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Mainstream Audience 'Noticing' Games Again

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the nice-to-be-noticed dept.

Games 58

In an interview with the San Jose Mercury News, Shigeru Miyamoto makes it plain that he's extremely pleased with the way the Wii has changed the face of gaming. He says that he gets the feeling that 'because of the Wii, people ... are finally taking notice of videogames again.' The interview goes on to discuss some ways in which Miyamoto hopes to capitalize on that 'notice', including the possibility of introducing new Nintendo characters sometime next year: "For characters, we came up with the concept of the Miis and that allows people to come up with their own characters. Maybe next year sometime, we may have new characters in the same way we came up with Pikmin when we introduced the GameCube."

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58 comments

Shiggy's got it... (2, Funny)

BackwardEngineer (730035) | more than 6 years ago | (#20061089)

...wrong. The mainstream has been noticing video games for quite some time now. Hence why all these juvenile violent crimes are being blamed on video games. The Wii had nothing to do with it. Jack Thompson put video games more under the spotlight than the Wii.

Jack who? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20061133)

In the US maybe. Outside if the US the only people who know who the heck this Jack Thompson is are the ones who read Slashdot.

Re:Jack who? (2, Insightful)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 6 years ago | (#20061201)

Even inside the US, an astonishingly small number of people know who even their own senators/reps are, let alone Jack Thompson..

Re:Jack who? (1)

Applekid (993327) | more than 6 years ago | (#20061345)

They don't have to know. Those that keep up with the news wind up knowing is the content of the story in their local paper or newscast that quotes him.

Kind of like when Congress does something boneheaded that gets reported, the average person that doesn't know their representatives still just generalizes them anyway.

Re:Shiggy's got it... (2, Insightful)

EtoilePB (1087031) | more than 6 years ago | (#20061509)

..wrong. The mainstream has been noticing video games for quite some time now. Hence why all these juvenile violent crimes are being blamed on video games. The Wii had nothing to do with it. Jack Thompson put video games more under the spotlight than the Wii.

There are two different kinds of "notice" at work here. The one Miyamoto's after is, "Hmm. This is a form of entertainment that I am interested in learning more about, and perhaps even in participating in." The one Thompson creates is, "Clearly, there is some kind of evil mischief afoot here, and video gaming is something perverted that only children and sickos participate in."

The attention Miyamoto's after is the kind of "notice" that hopefully means, in the future, that when I say, "I like video games" to my co-workers, they take that in the same vain as they take it when I say, "I have a film degree," not that they take it in the same vein as if I said, "I regularly murder babies and sell their souls to Satan to finance overseas oil corporations."

Re:Shiggy's got it... (1)

BackwardEngineer (730035) | more than 6 years ago | (#20062239)

Unfortunately, negative news always outweighs positive news. So while Shiggy might be looking for the silver lining around the clouds, most people are going to focus on the clouds.

Re:Shiggy's got it... (1, Troll)

Slider451 (514881) | more than 6 years ago | (#20062491)

The attention Miyamoto's after is the kind of "notice" that hopefully means, in the future, that when I say, "I like video games" to my co-workers, they take that in the same vain as they take it when I say, "I have a film degree,"

If the vain they're taking is thinking that you're probably unemployed, I'd say it's already the same.

Summary misses the best part (3, Interesting)

Drogo007 (923906) | more than 6 years ago | (#20061095)

Summary takes one small point from interview and excludes the rest of the interview, most of which was much more interesting. Particularly the questions about the lack of new characters/franchises in the launch lineup and Miyamoto's response.

I think the main point of the article (and thus the summary headline) should've been "Nintendo still focused on fun" - Miyamoto stressed that they worry about making the games fun before focusing on a target market - because as every runaway success in the videogame industry has shown:

If it's fun and interesting, it's going to transcend the boundaries of any target market (e.g. GTA, Sims, Wii)

Actually, "mainstream" has noticed games long ago (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#20061365)

For me the moment was there when I sat in the cafeteria and heard two people who are anything but geeks talk about WoW. Not as in "my son is playing this horrible game" but actually discussing strategies how to slaughter some boss.

