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Games and the 'Geek Stereotype'

michael posted more than 11 years ago | from the mass-market dept.

The Almighty Buck 454

ChinoH81 writes "Video games are never going to be as popular as films or music unless the people who make them concentrate on making them fun, says a leading game expert."

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faggots are so gay (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6853615)

so very gay

Jessica (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6853663)

I agree.

I'd love to have wild sex with Jessica Lynch, but I can't even find fake Jessica porn on the net (can you imagine that!)!

Blow Holes (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6853618)

Whales have blow holes, which isn't a sterotype because it's true. Blow holes spout water and help in breathing.

Re:Blow Holes (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6853684)

I too have a blow hole and I'm looking for a thick, fat black cock to fill it.

Re:Blow Holes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6853821)

I don't understand the reference to "black". The other adjectives seem to describe characteristics related to size which for some is proportional to pleasure (to a point). The black reference seems to be more of a personal preference or a perception from a past experience that may have been enjoyable, but not directly the result of being black. Either way, you all all fucked up.

Holy Crap!! (-1)

Xenix (232152) | more than 11 years ago | (#6853622)


no offense.. (4, Interesting)

The Other White Boy (626206) | more than 11 years ago | (#6853625)

but is it a slow news day or what? =)

to make this somewhat on topic, i'd actually say that i have to disagree with the article. i think if you concentrate and try to push it out to a demographic thats not familiar with gaming, they'll just resist it more than they normally would. i think to spread there just needs to be more 'killer apps,' for lack of a better term.

In other news today... (3, Funny)

sleezly (562516) | more than 11 years ago | (#6853747)

A leading game expert was flogged for making stupid remarks. Fired.

Re:In other news today... (-1, Offtopic)

The Other White Boy (626206) | more than 11 years ago | (#6853768)

woooooo, i'm totally up for a good flogging!

Re:no offense.. (-1, Flamebait)

bigman2003 (671309) | more than 11 years ago | (#6853790)

Well, the chicks in the picture (for those who at least clicked on the article) are total dykes. The one in the background is a bull-dyke, who wants girls to get into the 'agressive' games (read: she leads an all dyke UT 2003 clan). And the one if the front says:

"People reveal who they really are when they can try things in a safe environment."

Meaning, we need to have more pro-lesbian games.

I hope Outlaw Volleyball counts.

Seriously though- I don't feel I have much in common with the two in the picture, I hope they are not coming up with some sort of policy whereby they determine which games we get. "Ohh...he just shot that defenseless civilian, instead of making him lose health, we should force him to read, and sign, a statement knowing that he understands that violence is bad, and he should never hurt other people."

Okay...maybe it is because I know two chicks that look just like those, and I am applying their personalities here...but if it were up to them, men would be in cages...

Huh? (4, Funny)

feyhunde (700477) | more than 11 years ago | (#6853626)

Games are suppose to be fun? Since when?

Re:Huh? (4, Funny)

Smallpond (221300) | more than 11 years ago | (#6853652)

Games are suppose to be fun? Since when?

Note who is saying this. "Laura Fryer, director of the Xbox Advanced Technology Group". It means the XBox folks have just figured this out.

What the?! (5, Funny)

CGP314 (672613) | more than 11 years ago | (#6853638)

Video games are never going to be as popular as films or music unless the people who make them concentrate on making them fun.

All right, show of hands. Who is a geek and exclusively plays non-fun video games?

Re:What the?! (0)

Purosesuchi-Zu (695676) | more than 11 years ago | (#6853659)

::raises hand:: Ever heard of Counterstrike?

Re:What the?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6853689)

I play the slashdot game, does that count?

Re:What the?! (4, Funny)

El (94934) | more than 11 years ago | (#6853712)

Take note of this, Id Software: Doom will never be as popular as the movie Gigli unless you make it more fun!

Re:What the?! (4, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 11 years ago | (#6853743)

Actually a lot of people. When asked why they like game X they explain all the technical details like the graphics, sound, detail. A lot of them never say it is a fun game. These people play games so they can get to the next cinematic scene. It it wasn't for the cinematic reward after hours of boring game-play the games would never be played. The many of the old games of the 80s did not have any cool graphics and many of them did not have any defined ending, if they did it was some small text with The End or You Win. The reward for playing the game for hours was playing the game itself not winning or the grand diversions in the middle.

Re:What the?! (2, Funny)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 11 years ago | (#6853760)

> All right, show of hands. Who is a geek and exclusively plays non-fun video games?

