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Thread: The Rant Issue - Currents

  1. #1
    RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff InstaTrent's Avatar
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    The Rant Issue - Currents

    This week is all about ranting. The topics up for debate include the role of crowdfunding, personifying video game publishers and developers, video gaming in relation to violent tragedies, and Final Fantasy X's assumed views on religion.

    Currents


    If I could ask you readers some questions this week, they would be:
    • Which gaming topics grind your gears?
    • Do you ignore ignorant comments or comment yourself?
    "To tell you the truth, I like drinking tea and eating fresh vegetables, but that doesn't fit with my super-cool attitude. I guess I have to accept this about myself."

  2. #2
    A Witness to Destruction Moderator DarkRPGMaster's Avatar
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    The videogames = violence thing is utter BS. Have these people forgotten that for decades people tried to throw the same blame on comics and television too? It's ultimately up to the parents of the child to teach them right from wrong and morals (something most parents today seem to be unable to do), and society to help keep that mindset in their heads through the laws and enforcement of them. Because if we were to go through this whole crap about videogames causing violence...what videogames did people play to cause the many wars of history?

    Yes, what I just went through is one of the gaming topics that grind my gears, the other being the whole sexism in videogames thing. Because if we go into that topic, I'm going to get on the case of many a person on both sides for how both men and women are portrayed in most videogames.

    Ignorant comments, I feel have to be addressed because while you can't fix stupid ever, you can fix ignorance with facts. So I end up commenting on them.
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  3. #3
    BEARSONA Administrator Paws's Avatar
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    I disagree to a small extent on the "love people not companies." Generally speaking the reason I will love or not a company is based on who is there, making the decisions and designing the games. Long before I worked for Natsume I enjoyed them as a company -- largely because the same guy has been making decisions for a couple decades. XSEED was founded by three dudes, one of which is still there (and from my outsider perspective, the one who was making a lot of the decisions even when the trio was still complete) and they get my respect for bringing over a nice selection of games (then again, I keep lamenting I don't own that many XSEED games haha!) Mind you, I never liked Konami :P

  4. #4
    •Which gaming topics grind your gears?
    Mostly same as past years:
    That console gaming basically died for me (no games that I like released for consoles anymore).
    That my favorite developers (tri-Ace, tri-Crescendo, Akitoshi Kawazu and Camelot) stopped making console RPGs.
    That there are too many action RPGs released (I want my separate battle screen back!) and even Final Fantasy goes into that direction now.
    That games get more and more "complex and hard to learn" rather than "easy to learn but still challenging". This includes the fact that games require so many different buttons lately. I miss good old days where 1 or 2 buttons were enough.
    That games I think are promising on Kickstarter hardly ever get successfully funded while some games I think are super generic get 200k. Also that most kickstarted games that are now released were disappointing which created some kind of Kickstarter fatique that lets the >for me< promising games struggle even more.
    That people who are really good game designers don't really get known enough and struggle to even pay for food to survive, while others average developers with good connections get all the money.

    Do you ignore ignorant comments or comment yourself?
    I usually ingore >ingorant< comments. However, if I see someone enjoys discussing and just isn't my opinion, I can talk for week or months with him about it. I DO enjoy fighting to convince others of my opinion.

  5. #5
    Member flamethrower's Avatar
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    You see, companies aren't inherently good or evil
    Correct. Human resources professionals are inherently evil, however. Dilbert creator Scott Adams certainly thinks so with his creation of Catbert, the evil HR director character ages ago. *Note: I have no idea what HR people do all day. They could be evil for real by random facts I've gathered here and there. Either that or seriously overworked.

    Anyway, companies try to put forward the image of being a single person rather than an entity. If someone *from the media* asks about the activities of the (really large, non-gaming related) company I work for, I'm supposed to direct them to the public relations people. That's so companies can put forward the image of a single person rather than the collective they really are.

