The Philosophy, Art, and Social Influence of games
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Exhuminator
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Re: Are gamers too entitled?

by Exhuminator Tue Aug 06, 2013 12:07 pm

General_Norris wrote:Yeah, the SNES/Megadrive era totally didn't have whining fanboys.


Sure there were fanboys. They just sat at home and whined to their friends. At most they might have whined on a BBS together. They certainly weren't mass harassing development houses about changing the ending to a game series or making an indie developer get so fed up he just quit the industry. And I think you cherry picked one element of what I said and totally missed my overall point.

dsheinem wrote:There's a LOT that the web has done for gaming as a hobby and an industry.


There's an equal amount of good and bad things that the internet has done for the video game industry. And that would be a good thread unto itself, really. But for the purposes of this thread, I was talking about explosive entitlement, not knowledge acquisition or experimentation.
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Re: Are gamers too entitled?

by Gunstar Green Tue Aug 06, 2013 12:12 pm

Exhuminator wrote:Regardless of who the masses consist of, I remember what gaming was like before the internet. It was better. It was before legions of shouting fanboys, entitled whiners, and petition making zealots started harassing the industry. Developers were more courageous back then, more innovative, simply more pure when they didn't have to deal with constant online backlash 24/7.


Any "lack of innovation" you're seeing has nothing to do with raving fanboys or Internet trolls and everything to do with cost versus risk.

Making a video game in the 80's was a few thousand dollar investment for a developer. Now they're several million dollar investments.

It's sometimes like the motion picture industry. Developers have to play it safe with big, AAA titles because they can't afford a flop.

As for things being more pure or whatever, that's all nonsense. Video games have always been profit before art.

And as for Fish quitting because the Internet was mean to him, so what? He probably would've never gotten into the industry or been able to make his dream game if it wasn't for the Internet in the first place.

Indie games are only a thing now because digital distribution has given them an inexpensive format capable of mass distribution. Crowd funding has, for better or worse, also allowed talented people to make the games they want to make.

I would argue that the most original content that's been released in the last decade is because of the Internet, not in spite of it.
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Re: Are gamers too entitled?

by Exhuminator Tue Aug 06, 2013 12:49 pm

Gunstar Green wrote:Any "lack of originality" you're seeing has nothing to do with raving fanboys and everything to do with cost versus risk.


Cost versus risk is part of the equation. Also demographics versus risk is as well. Thus the loudest focus group will get the most attention.

Making a video game in the 80's was a few thousand dollar investment for a developer. Now they're several million dollar investments.


There were quite a few games in the 80's and certainly the 90's that cost over a million dollars to make. Making games was always a risk because even for a small company a $10,000 bomb could put a three man basement team out of business.

Gunstar Green wrote:As for things being more pure or whatever, that's all nonsense. Video games have always been profit before art.


I do not agree with you, but I'm not going to get into the "are video games art" debate.

Gunstar Green wrote:He probably would've never gotten into the industry or been allowed to make his dream game if it wasn't for the Internet in the first place.


Maybe he would have, maybe he would not have. Totally hypothetical. But plenty of innovative game designers made great games solely by themselves long before the internet existed. It has more to do with personal ambition than having internet access.

Gunstar Green wrote:Indie games are only a thing now because digital distribution has given them an inexpensive format capable of mass distribution.


I am afraid I don't agree. That is because I remember buying indie games from companies like Apogee, Epic Megagames, Ambrosia, etc. through mail order catalogs after playing demos of their games via floppy diskettes I got out of magazines. Indie games have actually always been around since the invention of the PC. They have only become more popular due to the internet, not because of it.

Crowd funding has, for better or worse, also allowed talented people to make the games they want to make.


Yes it has helped. I just joined this Kickstarter today actually:

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/119 ... ef=popular

One of many I've funded.

I would argue that the most original content that's been released in the last decade is because of the Internet, not in spite of it.


The content has been released because of talented designers, not because of "the internet". The internet was just a tool for them to get their product out to other people. The internet didn't sit down at their computer and make their games for them.

So listen, guys, I want to say that I don't think the internet itself as a stand alone tool is a bad thing. It's just that, a tool, a means of communication. So forgive me for implying (accidentally) that the internet itself is the bad guy. I didn't mean it that way despite making it sound like I did.