That was when I realized that games broke out of the geek sphere, that it's no longer the pastime of teenagers and people who don't want to realize they ain't teenagers anymore. There were two usually quite sensible guys in suits, with ties, discussing the relative benefits of the racial differences of gnomes and elves.

It's not like they'd watch a second of a pro-gaming tournament. Nor would they waste a week of their vacation on a LAN party. But they're playing a game. Whether that game is good or a waste of time to a "true" gamer isn't relevant. They're playing.

The Wii certainly adds to this. A coworker who is anything but a gamer recently came in on monday with a severe case of a tennis arm, telling me he was at a party where they played Wii Sports all day (and according to the age calculator he's like 70 or something and he's asking the boss for retirement...). But I doubt the Wii is the mark of the start. It's more like something that adds to it.

Games aren't as "hardcore" anymore as they were years ago. Anyone ever played R-Type, Menace, Blood Money or Katakis? You simply couldn't play them as a "casual gamer". Made no sense. They were geared towards people who could and would waste months to get the sequences of enemies JUST right. This didn't appeal at all to people who actually had a life outside the silicon box.

Games today are more for enjoyment, less for "proving something". Sure, the latter kind still exists, but the game industry found the casual market. And the Wii (and Nintendo generally in the more recent time) is geared for this market, mostly. Personally, I think they will succeed with this strategy. After all, someone who doesn't spend his entire life sitting in front of a console must have some kind of job that enables him to buy more games...

Re:Actually, "mainstream" has noticed games long a (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 6 years ago | (#20061643)

Anyone ever played R-Type...

R-Type on the Wii Virtual Console is one of the reasons I bought the Wii. :)

Re:Actually, "mainstream" has noticed games long a (1)

p0tat03 (985078) | more than 6 years ago | (#20061653)

Personally I'm just glad to see casual gaming move away from crappy rip-off flash games for once. Yes, I know, people enjoy them, but it's one segment of the industry I never had much respect for. How much props can you give a bunch of guys who are really making the same match-3 games and Bejeweled clones over and over again?

I'm so glad Nintendo has proven that there's more to casual gaming than PopCap :P

Re:Actually, "mainstream" has noticed games long a (1)

Puff of Logic (895805) | more than 6 years ago | (#20064391)

How much props can you give a bunch of guys who are really making the same match-3 games and Bejeweled clones over and over again?
Your point is well-taken, but I have to point to Puzzle Quest on the DS as a Bejeweled-type game that is as addictive as crack and deserving of huge props.

Re:Actually, "mainstream" has noticed games long a (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20063107)

Do you think that just because they wear suits they aren't geeks?

Re:Actually, "mainstream" has noticed games long a (2, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 6 years ago | (#20067477)

By voluntarily wearing a suit, you give up your geek license. Didn't you get the newsletter?

In summary... (1)

C10H14N2 (640033) | more than 6 years ago | (#20063427)


No one who shops at Hot Topic thinks they're "mainstream," but once they stop, everyone who still does is even more so than they ever were.

That's so old skool, man. No, really.

Re:Actually, "mainstream" has noticed games long a (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20068799)

Well, the same people who would discuss strategies about poker or pool and go down and shoot a game at the bar after work would now go home and play video games I guess.

57 new Pokemon being readied as we speak (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 6 years ago | (#20061373)

And Yu-Gi-Oh, the Movie [warnerbros.com] is in production. From Warner Brothers, makers of Pokemon, the Movie [warnerbros.com].

(Major idea shortage in Hollywood. Too many movies this year were either sequels or adaptations of successes in other media. The comic book genre is being mined out; it started at Superman, and bottomed at the Silver Surfer. We're now down to trading card movies and toy doll movies. [hollywoodreporter.com] The better ideas in game movies have been done. Effects movies have maxed out; with current CG technology you can put anything on the screen, so nobody is impressed. Expect more whining by the MPAA that theater attendance is down due to "piracy". The problem is ennui, not piracy.)