    Speaking of grinding gears, there's a rule on this forum about discussing what is or is not an RPG. It grinds someone's gears, that's for sure.

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    News Director/Reviewer RPGamer Staff Severin Mira's Avatar
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    I blame Macstorm's insistence on us having to use the American singular "it" for publishers/developers instead of the British "they" :P
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  7. #7
    The Amplitude kickstarter is the first one that I've actually put any money toward. I've never played the original (though I assume its similar to Rock Band Blitz), however I'm a huge fan of Harmonix and I wanted to see them succeed.

    What gaming topics grind my gears?
    - Pretty much anything from the Political Correctness crowd
    - Gaming is for "kids" concepts
    - Playing video games makes you violent (lazy, antisocial, *insert any other scapegoat here*)
    - People whining about an FF7 remake, or just whining in general about wanting any game
    - People not understanding the amount of time/money/work needed to make games
    - People who think reviews should be "objective"
    - Acting like games can't tell good stories
    - Claiming the Zelda series isn't an RPG
    - The debate about what an RPG is in the first place (I'd rather be more inclusive)
    - Inclusion of any real world political/religious discussion in or about games
    - Kickstarter, and the people who don't understand what it is and is not

    Do I ignore comments, or comment myself?
    Depends. Depending on the topic, the website, my opinion on the topic, my level of anonymity, and whether the discussion is worth having. I've spent quite a bit of time learning several things- no one cares about my opinions on pretty much any topic, and its better to pick my battles. Internet comments will change no one else's opinion, they serve either to preach to the choir, or to incite antagonism. Better to just shut up altogether and not engage... unless I can do it completely anonymously.

    Speaking of choosing my battles, I had some long responses written for the other topics, but I just don't think its worth engaging the discussion here.

  8. #8
    is not declawed RPGamer Staff Ocelot's Avatar
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    I don't have a problem with disliking a company because you dislike its corporate policies... or disliking a company's corporate policies even if you like its games. For instance, I love Nintendo's games, but I hate that the company scores terribly on the slavery index. Corporations are indeed groups rather than individuals, but they have leaders, and sometimes you really hate the decisions those leaders make. I have no problem saying that I have a beef with Microsoft (and I'll tell you exactly what it is!) or am leery of Activision because I think its CEO is a gigantic [redacted] who does not make consumer- or gaming-friendly decisions. I also enjoy many Ubisoft games, but I often wince at things that Yves Guillemot says, and his statements colour my view of the company as a whole.

    I do agree that the gaming community (and sadly often the press as well) tends to go too far in this direction, however. A lot of people who are unhappy with Dragon Age 2 and/or the Mass Effect 3 ending blame these issues on EA since it's an easy scapegoat, when the truth is far more complicated and involves decisions made by both publisher and developer. The same thing happened when Activision and Blizzard became a gigantic awkward Transformer and a bunch of WoW players suddenly decided that Activision nerfed their favourite class and ought to be burned at the stake. No, activision did not nerf your class or alter your loot tables or anything development-related like that.

    If you care about gaming, it's important to learn the difference between developers and publishers. I don't have a problem with intelligent discussions about the general trends that a particular company is following, however. In my world, they call that "social science."
    Last edited by Ocelot; 05-27-2014 at 01:08 PM.

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  9. #9
    Ysy St. Administrator Macstorm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Severin Mira View Post
    I blame Macstorm's insistence on us having to use the American singular "it" for publishers/developers instead of the British "they" :P
    And I will never stop!
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  10. #10
    three things now

    I think that videogames right now dont have the soul they used too. almost every game (mostly rpgs) i play just doesnt have the magic they had in the snes ps1 era in fact since the ps3/wii/360 only one game gave me that feeling.

    reviews score not matching the content of the review Watch Dogs reviews came out and a majority of them pose this problem why are you writing a overy negative review but giving the game a 9 it doesnt make sense.

    and finally unlike smadc Im tired of people claiming Zelda is an RPG

  11. #11
    That whole bit about FF10 just proves why people need to stop over thinking their entertainment media and just enjoy it for what it is. Analyzing every little tiny detail of your games and movies is just stress inducing and is no more intelligent than beating a very hard strategy game.

