A Week In Comments

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Call Of Duty Is Nothing Like The Real Thing
Comment by: Setzer IIDX

"Camping" is probably the only real life tactic I've seen used in video games. And people get upset because it works.

Twas The TAY Before Christmas....
Comment by: Ken
Nominated by: ChiltonGaines: Wealthy Gadabout

I wrote this and posted it in the Steam Forums:

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the Steam

Every Gamer was stirring, their eyes all a gleam;

The PCs were all primed by the desk with care,

In hopes that ‘Ol Gabe Newell would soon be there;

The fanboys and trolls were all milling about,

‘DRM!' and things they would proclaim and shout;

And the girlfriends did laugh ‘what utter bullcrap',

Went to settled down for a long winter's nap,

When on the desktop did my tracker loud wail,

I sprang to the chair to see the grand new sale

Away I sent windows, I moused in a flash,

Tore open my wallet and drew out my cash;

The sales on the games, new prices did they now show,

Under my budget, I thought, they must be below ;

When, what to my eyes did happen in a flash,

The screen went blank, did my computer just crash?

With nasty old drivers, so plodding and slow,

I knew just now, NVIDIA must I go;

But faster than a blink an image had came,

A movie had started, proclaiming my name!

"Now good sir, please do stay awhile and listen,

On your wish list, the new games, they do glisten!"

"Scroll to the top and see", it said with a ‘lol'~!

"MYGOODNESS!"I exclaimed, I had got them all!

I leapt from my desk jumping high from the floor,

Dancing around my office, laughing and more!

For in just a small while, there would soon be proof,

"I must focus now!" I stated still aloof;

As I stared at the screen, a face did appear,

Gabe Newell! Just the man did I want to hear;

A bundle of games he crammed into my list,

So happy I was, his face I could have kissed!

His eyes - how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!

His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!

His droll little mouth was drawn up in bow,

And even his glasses did sparkle and glow,

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,

And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;

He had a broad face and a little round belly,

That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,

And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,

He presents me a copy of Left 4 Dead.

But the image did fade, from my desk I rose,

Paper stuck to my face, a pen in my nose;

I opened my list and to much of my shame,

Nothing new had been given, not a single game;

It seemed as if it had all been but a dream ,

I guess I had spent too much time here on Steam;

Hitting F5, I'll say with merry delight,

"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night."


Have a good one, all.

The Year She Stopped Arguing Whether Video Games Are Art
Comment by: joeyparr
Nominated by: Lessthan_tom


..... what makes a game more artsy than the next?

Why is Flower considered art when Black Ops isn't? What makes Flower so special?

Why does some guy who knows little about games get to determine whether or not they should be considered art?

There is so much I can write on the subject. How art affects people and the links on how games do similar. I'll leave it with some simple points.

Games are the art of collaborating concepts, ideas, characters, designs, movement, interaction and story into a living, controllable medium. It takes concept artists, programmers, writers and designers to collaborate their works into a singular product. There is so much that we do not see, like the concept drawings that are the initial concept to the 3d rendition of a 2d drawing to give it life.

Not all art is good. Furthermore, it is subjective. Bad art can be considered bad (say a buggy, uninspired game) and bad art can be considered good (like contemporary art (please don't hurt me) and a buggy but inspired game). The same goes for good games.

Games have inspired, documented and defined a generation of culture.

Art is marketed in almost all forms. There is your pure, art for the sake of art, art. Such as people painting for a living but not seeing a huge return. There is art for the sake of money. The same is applicable to games.

Forcing Flower onto someone, regardless of it's look and feel, and claiming it is art is silly. Why can't Halo, Rapelay, Guitar Hero, Space Invaders, Pokemon, Mario or Valkyria Chronicles be art?

He Kept His Faith In Music Games This Year - And In Kinect
Comment by: TheSonicGamerFL

Rock Band 3 was indeed a well produced game, but I think the main problem with it has always been what it's trying to accomplish. Harmonix really did everything right, but the only problem is that the new instruments are just so expensive, and learning to play an instrument is not for everyone.

I've been in choirs in schools most of my life, so naturally, I picked up Vocals in Rock Band and did extremely well, and I love the addition of Harmonies. Recently, though, I picked up the keyboard, wondering if the game really could teach me to play it. I was only able to pick it up due to one last bonus paycheck from my previous job I wasnt expecting, and wouldnt have gotten it otherwise.

I started using it, and although I did ok at first, I certainly wasnt using it right. I didnt finish all the tutorials and just jumped into some Pro Keys songs on Easy and Medium. It was difficult, much more then I expected, and I struggled to find the keys I needed to hit.

But, I persisted, knowing that this is how music works in real life. You start at the beginning, you play it over and over and over again until you get sick of the song.

I was delighted to have stopped playing at some point, started up a browser based keyboard and realized I had learned the main medley of Imagine and Werewolves in London. It was just like that feeling in a choir when everyone has memorized their parts, the harmonies go off perfectly, and we finish the song with no mistakes, and I love the feeling. It was the feeling I was hoping for from the start.

But I'm not sure this is for everyone. The problem is that you have to buy expensive instruments to play an extremely difficult game that wont teach you to play the instrument until you've spent days on the same song. I mean, some of us will, and have already, but I dont see how they were expecting to make money off of this.