It's just that when entitled fanboys use the internet as a conduit for tidal waves of whining in hope of changing a studio's development of a product.. that is a bad thing. IMO that's compromising the designer's vision and is something that didn't happen in ye olde days of game design. Back then games were designed in a vacuum, for better or worse. But at least when the games were done and published they were purely as the designers intended, not altered halfway due to Twitter rants or modified to have a "better ending" via DLC. That's the "purity" aspect I'm talking about. The game was made in a bubble and when it came out, it was done and done. Like it or not, that's the game. Love it or hate it but whining won't change a thing.
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Jmustang1968
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Re: Are gamers too entitled?

by Jmustang1968 Tue Aug 06, 2013 12:53 pm

Except when publishers heavily influenced or changed things during development to match market trends and such.
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Re: Are gamers too entitled?

by dsheinem Tue Aug 06, 2013 12:58 pm

Exhuminator wrote:It's just that when entitled fanboys use the internet as a conduit for tidal waves of whining in hope of changing a studio's development of a product.. that is a bad thing. IMO that's compromising the designer's vision and is something that didn't happen in ye olde days of game design. Back then games were designed in a vacuum, for better or worse. But at least when the games were done and published they were purely as the designers intended, not altered halfway due to Twitter rants or modified to have a "better ending" via DLC. That's the "purity" aspect I'm talking about. The game was made in a bubble and when it came out, it was done and done. Like it or not, that's the game. Love it or hate it but whining won't change a thing.


That's a really very narrow view of a game development. In the era you are referring to, game designers/artists/programmers/etc. were often subject to the whims of what marketing folks or other execs thought would be profitable and frequently were forced to change their work as a result. Now, at least, they have the option of hearing about what audiences want directly from the people who play their games. True, back then there were people who created games "in a bubble" and to a a specific vision, but that still happens today. I'm not convinced that it happens more or less.

Obviously there's stuff like the ME3 ending, but that seems a rare exception and, given Bioware's closer-than-normal engagement with their community, not surprising.
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Re: Are gamers too entitled?

by Exhuminator Tue Aug 06, 2013 1:30 pm

dsheinem wrote:In the era you are referring to, game designers/artists/programmers/etc. were often subject to the whims of what marketing folks or other execs thought would be profitable and frequently were forced to change their work as a result.

Yes the producers and publishers often alter the designers' output. That happened back then, and that happens now. So the invention of the internet has done nothing to change that aspect either way. In that regard your point is outside the scope of what I was saying about consumer backlash.

Now, at least, they have the option of hearing about what audiences want directly from the people who play their games.

People had the option to communicate with developers back then too, via snail mail and phone calls. But that sort of thing happened after the game was published. It didn't happen mid-development that I ever heard of. Unlike today.

Nowadays people will see a trailer or screenshots of a game mid-development and then have a freak out because the protagonists' hair color is green now, instead of red like it always was. Then they will start harassing the developer via online communications to get the hair color changed back before the game is released. They might even start a petition. Finally the developers will just sigh and give up and actually change the hair color back. Crap like that actually happens! If you think it doesn't then start reading NeoGAF and see the shenanigans that go down on that site alone. Yes there is a bright side to developers getting real time feedback from fans, but if you think there's not a dark side to it, then I'm afraid you have a very narrow viewpoint of game development as well.
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dsheinem
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Re: Are gamers too entitled?

by dsheinem Tue Aug 06, 2013 1:53 pm

Exhuminator wrote:Yes there is a bright side to developers getting real time feedback from fans, but if you think there's not a dark side to it, then I'm afraid you have a very narrow viewpoint of game development as well.


I never said there's not a dark side to it, I only took issue with your initial contention that "the internet has made gaming worse" and then with your qualifier that actually "constant feedback" was the problem. I think, on the whole, both the growth of the internet and the possibility of constant feedback has done more to improve game development than they have to harm it or to make it "worse" than it was in some mythological era that ended around 1993 or so.

EDIT:

also...
Exhuminator wrote: In that regard your point is outside the scope of what I was saying about consumer backlash.


But you went beyond just an issue of "consumer backlash" when you claimed that

compromising the designer's vision and is something that didn't happen in ye olde days of game design. Back then games were designed in a vacuum, for better or worse. But at least when the games were done and published they were purely as the designers intended


That's simply never been the modus operandi, for reasons that have been discussed.
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Exhuminator
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Re: Are gamers too entitled?

by Exhuminator Tue Aug 06, 2013 2:14 pm

Admittedly I did use broad strokes and hyperbolic statements trying to make my point. :| Yet I think I made my point somewhere in there so I'll refrain from further elaboration.
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Re: Are gamers too entitled?

by JayJaySut Tue Aug 06, 2013 8:43 pm

Can we all agree that it is generally hard to not compromise art with business?

I think what Exhuminator said about designers/fans is true to an extent, somewhere along the line I think the fan service went over the top back in the day if you got a game like smash bros it was cool to see that a company was basically making its game for the fans, you could finally see who could win in a fight Mario or Luigi, but now if people ask for something they are going to get it, which is nice but it kind of removes any chance of being surprised by an interesting or innovative idea that you would have never asked for.
Last edited by JayJaySut on Tue Aug 06, 2013 8:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Are gamers too entitled?

by oxymoron Tue Aug 06, 2013 8:49 pm

I think the internet is a great tool for gamers. We can voice our opinion and help out devs in fixing things that we don't like but fanboys take it too far. Often petitioning to change the game at it's core. Moderation is key.
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