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    I like reading people's overanalysis of games but it's another thing from them to say that the conclusion they come to is clearly the author's intent. That kind of stuff was what I didn't like about English class, having to be graded on whether you found all these hints about things and identified what the English teacher believed the author truly meant.

    To be honest, I'm more annoyed when people think we shouldn't discuss whatever-ism in video games at all than when people do a "poor" job discussing them (aka they go over the top with the examples or are too limited in their breadth of discussion). However I still end up avoiding articles on a lot of those topics in the end because a lot of the comments end up being insults or someone telling someone else to shut up.

    As for comments, I guess I usually ignore the ignorant ones since by the time I read them someone has usually addressed that person. I don't really post in forums or comment a lot in general since typing up a forum post or comment takes me a lot of time. I especially avoid ignorant comments that lead to insult wars, as I also hate being confrontational.

  13. #13
    Angel-Possessed Priestess Administrator Strawberry Eggs's Avatar
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    While not exclusive to video games, what grinds my gears is people not realizing that is possible for people to have different opinions on a game or the contents therein.

    Another is when people say that games aren't as good these days as they used to be in the past. It's all a matter of opinion of course, but I find plenty of enjoyable contemporary games.

    As to the subject of Final Fantasy X apparently being anti-religious, while I do find it silly for people to be up in arms for a certain interpretation, I actually heard an interesting hypothesis as to why this game, as well as other Japanese RPGs have plots dealing with corrupt religious organizations. It's common for Japanese to practice beliefs and customs from various religions rather than sticking to one. There is an old saying in Japan that people are "born Shinto, die Buddhist," and I read a modern altered version in which they "marry Christian" inbetween. Thus, practicing only one religion could be seen as strange and stifling. Thus, an organized religion that says it is the only one to be followed could make for a decent antagonist.
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  14. #14
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    I see games like FFX as being more about lessons on the potential fallacies of blind faith, than anti-religious.

    The policies and practices of companies determine whether they are a good or evil entity/group of people. I don't care how many "good" people are part of a company, if they know about evils committed by their company and do nothing to stop it, they are part of an evil group. "All it takes for evil to triumph..." and all that.

    The video games cause violence fallacy always grinds my gears. I mean it makes no sense. The historically least violent generation is the one with the most exposure to video games.

  15. #15
    Member ghaleon80's Avatar
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    For game topics that grind my gears I gotta say the "Video games are for kids" topic. It's funny how much this one is thrown around by people who love their cell phone or Facebook games. So Final Fantasy is for kids but Candy Crush saga is not only for adults but also not a video game in these people's eyes

    As for Ignorant Comments. I used to always feel the need to put my 2 cents in on these but lately I've tried to just ignore them and not even waste the time "fueling the fire". My wife hates when I get in debates or try to give a different outlook so now I just SMH and scroll right past. After all a happy wife means a happy home 😆

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Ocelot View Post
    I don't have a problem with disliking a company because you dislike its corporate policies... or disliking a company's corporate policies even if you like its games. For instance, I love Nintendo's games, but I hate that the company scores terribly on the slavery index. Corporations are indeed groups rather than individuals, but they have leaders, and sometimes you really hate the decisions those leaders make. I have no problem saying that I have a beef with Microsoft (and I'll tell you exactly what it is!) or am leery of Activision because I think its CEO is a gigantic [redacted] who does not make consumer- or gaming-friendly decisions. I also enjoy many Ubisoft games, but I often wince at things that Yves Guillemot says, and his statements colour my view of the company as a whole.

