Anonymous Game Journo Interview

You may find this interesting it underlines many issues in games current medium.

I can agree that it does point to some issues like how bullshit PR people and executives can be, but I also feel like it doesn’t really touch on the primary reason why the audience is such a hazard in the first place, it’s that the audience is disgusted with all the fake bullshit they keep getting from devs. The attitude was more optimistic in the past because the games weren’t as pretentious. Things didn’t seem as blatantly marketed, because they couldn’t. The audience is the enemy because nobody wants to say up front, “We honestly can’t deliver 60 FPS and we value making the game look good because it’s nicer in the adverts which will be run at 30 FPS anyway.” The audience is the enemy because admitting mistakes is off limits. Because the developers are constantly trying to screw over the customers, like with on-disc DLC they say isn’t actually on disc, or unnecessary always online requirements that are easily bypassed, or saying that they wish there was a way to skip the reason people are playing the game in the first place.

People don’t like bullshit. It’s not like the audience is this unruly unpredictable creature that goes wild over seemingly nothing. It’s that they’re pissed off at continually being treated like they’re worth nothing, as if they don’t detect how fake the public appearance of all these corporations are.

Also, holy shit how scary is it that there are these consultants that are former game journos? Game journos are like the worst people on earth at critiquing games. This is why we need to establish actual critical methods instead of the moronic “cultural critique” that seems to be dominating in lieu of something formalist. A large number of issues could be rooted out if a more formalist rhetoric were commonplace, if the people making the games had not just an understanding of the development tools, but of how those things shape into systems.

“Good gameplay” or “Fun” is only this vacuous term because nobody is putting any type of thought into it. Nobody is dissecting how each of the end systems work together to create depth. Obviously it’s a shorthand for something we collectively feel, but people don’t want to consider it that way. If you try to bridge the gap or be more specific then they fall back to saying it’s all subjective. People want to exist in their own little worlds with everything being nonspecific so they can’t be proven wrong, which is why those terms need to stay undefined for them.

For fuck’s sake, literally nobody is taking points off FPS games for having random firing cones, just because it’s seemingly a normal thing to have, because everyone has always done it since the beginning, even though from a gameplay perspective it’s fucking ludicrous to have “output randomness” determining the success of actions after we make a decision. It’s a sign that our perspective is backwards from the onset that not only is this is a default, but nobody is questioning it.

Can anyone wrangle what innovate means? It’s been done: There are a billion and a half ideas that nobody is considering for the genres we’ve already established. I can name tons and tons of different FPS weapons that aren’t in any game in the past 5-10 years and would fit into their own niche, have multiple applications, and the flexibility to be used more or less effectively (my 3 rule of thumb criteria for depth). It’s so easy.

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