Tragedy struck yesterday when 20 year old Adam Lanza walked into an elementary school and opened fire killing 26 people, including 20 children, on the morning of December 14th. Upon the police finding the I.D. of Ryan Lanza, news outlets reported the information and wannabe crusaders went to find justice - on facebook. Quickly finding Ryan Lanzas page they quickly went to the real culprit of the situation: Mass Effect. On the most recent promo picture people started demonizing the video game, stating things such as "they are being brainwashed by these kinda games" and "Hope the makers of these games can one day see the damage they have been doing to the minds of todays youth." Leading to over 1500 comments that range from people demonizing Mass Effect, to people defending Mass Effect, to people in very poor taste blaming Mass Effect 3's ending (although it wasn't great). It was later revealed that the shooter was not Ryan Lanza, but instead Adam Lanza, a 20 year old autistic man. The hate posts have (mostly) subsided, however, it brings heavily to light a worry I have had about social media for a long time.
Stupid people not only have a voice, but with facebook and twitter, they now have an audience.
Video games have always been a subject of blame in situations like this - and its natural. People try to find reason behind unreasonable things, so they blame movies, comic books, that darn rap music, and most recently - video games. However, while its usually just the media, CNN, Fox News, etc. blaming video games, this time regular people armed only with the weapon of laziness targeted Mass Effect. A game where you work with a diverse group of alien species to stop a group of robot aliens from committing genocide. At least with games like Doom, Fear, or Counter - Strike you can make a semi-reasonable (though silly) argument that the game MAY have caused some psychological damage, or in the case of Counter-Strike - "trained or desensitized" the shooter. But with Mass Effect you don't even reasonably have these arguments. However, the facebook crusaders don't even try - they simply demonize a game they know nothing about for the sake of blaming something they don't understand.
Social media is an axe. It is an incredibly useful tool, you can use it to build yourself shelter, or carve a toy, or to clear a path. However it can also be used as a weapon, which is exactly what these people did. Instead of researching the issue, or waiting for developments, they picked up their axe and brought it down on Mass Effect. The internet revolted and now there are over 1000 comments insulting and bashing these people. However, this is not a good reaction either. We want people to realize video games are not just for children (and that some like Mass Effect, were never intended for children), we want people to stop blaming things they don't understand, but petty insults and childish jabs are not going to win anyone over. They just solidify the idea that video games are ruining todays youth.
And for those looking for something to blame for yesterdays shooting: Blame the asshole with the gun who shot 20 kids. There is no justification, there is no reason. It is just madness.
--I want to preface this post by saying im an avid PC gamer, I have amassed somewhere around 200 games on steam, and I have more on my shelf that were unavailable on steam. I never pirate, and the games I cant play on my PC I rent for my Xbox --
EA. We have gone through some hard times in the past few years. We started out this relationship with fresh eyes in 2006. So many magnificent new games coming out around that time, Mirrors Edge, Dragon Age, Mass Effect, etc. But now its 2012. What was once a sexy looking model has been eating McDonald's every day and now is a 400 lb wildebeest. I just cant stand being around you anymore. You have changed. You are smelly, mean, and I cant fit on the couch with you there.
Bioware used to be my favorite studio, but they have adapted to EA so much that I cant even buy their games because it means I am supporting EA.
I'm not naive, EA is a business and their goal is to make as much money as they can. But by the methods they are taking they are alienating their core fan base and even annoying the people they are trying to attract. Online passes taking away the opportunity for possible new fans to get into a series, Day 1 DLC that you are forced to pay for annoying long standing fans. Shoehorning in modes that simply do not belong in a game in the interest of attracting a new fan base.
I used to buy all of Biowares games within a week of release. Dragon age, Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2; But now, I can barely buy their game a year after its release.
The day it was released, I rented Dragon Age 2. For all the shit it got, I very much enjoyed the game. But I never got around to buying it because I was broke at the time. A couple of weeks ago I finally got around to buying it. However, even though it was only 15 bucks with my employee discount, I felt TERRIBLE about buying the game I thoroughly enjoyed. I felt guilty. Simply because I do not want to support EA.
That being said, EA and Bioware still make great games. I am looking forward to playing Mass Effect 3, however, EA does not deserve my money. I do not in any way condone piracy, I will be renting the game. I will be voting with my wallet on how I think EA should treat its customers. Hopefully, enough people will snap to the point they will no longer buy EA games so EA will be forced to change. Until then, EA will be getting as little of my money as possible.
Here is what I want EA to do before I start buying their games again:
1. Remove online passes - Its a huge pain in the ass, its detrimental to possible new fans of a series and its giving you a reason to shoehorn in multiplayer where it doesn't belong. Activision has the best selling multiplayer series and they dont have online passes. I work at a game store. We sell 3x as many NEW copies of Call of duty then we do battlefield 3, and we still sell used vs new 4 times to 1.
2. Put your games back on steam - I have no problem with origin, competition is good. However, forcing people to use your service (battlefield 3, mass effect 3) Is annoying and something I will not support. Steam has a well built community, a great interface, and it is where I have chosen to amass my game collection. Why should I be forced to install and use another service that doesn't give me anything special for using it?
3. Day 1 DLC - Im not saying this should stop. EA has a right to make money and Day 1 DLC can be a way to reward customers for buying new instead of used. (such as Dragon Age 1) However, if its Day 1 DLC that the new customer is forced to pay for, its ridiculous and harmful to the player. They will feel jilted and less likely to buy your future games.
4. Dont shoehorn in multiplayer - Its just starting with Mass Effect, and I would be shocked if they dont put it in Dragon Age. I don't care if multiplayer is part of the game, don't force me to play it to get a better ending. I suck at multiplayer. I don't enjoy it. (admittedly this is the least important thing on the list by far)
EA I really want to support you, more so I really want to support Bioware. But until you change your attitude I simply cant.
never done a blog before... but i'm thinking of starting one this week.
My idea: buy then play the steam midweek madness games (that interest me) or weekend sale games, then review them with a fresh perspective to see how well they hold up nowadays and if they are worth the money.
My review process will be to play the game whenever i'm not working, at the gym, or actually hanging out with real human beings, then rate them with:
Worth Full Price! Get it bitches!!! (will be incredibly rare cause i don't like paying full price for games)
Get it on sale now!
Might be worth your money
Wait till its cheaper...
AAAaaaaAAaaaaaaAAaaAaA!!! its a rakghoul!!! RUNNNNNN!!!! (or something equally rediculous)
I will get as far as I can on the game and write up the review the day before the sale ends (thursday night for midweek madness, sunday for weekend sale)
What do you guys think? Good idea? Bad idea? Don't care? Well screw you! I hate you too! I'll probably just do it anyway to spite you.