I hear SWG's up to 275,000 players :)

Indeed! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6853641)

I welcome our new fun-video-game-making overlords!

Mod me up, I'm funny!

Did I mention I'm a cancer? Thanks.

You did it wrong! (2, Funny)

jared_hanson (514797) | more than 11 years ago | (#6853849)

You can't immediately reveal you're funny comments as a troll post. You have to steal the funny points from moderators and then unveil them. Then watch as they get modded down. It makes the point that these posts are not funny that much clearer. See my journal entry [] on the subject.

Duped? (3, Insightful)

Malicious (567158) | more than 11 years ago | (#6853642)

What this gentleman didn't consider is that most of us would prefer to spend $20-$40 on a videogame we would play for weeks, than $20-$40 to go to a movie for 2 hours and have a bag of popcorn.

Re:Duped? (1)

simetra (155655) | more than 11 years ago | (#6853731)

What this gentleman didn't consider is that most of us would prefer to spend $20-$40 on a videogame we would play for weeks, than $20-$40 to go to a movie for 2 hours and have a bag of popcorn.

Most of us is not most of everyone. Most of everyone goes to the movies a lot more than they buy games.

Re:Duped? (2, Informative)

festers (106163) | more than 11 years ago | (#6853737)

Someone didn't bother to read the article. (Surprise, surprise)It wasn't a man who gave this speech and the article acknowledges that games cost more than TV/movies.

Hmmmm (5, Insightful)

mao che minh (611166) | more than 11 years ago | (#6853648)

A lot of games (Metroid Prime, any Pokemon game, Grand Theft Auto 3/Vice City, Zelda: The Wind Waker, etc) sell more copies than major motion pictures sell tickets.

But, whatever.

Re:Hmmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6853679)

Count the number of major blockbuster games (the Zelda's and Vice Cities -- which are not nearly common enough to warrant calling 'a lot') released a year.

Count the number of major motion pictures released a year.

Re:Hmmmm (4, Insightful)

selderrr (523988) | more than 11 years ago | (#6853773)

err.. if you start counting, go all the way, and count the budgets spent in hollywood vs. the budgets spent in gamestudios. Hollywood HAS to pump out a dozen hits every season to keep the machinery running. It's a dinosaur that has to stay alive because it feeds the homes of a few 10.000 people.

That, plus the fact that most folks go see a movie just once, whereas some games... well... you're the counting freak...

Re:Hmmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6853811)

That was teh best comback ever.

Re:Hmmmm (1)

danheretic (689990) | more than 11 years ago | (#6853841)

Sold? Try copied.

Games and Dorks (5, Funny)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 11 years ago | (#6853649)

I think that to a certain extent Games create dorks. Those dorks go on to create more games which create even more dorks who create even more games that create still more dorks that create still more games...... and slashdot.

Re:Games and Dorks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6853719)

I *knew* there was a way to reproduce asexually!

Re:Games and Dorks (1)

Gherald (682277) | more than 11 years ago | (#6853830)

No, you don't get it. Its the 1st generation having sex with the 2nd generation to produce the 3rd generation. Then the 2nd with the 3rd to produce the 4th, etc...

Games of today (3, Interesting)

bigjnsa500 (575392) | more than 11 years ago | (#6853651)

I don't care for any of the games today. Their "FUN" factor just isn't there. I remember the days of endless quarters playing games like 1942, Galaga and Moon Patrol. Now those were games.

Re:Games of today (1)

bwh265 (662121) | more than 11 years ago | (#6853801)

I remember those days... I had to walk 5 miles, through 10 feet of snow, with newspapers wrapped around my feet, uphill both ways just to get to an arcade...

dang whippersnappers, don't know what fun is.



videogames wont be popular.. (2, Insightful)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 11 years ago | (#6853654)

unless they're made so that people enjoy playing them? it might shock you but that's what most videogames companies have been trying to do.

like, no shit sherlock?

ehm.. but .. aren't videogames popular? seriously.. they ARE!.

I think the big hold back is the media. (4, Informative)

pecosdave (536896) | more than 11 years ago | (#6853658)

How is a game going to become a long lasting classic if the hardware meant to run it stopped being manufactured 20+ years ago and the publishers were pricks about their property and wouldn't release it into the public domain or allow it to be ported? Emulators may take up some of the slack but don't count on those doing the job.

