My name's Tucker, and I'm this 18 year old dude living in the mountains of Colorado. Some of my favorite interests are videogames, film, and dinosaurs, among other, less notable things.
I'm an aspring developer, already starting to dip my toes in the pool that is game design and development. On this blog, I'll probably just be writing of my attempts to gain insight into game design, and possibly one thing or another about the industry.
I'm mainly on PC, but I also have a PS3 I jump on occasionally. I used to have a 360 and Wii as well, however they've recently departed from my possesion.
My favorites games include: Silent Hill 2, Deadly Premonition, Metal Gear Solid, Kane and Lynch...
Favorite films include: Evil Dead II, Pulp Fiction, Fight Club, Brick...
Favorite dinosaurs include: Compsognathus, Anchisaurus, Megapnosaurus or any theropoda really...
Anyways, I hope you think my blog is cool and all that jazz.
Like Allistair, I also live on (or near, or whatever) a golf course. It is very pretty, and I enjoy waltzing around in it. Now, I don't often suffer from derealization or depersonalization thank god, otherwise I might be worried about being immersed in the real world. But as it stands, what makes real life more real than Proteus or Journey is that it's...well, real.
Undoubtedly if I got into a gunfight on this golf course, which would be a fantastic departure from the norm, shit would get real. 'Shit' referring to the world around me. I've never got into a gunfight though, but yet, I know that feeling, of shit getting real. How is that?
Because shit can get real without the assistance of violence. Speeding in a car going over 100, hoping I don't die in each upcoming second. My boyfriend leaving me in the dead of night during a heated, depressive argument. Just finally seeing my best friend after half-a-year of absence. My emotional investment can be greatly raised without the reliance on violence. And so it is with videogames.
I'm not particularly impressed with David Cage's or Warren Spector's keynotes, nor am I impressed with their particular products, however, I agree with one thing they both seem to be resonating. Violence is not the one and only conduit for games.
I can honestly say Journey would be less engaging if it had guns in it, plain and outright. Journey utilized other aspects, and it didn't need to immerse me further. Exploring engaged me, finding other anonymous players engaged me, unfolding the minimal story engaged me.
I find it very interesting Dishonored was brought up a couple of times in Allistair's argument. Not because of it's narrative choices, but mainly because I have played through the game about one and a half times, plugged eleven hours into it, and have yet to kill a single person. Violence is a button away the whole time, but I'm not invested in that. I'm invested in playing though this game in my own way, a mechanic that Dishonored capitalized oh so well on, and a mechanic that drew me oh so much into this game.
Many of the games I've played and loved don't rely on violence to immerse and entertain me. Amnesia revolves around running and hiding from monsters and solving puzzles. Don't Starve is about resource collecting and surviving. Deadly Premonition is one of my favorite games ever, and my least favorite part that I also find most disengaging is its shooting sequences.
How can we define 'immersion'? Is The Sims not immersive whatsoever because you don't play as one character, don't experience any set story, and don't kill anyone? I'd disagree, I can get super-fucking engaged in that game. And no, I've never set up torture house to starve my Sims. Sounds neat though.
Considering our medium offers far more interaction than all other mediums combined, I'm positive our potential for immersion is endless with our current technology. Unless I'm constantly fumbling over the game's controls, or the game's controls have no real set groundwork to be fluid with (Heavy Rain), I never think about the controller more than the game. Whenever I have to press a button to do something in a game I don't think about the button I'm pressing, and if I am, then it's coming second to what's going on in the game. Whenever I have to flip a page in a book, I don't lose all my investment in the story.
Speaking of literature, that medium also started out with an abundance of content that refused to branch out to original ground. Starting with epics like Beowulf and the Odyssey, literature eventually found it's way to fantastic innovative stories, furthering the medium. This took roughly 1500 years. New technology was introduced that helped this movement; it was the printing press. It did not bring revolutions to the way literature was crafted, but rather made it easier to distribute and create. For one, I think videogames are an exceptionally young medium, and for two, I don't think videogames are waiting for its printing press.
Also, I'm staying the hell away from VR, that seems arguably less immersive than games in their current state. A subtle thumb or hand movement to perform an action can pass less consciously than the action in the game, but whole body movements rarely do the trick, evidenced by today's motion controls. What's more engaging, Half-Life or (for the lack of a more legitimate game) Dance Central?
And I know it wasn't mentioned in explicitly Allistair's argument, I feel I should still mention 3D vision, as it's a large feature of the Oculus Rift. Many people also consider this another great step in immersion, both in film and games. I'm not sure what to think of it, considering I'm stereo-blind and can't see 3D in any medium, yet still find myself immersed and engaged well enough.
I don't believe new technology is required to continuously transcend videogames into greater expressions. I don't think we're even close to finding what's possible with our medium as it is. I think the last thing we should do is jump the gun and find how new, expensive technology can further our creativity (because, in all likelihood, it can't).
Now that I've written an entire counter argument against Allistair, I'd just like to mention that I don't mean anything against him personally. He's got a cute picture and has a Tim and Eric reference in his 'About', so he seems pretty tight.