Re:57 new Pokemon being readied as we speak (2, Insightful)

morari (1080535) | more than 6 years ago | (#20062459)

Effects movies have maxed out; with current CG technology you can put anything on the screen, so nobody is impressed.
I don't recall ever being impressed by CGI in film. They have always looked so ridiculously fake that it destroys any possible suspension of disbelief. At least scale models and what-not were actual, solid things that existed. Not like CGI, which also has the downfall of instantly looking dated no matter how "well done". Traditional effects which were more focused on ingenuity tend to stand the test of time much better.

Re:57 new Pokemon being readied as we speak (1)

KoldKompress (1034414) | more than 6 years ago | (#20068173)

Wow, really? I remember watching Armageddon as a 12 year old on one of the first DVD players in the UK [My Dad worked for a now-extinct computer company, and he often had to review products to see if they should stock them. Like DVD players, Lego Mindstorm etc] and I was absolutely blown away.

Compare the new Doctor Who series with the older ones.. it really is no contest. But CGI shouldn't really be there to blow you away, it should really add to the story or facilitate it. For example, 300 was shot on a green screen, apart from two shots. It added to the environment as they were able to easily adapt and change and produce great backgrounds.

Re:57 new Pokemon being readied as we speak (1)

morari (1080535) | more than 6 years ago | (#20070533)

I had probably watched Armageddon around the same and wasn't impressed even then. Of course it was the utterly boring and cliche story that failed to motivate me more than anything. Deep Impact was much better, despite facilitating even more CGI rubbish. As far 300, I've not seen it. I rarely waste my money on theater trips and probably won't run out to rent it when it comes to home video either. Why waste the time on a juvenile "retelling" of a story that is already interesting enough in its own right? The 300 Spartans is all you really need if you want to watch a film about the Battle of Thermopylae. You don't need some overly stylized popcorn flick riding on the success of the utterly boring Sin City film.

Don't get me wrong though, I'm glad that these different styles are presenting themselves within mainstream Hollywood, but that's also the problem; it's mainstream Hollywood. All of the style and flare in the world can't save a pitiful film. As you said, it should be there in order to add to and facilitate the story. Sadly, I can't think of too many films outside of Tron where that is true.

Re:57 new Pokemon being readied as we speak (1)

KoldKompress (1034414) | more than 6 years ago | (#20071273)

Because most stories are retellings. For example, if you strip Lord of the Rings down (book/movie) to its' simplest form, it'd be "Good Vs Evil" of which there are many different variations with differing twists etc, but generally can be stripped down to "Good Vs Evil".

I think the movie captures the graphic novel perfectly - it translated really well onto the big screen and kept its unique style with it. It wasn't a cinematic masterpiece, but it's not often you get those, that's why they're masterpieces.

The best kind CGI there is is when you're not thinking "Oh wow, that was cool special effects" you're thinking "Oh wow, I hope Luke/Frodo/etc gets out okay!"

Re:57 new Pokemon being readied as we speak (1)

morari (1080535) | more than 6 years ago | (#20072001)

I must admit to always thinking that the Lord of the Rings were rather boring for just that reason as well, novel or film. But I'm biased when it comes to high fantasy, as it does all seem so overtly cliche. ;)

As far as 300 goes, it does capture the comic well, as Sin City did. That doesn't necessarily make for a good film however, and even further makes one wonder what the point is at all if it's going to be exactly the same. With comic book adaptations such as X-Men and Spiderman you have the physical, "realistic" interpretations of something that was previously hand drawn. With the slew of Frank Miller adaptations you have a film that practically uses the comic as a storyboard. It's as redundant as a band covering a previously popular song without adding or changing anything. Different interpretations are fine, and surely add a lot to any art, but rehashing something seems like time wasted.