As Reported in the Journal (0, Offtopic)

Anemomenous Cowherd (702822) | more than 11 years ago | (#6853668)


buying tampons for your girlfriend unpopular (3, Interesting)

bugnuts (94678) | more than 11 years ago | (#6853669)

There are plenty of things that are not as popular as films or TV or music. Some of them are even entertaining such as skiing or going to hockey games.

This comparison isn't especially enlightening, since it doesn't actually describe the relationship between film and games, other than "entertainment". To compare, you must have quantifyable things to measure. The only thing quantifyable they provided was cash outlay... which seemed to contradict the point of the article.

Games just need good advertising. (3, Funny)

pheared (446683) | more than 11 years ago | (#6853671)

Santa: So tell your folks, "Buy me Bonestorm or go to Hell!"

Troll of the year. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6853672)

Is this a joke ?!

'Leading experts agree, fun should be pleasurable.'

I nominate this article troll of the year.

No Joke, No Troll (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 11 years ago | (#6853739)

Thats just it! If I were to post what the article says as a comment it would be modded down as a Troll. But its not, and if you see it as one, well then, you are not me.

Movie Cost (4, Insightful)

CGP314 (672613) | more than 11 years ago | (#6853674)

But this is largely due to the high price of a game, around 40. compared to the cost of video rentals or a cinema ticket

I went to see Tomb Raider this week with my girlfriend, including soda and popcorn that came out to be about 35 pounds. The price is about the same, but the movie only lasted 2 hours. A good game can last for months.

35 pounds?! (2, Funny)

Tibor the Hun (143056) | more than 11 years ago | (#6853735)

Damn, that's a lot of popcorn! I too would need more than only 2 hours to finish that.

Re:Movie Cost (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6853752)

popcorn that came out to be about 35 pounds
Boy, those buckets of popcorn really are getting bigger!

Re:Movie Cost (5, Funny)

MarcoAtWork (28889) | more than 11 years ago | (#6853837)

that's not a 'movie cost' that's a 'girlfriend cost', a good game can last for months, but if you spend your money on videogames instead of on taking your g/f out, you know what you're gonna get (or, actually, what you are POSITIVELY NOT gonna get ;)

nostalga (0)

doublebackslash (702979) | more than 11 years ago | (#6853678)

I might just be getting old, but I get no thrill out of any game more than the old super mario brother 3 game. It wasn't fancy, it was har after a while, and it kept on doing different things the whole way IMHO. Ne games stale out on me to fast, and lack something that I have difficuly quantifying. Example: compare the variety of weapons in Perfect Dark with those in HALO. I like the multiplayer games in PD better, there is just more to do. Game makers need to break out the ol' nintendos and do a little brushing up on game style, and make a game that relives those glorious 8, 16, and ocasional 64 bit goold ol' days.

Damn! That's what we've been doing wrong! (4, Funny)

Brad Cossette (319687) | more than 11 years ago | (#6853680)

Can you believe it? For the last 20+ years we've only really had BORING and FRUSTRATING games! That's why! D'oh!

To quote: "One of the main obstacles was the complicated controls of many of today's games, as well as tough levels which left many players frustrated. "You want a game that is challenging but never frustrating," said Ms Fryer.

Didn't they make the "Deer Hunter" games for those people?

Re:Damn! That's what we've been doing wrong! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6853813)

Wasn't that her point? The Deer Hunter series of games have sold more than pretty much any other game series not made by Blizzard.

Re:Damn! That's what we've been doing wrong! (2, Funny)

selderrr (523988) | more than 11 years ago | (#6853825)

Didn't they make the "Deer Hunter" games for those people?

no, iraq attack [] is for those people :-)

For the uninformed, it's a side-scrolling chopper game where you ..uh... fly over iraq and bomb... uh.. everything.

in fact all you do is sidescroll and drop bombs nonstop since ammo is unlimited.

I still remember that game from 15 years go when I was playing it and my dad stood besides me shaking his head 'but what's the fun in that' ?

me looking at him 'duh ? fun ? now that you mention it...'

It was one of those games where you just couldn't stop yourself from continuing, even if you could do it with your eyes closed.

Why is it necessary to point this out? (1)

El (94934) | more than 11 years ago | (#6853691)

Games developers are trying to sell games. Games will not sell unless they are "fun". Obviously "geeks" are the type currently spending the most money on games, therefore it would be economic suicide to not target these types. Let's face it, if you've got a modeling career, an active social life, and volunteer for greenpeace in your spare time, you're not going to have a lot of time and money to spend on games, are you? From Chess to Monopoly, are there really any games that aren't targeted at geeks? Last time I went to a rave, I didn't see anybody playing "twister"...

