The Biggest Threat to Gaming...

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Re: The Biggest Threat to Gaming...

Postby Io.Draco » Mon Aug 19, 2013 5:29 am

As pointed out, it does happen in other forms of media to their creators: Book writers, movie directors, comic book writers and so.

I am fairly certain George R.R. Marin has gotten a lot more harassment, insults and death threats then any game developer ever did for the Red Wedding. However has he stopped writing? No. He still is doing so.

I do not want to imply that harassment, bullying, threatening someone over their creative work is alright because it isn't ( though I'd point out there's a vast difference between throwing an insult at a writer or game developer for their work and to harass them over it )but the reality is that it's been going on for a long time in other forms of media, longer then gaming has existed, and yet other forms of media thrive very well so what makes gaming so threatened by this behavior?

However I do think there is some uniqueness to the situation in gaming, in that there don't seem to be that many game reviewers, at least non high profile ones working for IGN, Gametrailers or Gamespot, that are really critical of the games they play. In fact most of their reviews tend to be rather shallow, ignoring major issues of the games they've played or glossing over them instead of giving them the proper attention they need and this creates an imbalance for while there are many players who will be critical of the issues in the games they play, making lengthy well written posts on say how Chris Metzen ruined the Starcraft Universe lore and story with Wings of Liberty and Heart of the Swarm, there are very very few game reviewers t who will do this.

This imbalance between between reviewers and players is probably the biggest threat to gaming and the main reason there's little respect for game's journalism, not the harassment, bullying and threats which have existed for other forms of media long before the internet.
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Re: The Biggest Threat to Gaming...

Postby Lieris » Mon Aug 19, 2013 10:28 am

Fridmarr wrote:Truly, although I never played ME, I don't get the sense that it's a "bad" game. I mean the reviews rip into various features and the ending, but still rate it highly overall. It may not have lived up to expectations, but people still seemed to play it.


That's because the "gaming press" are part of the marketing machine. They regurgitate what the PR guys tells them to and the "big AAA games" always get good marks. If a reviewer gives one of these games a low score, he/she is blacklisted and the publisher threatens to pull advertising from the site or magazine. They even have policies in place whereby if the game is given a 9/10, the site is permitted to put their review up early. Fans get whipped up into a frenzy for these products so when they get lied to the backlash is much stronger.

Tom Chick uses a 5 point scale and he will use the entirety of that scale so for example he will give Halo 4 a 1/5 because he really didn't like it. Games PR and gaming websites have so conditioned people to expect that any given game deserves "at least X out of Y" that he will be on the receiving end of some choice insults if he doesn't like a game that happens to have a particularly rabid fanbase. These expectations have been created by marketing and is another example of the irresponsibility and immaturity of the games industry as a whole. Of course the customers will reflect this.

Most people don't get hyped up for books (marketing spend is almost non-existent) and those that might are generally a lot more mature than games players. With movies you pay your $10 or whatever and when the movie is over that's it, all you've invested is a bit of money and 2 hours of your life. I don't understand the George Lucas backlash personally because I watched each Star Wars film once, thought that only the first two (ep 4 and 5 before anyone gets any funny ideas) were any good then moved on with my life. Some people are just unable to let go for some reason.

Also, there's another very important distinction...This isn't just about bad or misrepresented games, in fact the article is dealing more with games where simple balance adjustments are causing the same sorts of behaviors.


Well yeah, these people are beyond help!
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Re: The Biggest Threat to Gaming...

Postby Flex » Mon Aug 19, 2013 11:06 am

Games PR and gaming websites have so conditioned people to expect that any given game deserves "at least X out of Y"


Your game got a 7/10? It must be a fucking piece of shit!
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Re: The Biggest Threat to Gaming...

Postby Io.Draco » Tue Aug 20, 2013 1:02 am

Well yeah, these people are beyond help!


Keep in mind what kind of frenzy simple adjustments in a primarily MP game can do. I remember the frenzy when the 2.3 patch notes were posted and it was revealed that paladin tanks would get a massive HP boost of 10%. Quite a few warrior tanks went apeshit over that.
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Re: The Biggest Threat to Gaming...

Postby Fetzie » Tue Aug 20, 2013 1:15 am

That's because the "gaming press" are part of the marketing machine. They regurgitate what the PR guys tells them to and the "big AAA games" always get good marks. If a reviewer gives one of these games a low score, he/she is blacklisted and the publisher threatens to pull advertising from the site or magazine. They even have policies in place whereby if the game is given a 9/10, the site is permitted to put their review up early. Fans get whipped up into a frenzy for these products so when they get lied to the backlash is much stronger.