Overall we agree however; the best kind of CGI isn't the kind made out to be fantastic. My original post's point however, was that often times CGI detracts from the story by simply being there and standing out. I can't recall how many movies I've watched that have been good, but have a few little points where something just doesn't look quite right. Maybe it's the lighting, or the effect looks plastic, I don't know. I find that older effects like clay and stop animation don't suffer from such downfalls. Sure, you still realize that they're special effects, regardless of how fleeting or important to the story, but at least the objects actually exist. You mention Luke (Skywalker, I assume) getting out alright. The original Star Wars trilogy has stood the test of time precisely because scale models and such were used, whereas the newer trilogy already looks dated because of its abundance of CGI vehicles if nothing else.

Re:57 new Pokemon being readied as we speak (1)

KoldKompress (1034414) | more than 6 years ago | (#20072623)

I don't think the original Star Wars trilogy HAVE held up that good, effects wise. You compare the original theatrical release to the latest digital retouch/remodeling of the trilogy and it's a lot better, in my opinion.

Apart from, of course, Han shot first.

Re:57 new Pokemon being readied as we speak (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#20063339)

We're now down to trading card movies and toy doll movies.
Toy doll movies have been out for a long time, way back to Pinocchio (1940).

Re:57 new Pokemon being readied as we speak (1)

LKM (227954) | more than 6 years ago | (#20067655)

Totally off-topic, but I've noticed there are tons of ads for Renaissance on /. right now. It's not a sequel, and the visuals are extremely impressed. Maybe you should click on an ad for once :-)

Of course, it's a French movie, not from Hollywood.

Graphics don't matter (3, Insightful)

PresidentEnder (849024) | more than 6 years ago | (#20061921)

I think that's the whole point: cartoon graphics are good enough. People watch anime, and don't need it to be photorealistic; people play Wii sports, and it's fine. Less complex, more approachable games have always been where it's at. I'd like to see someone market a cheap handheld, easy to develop for, and allow anyone to put games out for it. You probably don't even need the cool controller to make it work.

Re:Graphics don't matter (1)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 6 years ago | (#20062219)

>People watch anime, and don't need it to be photorealistic;

But Anime is hand drawn lines by usually a very talented cartoonist/illustrator, which is then colored by someone just as talented. Videogames cannot compete on this level.

I'm not a big graphics guy, but when I played the new Harry Potter game for the Wii I was shocked at how incredibly crappy the graphics were. THey were so bad they caused distraction. I don't expect geforce 8800 level graphics here, but certainly more than the old geoforce 2 I used to have, way back when.

I'm afraid that a lot of the wii articles I'm seeing aer just like all these articles about another revolutionary new thing that will change all our lives: second life. There's way too much hype here. I know one Wii owner (and a lot of people who tried to get one but gave up after the hypse died down.) When I log on to SL there's no one around. Sorry, but its true.

There have been casual gamers for quite some time. Think breakout on a PDA or all the flash games office workers play. Why market some new device when everyone owns a PC that can play little flash games. There are a bazillion flash developers. Tons of flash games. If anything a handheld that did flash and could download from the net would give the DS a run for its money.

Re:Graphics don't matter (1)

OldeTimeGeek (725417) | more than 6 years ago | (#20062505)

But Anime is hand drawn lines by usually a very talented cartoonist/illustrator, which is then colored by someone just as talented. Videogames cannot compete on this level.

They are both done by talented artists, the difference is that you can't "play" anime. Video game screens have to be rendered in real time, animation is pre-rendered.

Re:Graphics don't matter (1)

earthbound kid (859282) | more than 6 years ago | (#20062589)

In fairness, "Harry Potter" isn't capitalizing on the horsepower of the Wii. It's basically just a PS2 game ported over with new controls. "The Wii's graphics are good enough"-argument applies to games like Twilight Princess, Mario Galaxy, and other Nintendo titles that use the power of the Wii well. I'd even count Wii Sports in that category: although primitive, the graphics still get the job done without being distracting.

Re:Graphics don't matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20063089)

Not tolling, but Wii gpu with 243mhz and 24mb of memory is outdated even by onboard gpu standards.

Re:Graphics don't matter (1)

earthbound kid (859282) | more than 6 years ago | (#20064681)

Yes, you are trolling because the Wii uses a RISC architecture, which means its CPU Mhz is not comparable to other CISC CPUs.