You have a narrow viewpoint... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6853783)

"Obviously 'geeks' are the type currently spending the most money on games"

This is like saying, "Obviously the only people interested in cars are sports car fans because that is all we sell (and make)." Funny thing is, if they made games that appealed to a wider audience they might not find "geeks" to be the only ones spending money on games, right? It is a self-fulfilling prophecy the way they sell and market them right now.

Right now my favorite game is Steel Panthers-WW2. It has historical interest (not just kill the aliens), is turn based so I think about what I am doing instead of just twitch-and-fire, and I can choose my difficulty without having to deal with some crux in the game stopping me cold. Plus it has unlimited possibility vs some game with a set end point. I can dedicate about half an hour a day to it usually and I don't have a terribly tight schedule (my modeling career must be off).

They've got it backwards (4, Insightful)

Jason1729 (561790) | more than 11 years ago | (#6853693)

Companies are concentrating on mass-appeal over fun. In the early 90's, a game was a huge hit if it sold 100,000 copies. Today, with numbers like that it would be considered a flop. Because of that, the newer games are dumbed-down to appeal more to the masses. Eye-Candy is considered more important than playability.

It's the same situation in the board game industry. Everyone's played monopoly (which is a lousy game), but who here has even heard of Puerto Rico or Settlers of Catan which are two of the best games on the market now.

ProfQuotes []

Re:They've got it backwards (3, Interesting)

neglige (641101) | more than 11 years ago | (#6853784)

monopoly (which is a lousy game)
No, sir, if you win, the game really rocks! ;)

Settlers of Catan
A nice game, really. And there are several (!) expansions available to make the game more fun.

Re:They've got it backwards (4, Interesting)

DaveJay (133437) | more than 11 years ago | (#6853795)

You make an excellent point here, and it really drives home the idea that Video Games are the new Movies.

After all, who hasn't complained that good movies can't be profitable any more, and so the big blockbuster hits are really, really dumbed down? Video games might be headed in the same direction.

How depressing.

Oh, and mad props for mentioning Settlers of Catan, which is indeed one of the best games out there right now.

And in other news.... (3, Insightful)

Tebriel (192168) | more than 11 years ago | (#6853694)

So games won't be fun unless they're designed to be fun? What will they realize next? Software won't be easy to use unless they put some thought into the interface.

This is why older games are still popular, with less graphics and sound to work with, the hook had to be the game itself. You had to play it because you wanted to play it, not because it looked pretty.

Game play (5, Informative)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 11 years ago | (#6853695)

And this is a surprise? Cripes. In 1986 I worked for some of the (then) major PC and arcade game companies. Even then, the focus was always on making the game as visually impressive as possible. That's fine, but somehow another important aspect of any game, playability, was lost in the shuffle. The programmers (I was one) and designers would complain about this regularly, but the response was usually something to the effect, "You can work on that while the game is in QC" or "Don't worry, you'll have a whole week before we ship to add playability." Utter cluelessness. And I see it in the current crop of video products: games using OpenGL and DirectX can be visually stunning, it's true, but most are simply not interesting to play after the first hour or two. Not a good return on your fifty dollar investment. Some of the older DOS-based texture-mapped products, such as Duke Nukem 3D, Shadow Warrior, Blood and others written using Ken Silverman's BUILD engine had more emphasis on game play. While those games didn't have the graphic quality of modern products rendered using 3D chipsets, they were just phenomenally fun to play. So I agree ... game makes have pretty much exhausted the sex appeal of the fancy graphical environment, now they better start focusing on why people play games: for FUN!

If you say so. (1)

mrseigen (518390) | more than 11 years ago | (#6853699)

Obviously the mainstream market believes that video games are not fun enough. Therefore we must add more non-interactive FMV, stupid movie licenses, and other crap to make it fit their ideal of "fun". Excuse me while I go back to playing xevil...

Myst With Action (2, Interesting)

N8F8 (4562) | more than 11 years ago | (#6853701)

Just gimme a game with the backstory of Myst and the graphics and interactivity of Quake/Doom/Unreal. I want to explore, not pile up bodies.

Re:Myst With Action (1)

Kaa (21510) | more than 11 years ago | (#6853732)


morrowind (2, Funny)

Tibor the Hun (143056) | more than 11 years ago | (#6853763)

morrowind looked cool, until they decided not to have nudity in it. daggerfall had some nice surprises waiting in certain "motels".

yeah, i know i shouldn't judge a good game on the basis whether it has boobies, but i'm cheap like that...

