The Nintendo Wii, a toy?
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Uhmmmm, it looks like at least two game developers agree with what I’ve thought about the Wii for some time now. Funny how that happens, huh?
[Via MTV Multiplayer]
I’m back hopefully. And with gifts.
I couldn’t pass this up could I? Not that if you know anything about me, you’d be surprised why I’d do such a thing.
Choke points, why do you exist?
Here it is. The start of a wonderful relationship between you and your next obsession [insert game title here]. You pop it in, go through the ropes of what hopefully is a competent tutorial only to inevitably be shut down by a choke point. Better known as the “fuck us over with an unseen ridiculous ramp up in difficulty”.
So, what would bring this sort of thing up from the clutches of Will’s (hey that’s me) thoughts. Referring to myself in third person, that’s what. No, really it’s the GTA IV mission Three Leaf Clover. What a cluster fuck of frustration. Whoever the fuck thought this mission up needs to have a serious phyc evaluation. In hindsight, Three Leaf Clover is brilliant in so many ways. It’s in the trailer’s so there no real spoiler here. This bank robbery is better than almost the entirety of that of which is Kane & Lynch.
It’s a pivotal mission by all accounts as it starts you on the ramp up towards some pretty key parts of the story. Then again, this is the sort of thing that will keep lots of impatient people from finishing an already long game like this. Repeating things over and over isn’t exactly any-ones call for a good time. So why do game designer’s continue to put them in their games? Do they not want anyone not hardcore enough to make it to the end credits of their game. You see, this what mostly continues the divide between every other entertainment medium and videogames.
Is it so much to ask for some love? Creating artificial stop gaps in the middle of your game is troubling. No wonder so many people just don’t even bother trying to play a game when all they can see is that first point when they get stuck. And yes I know this is a much more complicated issue than what I’m making it out to be, but that’s the whole point. The consumer isn’t thinking about things the way myself and others like me think. What do you think “Joe Blow” is thinking when they get frustrated. Yes, there just going to do something else. Do you call that a job well done?
Lets NOT all hail Nintendo
As a fan of Leigh Alexander I’d like to take the time to counter some of what (What’s our Mandate) she’s written about none other than Nintendo. I’ve written quite a few things before doubting Nintendo for nearly everything they’ve done with the Wii and I can’t say that my opinion has changed in the slightest. Firstly will be a look at the following:
All hail Nintendo, for bringing video games to morning mainstream television, for lining up the all-ages gamers outside of its stores, for bringing in the girls, the senior citizens, the rehabbing soldiers, the fitness junkies. Yes, yes, thanks to Nintendo for fostering a more friendly attitude toward gaming among the uninitiated, for opening minds with a clean, soothing and bright white Wii ray.
Now, Nintendo is indeed doing a great service for the entire gaming culture from the aspect of what is called the “mainstream”, but what is really happening here? Are consumers really interested in playing a videogame now when they previously had not or is it that they’re just running with the tide of what’s hot and just following suit with the unwashed masses who feel they need to stay with the “in” crowd? A debate about accessibility can easily be had now, but that’s another matter for some other time. As for the more friendly attitude Nintendo has brought toward gaming, lets think about that for a second. Who’s really bringing this friendly attitude? It most certainly isn’t Nintendo. The potential user of the Wii is bringing this attitude all on their own as they some how feel that the Wii is what I’ll bring up again, accessible. If you look at any of the marketing efforts Nintendo is putting forth it’s painfully obvious that what their doing is not getting people to care to want to play the Wii, but flail around in there living room in the guise of playing a videogame. Go ahead, look at anyone of those ads. They all rarely show anything about what’s ultimately the entire point of owning a machine dedicated to playing videogames, the game. And yes, that’s clearly not what these “new” gamers are looking for as they are highly likely to not know anything about what their so hot to purchase in the first place.
If games mean more to us than simple toys, it’s because we’ve found a personal, emotional connection point, and that’s no small deal. We hope that games will contain many of these touchstones, and I think a heartening percentage of them do. I think, though, the key to gaming becoming really meaningful and important to society at large is for them to develop touchstones that aren’t necessarily personal to us, but relevant to the world on a whole.