Is the Wii in the same ballpark powerwise as the 360 or the PS3? No.

Is it hella better than the numbers suggestion? Yes.

Is it "good enough"? If developers do their job, then yes. If they just port stuff from the PS2, then no.

Re:Graphics don't matter (1)

LKM (227954) | more than 6 years ago | (#20067685)

I think you're missing the point. Yeah, the Wii is outdated compared to a PC, or even compared to the PS3 or the 360. But it's good enough for 90% of all games.

Re:Graphics don't matter (1)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 6 years ago | (#20068453)

The real point is, it is all about the game play, it has always been about the game play, graphics just helps to present the medium. The Wii just has the game play well aligned for the controller, and the graphics are just 'good enough' to involve the player, which is all the graphics have to be. So well done by Nintendo, a good balance of console capability and controller suited to a broad market and of course marketing to present it to their 'target' audience.

Re:Graphics don't matter (1)

Applekid (993327) | more than 6 years ago | (#20062749)

But Anime is hand drawn lines by usually a very talented cartoonist/illustrator, which is then colored by someone just as talented. Videogames cannot compete on this level.
They did. For a while there cel-shading became really popular and a crazy percentage of games were using it just to use it. The most beautiful uses of which, however IMHO, was Dragon Quest VIII.

3D-models always start out as sketches and artwork anyway. During the year or years of development there are plenty of talented 3D artists working on keyframes and filling in the gaps and transitioning from one position to another. They've got to cover so much possibility when a non-interactive medium doesn't have to consider every possibility right away.

Also, modern anime (aside from original character drawings) also are all done in computers anyway, from lined art to coloring to staging to production. There's a reason why the underground cel market dried up.

Re:Graphics don't matter (2, Insightful)

LKM (227954) | more than 6 years ago | (#20067675)

But Anime is hand drawn lines by usually a very talented cartoonist/illustrator, which is then colored by someone just as talented. Videogames cannot compete on this level.

What you're actually saying is: Art direction trumps realism. And if you look at it like that, games absolutely can compete. Look at things like Okami, Alien Hominid, Dragon Quest, Super Mario Galaxy, the Katamari games, Wind Waker, Jet Set Radio, or even the Wario Ware games. None of these have particularly "good" graphics if you look at realism, or number of polygons. But they all have awesome art direction.

Which is why graphics are mostly good enough nowadays: Great looking games are possible if you have talented people working on it. Same as Anime, really.

Re:Graphics don't matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20069383)

Graphics are what matter most. You get the most input through what you see, so they have to be spot-on.
We should never damn a game for not trying to push the boundaries of any frontier, be that graphics, AI etc. And often progress made in one style of graphics can help those who have a totally different style in another.

Gameplay is massivly important (it's what everyone seems to harp on about too) but the graphics used are an integral part of the gameplay.

It would be a terrible shame if no-one had tried to push the realism of games. Do people really want basic graphics from pac-man/asteroids/zork?

Good graphics can also just be a soruce of entertainment in and of themselfs. I remember climbing to the top of the tallest mountin in Oblivion and just looking over the land. Or just driving around the countryside on a chopper in GTA:San Andreas. Or watching the souls fall in the Receiver level of Darwinia. Just taking the time to soak in the environment is just as much part of the game (for me at least) as what ever goal/story there is too. Good graphics are part of this.

Honesty vs bias (1)

sysadmintech (704387) | more than 6 years ago | (#20062051)

There's a reason why everyone listens when Miyamoto talks. This is in response to Metroid which is about to be released and it will be in Gamestops next to the other 2 consoles. No mater how pointed the question, he gives an honest straight forward answer.
I was in Gamestop the other day and a customer came in looking for a PS3 game. After inquiring about 5-6 games, and being told they were of poor quality, both the clerks behind the counter said that the PS3 has no quality new titles to purchase. When asked to compare that to the 360 by the shopper, the clerks admitted that the 360 has no new quality titles either. The customer went on to purchase one of the better newer titles, I think Fantastic 4, but it was obviously not what he was looking for by his suggestions.
I think that what the media considers the mainstream game audience has been looking away due to the content being released. Meanwhile, no story on Nintendo's 2007 2nd quarter financials yet, which not only say that sales tripled and are up 160%, but positive revisions to future quarters as well.