New Technology Could Revolutionize the Search For Internet Porn
Comment by: Jazhuis
Nominated by: ChiltonGaines: Wealthy Gadabout

It's quite simple.

1. Integrate with Kinect.
2. Integrate with iTunes playlist generator.
3. Your computer knows to automatically shift to Barry White when you make your move.

Done and done.

Now You See Chinese Gundam, Now You Don't
Comment by: Kermi
Nominated by: Ladi

What I like about the bootleg Gundam is that it looks exactly like the kind of cheap knockoff toy a devoted mother - with best intentions in her dear heart - would pick up for her child at the $2 shop because the real thing would just stretch the budget too far and things have been a bit tight this year what with the recent downsizing at your father's work and oh, you'll only play with it for five minutes and it's basically all the same thing anyway, right?

Instead of "Gundam Wing" the backing card says something like "G-Robot Wing Fighter" and the left arm falls off while you're trying to make it hold the badly molded assault rifle, and you play with it all day anyway because deep down you know this gift is representative of your parents love for you and in deference to the special time of year you're going to engage yourself because it's the only way you can show your mother how much you appreciate everything she does for you.

If that's not Christmas, I don't know what is.

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Gamers aren't making the right argument. No gamer should care about whether games are art.

Regarding Rapelay, it's quite simple: it's designed as porn more than anything else, correct? If so, that would mean it isn't art, because porn isn't considered art.

Likewise, some older games, such as Pac Man, aren't art. Why?

Art is something that exists primarily to affect feelings, senses, and emotions within the audience. Its primary function, in other words, is to be artful. A toilet is not art because its primary function is for the disposal of human waste. A basketball court is not art because it exists for the game to be played on. Wii Sports is not art because it exists as a tool to get a bunch of people in a room together to play. In other words, its primary function is solely as a game, and games are games, and art is art.

Games are not art. They exist to be played, not experienced. This is true of Risk or Ping Pong or Uno or Pachinko or Pinball. Ebert did a great job of proving that games are not art, but he failed to differentiate between games and video games, presumably because he has little knowledge on the subject of video gaming.

This is where the problem comes in—video games are often a hybrid of both games and art, and sometimes you have more gamelike video games, and other times, you have stuff that's more like a choose your own adventure DVD.

In the case of video games, titles like Halo are definitely art, because they (not multiplayer, mind you) exist as narratives, and narratives are inherently artful, since their primary purpose is to affect the audience as previously defined.

That said? This is a stupid argument.

I've said it before, and here it is again: the issue is not "are games art?" Despite the initial confusion, people should have gotten over it as soon as narratives were introduced to the mix.

Only the ignorant, those people who see video games as little more than "run around and kill people or play digital ping pong" think that games are not art. There's no point in making that argument to them. It's kind of like arguing with that one guy who says novels aren't art. It's accepted enough that no one needs to argue the point. The guy can be ignored.

A better question is whether games are high or low art, but it's not a great question either. Why?


Gamers are searching for legitimacy. Any group that is looked down upon does—though these days, gamers aren't really looked down upon except by a few. Given the fact that something like 65% of Americans play video games, it's safe to say that anyone who tries to illegitimize games is someone not worth arguing with.

Anyways, in their search for legitimacy, gamers have taken note of the fact that universities don't put much emphasis (if any) on video games. Book stores don't really have sections on video games either, and so on and so forth. Where literature, painting, sculpture, and film are all considered arts and given academic legitimacy, the video game is as critically ignored as the comic book.

This means that games are not high art. Blam!

Unfortunately, too many people misinterpret this lack of academic/critical attention as "people are saying that games are not art!" Again. That is not true. Video games are art.* We've shown that time and time again. I did it above, just to provide a brief recap. There's no need to keep arguing that.

They should be interpreting it as "games are not high art, and thus, few people take them seriously as an art form."

This is where we should be right now, asking THIS question:

"Do video games deserve to be high art?"

As it is, my answer is no. Looking at every game nominated for "game of the year" both last year and this, then the answer is an emphatic no. Looking further back, that answer doesn't change.

I've read bad books and seen bad movies that told better stories. The latest episodes of Burn Notice or The Walking Dead are far more intelligently told than most of the best video games. Of course, those are excellent shows. Dumber shows might just compare. But really, are Jersey Shore or As The World Turns high art?

No. No, they aren't.

Games need to get a lot better before we gamers can say "yes, video games should be high art, and you, art types, need to take them more seriously."


As a brief note that doesn't really fit anywhere in my post: I recall reading an article about how video game companies really don't pay their writers that well, and how writing often isn't prioritized in the game development process. More often than not, video games are more the product of non-writers than anything. That needs to change before games can attain any legitimacy. Sure, in, say, Mass Effect 2, you have some neat characters (and some utterly useless ones) and occasional enjoyable bits (Scientist Salarian, anyone?) but it borrows its entire story almost entirely from elsewhere, and has little plot to speak of on its own. Whoever was lead writer on that project had no business there. The same is true for nearly every video game I've ever played. I could do a better job.

By the way, does anyone have that link to that article