Simple toys. What a bastardisation of what gamers hold dearly. It’s a phrase that’s as played out as a 747 being just a mere plaything for aspiring pilots to sit in and pretend there actually doing something other than playing with a gigantic hot-wheel. Videogames mean more to us as much as movies mean allot to a movie goer as they walk out of a theater feeling that they know the characters that they’ve just been watching for a few odd hours. Gamers understand what the joy of gaming is all about as they have moved beyond the peripherals of gaming and actually engaged with the medium. The nay-sayers who never actually partake with the control interface needed for what we now know as a videogame have little integrity to stand on when you try to reduce your possible interest to just the most basic of needs with a videogame by just watching ( and very little if that). Of course, you’re not going to get it. Relevance to the world will only come when everyone breaks through that passive barrier we’ve all become so accustom to with every other medium.
I’m thinking about this as I watch on television the footage of the absolutely mind-blowing destruction in China in the wake of an unprecedented earthquake, devastation in Myanmar. I’m watching stories about a lifetime public servant’s terminal brain cancer, publicity photos of his family smiling through it all. I’m watching America re-evaluate its national identity after what’s arguably a misstep of a war, gamely accepting that the next leader might be a black man or a woman, something impossible perhaps even a decade ago. I’m watching an energy crisis, an environmental crisis.
Then I go to work and write about video games. Our industry burgeons and swells with money against the backdrop of larger social issues, and on forums everywhere, the majority of the vocal audience wants to know, “does it have multiplayer?” We want to know if the graphics suck or if there will be a sequel.
There is a crisis of conscience here.
Our industry has no crisis of conscience anymore than headlines of major news outlets running with the latest Britney or Angelina fan fodder. The problem here is that there isn’t a problem. Why? Because not everyone wants to live in the “real world” 100% of the time, which is why (fictional)books, music, (serial) television, and movies have before videogames been the escape away from the things “that really matter”. When your not playing a game your living in reports of disasters, the death’s of “real” people, foreclosures, heat waves, droughts, depression, ridiculous energy and fuel cost, everyday chores, and kids if you have them. You know, life stuff. Everyone is entitled to some form of escapism aren’t they? Writing about videogames is some form of escapism in and of itself. Whether your being paid for it or not shouldn’t remove the reality of the situation. Your being paid to write about videogames. The craziness of that shouldn’t be lost anymore than some writing about any other hobbyist/recreational industry.
I would like games, and the work of people like me who write about games, to be able to keep a foot in reality, a thread that runs through the stories of the real world into the stories of the game world. Sometimes. A Final Fantasy Tactics fan at Japanator’s blogs used his feelings about War of the Lions to parallel and organize his own opinion on the war. He’s not even a professional writer, and he’s trying; I respect that. Infamous tipster SurferGirl has said that she hoped to use the buzz around her industry-insider blog to encourage gamers to broaden their views and take an interest in activism. She’s since retired the mysterious blog; perhaps she felt she wasn’t finding success at that.
I’m not implying that all gamers should feel some sort of moral obligation that they wouldn’t otherwise. And god knows that not all games need to carry social weight – let’s let Pokemon be Pokemon, for example. But at the very least, we should be able to write and talk about games in a way that isn’t insular, that doesn’t exclude the crucial stories of the real world. I say “at least,” even though I know what I’m asking is no easy feat, demanding a lexicon that’ll take time and broad effort to evolve. But to me, that’s really the only way to help gaming become truly relevant and inclusive – Miis, waggle and Wii Fit can only go so far.
Now here’s ultimately the biggest issue facing games in the breath of society as a whole. For writers to truly take their writing beyond the customary “how’s the graphics” arena and infuse it with the wider scope of the real world, the real world needs to shed its taboo whoring ways and maybe it’ll be just that much easier for most writers to not feel the need to be insular when that very world makes it seem so easy to attack that of which it doesn’t understand. Sure, it’ll take time for that to mend itself, but that doesn’t excuse the fact that it shouldn’t be this way in the first place and as I may be afraid of, Nintendo may be doing just the opposite of what so many are currently concluding. Is “the videogame is nothing more than a toy” mentality being reinforced by Nintendo when so many previously none gamers only view the Wii as a novelty that they pull out here and there to show off to friends or to play only what came with it, Wii Sports? Its mighty hard to gain that relevance when your viewed as nothing more than a toy.
Twitter: Why aren’t thou scalable?
Any user of the Twitter service has more than likely noticed that it has a problem. No, not that kind a problem, but a problem of scalability. You see, scalability is this thing you have to have when your user base exponentially grows and you continually get hammered with more and more requests. Unfortunately, Twitter hasn’t been doing such a great job of scaling up and it shows when the service goes down time to time.
