Tag Archives: Changes

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes and What Could They Mean

The XBOX ONE is not the system that was announced months ago.  So many things have changed since that initial showcase.  It is no longer “always-on,” it can now play used games, and even most recently, it no longer needs the Kinect 2.0 to function.  For all intents and purposes, the system that was promised initially is no more.  What we have now is a system that is nearly identical to Sony’s PS4.  What does this mean? For gamers, for casual players, and for the future?

 

For Gamers

 

Regardless of your feelings towards Sony or Microsoft, this is a win for all of us.  With all of the focus now off hardware considerations, it is now a conversation about the games.  Though most games are not exclusive to any one console, those that are become of even greater importance to the fanboy audience.  Do you want to play Titanfall? Does Infamous Second Son speak to your sensibilities?  Once again, we can talk about the games, and not the drama surrounding the systems and their issues.  It will make this holiday all the more interesting; especially as parents find out what their kids’ friends are playing.  Speaking of…

For Casuals

 

Well, it means that the holiday marketing for each is going to be very important.  Now that both systems are seemingly on an equal playing field (sans price), it will be up to the PR departments to make sure that Mom and Pop know which system is the “right” choice.  Sony’s price point might not make that much of a difference when Joe Average knows that he and his buddies have always played Madden on the Xbox.  Sony will have to show why PSN is the better choice now, and Microsoft will need to remind gamers why they are on top when it comes to online play.  The X1 will also have a possible edge in the family market with the Kinect 2.0, but that speculative at best, especially now that the Kinect is no longer mandatory…

For the Future

 

Eventually, everything will be digital.  For better or for worse, Microsoft’s vision of that future will not come this fall.  The changes that have been made have completely wiped out any chance of some of the more interesting and genuinely cool features the X1 had initially promised.  Who knows what gaming would have looked like in a couple of years had the system launched as intended?  Nonetheless, this is world we live in, and we will get to see this fall how this all plays out.  My money is still on Sony, but never count Microsoft out.  They were backed into a corner and been coming back swinging since E3.  This fall will be a slugfest; and I couldn’t be more excited.

 

For Now…

We wait and see..

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Phil Fish, Trolls, and the Power of Positive Thinking

Fez 2

 

Earlier this week, Phil Fish cancelled Fez II.  He said that it was a long time coming, and that he is leaving gaming for good.

 

The industry is worse for it…

 

I don’t like Phil Fish.  In fact, I usually find his tirades on Twitter to be on the verge of elitist, but despite my feelings towards the man; his work is amazing.  Fez is still one of the best games out there, and the detail put into the complexity of the game design still astounds even now.  The surprise announcement of its sequel at E3 this year was one of the highlights of the show, and one could only imagine what type of mind-bending puzzles and mechanics it may have had.

 

Sadly, it looks like we will never know…

 

To summarize a somewhat convoluted series of events; Marcus Beer [the Annoyed Gamer] on GameTrailers Invisible Walls called out Fish for not commenting on Microsoft’s policy shift on independent development on the Xbox One.  There was a bunch on name calling, which then turned into a heated argument with quite a bit of people over Twitter; which then in turn led to Fish throwing up his hands and calling the whole thing off.  It had escalated beyond just the industry personalities; the fight echoed like a clarion call to all corners of the internet, bringing forth all sorts of people to the discussion.  It was from this deluge of voices that eventually Fish’s was heard, but it was only to say he was done with everything.

 

 

There are so many of them…

 

For supposedly being “fans” of the industry; there seems to be a flood of harsh words, tweets, and messages that go towards those who make the things that we love.  Fish is not the first, nor is he the last, in a long line of targets that certain “gamers” have targeted with their frustrations, rage, and opinions.  Just recently, a high profile developer from Treyarch was given multiple death threats from “fans” over some tweaks that went out in the recent patch.  The vocal response was so severe that Activision’s Community Manager Dan Amrich wrote an editorial, and had this to say…

 

If anybody thinks for a second that this is okay, it is not. But if the loudest voices in the Call of Duty “community” act like an angry mob instead, guess how the entire world views Call of Duty? Now consider that these Internet Tough Guy rants and demands are not unique to COD, but exist everywhere, in many gaming communities. This is why the world often does not take gaming seriously; this is why gamers are assumed to be immature, whiny assholes. Because the immature, whiny assholes are louder.

 

We’re all better than this…

 

It seems that it has become an assumed fact that the “trolls” (more commonly called “the vocal minority”) will always be there.  Yet, no one has ever seemed to confront the question as to why.  They talk, scream, and voice their ridiculous opinions; and we just seem to tolerate their presence.  It is the actions of these types of people that drive creators like Phil Fish to go away from gaming, that cause fans to never type something on their favorite site’s message boards, and give “gamers” an image that the majority of us have been trying to fight against for years.  It is the actions of these few that color the discussion of the many; namely us.

 

This leads to the inevitable conclusion…

 

Phil Fish’s exit is a sign of the times; that the “trolls” are winning.  We need to step up to do something; but not stoop down to their level.  Fight with positivity; don’t be so quick to criticize because there is most certainly a person who will read that comment.  Don’t feed into the negativity and rather than engage in an internet yelling match, simply ignore them.  Flag inappropriate comments, take advantage of moderation tools, and do your best to better the gaming community you are a part of.  We may not be able to make the “trolls” go away, but we can do our part to silence them back under the bridge they crawled out of.*  Maybe in doing so, we can finally achieve that positive image we are all striving towards.

 

So, to the all the readers….

 

Phil, I doubt you’ll read this, but if you do; come back and don’t give them this victory; show them that we are better than all this, and that we can rise above..

 

and to everyone else, remember we’re all here because we love games; whether as a player, writer, or developer.  We’re all on the same side; sharing in the same joy…be sure to show that more often.

 

*That’s a reference to story of the Three Billy Goats Gruff, a lovely children’s tale; but historically trolls can also live in caves, forests, and the occasional mountain.

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