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Teh Bias: Starting At The Ground Floor - Destructoid


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A self proclaimed professor of survival horror despite only having a BA (Hons) degree in film. Go figure.

Okay, maybe I should write more here but I once did an interview for Law's blog, which explains everything about me.

In the meantime, I'm just a guy who writes about videogame theory and how the medium can achieve better cinematic emulation (while keeping its own indentity). Though, if that's too boring, you can always find something delightfully fluffy in the following:

Gamer Obscura

Gregory Horror Show
Glass Rose
Michigan: Report From Hell
Steambot Chronicles
Chase The Express
The X Files FMV Game
SOS: The Final Escape & Raw Danger
G-Police & G-Police: Weapons of Justice
Friday The 13th: The Computer Game
Hard Edge
DENNIS HOPPER featuring Black Dahlia
The Note
The Police Quest Collection
It Came From The Desert
Blade Runner
Men in Black: The Game
Famicom Detective Club Part II
Ham-Ham Heartbreak

Unsung Heroes

Brad Garrison (Dead Rising)
Jenny Romano (The Darkness)
Cass (Fallout: New Vegas)

Hey, check out these inane ramblings:

The Vague History of UK Videogame TV shows

Part 1 (Bad Influence, Gamesmaster & Games World)
Part 2 (BITS & videoGaiden/consoleVania)
Part 3 (the worst and the future)

The Assimilation of Eastern & Western Horror in Videogames

Part 1 (The Eastern/Western Horror Assimilation)
Part 2 (Interaction and Narrative)
Part 3 (Case Study)


Skip To The End: Max Payne 2
The Lost Idea of An Adventures of Pete & Pete Game
My Unpopular Opinion: I Liked Alone in The Dark 5
Hey BBC! Where's My Doctor Who Game?!
Loving Dr. Chakwas
The 'Fun Simulacrum' of Movie/TV License Games
Why Devs Don't Get The Colonial Marines From Aliens
It's Okay To Like B-Movie Games
Endings That Made Me Cry...Like A Man
Who Do You Trust?
Dancing With Myself
My Unpopular Opinion: Silent Hill 4 Deserved Better
Theme Hospital & The Embarrassing Operation of Old
When It Comes To Noir in Videogames, "It's Chinatown"
My Irreverent & Irrelevant Awards Show 2010
Amateur Bedroom Critics
Sydney Briar is Alive
The Big Gumbo
Alan Wake's Hallowiener Special
...And So I Watch You From Afar


Some poor sap let me onto their awesome podcast. These are the horrific results...

Deus Ex
Resident Evil 2
Duke Nukem 3D

Secret Moon Base

They sent me into space for this podcast. There were no survivors...

Fiddling Nightbear

Monthly Musings

I Suck At Games: Stretching My RPGs Out into A Year & A Half Ordeal

Improving Gaming Communities: We Need A Gaming Fonzie

The Future: Laughing At The Past

Something About Sex: It's A Conquest, Not A Catalyst

Alternate Reality: "My other car is a Trotmobile!"

Teh Bias: Starting At The Ground Floor

Groundhog Day: One DeSoto, Two Carefree Owners

Front Page

Nothing Is Sacred: 'It looks like the lock is broken. I can't open it.'

Love/Hate: Shark Jumping Videogame Writers

E for Effort: The Adventures of Mega & Master (A Cautionary Tale)

The Lament of Solitary Antagonistic Horror

2010 Sucked: Why Cing Will Be Unknowingly Missed

Technical Difficulties: Rainbow Six FUBAR

Cass from New Vegas

Honest Endings for Honest Hearts

Growing Old Disgracefully

Thanks for reading!
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Have you ever discovered a band early on in their careers that once they’ve become moderately successful, that you feel arrogantly proud enough to tell late-comers "I was there since the beginning"?

Of course you have, it’s simply human nature to flaunt your early bird wares to others, but that long-standing commitment also breeds a false authority over others. Videogames suffer a similar fate of intimacy and ownership by fans; yet, as social interactivity between developer and fans increases, that sense of overzealous discovery rarely fades out as the two groups grow apart.