    I do agree that the gaming community (and sadly often the press as well) tends to go too far in this direction, however. A lot of people who are unhappy with Dragon Age 2 and/or the Mass Effect 3 ending blame these issues on EA since it's an easy scapegoat, when the truth is far more complicated and involves decisions made by both publisher and developer. The same thing happened when Activision and Blizzard became a gigantic awkward Transformer and a bunch of WoW players suddenly decided that Activision nerfed their favourite class and ought to be burned at the stake. No, activision did not nerf your class or alter your loot tables or anything development-related like that.

    If you care about gaming, it's important to learn the difference between developers and publishers. I don't have a problem with intelligent discussions about the general trends that a particular company is following, however. In my world, they call that "social science."
    Okay I can't prove it or anything, but more often than not a change of quality when some company buys another one is very noticable. It's hard to still think "well that's just coincidence and the developer also has to be blamed". Fact is Blizzard used to make awesome games and it always felt like they didn't care much about your money. You didn't need to register anywhere and still with the purchase of just one game your whole family could play it together on LAN. It seemed like they said "Just pay us if you think it's worth it". Then activision bought them and since then not only the games are worse but they also feel totally like "WE WANT MORE MONEY" in every aspect. You have to register to play online now or to get a free version (and it's limited to some maps rather than being able to play anything). Also the auction house in Diablo 3... ewww (yes they removed it now, but only after massive complaints from players). I dunno... it's hard for me to not see the connection.

    Both Squaresoft AND Enix were great companies, then they merged and the quality went downhill. It's noticable, but again, can't be proved. Well you can take quite some information from interviews of former staff members, they all clearly state how they were bothered by the change in focus.

    This seems to happen with pretty much any company eventually. Either they stay successful and then get so big (by itself or by purchase) that the quality decreases and greed increases or they just die out because of low sales, despite making good games that are remembered forever.

    Also:
    Quote Originally Posted by AncientRune
    I think that videogames right now dont have the soul they used too.
    I guess this is a good way to summarize it. You cannot prove it, but you can feel it.

    Quote Originally Posted by flamethrower
    Speaking of grinding gears, there's a rule on this forum about discussing what is or is not an RPG. It grinds someone's gears, that's for sure.
    It's generally quite hard to rant here without your post getting removed due to the strict rules / enforcement.

    Quote Originally Posted by riulyn
    To be honest, I'm more annoyed when people think we shouldn't discuss whatever-ism in video games at all than when people do a "poor" job discussing them (aka they go over the top with the examples or are too limited in their breadth of discussion). However I still end up avoiding articles on a lot of those topics in the end because a lot of the comments end up being insults or someone telling someone else to shut up.

    As for comments, I guess I usually ignore the ignorant ones since by the time I read them someone has usually addressed that person. I don't really post in forums or comment a lot in general since typing up a forum post or comment takes me a lot of time. I especially avoid ignorant comments that lead to insult wars, as I also hate being confrontational.
    I'd say it's something you get used to. There are gaming communities that are very... light on the rules, so it's kind of normal that you insult each other all the time, but it's just the way to discuss, it's not like you're really angry on that person. And I found that those gaming communities end up with a lot longer and more in-depth discussion about who is wrong and who is right and some even come to conclusion than communities that strictly enforce rules (we hardly ever have any in-depth game design discussions here after all).
    At first insults make you angry if you aren't used to them, but you can get used to it and eventually you just see everybody as your "bro". Of course what is always required is to give reason for your own thoughts, not just pure insults. Having no reason anymore is like admitting you have lost the discussion and your "rival" is right.

  17. #17
    RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff InstaTrent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flamethrower View Post
    Correct. Human resources professionals are inherently evil, however. Dilbert creator Scott Adams certainly thinks so with his creation of Catbert, the evil HR director character ages ago. *Note: I have no idea what HR people do all day. They could be evil for real by random facts I've gathered here and there. Either that or seriously overworked.
    Catbert may be a personal hero of mine.

