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Liegh Alexander may be the most respected woman in the industry, she writes for Kotaku, Los Angles Times, Kill Screen Game Pro, to name a few. I think it's safe to say that she's been with the industry for awhile. Still, her latest Blog on Gamasutra made me sit down and think for a bit. I'm a tad disturbed by the message behind it.
I'm writing this because as of late, there seems to be some... concerns going on with gaming. It's no longer, just for fun, or a pleasant passtime. Lately, we've had some issues with the gaming industry as a whole. The issues seems to be a revolution of sorts, of regarding women and how they are dipicted in gaming... but it goes far beyond that, and I think I have to post this to simply get this off my chest before I can move on.
TO BE OR NOT TO BE!
This has spiraled out of hand as of late with death threats lashing out and nerd rage in it's most elegant pureist form of hate spew in all directions, with no end in sight. We can say, that it's a vocal minority, and that justifies that quite well. However, does that mean we can't have a normal discussion regarding this issue? Do we need to be petty to mearly dismiss the others point of veiw completely? I understand this is a tad touchy subject, it's hard to say one thing, without another group trying to ram the point home.
Maybe I'm just skirting the topic, but I fear that if I list my point of view, I may be unvalidating what I really want to talk about, which is, about respect for an individuals point of view. I think that's a more important conversation to have.
THE ISSUE AT HAND
In a sence, it's about respect, that may seem vague though, still, that is the core of it. Can we treat people how we want to treat ourselves on the internet regarless of gender, religion, occupation, race, or even point of view? Or do we simply restrict this to respecting those purely in the real world, and on the internet, let these evils surface? Basically, and quite bluntly, do we all need to be giant Lan Line Aholes?
My nerd rage, has usually been regarding developers, or a particular game, or defending/attacking a certain issue with the industry regarding a sales platform. (Example, Day one DLC.) My topics were never as important regarding anything beyond gun violence and against assigning blame on the gaming industry. I've had heated debates, but none beyond, nor as important as the discussion as this. Let's not beat around the bush, how women are depicted in video games is a HUGE topic. Though, we can't have a discussion, if all we focus on are negative aspects. What Liegh Alexander did is list several sites that showed examples of feral nerd rage. Though I think she failed to point out that what we need are less lists, we need less finger pointing. Lets face it, this has gotten out of hand on both sides.
I, personally, can't stand any of it, I find that if you don't agree with someone, can't we agree to disagree, and move on? Or, can't you have a respectful disscussion rather than posting hate from the highest tower? You don't need to harass people to get your point across, and it makes your argument that much more less valid because of it. I've mostly, just avoided it, tried to plug it out and focus on the games. That's what I've thought was always more poignant.
If someone wants to change how games are story writen, can't we have better writing instead of going for an easy out? Though, I digress, because I've always believed that if your a good writer, you don't need the easy outs. You can do without the, save the princess quests, the hero's a macho man. On the other hand, I still believe in free speech, and the right to be able to write what ever you wanted to make. I may not like the creation, I may not even play it, but I have that right too. There, maybe I took both sides, but I still didn't alienate one group over the other, I didn't trash talk, I didn't call out, I didn't harass.
My whole point is, if you want your point of veiw to be respected, it's going to be give and take. You have to respect other individuals regardless of if they're right in front of you or a million miles away. That way, they can respect you too, they may still not agree with you, but I don't think that's as important. Your not going to change hearts and minds on an issue this strong, and nerd raging the issue just makes it worse.
Maybe if we listened to the other side a bit more, maybe if we respected everyones opinion besides our own, maybe, just maybe the internet would be a better place. That's my two cents though, which is worth just that, two cents.
I actually held this back because I didn't think I should post this. So, if you agree or disagree, thats fine. I also know that some of this is slowly not becoming an issue, though it's still quite prevalent.
STEAM SELLS: SHOVEL-WARE
When I say, Shovel-Ware, I mean crap games from the 80's, RPG Maker games that have little right to be sold let alone be on Steam, games that don't deserve a place on Steam, (hidden object games, games that are more art pieces than game are prime examples.) and games so old they no longer work but recently are being sold on Steam.
Long sentence structure, I do apologize, still, the fact remains that there are thousands of these titles clogging up Steam. Though, I will admit, SOME of these games are good, Sometimes Always Monsters, Starbound (Which I was surprised with), Gary's Mod, to name a few were very fun. I'm going after all the others that make up the majority of crap we're seeing on Steam right now though.
There are a mere handful of titles that I would consider buying, most, I wouldn't give the time of day. Why? It's because most of these titles are bland, look and play the same and there are far better titles I can download for free on RMN right now. (http://rpgmaker.net/) You can find five good titles faster than you could buy one right now at RMN. I'm not advertising that site, I just need to post it to prove my point. Free is free and these people have more passion for their work and are far more creative than the dreg we're seeing on Steam. Knowledge is power people, let's use it for once.
I'm not saying that you shouldn't sell your work, but unless you have full rights to use the music, and art assets, don't bother, just don't. Even then, don't sell your work if your a novice. It'll look the same as everyone else's project, it won't stand out, it won't sell. VX in particular has graphical issues in that all the projects look the same, no matter how well your skills are.
Titles that don't fit
Take a look on the new releases right now, Trainy Town, Mountain, Dance Wall Remix, Tranz Trouble, ect. COME ON, this isn't Desura, we expect some amount of quality control when it comes to titles being released to Steam. These games just don't fit well with what was normally submitted to Steam. I'm sure some of these are okay, I list Mountain because it's not really a game, there isn't an objective that I can perceive. (And don't give me that crap about me not understanding that game, TELL ME WHY IT"S A GAME! WHAT OBJECTIVE IS THERE!?)
These titles fit desura, or a mobile platform, maybe Steam is trying to sell more mobile games, thats fine, but don't shove it in new releases then, put it in a special area where it doesn't clog up the New Release section.
Titles released from the 80's 90's 00's ect.
These titles have the audacity of being released in the new release section. The whole point of the New Release Section on Steam is that it's for NEW RELEASES! Not for titles that have been drug up from the darkest pits of abandoned ware only to see the light of day once again on Steam.