Re:Myst With Action (1)

necrognome (236545) | more than 11 years ago | (#6853751)

Try Morrowind.

Re:Myst With Action (1, Funny)

capt.Hij (318203) | more than 11 years ago | (#6853808)

I want to explore, not pile up bodies.
Certainly this sounds like loads of fun, but you will have an easier time finding what you want at a pr0n site rather than with a game...

That's just a load of... (2, Insightful)

chia_monkey (593501) | more than 11 years ago | (#6853702)

A load of crap I tell ya. Are you telling me punk music was always popular? Or swing? Or certain genres of movies? Hell no. Define "popular". Is it by revenue? I believe the gaming industry already makes more than the other two mentioned industries (don't quote me on that, plus I don't have my resources in front of me to point to). That seems pretty popular. I say it's only a matter of time. Soon every household will have at least one game system. That's not popular? The gaming industry will evolve, just as all other industries. Just give it time.

OH MAN I'M SO BAKED!!!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6853704)

Anyone got any Cheetos or Twinkies? I need to eat something now! Jesus K-Riste! Uh oh... I think I hear the cops outside my door...

Increase market, decrease price (1)

jonjohnson (568941) | more than 11 years ago | (#6853710)

But this is largely due to the high price of a game, around 40. compared to the cost of video rentals or a cinema ticket.

I think that games are where they need to be. However, we need companies to experiment by lowering prices, offering crazy deals on top games. I'm guessing *then* the market would grow, and prices could stay lower.

Mass appeal (1)

neglige (641101) | more than 11 years ago | (#6853711)

Games are still too difficult for a mass audience

Hm... but please have a few games that are a bit more complex than "Deer Hunter". "Sims". Great game. Arguably rather complex. Played by many women and men.

Oh, and how difficult is it to align a crosshair? Most FPS are not really all that difficult (easy to understand - not easy to master!)... not sure if they appeal to the masses, although the sales figures from HL or UT hint at that.

But of course the article seems to focus on the XBox. I guess other rules apply to consoles.

Obviously (2, Interesting)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | more than 11 years ago | (#6853714)

These people have never played Frozen Bubble [] or Nethack [] .

I currently have a level 8 male gnomish wizard on Level 5 and 6 (I go back and forth, the last (and currently only) merchant is on 5). I'm kinda stuck on 6 because there are no secret doors to be found (searched the walls of every room four times over already) and now way further down.

BTW, Nethack 3.4.2 [] is out!

Re:Obviously (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6853829)

yeah, that sounds like the way to appeal to non-geeks.

wow, what a discovery (1)

jimius (628132) | more than 11 years ago | (#6853718)

this man just declared all games not being fun. Perhaps he should try Bullshit Tycoon?

Gaming isn't geeky anymore, it hasn't been for a long time. My parents played mario and Donkey Kong on the SNES and my father has become a Battlefield addict. And they are certainly not geeky.

If you look at Counter-Strike, do you really think that the players going "sTFU n00b" are considered geeks?

the game industry is fairly young, most of us grew up with games and will continue to play them for the rest of our lives. The poeple who didn't grow up in the gaming age will simply have less interrest. And besides, not everybody is a gamer.

In other news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6853725)

Film and music will never be as popular as sex unless... well they'll never be as popular as sex.

Penny Arcade Fodder (1)

zodar (141552) | more than 11 years ago | (#6853730)

Penny Arcade strip showing new, painful, non-fun video game titles ("Rolling Naked In Broken Glass 2K3", "Return To Hamsters Biting Your Genitals Island") in 3, 2, 1...

Perhaps fun == easy and non-threatening? (3, Interesting)

DaveJay (133437) | more than 11 years ago | (#6853740)

Perhaps Ms Fryer meant 'easy and non-threatening' when she said "fun". Presumably, every developer is trying to make enjoyable games, but if the barrier to entry is too high (complex controls, steep learning curve) -- or appears to be high -- fewer people will take the time to play them, and so fewer will find out how much fun they (hopefully) are.

Case in point: when I bought my GameCube, I bought some games that I thought my wife would like, and Tony Hawk 3 for me. I convinced her to play Tony Hawk (and it took a lot of convincing at first) and got her through the initial tricks, and now it's her favorite game, hands-down. She kicks my ass in it more days then not, too.

If I hadn't been around to urge her to play, and if I hadn't helped her through the initial stages, she wouldn't be enjoying it now. That doesn't mean that she couldn't have figured it out on her own; it's just that she WOULDN'T have.