One of the reasons why I don't read game review magazines any more. They are about as unbiased as Fox and Friends.
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Re: The Biggest Threat to Gaming...

Postby Teranoid » Tue Aug 20, 2013 9:05 am

Figured this gif would be pretty appropriate for the current discussion:

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Re: The Biggest Threat to Gaming...

Postby halabar » Tue Aug 20, 2013 9:27 am

Biggest threat to gaming? Soapboxes, trollpiss, and entitlement from every segment of the playerbase.
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Re: The Biggest Threat to Gaming...

Postby Mannstein » Tue Aug 20, 2013 10:01 am

Io.Draco wrote:As pointed out, it does happen in other forms of media to their creators: Book writers, movie directors, comic book writers and so.

I am fairly certain George R.R. Marin has gotten a lot more harassment, insults and death threats then any game developer ever did for the Red Wedding. However has he stopped writing? No. He still is doing so.
(...)


Based on the wailling on the internet, he received 100times that bashing for the quality of the last two books...

P.S. Let's not drag the "I liked/disliked the last two books" discussion into here.
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Re: The Biggest Threat to Gaming...

Postby lythac » Wed Aug 21, 2013 7:30 am

Miles Jacobson, studio director of Sports Interactive wrote:Football Manager 2013, our most recent game, has been our most successful to date – 1.2 million copies sold on PC and Mac and over 10 million illegal downloads in the past year.


That is high. Higher than I thought.

I would say the largest threat to gaming is piracy and poorly implemented DRM to combat piracy.
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Re: The Biggest Threat to Gaming...

Postby Lieris » Wed Aug 21, 2013 1:46 pm

lythac wrote:
Miles Jacobson, studio director of Sports Interactive wrote:Football Manager 2013, our most recent game, has been our most successful to date – 1.2 million copies sold on PC and Mac and over 10 million illegal downloads in the past year.


That is high. Higher than I thought.

I would say the largest threat to gaming is piracy and poorly implemented DRM to combat piracy.


Piracy is always going to exist though. Software on tape and disk was ridiculously cheap back in the day but every school had a "computer club" where copies were made and exchanged but computers like the Amiga, Spectrum and C64 lived on well into the early 90s. The success of the DS is largely down to easy piracy.

It's not something I partake in but piracy is not all bad and historically has been hugely beneficial to a lot of systems.
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Re: The Biggest Threat to Gaming...

Postby Teranoid » Wed Aug 21, 2013 3:33 pm

Piracy exists as another scapegoat for companies who make games that suck to use as an excuse as to why people didn't buy their product. I'm not saying it's not a problem but it's not the biggest problem. Not even close.

Companies come out and say "This would have sold better if so many people didn't pirate it." when in reality most pirates have absolutely no intention of buying it in the first place so their typical tactic of "we lost a sale because they pirated it" is essentially meaningless.
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Re: The Biggest Threat to Gaming...

Postby Lieris » Wed Aug 21, 2013 4:51 pm

Yeah most hardcore pirates just download things as part of a piracy collection. They play the games for 10 minutes or not even that. It's like digital compulsive hoarding.

We have no way of verifying it but it's my personal hunch that the total play time of the 1m legit copies dwarves that of the 10m pirated copies.
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Re: The Biggest Threat to Gaming...

Postby Flex » Wed Aug 21, 2013 5:30 pm

A game company made a game company sim and seeded a special version on a bit torrent tracker that they advertised as cracked but made it so the more popular your games became the more they'd get pirated. They then published forum posts and support emails from those users asking how they can stop the pirating and if they could add a DRM feature to their sim games.
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Re: The Biggest Threat to Gaming...

Postby Newsom » Wed Aug 21, 2013 7:51 pm

Actually, piracy is generally a good thing if it's a good game. People tend to buy what they like. I've pirated lots of games that I then bought (or later bought the sequel/expansion to). There's a good reason there are starter editions of games like WoW which you can't really pirate (well).
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Re: The Biggest Threat to Gaming...

Postby Dion » Wed Aug 21, 2013 9:33 pm

Newsom wrote:Actually, piracy is generally a good thing if it's a good game. People tend to buy what they like. I've pirated lots of games that I then bought (or later bought the sequel/expansion to). There's a good reason there are starter editions of games like WoW which you can't really pirate (well).

You can keep lying to yourself, but don't wait others to believe that shit. You aren't standard where every pirate compares to.
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Re: The Biggest Threat to Gaming...

