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Weekly News We Care About Wrap Up – 8.25.06

posted on August 27th, 2006 by jay

Game testing company founded by ex-Lionhead guy
The outsourcing of game testing has the potential to prevent computer games (and some console games) from shipping despite being riddled with bugs. I doubt this new company will have a facility like I described in this article — a huge building with a thousand computers each with varying graphics cards, processors, operating systems and viruses caught from downloading porn. Even so, Testology is a good step forward.

It is slightly depressing on at least one level, though. Think of your favorite tiny developer. Now, imagine a world where all testing is outsourced. Realize you can never get a job at this tiny developer you love oh so much. Now weep.

You are not individual enough for the light blue DSL.

Pink and black DSLites coming to America
Says the press release,

“…the new colors just add another element of fun, allowing people to ‘personalize’ who they are by the color, or colors they pick.”

The DS is aesthetically pleasing and people may prefer one color over another. I happen to think the black one looks wicked cool. But anyone who finds a color to be fun, and, even worse, feels they are matching their gaming to their individuality by the color they choose, is pathetic. Nintendo is basically saying, “This thing we’ve sold a billion of, it comes in three colors. So buy another one and that’ll make you unique.” As far as bullshit goes, it’s not as hilarious as “Army of one,” but it’s still pretty stupid.

Molyneux not crazy about motion sensing controlers
The man is worried people will get tired. This may be a legitimate concern as most of us are fat, lazy slobs. I live on nothing but candy bars and beer and haven’t left my apartment since last Monday; just typing this has me gasping for breath. Molyneux also worries about how stupid he looks when he plays. “How do I look,” is a question all designers should ask. Molyneux purposefully keeps a very low profile and is infamously quiet about his games precisely because he is so concerned about with looking stupid.

The good news is that as of right now, he thinks the DS is a pretty good idea. Someone needs to check back with him after his employer Microsoft releases their own handheld. He may have decided that using a stylus is really tiring and makes you look like an asshat.

Gamecube remakes for the Wii a possibility
So says Miyamoto. He says that the games would be released at a low price point because he knows morons who bought Nintendo’s last poorly supported system may already have spent money on the titles. Lucky me, I have a nice collection of Gamecube games. The remakes would mostly add a new Wii control system to the old games.

An even better idea is to allocate those recourses in making new games. Leave the past alone; do not milk the cow. If Nintendo wants us to experience Luigi’s Mansion with motion sensed control, they should make a sequel. At the very least, remake old games. One generation is far from sufficient time between the original and remake of a game.

What woman wouldn’t find this appealing? Well, besides the cleaning woman.

EA upset about number of women gamers
Apparently because EA bought Will Wrights company they are now able to complain about the industry failing women. Congratulations on buying the Sims, how are God Father, Battlefield: Armored Fury, Black, Fight Night 3, and Battle for Middle Earth 2 doing with women gamers?

David Gardner, EA’s guy, says that four of their 11 studios are run by women. What does this mean? A woman who owns a pornography company surely does little to change the actual videos, other than demand they make as much profit as possible. On the other hand, a woman behind a camera filming this delicious, delicious filth probably will change how the videos are made. Just like how some media is owned by conservative businessmen and still have a liberal slant because it sells, a woman running a game company will not change much because her goal is to make a profit, not change the world. If EA actually has four women lead designers, though, that’d be very different and actually commendable.

Details on Boll boxing matches
It seems quite obvious that the only way to settle anything is to have Boll fight Derek Smart.

Harvard researcher interviews on her violence in games study
What an absolute waste of time and money this research is. I don’t agree with the idea that media is what causes problems in the world. Violence is generally caused by lack of socialization, poverty, and mental illness, not by reading a violent book.

While I respect the gathering of any and all knowledge, what this researcher spends her time researching is an indication of her values and beliefs. A more conclusive study on the long term effects on media could possibly make all of her research moot, though, so I wonder why she doesn’t start there. My guess is that she or a superior thought, “Violence in the media is a hot topic today, let’s run with that. Finding out if the media actually has a negative or positive effect on people is hard, though, and would take much too long. Why don’t we just measure how often there are violent acts in some games? Think of the publicity.”

There’s a concept you never hear politicians and activists talk about…the positive effects of violent media. Or is Othello worthless because he kills Desdemona?

3 Comments

  1. pat said on August 28, 2006:

    im not convinced the researcher mentioned above is actually the devil.  her point seems to be that everyone should share the responsibility, but that ultimately it lies with parents.  she doesnt seem to be for censorship, and her most recent study states that there is more adult content in M rated games than is always labeled, which is probably true, but irrelevant since M games are for older audiences anyway.  if all she wants is to arm parents with information so they can make informed decisions and get politicians (and jack thompson) to shut the hell up, so be it. 

  2. jay said on August 28, 2006:

    Do you think books should have ratings? I’m not being a jerk, it’s an honest question. A novel is extremely capable of making you understand and feel sympathy for a murderer or criminal. This understanding, I’d at least argue, tends to break down moral walls. When you understand and sympathize with the murderer, you probably still think what he did was wrong, but your reaction to his crime is significantly different than someone who lives in a black and white world. Does someone thinking, "You go Brutus, I’d have killed Ceasar, too," make him a bad person? I thought it.

     

    My point is that I believe books to be significantly more influential than video games but most people don’t bother to complain about books anymore. Is it because kids don’t read, because Harvard researchers still believe books are high art, or a little of both?

  3. pat said on August 28, 2006:

    i dont think shes talking about moral walls.  shes talking about exposing young children to violence gambling and drug use.  i completely agree that there is moral ambiguity in literature such as julius caesar, but thats somewhat beyond the scope of what this particular researcher is talking about.  im not sure books need ratings since they tend to self select, in that books for adults are not likely to be comprehesible to small children.   and if you would like to have a discussion on the role of moral ambiguity in video games i would be glad to (my position would be that its mostly non-existent, but i am incapable of outright stating that universal negative).  keeping sex and blood away from seven years olds is not the end of the world.  lets not conflate what she is doing with what others try to argue.

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