Re:Perhaps fun == easy and non-threatening? (2, Insightful)

nanojath (265940) | more than 11 years ago | (#6853791)

Yes... There's a real fine line in that statement she makes that "you want a game that is challenging but never frustrating."

Any challenge becomes a frustration if you can't overcome it. And whether you do so depends on your basic proficiency, how immersed you are in the game world, whether you have a stick-to-it personality, etc. etc. For the hard core gamer, a game wouldn't be a game without some beat-your-head-against-the-wall apparent cul-de-sacs and that elation you feel when you finally bust through that.

My Obligatory MacFoxes Ref (1)

chia_monkey (593501) | more than 11 years ago | (#6853741)


Now THAT was a fun game...

Wow! 'Fun'...So that's been my problem... (5, Funny)

ErnstKompressor (193799) | more than 11 years ago | (#6853745)

I guess I have to scrap my 'Europe-during-the-black-plague-simulator."

I challenge the notion... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6853754)

that games are beautiful at the expense of fun. most games by Electronic Arts or Acclaim for example, don't look very good either.

Games like Vice City may be immersively large, but the character models looked like shit compared to any of the final fantasy games on the PS1. Most US games have nasty graphics compared to Japanese ones. I think this is because game companies in Japan try to create a game so good it sells lots of copies, and American companies try to establish the highest return on the lowest investment, which usually means establishing a franchise. thats not exactly the epitome of creativity.

It's not just the "fun factor (4, Interesting)

indulgenc (694929) | more than 11 years ago | (#6853757)

What about games that don't require bleeding edge technology to run?

I to play video games, but I don't love having to upgrade my system every 2 months in order to play a new game. It seems like everytime a great new game is annouced, the recommended system specs seem to coincide with the latest processor and video cards released that week.


It's only a game (1)

Hewcard Packlet (633650) | more than 11 years ago | (#6853764)

- Oh! God My God Persephonie! How could you do this, you big trainee! Nom de Dieu de bordel de putain de saloperie de couille de merde! - Cause and effect my love... - Cause? There is no... cause for this, what cause? - What cause? How about the lipstick you're still wearing? - Lipstick? Lipstick? What craziness are you talking about there's no lipstick! - She wasn't kissing your face my love - Ah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah oui mais this is nothing c'est rien, c'est rien du tout, it is a game, it is only a game! - So is this...

fun games (2, Insightful)

oskillator (670034) | more than 11 years ago | (#6853767)

This sort of perspective is annoying to me. It's especially annoying to me when the writer says that games used to be fun, but now they're just hours of drudgework between cinematic cut scenes. You just know that this guy's only recent gaming experience has been on the X-Box.

I may be biased here, but as I see it, the really fun games are still coming from the same guy they have been for the last 20 years: Shigeru Miyamoto.

If you want fun games, games that aren't trying to be movies, pick up a Gamecube. Grab copies of Mario Sunshine, Wind Waker, and Metroid Prime. Then you have the right to complain to me that are trying to be beautiful and dramatic instead of fun.

Where do I apply for this guy's job? (1)

jamonterrell (517500) | more than 11 years ago | (#6853772)

Seriously, did it take you 18 months of scientific research to figure this out? Or did the fact that you were sick of playing boring games remind you that you should probably do something while at work so you spat out this excellent article in 5 minutes?

A call to developers (4, Insightful)

ChozCunningham (698051) | more than 11 years ago | (#6853779)

I've often wondered why a 90 minute film or a 60 minute album could move me in ways a 3 day game-fest couldn't. I've longed for games that actually were stimulating and educational. Edu-tainment is a poisonous word to put on a piece of interactive software, but the exact same concepts sell other enetertainment mediums. David Byrne's Latin Jazz Compilations and Akira Kirasawa's Films both educate me on new visions and draw from events and styles existing already to entertain. Perhaps the coders could code, the graphic designers could do graphics and the developers need to develop the game, rather than oversee the technical..There are few "Directors" in the developer/designer position. The rest are juggling some premise with the needs of marketing and limits of hardware....

Hell, even retarded Ahnold movies, like Terminator and The 6th Day, bring up relevent settings and illuminate moral questions? Only a handful of the finest games, like Romance of the 3 Kingdoms and Civ explore the awy the world works (worked) outside my limitied experience. Well, I guess Black and White was worth something; a failed game, but it brought that morality and consequences to the table, showing the strengths and weaknesses of each...