    Quote Originally Posted by flamethrower View Post
    Speaking of grinding gears, there's a rule on this forum about discussing what is or is not an RPG. It grinds someone's gears, that's for sure.
    A perfect example of the "No True Scotsman Fallacy." Really, it's no one's place to tell you what does and does not constitute a role-playing game.
    "To tell you the truth, I like drinking tea and eating fresh vegetables, but that doesn't fit with my super-cool attitude. I guess I have to accept this about myself."

  18. #18
    RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff InstaTrent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ocelot View Post
    A lot of people who are unhappy with Dragon Age 2 and/or the Mass Effect 3 ending blame these issues on EA since it's an easy scapegoat, when the truth is far more complicated and involves decisions made by both publisher and developer.
    The same thing happened with the Ultima series. I remember score of fans whining about Ultima 9's horrible mangling of the series and mostly blaming EA instead of origin.
    "To tell you the truth, I like drinking tea and eating fresh vegetables, but that doesn't fit with my super-cool attitude. I guess I have to accept this about myself."

  19. #19
    is not declawed RPGamer Staff Ocelot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by InstaTrent View Post
    The same thing happened with the Ultima series. I remember score of fans whining about Ultima 9's horrible mangling of the series and mostly blaming EA instead of origin.
    That one all depends on your point of view. I know a lot of people consider EA to be the big bad wolf that stifled Lord British's grand vision, but I feel like EA was pretty much just acting like a publisher. Ultima IX had been in development Hell for a while and kept getting scrapped and rebuilt. Finally EA got sick of it and said, "We don't care anymore, put it out by the holidays." Is that the best management strategy ever? Probably not. Is it something one would expect from a large publisher dealing with a developer that keeps mucking around and missing deadlines? Probably.

    I'm certainly not an EA apologist, but this is an early example of a big problem in the video gaming world. A lot of developers suffer from a lack of project management skills, and the people holding the purse-strings only have so much patience for endless delays and missed deadlines. Sometimes publishers have unreasonable expectations about the time that software development takes. Sometimes publishers are idiots and meddle in development when they shouldn't. Sometimes developers over-promise or waste time or have management issues (there are soooo many stories of prima donna "personalities" amongst the developers who make life hell on the programmers and artists) and the publisher has to step in to try to get things under control. The reality is almost always more complex than the common narrative in the gaming community likes to admit.
    Last edited by Ocelot; 05-28-2014 at 08:02 AM.

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  20. #20
    Very interesting column.

    What really grinds my "gears?" The lack of continuing games in the Xeno universe!!! Or more generally, epic visions and stories that never see their way to completion. Don't get me hooked on a world and universe and then leave me hanging! But to be left hanging by BOTH Xenogears and Saga, and never see the full extent of Takahashi's vision brought to life... is the most painful example of all of them. It may be over the top sometimes, but stories spanning thousands of years and dealing with politics, religion, philosophy, science fiction, the nature of reality, that's still able to zoom all the way in to personal issues and great characters. Man... besides Lord of the Rings, I can't really think of another story that had that kind of scope. If I ever became wealthy, I'd gladly invest heavily in reviving it... just to play it myself, commercial success be darned! (And I will never forgive Rpgamer for the Xenosaga IV April Fools joke either...)

    Speaking of investment, my experiences with Kickstarter have been amazing so far. FTL (Faster Than Light) was one of the most fun and innovative games I'd seen in a long time... Every ship and configuration feels like a completely different experience. And that was on a really small budget as I remember. Also, Expeditions: Conquistador was also fantastic. It fused together many concepts from great games of the past - Oregon Trail, Jagged Alliance, Darklands - and I thought it was all the better for it. So on top of loving that it breaks the conventional publisher-controlled model, the Kickstarted games I've played have been fantastic and a breath of fresh air, and give me hope for a revitalization of the game industry. Have I just been lucky or something?? Also looking forward to Star Citizen.... Dogfighting alpha launches TODAY!

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