Re:Honesty vs bias (2)

ZePeaceman (1014743) | more than 6 years ago | (#20064137)

That's actually strange to me.

I've not bought a new game for my Wii since February due to the lack of interesting games, and it's practically been collecting dust.

Since then I've picked up Crackdown, Command and Conquer 3, Dirt, Forza Motorsport 2, and Overlord for my 360. And heck, that doesn't even count my playing of games that came out in 2006.

Re:Honesty vs bias (1)

LKM (227954) | more than 6 years ago | (#20067709)

I've not bought a new game for my Wii since February due to the lack of interesting games, and it's practically been collecting dust.

I find that hard to believe. Some of the Wii games that came out during the last 6 months according to gamerankings.com: Sonic and the Secret Rings, Kororinpa, Tiger Woods, SSX Blur, Godfather: Blackhand Edition, Mario Strikers (it's out in the US by now, I think?), Mario Party 8, Cooking Mama, Super Paper Mario, Resident Evil 4.

There most certainly is no lack of interesting games on the Wii. Oh, and if you like Overlord, try the original. Pikmin runs on the Wii, after all :-)

Re:Honesty vs bias (1)

Gravatron (716477) | more than 6 years ago | (#20075083)

Those aren't "good games" they just aren't "terrible games".

Sonic: Decent, but a rental at best.
Tiger Woods: Great start, but not any better than the other platforms.
SSX: Having to memorize shapes to draw really doesn't make it any easier than the previous games i the series. I gave it a rent, but it was too aggravating to buy.
Godfather: Didn't think it was that much better than previous versions.
Mario strikers: somewhat interesting, if unoriginal. I've heard it plays more like hockey than soccer.
Mario party: Hated it. Then again, i've never been much a fan of mini-games collections nor the MP series in general
Cooking mama: neat idea, btu again, its a rental.
Super paper mario: the 2d looked great, but 3d was empty and ugly. Toss in thats its too chatty to be a platformer, and too lacking in thought to be a RPG means it just didn't do enough good to outweight the bad.
RE4: Its a gcn port with outlook. I couldn't see buying it when i can get the GCN version for $15 used.

The wii hasn't yet produced a game that seems worth buying that I can't get ether on the GCN or on another platform in a equal or superior version. I only picked up a ps3 because the fall lineup had me drooling. Sold the wii for it in fact. After e3 and nintendo. imho, weak showing, I just lost faith in them. It all seems too much built on novelty, and simple games, and not the kind of stuff I want to shell 50-60 out for and play for longer than a week.

Re:Honesty vs bias (1)

LKM (227954) | more than 6 years ago | (#20076893)

Sonic: Decent, but a rental at best.

Best 3D Sonic. Including the Adventures.

Godfather: Didn't think it was that much better than previous versions.

Huh. That's easily the best GTA clone I've ever played, simple due to the insane violence of the motion control.

Mario strikers: somewhat interesting, if unoriginal. I've heard it plays more like hockey than soccer.

Incredible amount of fun. Think Sega Soccer Slam: Online.

Mario party: Hated it. Then again, i've never been much a fan of mini-games collections nor the MP series in general

I think it's the best Mario Party. The "Monopoly"-style star rule makes it a lot more tactical and a lot less luck-based than earlier versions. No clue why it got such bad ratings - the only thing I dislike is the bad graphics and the lack of widescreen.

Super paper mario: the 2d looked great, but 3d was empty and ugly. Toss in thats its too chatty to be a platformer, and too lacking in thought to be a RPG means it just didn't do enough good to outweight the bad.

It's got an average rating of 86.3% on gamerankings.com. Maybe it's not for you, but it's clearly a great game.

RE4: Its a gcn port with outlook. I couldn't see buying it when i can get the GCN version for $15 used.

The best version of one of the best games of all time. Average rating: 91.0%.