And when TriXie (Xbox.com/community team, you may have seen her here and there, most notably as of late with Community Confidential on Inside Xbox) declares the following, the streams must have been crossed, the inter dimensional portals have all collapsed, cats and dogs are sleeping together, Ghost Rider has become a good movie, and/or Micheal Jackson has turned human again. Ohhh the humanity!
trixie360 guess what Twitter? I’m cheating on you with Pownce! http://pownce.com/trixie360/
Listen up, I’ve had it with you racist pigs!
In a monumental effort of significant proportions, I have returned to this place of my savior called “The Will Effect”. This should be a great occurrence, but instead, I grace any and all readers with the rage of all of the Gods of Olympus combined and then some. I made a deal with myself a long time ago that I was done with freely using those four letter words I used to use whenever appropriate, but those day’s have come to it’s end. From now on, censorship does not exist on this site/blog until further notice.
Why would I kill the good little angel on my shoulder? It’s simple. All of these fuckers on Xbox Live have pushed me over the edge so far that I’ve made it a regular physic’s impossibility of hovering several feet in mid-air after I’ve gotten pushed pasted the edge I speak of. It would be rudimentary to list some of the things I’ve heard over voice chat on Xbox Live, so I will flame the hell out of these bastards with no abandon. It’s childish, I know, but people suck and that’s the way I’m going to handle it. Period. Those I speak of won’t be reading this, but I couldn’t give a rat’s ass. Muting them isn’t going to change anything then make my experience shitty because now I can’t properly use the service the way it’s meant to be used, which includes VOICE CHAT (with civilized people).
This is going to be simple. If you want to be prejudice and down right hateful while playing a game on Xbox Live, PSN, or PC, fine. Do it in a private fucking lobby as to not make my ears bleed while I try to have at least a little since of fun with the game I paid for. I shouldn’t have to worry about my gaming experience being ruined by you fuckers. Stay the fuck out of public lobbies if you can’t have any sense. If you can’t play or act civilized than get the fuck out. While I could be much worse about this, I do believe that I am wasting my time by even addressing this, so that’s it. People fucking suck. And I thought it was 2008. Poor me.
Shout out to bs angel, because I felt like it.
Super Mario Galaxy DS?
The title says it all, even it it is fake.
Marching Band the way it should be, all videogamed out
In this halftime show with the Cal U Marching Band, they perform a show entirely of videogame music, of which the obvious symbols corresponding to the music go with it. Much of it being Nintendo inspired, I wish we had done something like this when I was in Marching Band. There’s nothing else to say, but Hells Yes!
The Legend of Zelda
Mario Bros. Theme
Mario Underground Theme
Super Mario World Theme
Mario Water Theme
Mario World 1-1 Theme
This blogging/writing thing takes up a whole hell of allot of time, as anyone else who has ventured into this thing with any ambitions should know. I originally started out with the intentions to use my writing talents for a change and write about what I love so dearly, the videogame industry. I started out relatively well, but soon found myself wanting to write more deeply about videogames. The strait up news and game reviews weren’t good enough to me. Hence, me not posting the same old fluff that everyone else is likely to do.
Obviously, posting longer more thought out piece’s takes up even more time. Then came the move on over to The Xbox Domain. I love videogame’s in general, but the Xbox is doing things right (to me). The community is mostly fantastic and frankly I was getting tired off Sony’s shit, with their hardware superiority complex that they inherited after being by far the lesser of the other two machines last go around. Of course, I’ll play any game on only platform if I dig it. I don’t hate Sony or Nintendo, but Microsoft seems to get what I want out of gaming without much fail.
Back to the point of this. During my time over at The Xbox Domain, things have been going pretty well. Mike a.k.a Thrills Killa has gotten named Xbox MVP up until now. 2,000,000 plus visitors and climbing has been reached and great conversations have been had with our readers over the last year and change even with the grand majority choosing to wallow in a lurking capacity. Comment People, COMMENT! With all of that going on, I’ve had to swallow a large chunk of my writing prowess to cater to the format of which works for The Xbox Domain. I’ve tried to write longer more thought provoking pieces, but the sheer wall of text viewed upon causes lots of readers to just give up before they even start. That’s where I admire N’Gai Croal of Newsweek for what he does. Someday I hope to obtain his status in the gaming industry, but for now it’s just baby steps.
My intention is to start to write my longer post’s here once again, leaving the more community and news focused stuff over at TXD. I’m not guaranteeing anything, but I will definitely try to keep my word to at least myself this time around. If I get a post up everyday will remain to be seen since TXD normally takes up allot of time when no technical difficulties arise. So, with no further ado, see you in a bit, however few you may be.