[MUD-Dev] DGN: Reasons for play [was: Emergent Behaviorsspawnedfrom...]

Michael Hartman mlist at thresholdrpg.com
Thu Oct 6 18:27:25 New Zealand Daylight Time 2005

Sean Howard wrote:

> That's like saying a "good movie" is subjective, and yet somehow,
> despite my wife not being able to sit through it without falling
> asleep 10 minutes in, The Seven Samurai is a "good movie" and
> Dude, Where's My Car? is not.

I hate to break it to you, but a lot of people do not think "The
Seven Samurai" is a good movie, and many people think "Dude, Where's
My Car" is a good movie. It is still subjective.

> The reason for this is because we have a more complex way of
> objectifying movies than we do games. The Seven Samurai uses
> excellent composition, visual metaphors, a well structured plot,
> and superior acting. Dude has...  um... pot. It's funny, sure, but
> there's nothing more to it that we can judge as being a "good
> movie".

All that crap is very interesting to about .0000001% of the movie
going populace. To the rest, all that matters is whether or not they
were entertained. If they were entertained, then it was a good
movie. If they were not entertained, it was not a good movie.

What you said above would be like saying an MMO with extremely tight
code that barely used any bandwidth and never crashed is a "good
game." Sorry, unless it is fun to play, it is not a good game.

> But instead we've got propaganda magazines that spend most of the
> pages in previews, praising things they've never played, only to
> give it a three paragraph review once it comes out saying that it
> sucked and giving it an 8 (because magazine reviews only go from 6
> to 8, with 9s reserved for high profile works like Halo and Fable,
> regardless of actual quality). The reviews in the magazines out
> there aren't just critical in the wrong ways, they aren't even
> consistant or accurate.

Quoted for truth. I completely agree that the lack of a legitimate
critical media for games really hurts the industry. Anyone who reads
Gamespot.com, PC Gamer, and its ilk for a few months quickly
realizes what a sham they are.

The huge, big budget titles trade exclusive interviews, screenshots,
and previews for guaranteed high reviews. Honestly, how in the heck
did Doom get 9+ from PC Gamer? It was little more than a technology

I honestly cannot remember any major, big budget titles that gave
exclusive content to a major gaming publication or site and then got
slammed in a review (even if the game stunk). What a joke.

Because there is no legitimate gaming media, customers cannot get
worthwhile information. Also, because the "gaming media" are such
slaves to the few big yearly titles, the overwhelming majority of
games get little or no coverage. A mega-title can get multiple
covers and feature stories using vapor ware and bogus release
dates. The damage this does to the industry as a whole is

Michael Hartman, J.D. (http://www.thresholdrpg.com)
President & CEO, Threshold Virtual Environments, Inc.
University of Georgia School of Law, 1995-1998
Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, 1990-1994
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