The wii hasn't yet produced a game that seems worth buying that I can't get ether on the GCN or on another platform in a equal or superior version.

That's quite simply not true. Maybe the games just don't fit your taste. Fair enough. But you should at least acknowledge that this is just your taste and not some kind of general truth.

"Mainstream" vs. "Hardcore" categories. (4, Interesting)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | more than 6 years ago | (#20063485)

The first stage of cinema was as a coin-operated novelty, with nickelodeons and zoetropes accompanying carnivals. It was associated with seediness and the demimonde, although a group of researchers (Melies, Lumiere, etc.) were very excited by its possibilities.

The subsequent phase of cinema was that of the movie house that should serials, to which young people would enthusiastically and uncritically congregate. These series might go on for years, but despite their scope, they were often aesthetically limited. A few auteurs worked to expand the form, but it was generally the provenance of people with a lot of spare time and not very much cultural capital.

The third phase was the "breakthrough" - the arrival of the film house as a place for everyone to go. This is the era of Cecil B. DeMille, Charlie Chaplin, and Buster Keaton, and the other early silent stars. What changes is the format: instead of long serials, there are 2 hour-long films that are meant to be enjoyed by busy, intelligent people.

This is where I see games going - into the era of DeMille, and out of the "Lone Ranger" phase. The one quirk I see is that the kids who spend all Saturday at the movies which the serials are considered the "hardcore" enthusiasts. I think this will change, when it becomes those who appreciate games like Flow who are identified as the more advanced gamer. Notice that the high age of film-as-art comes after the DeMille period (it varies to time and place: German expressionist film in the 20's and 30's, French new-wave film in the 50's and 60's, American New Hollywood film in the late 60's and early 70's, etc.)

But what happened to that enthusiast who spends all day watching Lone Ranger serials, but who could never really get a Bunuel, Godard, or Kieslowski film? He loses his status as a cinematic connoisseur, and is instead seen as kind of lowly figure. I imagine that could happen to the people we call "hardcore" gamers now.

Re:"Mainstream" vs. "Hardcore" categories. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20065881)

But what happened to that enthusiast who spends all day watching Lone Ranger serials, but who could never really get a Bunuel, Godard, or Kieslowski film? He loses his status as a cinematic connoisseur, and is instead seen as kind of lowly figure. I imagine that could happen to the people we call "hardcore" gamers now.

Or he goes on to direct Raiders of the Lost Ark. I agree with you that games will develop but even if some games reach a point where they are appreciated as "art" (to all but Ebert I would assume) the majority of stuff produced will always be for mass consumption. This is true of anything from movies to literature to music.

Re:"Mainstream" vs. "Hardcore" categories. (1)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | more than 6 years ago | (#20066853)

Weird, though - are you saying there's a difference between "mainstream" and "mass" now? The "hardcore" will become "mass" and the "mainstream" becomes "high culture?" I think that's what's going to happen - what are currently the tastes of the hardcore enthusiasts will become the grist for the mass-culture market, but structures will change (from long to short, from very repetitive to fairly condensed).

I think what I'm getting at is that gamers act as if this shift is the one from an elite era to a mass-popularization one, when I think it maps better to an earlier stage in cinema, the shift from a somewhat-marginal entertainment practice to a full-bore media form that produces high art - for different people.

Spielberg and many other "mass market" film-makers actually grew up on a diet of Godard, Bunuel et. al.

Re:"Mainstream" vs. "Hardcore" categories. (1)

pixelite (20946) | more than 6 years ago | (#20067313)

I thought the hardcore in film now, was all the dirty pictures, or the seedy and illegal films such as the snuff films from 8mm. Are we going to see people trading illegal games in back alleys in the future?

It was my 21st birthday friday night... (3, Funny)

Cyno01 (573917) | more than 6 years ago | (#20064321)

All the men folk went outside for cigars (a good half hour), and when we went back upstairs, all the girls were engrossed in a game of mario party to the point when 11:45 rolled around and it was time to head to the bars, i had to drunkenly yell "Ladies, quit playing with my Wii!" to get them to look away. I cant see that happening with any other console ever. The Wii is a hit, nintendo has changed who a gamer is.

