like Anonymous actually do something to help these victims instead of some political agenda, I wonder how ‘loud’ the troll feels when everyone in the street knows their name and where they live, more even if their mommies and daddies realise what losers they are. It is an interesting form of justice!

To some degree I miss reviewing games, I have seen so many classics be born and evolve. I saw underdogs like Broderbund rise and fall, I’ve seen how new generations love the originality of Loderunner, as much as I did when it got released on the CBM-64 and I saw the giant Elite, move from system to system, only to see the concept evolve into Privateer. Later we see part of the original game on tables and PDA’s, now Elite is back in a state of the art version that is to be released this year, still showing the original logo that was on the box of the CBM-64. Yet, the sandbox part, the travels and another side of the foundations of Elite will be seen in 2015, as we explore the galaxy in ‘No Man’s Sky’, in ways the original designer could never imagine (he only had 48Kb to write the program). As my life is drawing closer to an end, I see that timeless games will continue, bringing joy to a new generation and to generations after that, after I am gone. If the world for us as gamers is to move forward then this cannot be only about the man, women should pick up this torch and bring new options and new levels of gaming. In the end it will be a win-win for all gamers.

When we look at long term playing we have seen the big titles, and we all have other thoughts on what makes the great game, but there is also unison, it seems that the bulk all loves Diablo, even since the original release in 1996, it still keeps us busy. Would it not be great if we see new and more surprising games from female developers? Let’s not forget that one of the most famous developers in the early years for gamers was Roberta Williams, co-founder of Sierra-on-line. The bringer of King’s Quest, as early as 1984, a woman was in our gaming midst and she was as good as any of the male developers, letting these trolls win means that we gamers of all genders are missing out, do not let it come to that!

 

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