Maybe if Warcraft had actually let me choose if the Palladin went bad, and made me struggle with the choice.

The only place in gaming I've seen this sort of development is in the small brand traditional (pen& paper) RPG companies. But they have their own geek-factor by nature of the format.

Ultima 4 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6853828)

"Maybe if Warcraft had actually let me choose if the Palladin went bad, and made me struggle with the choice"

Didn't Ultima 4, Quest of The Avatar, put this issue in the center of the game? Your behavior was a critical issue in the game.

computers used to have this image too!!! (1)

laydros (677256) | more than 11 years ago | (#6853781)

does anyone else remember when everyone had a NES but almost nobody had a computer?? i know this reflects console and pc gaming, but its kinda intersting to think how home computers went from a very geeky relm to everybodies living room, and it seems that consoles have backed off. or else im just getting older....

Gaming Demo Shifts (1)

WwWonka (545303) | more than 11 years ago | (#6853785)

I just read a recent article online, not sure where I saw it, that there is a dramatic increase in the number of female gamers between the ages of 18 and 30 somthing. This wasn't a small number either but one that could drastically change the way games and systems are made and marketed.

I would have never believed it unless it was for my current girlfriend* who loves Halo and the Xbox.But then again she does insist on using the vibrating control pad!

*girlfriend-opposite sex of the male slashdot reader who actually likes the male Slashdot reader. Rare. See also Bigfoot, Loch Ness Monster, Yeti.

Eau Contraire (1)

luekj (692478) | more than 11 years ago | (#6853786)

As is being evidenced by the current industry shift to IP (e.g. licenced gaming) fun has nothing to do with it.

Case in point, EA. As long as it has enough general cultural media tie ins (Matrix cam, check. Corny movie lines, check.) and licensed music it's "cool". Wheras before the focus was on fun over the IP and how they can exploit it.

Methinks it may be going the other way.

In other news... (1)

Boing (111813) | more than 11 years ago | (#6853788)

...Water still wet, experts claim.

Never as popular? (1)

Cytotoxic (245301) | more than 11 years ago | (#6853789)

From a recent slashdot posting about how crappy the video game industry is, at $8 billion annually the video game industry already surpasses the movie industry. Nice to start your article out on a false premise.... ews/main533790.shtml

actually (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6853792)

actually, i would say its a geek only thing, when you have to buy them. more ppl would play, if the prices were cheaper, or better yet, you could download, and just burn then to a CD. hell, mp3's are so popular, even my grandma downloads them...

come on now.... (2, Interesting)

dnaSpyDir (167208) | more than 11 years ago | (#6853796)

"When people talk about 'it's only a game', they're cheapening the value of games. It trivialises the time people spend playing a game and time is the most precious thing people have."

but it IS only a game, so why waste what precious little time we have on this mortal coil staring at some screen having our "adventures".

"People need drama in their lives. Games fulfil emotional and mental needs that cannot be fulfilled any other way,"

sure they do... like oh, i dunno... killing, raping, torture, and vehicular hommicide to name a few....

got humerus? - me

Ridiculous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6853802)

...As a self-confessed avid gamer herself, Ms Fryer sees real value in video games, arguing they have a key role to play in people's lives. "People need drama in their lives. Games fulfil emotional and mental needs that cannot be fulfilled any other way," she explained...
Oh, please. Get this woman to a psychiatrist...

what am I missing (1)

NetMagi (547135) | more than 11 years ago | (#6853803)

Gee and I thought they WERE fun. . I play 3 hours a night religiously. . .

now I feel like I should watch sucky tv because I'm not playing something "fun"

frag ya lata

Its about a generation... (1)

Kushy (225928) | more than 11 years ago | (#6853807)

Its about the things that seems normal and everyday.

Right now video games are in almost every home. So 50 years from now the kids that are sitting playing video games will be the ones running this place. Thus it will be more pop to sit in front of your gamming rig and just as acceptiable as watching TV and playing music.

That's wierd (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6853812)

If Microsoft's X-box division recognizes people just need to concentrate on making games fun, why haven't they been doing anything toward the end of making x-box games fun?

Their M.O. so far seems mostly to be to concentrate on making them green, and quietly hope that occationally something beautiful will fall into their lap by chance.. []

So Basically... (1)

TheLoneDanger (611268) | more than 11 years ago | (#6853818)

What Ms. Fryer is suggesting is that developers make games that are easy to control, challenging but not frustrating and appeal to "a hardcore 15 year-old gamer as well as someone older who just wants to have fun." Isn't that what Nintendo has been trying to do all along (and I would say succeeded in with Super Mario 64 and the Zelda series)? Remember that "Xbox not for pansies" flash ad making fun of Mario?