So, on the 8th of September, 2010, a little over one year ago, I posted a blog here about the use of the word "overrated" in the gaming community. I still stand by my stated views, however, it might have been a better idea to post this intro BEFORE that first post. Either way, a year into the future, I've figured I should more properly introduce myself before continuing to post blogs. So if you decide to read ahead, prepare to learn a bit about me. The short version is something like "I like games and game design", although I'm sure you could've guessed that. Anyways hey look a picture of me.
If you haven't read the "About Me" shennanigans on the right side, my name's Tucker, and I'm a 17 year old Coloradan guy living in the mountains who loves videogames, film, and dinosaurs. I tried to cram that all into one sentence, I think I succeeded well enough. What I missed: I have a PC and PS3, although I generally favor the PC for everything. Another important thing, I'm a huge aspiring game developer, and I'm currently trying my hand at development and design. So alot of what I'll be doing on this blog is sharing my story of trying to squeeze what experience on game design I can out of games. I'm pretty sure that isn't new to anyone around here, but in my good hopes I'll benefit from it.
Although I play all sorts of genres of games, I seem to stick to shooters, although I really just particuallarly enjoy story driven games. I really like horror games, but they've been getting incredibly few and far in between, especially with the current dominance shooters hold. Now, even though I've said I play all sorts of genres, I just simply can't manage with RTS's. I believe the whole "everyone has a certain genre that's unplayable to them" thing has been discussed on D-Toid before, and often times it seems RTS's are a common genre in that group. Also, to say it specifically I'm currently trying to design/develop for shooters and survival horror, not that both of those can effectively be in one game, mind you.
I've been on Destructoid for quite a while, actually. Since, maybe 2008 I believe. I'm a pretty quiet guy, both in our real world society and on the interwebz, so I haven't said much over the years. But don't take that the wrong way, I really love D-Toid. It's been my homepage since I've found it, and I certainly can't say I'd be the same without influence from the likes of Anthony Burch and Jim Sterling. On that note, I cried when Anthony left, and then cried again when I realized I actually like Sterling. But really, I love this place and those under its name.
Anyways, I hope that's a proper enough introduction. I'm sure you've got a better idea on who I am now, but, you know, me being the quiet person I am it's a bit tough to get myself out in one page. Doesn't really matter though, you know I'm here and why I am. I'm sure I'll have a good time writing and reading blogs here, and hope I actually write some stuff people enjoy reading.
The word "overrated" should come as no surprise to most of you. It's incredibly common in our community and odds are, you've demonstrated it's use once or twice. I'm no exception, either. In fact, I use it so regularly that I've come upon an interesting find.
When Shank was released, I knew nothing about it other than D-Toid's anticipation. I peered into Nick Chester's review of it to see if the game was worthy of a trial download. He gave it a friggin 8.5. Of course I threw the trial my download, after all, everyone else at Destructoid liked it too.
After the demo, I was left with only one thought. Game was totally overrated. I just couldn't take it. Everyone liked this game? I didn't hate it, but it certainly wasn't a great game. I decided to see just how overrated it is by checking XBLA's rating of it. It was four stars based off...six thousand votes?
Some people think Shank is underrated because it didn't receive enough attention. I felt it was a little underrated as well, as in not enough people "noticed" the game. Shortly after, I found out I wasn't the only one who didn't love Shank. But the idea is, that at one point in time, I thought Shank was underrated and overrated.
Let's define these words. Here are the Dictionary descriptions.
Overrated - To praise too high, to overestimate the value of a something
Underrated - To praise too low, to underestimate the value of something
Pretty simple right? We, in the gaming community, use "overrated" to define something that was not as good as they said it was. They being either the top game critics, a group of friends, or whoever it was that said the game was good. However, we use "underrated" a bit differently. Saying a game is underrated usually implies that the game deserves more attention, rather than implying that the game was "hated" too much. That's fine by me though, we all know what someone means when they say "underrated". Keep on using underrated, I have no problem with it. I have decided, though, that overrated is bullshit. Complete bullshit.
So I decided that Shank wasn't overrated after finding other reviews that I could agree with. Then I wondered, why was I labeling it overrated? Was it because I thought everyone else loved the game? Was I just jealous that they found joy in this game? Probably, but that's not the point. Point is I said a game is overrated because the majority of people disagreed with me. That's bullshit.
So we don't even really use the word overrated right. When we say it, we throw away all respect for freedom of opinion. We say "Not enough people have the same opinion as me, and too many people enjoyed this game". Some people might say "BUT WIAT!!11!! thts jsut my opnion tht its ovrrated." Oh...I'm sorry. Let me restate it then. You say "In my opinion, not enough people have the same opinion as me.." Or, to make it sound even more evil. "In my opinion, your opinion is wrong* and you shouldn't have the luxury of enjoying this game".
I use to think some games where overrated. Now, I just have opinions that are different from many others. GTA IV isn't overrated, I just didn't like it a much as everyone else. I think Halo 3 is an average game, but in no way is it overrated. And Shank sure as hell is not overrated, although I didn't really enjoy it. There are respectable ways to use the word "overrated", it's just that our community is no where near them, nor do they need to be.
So please, stop saying games are overrated. Unless you don't believe in free opinion, or your some asshole who always thinks his opinion is right. However, if you have a counterpoint to mine, please, let me hear it.
*Use of the bold word is only to further demonstrate the evilness in the example.