Getting in on the ground floor of a project means you feel like part of a development process and that kind of thinking demands attention at every possible step. It’s almost like giving parental advice to a couple that have a child and are expecting another.

Alan Wake’s community forums has always been an interesting example of how this ‘ground level’ entitlement works. Remedy had already made good on their promises with the Max Payne franchise, so when they announced a new game, the established fan base expected another high quality title. Unfortunately, when it takes five years to make a videogame, intensive speculation and imagination can only lead to frustration and disappointment. As a microcosm, it’s interesting to read through old threads full of assumptions, following through to an abrupt turning point and finding how attitudes change after certain needs are unattended.

This doesn’t solely concern Alan Wake either. You’ll find this familiar attitude in any development title (that allows you to search freely anyway). Communities like to think they’re investing in an individualistic title early on. Nobody knows how the final product will end up, but if there’s potential, you’re going to see support. Yet for all the screenshots or teasers, you’ll only see the concepts without flaws.

Depending on the developers, they’ll ask for feedback and always receive inane requests like ‘change the character’s clothes’ or ‘HUD ruins the atmosphere’, but cynically, it’s an act to make you feel empowered and more likely to open your wallet. At best, you’re a post-it note for de-bugging. If you genuinely had development input, wouldn’t you be wondering why your name isn’t in the credits?

Still, what you think and what they’re designing are two different worlds.

You’ve probably seen countless comments where a new trailer is dissected frame by frame. Communities concoct entire plot theories on the basis of a ninety second clip. It’s terrible fan fiction, but as time roll on and there’s not much to talk about, these little yarn balls keep growing with every added thread; much like the eponymous document within Haruki Murakami’s The Wind-up Bird Chronicle.

It’s expectation being continuously built upon through long-running assumption.

Yet, these are assumptions born from thumb-twiddling and fevered minds that latched on to the beginning stages. When the videogame in question attracts more interest, it’s accompanied by more opinions and though “too many cooks spoil the broth”, it also exposes real intentions.

It only needs one catalyst to bring everything down to the basic levels.

With Alan Wake, the catalyst in question was Microsoft’s '360 exclusive' announcement and the community threads constantly had complaints from loyal PC-owning members. This isn’t to say they were wrong. They were right to complain about an unfair business practice. It’s just hard to find sympathy once the arguments are based around graphical prowess, ‘inferior’ consoles and sales commentary. All the while, the fundamentals like interaction and narrative are completely ignored.

Theoretically, it only serves to strip away the façade and reveal the established audience to be no different that the masses they deride. As previously stated, we’ve been here before. The exact same thing happened during F.E.A.R. 2’s community throwing around accusations of console devolvement.

In the end, Alan Wake didn’t perform well due to additional factors outside Microsoft’s blame. The big wait and the community’s belief of success were rendered a moot point. While it’s definitely “Game of the Year” material, should the community really become so obsessed with regularly updating sales figures?

Does somebody out there honestly need justification for following a videogame after so long?

It should be enough to anyone that they finally own a great game and yet there’s a defensive spin hiding the disappointment with the results. It’s not exactly the uninterested parties’ fault if they didn’t share the same sentiment.

Getting in on the ground floor might seem exciting but it’s truly a redundant obsession with an excuse to buy the needless (albeit desirable) special edition at the end. For all the talk of wanting a successful and intelligent piece of work to rival other media, you’re just trying to impress the anonymous that have no impact on your life outside a message board. Not that there’s a genuine interest or support in somebody like Goichi Suda or a fascinating franchise like Persona.

Admittedly, one shouldn’t be too cynical. There’s a positive side to observing a construction from beginning to end with a chance to look at the success from the top with the developers, but if you don’t make some distance from that kind of intimacy and ownership, then you’re going to trip on the way up and nobody is going to care enough to help you out.

Excuse the poor metaphor, but maybe next time, you should come in late and take the lift.

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