You can't graph fun! (1)

WickedClean (230550) | more than 11 years ago | (#6853831)

How do you measure fun? You can't plug fun numbers in Excel and make pretty pie charts for executives to see! You can't track trends in fun! You can't follow the fun market! What in the hell are you talking about?

All you need to do is find a popular movie, then make a video game based on a character or characters from the movie. So what if the game is not fun, it will still sell enough copies, based on its name alone, to make a profit! And that is what business is all about!

Bill, MBA Student

In other news... (1)

ColdForged (453024) | more than 11 years ago | (#6853832)

a man with his anus on fire will most likely run faster than an azalea. Story at 11.

Hell, if that's what it takes to become a speaker at the Game Developer's Conference, I'm totally in. Blaringly obvious inanities?! Check!

"Gamers prefer playing games with attractive visuals, high-fidelity textures, and richly composed sonic landscapes to being struck in the scrotum with a mallet."

"When it comes to plot, focus on the classic storytelling elements like theme, character development, conflict/resolution, and female characters with enormous, cunningly detailed, high-polygon-count breast renderings."

Yeah, I'm going to book my hotel room for the San Jose GDC right-the-hell now.

Ummmm (1)

yoshi1013 (674815) | more than 11 years ago | (#6853833)

"A wide variety of emotions in a safe environment?" What the hell is that supposed to mean? Are movie theaters not a safe place to have emotional reactions?

Imagine you're sitting in a movie theater and you start to sob and you friend goes "What are you doing? Stop it! It's not safe!!"

Bzzzt..Wrong (1)

retro128 (318602) | more than 11 years ago | (#6853835)

Whether a game is no fun or not depends entirely on who you are. They want games to appeal to a mass market? Then they are going to have to dumb them down to the lowest common denomonator. God forbid games become as popular as music and movies...To do so they would have to be just as mundane.

Computer games are about the only form of thinking man's entertainment left, unless one ventures out to the Big Blue Room. I like games that have good stories to them, puzzles, and a touch of wanton destruction...Deus Ex comes to mind. It's one of my favorite games ever. It was also entertaining because various conspiracy theories (Area 51, Illuminati, etc) were tied into it and it got downright philosophical at times. If I picture my mom, dad, or sister playing this game all I hear is a big whooshing sound as it flies over their heads. My dad hates games, my mom likes to play casino games, and the most challenging thing my sister has ever played is Windows Solitaire. So then, if Miss Laura Fryer of Xbox Advanced Technology Group wishes to have her utopia, then perhaps she should command all the Xbox developers to churn out endless versions of Freecell and Minesweeper clones for the hungry masses.

I guess she'd be doing me a favor now that I think about how much money I'd be saving. I'd have to add games to my blacklist along with music, movies, and TV.

Popularity (3, Insightful)

EverDense (575518) | more than 11 years ago | (#6853836)

ChinoH81 writes "Video games are never going to be as popular as films or music unless the
people who make them concentrate on making them fun, says a leading game expert."

Never going to be as popular?
Funny that the Games Industry makes WAY more money than the Hollywood.

But will that be a victory? (1)

awing0 (545366) | more than 11 years ago | (#6853842)

Games will always appeal to an exclusive audience, and that audience will enjoy their game much much more than any TV series or blockbuster movie.

Games usually require thinking and decision making. Maybe the majority doesn't find this fun. I always have and always will spend more time with video games than TV or movies. A one size fits all mindset just alienates everyone. Comparing the success of video games next to movies, TV, and music is just wrong. It's not the same medium.

What a fucking insight! (1)

merlin_jim (302773) | more than 11 years ago | (#6853847)

Goddamn! That's why my gaming company is failing! We need to focus on making the games fun! Holy Fucking Shit man, this is fresh! This is information I could've never fucking figured out ever!

Here I am spending all this time making new levels and texture maps and special abilities with pixel shaders and shit. My goal when I was making these was to make the game less fun! I mean I'm totally dropping the fucking ball here, man! I just screwed the pooch and jumped the shark at once here. I mean seriously. Mary Mother of God help me, I've got to turn this whole outfit around and make sure everyone is focused on making a fun fucking game from now on, cause if we don't... well according to this guy, we're going to fail!

No shit.
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