Postby halabar » Thu Aug 22, 2013 7:36 am

Well, you also have to consider that in certain cultures, especially asia, bootlegging is the norm and is perfectly acceptable to most. Only people in Thailand that pay for legit copies of any software are businesses that want to stay above-board.
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Re: The Biggest Threat to Gaming...

Postby Darielle » Thu Aug 22, 2013 1:12 pm

Dion wrote:
Newsom wrote:Actually, piracy is generally a good thing if it's a good game. People tend to buy what they like. I've pirated lots of games that I then bought (or later bought the sequel/expansion to). There's a good reason there are starter editions of games like WoW which you can't really pirate (well).

You can keep lying to yourself, but don't wait others to believe that shit. You aren't standard where every pirate compares to.


While it would be silly to claim that every pirate does it, it is somewhat true. Especially when it comes to games that have events and stuff like that - they'll get more interest from sheer numbers. People have a tendency to want to try stuff before they buy, and they'll do things like tune into streams, events, buy merch or expansions etc., after they've actually been bought over by the game.

Same thing applies for music with different dynamics.
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Re: The Biggest Threat to Gaming...

Postby Flex » Fri Aug 23, 2013 10:18 am

144 sales, 50K pirated copies

95% of the pirated copies are being installed in Russia and China (and of those, mostly China).


So I'm gonna guess about 99.9% of that 95% will never pay for the game.
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Re: The Biggest Threat to Gaming...

Postby Paxen » Fri Aug 23, 2013 11:43 am

Going back to Mass Effect, the issue with the ending was that it was excellent all the way until the final bit of the ending, and then you go "..wah...?"

If it had been a mediocre game, nobody would have cared. If it had been a railroad despite the marketing, nobody would have cared. But it was, to a big extent, choose-your-own space adventure, and the third game did have tons of payoff from choices made in game 2. But it was all included in the first part of the game, and many of the consequences of your choices, while awesome in their own right, were dwarfed and made a bit meaningless by the Final Choice, which 1) gave you three different cinematics that mostly differed in what color the lines had, 2) had no basis whatsoever in earlier choices and 3) had some very weird consequences for the setting if you thought about it a bit.
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Re: The Biggest Threat to Gaming...

Postby Flex » Fri Aug 23, 2013 11:54 am

Paxen wrote:3) had some very weird consequences for the setting if you thought about it a bit.


Any ending would have that. There is no going back.
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Re: The Biggest Threat to Gaming...

Postby Paxen » Fri Aug 23, 2013 1:50 pm

Flex wrote:Any ending would have that. There is no going back.


Not in that it changes the setting. That's fine. It's more that control and synthesis especially are just plain wacky.
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Re: The Biggest Threat to Gaming...

Postby Passionario » Wed Sep 11, 2013 6:02 am

Belligerent stupidity is the biggest threat to everything on this planet. Gaming is no exception.

There is plenty of stupid jerks among people who play games. There is no shortage of them among developers, publishers and journalists, either. And *all* of them love to frame the conflict as "gamers vs. industry". It simultaneously allows them to demonize the opposition by painting it with the same brush ("All gamers are entitled kids"; "EA/Blizzard hates us all") and enlist everyone on their 'side' as cannon fodder for their petty wars.

The only recourse is to reframe the conflict as "sane and reasonable people vs. stupid assholes" (and no, this is not synonymous with "gamers vs. industry") and resolve it within each group. Instead of fighting against each other, those who make games and those who play them should focus on purging their own ranks from bad apples that spoil the rest of the barrel. Developers and publishers need to take disciplinary measures against employees who act like harmful jerks. Journalists should take down links to those of their colleagues who are writing in bad faith. And the gaming community should actively shun those gamers who are guilty of harassment, threats and insults.

Make no mistake: this is HARD. It's very tempting backslide into 'gamers vs industry' mentality and ally with the jerks you know instead of throwing them to the wolves, but that will only make things worse. As the old saying goes, change must come from within. An angry abusive gamer won't mend his ways if he reads a hundred articles lambasting his moral downfall, but getting kicked from his guild for being an asshole might just do the trick. Likewise, getting a hundred hateful forum posts won't stop a games developer from acting like an insufferable jerk, but a stern reprimand from his boss is another matter.

(By the way, this is applicable to other areas of human life as well. So many political and religious conflicts could be resolved for good if each side would stop fighting with the other and instead dealt with the stupid jerks among its own ranks).
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