The Wii is fun for everyone (1)

XavidX (1117783) | more than 6 years ago | (#20067963)

Well after giving up trying to get my wife to play with me on the playstation/xbox360, this thing called the wii seemed to appear.
We borrowed a friends Wii to play and next thing you know the whole family is playing, Grandma, my 4 year old daughter, and yes my wife who never plays video games.

For me the wii has become a social game where you can socialize with a whole group of people while playing together.

But on the other hand when I want to relax and take it easy I turn on the playstation/xbox and get into some cool graphics and hardcore game that will take weeks to complete.

The wii has brought a new type of gaming into the industry and at this point it is like comparing apples to oranges or monopoly to checkers. I welcome this new gameing trend and I cannot wait to see how the technology develops. But i will never use it for a replacement for my xbox 360 or playstation.

Re:The Wii is fun for everyone (1)

Is0m0rph (819726) | more than 6 years ago | (#20074181)

The Wii hype wore off on me before it came out so I ended up not buying one. My wife and I were at a party a few weeks ago and played 4 player Wii bowling. Now she demands we get a Wii. Can't find one anywhere of course and I'm not paying $400 for one. Tiger Woods 08 would be the main reason I would get it now. Nintendo knows how to get normal non-gamers interested. Between the Wii and the DS with games like Pogo, Touch Master, etc

It's a Gimmick... (1, Insightful)

Duffy13 (1135411) | more than 6 years ago | (#20070179)

The Wii is a gimmick. A very cool gimmick when implemented correctly, but a gimmick none the less. The problem I foresee, which is the same problem other consoles eventually run into: it will become stale rapidly. How long till they can't think of any other cool things to do with a Wiimote? They've covered most of them already, with varying levels of success. Which brings us to the question spawned from the other next-gen consoles: Why do we need better graphics? Because basic gameplay has barely changed in the 5+ years. Theres innovation here and there, but when was their a completely new style of game or a truly unique idea? The Wii and... oh shit I see where this is going. That aside since it's mainly a "gamer's" concern, I will admit that the Wii gets non-gamers playing...much like the Gamecube party games also got people playing, though not nearly as much. I give Nintendo some credit, they realize they will eventually lose the hardcore gamers, so they cut them off before they wasted too much time and effort on a losing battle. Instead they are focusing on the niche market, the "party" games, and to reach outside the gamer mainstream market that's the only thing they can do. Something thats fun not always because of the game itself, but because you're playing it with other people. I mean honestly, Mario Party, Strikers,Smash, Wii Sports, etc... are rather boring by yourself. Get a few people together and you find yourself playing 235 matches of strikers in an evening...err and technically the next morning.

Re:It's a Gimmick... (1)

oliderid (710055) | more than 6 years ago | (#20073497)

Wii means that I've found a common ground with my girlfriend finally. We can both play and having fun doing it. A bit like the dumb ping-pong that I played for the first time on a Atari with my brother. Ten minutes there, 30 minutes later. And then going back to the "normal life".

I guess I'm a bit tired of playing alone...Shadow of the beast, X-wing, Wing commander, civilization, Halo I & II, hitman...Or I'm getting old. I don't know.

Let's "resocialize" :-)

Re:It's a Gimmick... (1)

rjung2k (576317) | more than 6 years ago | (#20075237)

"The Wii is a gimmick. A very cool gimmick when implemented correctly, but a gimmick none the less."

Someone should save this nugget of wisdom in a time capsule, open it up in ten years, and laugh...

Re:It's a Gimmick... (1)

walnutmon (988223) | more than 6 years ago | (#20083437)

I think that the chance that we agree it is a gimmick then, and that it wasn't is still to be decided... and it certainly isn't obvious which way it will go now.

Either way, most of the cool things that could be done with a Wii can't be done on the hardware of the Wii... Wii Sports is great for playing with friends. It's the only game I have gotten into, and I own all the other top rated ones too...
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