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Dennis Scimeca
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The example you gave of shooter similitude is flawed by selective omission. #1 is The Darkness 2 and #5 is Syndicate, and to any shooter expert those choices were obvious because you chose what actually made those games different, i.e. quad-wielding and hacking. Had you said "Bullet Time" for #2, "Variable gravity" for #4, and "Intel-gathering" for #6 those choices also would have been obvious for any shooter expert. I think it says something that in order for the list to work you had to not present the actual, defining differences of those three games. Then there's this: "When a genre sustains itself by promoting minor tweaks as revolutionary features..." "Sustains itself" is dubious language if we're describing the state of the shooter genre. It continues to grow every year, and I am made to understand that the growth of shooters in Asian markets is even larger than shooter growth in the West. I also don't see why we're talking about the marketing if we want to have a critical discussion of how shooters are or are not different from one another. Yes, the core mechanics don't change very much from game to game...but why would they? The industry continues to tweak the mechanics but by and large has had them right for a very long time. I don't understand why that's something to criticize any more than we should say RPGs are mired in similitude because they all have leveling or gear or dungeons. I'm not sure why we have this expectation that shooters ought to be radically different from one another in order to be worthy of critical respect, and critical voices in our industry who lament the sameness of shooters often don't seem to be trying very hard to find and address the differences that do exist. Bulletstorm's leash, Brink's AI squad commander and Crysis 2's nanosuit all make for substantively different shooter experiences. Inasmuch as criticism is about answering the question "Why is this piece of media important?" those would be the answers in those three cases. There's something to be said about why those differences matter. There are noteworthy tweaks taking place within the shooter genre.
Toggle Commented Jun 3, 2012 on High Noon for Shooters at Brainy Gamer
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I'm curious why you decided to use Metascores for this study, Michael, versus looking at raw scores from a few critics instead, if we accept that Metascores are junk data (which I hold they are due to the inflation imposed by MC's score translation methodology)?
Toggle Commented Jul 19, 2011 on It’s a B+ world at Brainy Gamer
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Can someone explain this video in 30 words or less, please?
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Thought this might be interesting to everyone: the Classic Gaming Expo.
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Let's see... For Atari 2600, I mostly remember Star Raiders in my parent's "nice" living room next to the dining room. It came with the little 12-button pad thing that you could slide plastic "skins" over depending on the game you were playing with it. Star Raiders was pretty much the precursor to every 3D space combat flight sim ever made. For Atari 7800 it would have to be Pole Position, same living room, several years later. I don't remember anything else from that system... For Commodore 64 it was Beachhead in my best friend Dave's basement. NES it is Super Mario Brothers, staying up until like 1 a.m. on a school night with my Dad when we discovered the infinite 1UP trick, loaded up on mans, and stayed up until we beat the game while Mom kept getting angry at the both of us. Same living room, by the way. Also Section Z in my best friend Dave's basement. Also Bionic Commando back in my living room. PC is the original Wing Commander, which my Dad got me. First PC game I had ever played. For SNES, it's Street Fighter II and NHL in my dorm room, sophomore year of college, and Battle Clash/Metal Combat that used the light bazooka accessory. Only the really cool kids had the light bazooka... Per arcades, the only one I really remember was in the mall closest to our house, but there's no one game per se. I remember Operation: Wolf fondly, and APB among others. That's actually kind of scary that I don't remember arcades very well. I guess I've been focused on home console gaming for so long that arcades just feel like ancient history.
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Is it wrong to feel proud of myself for having lived some of the sentiments on alukima's list, having had some of the same struggles? I also feel humbled for realizing that some of them aren't on my "checked off" list. Wil (is it rude to use your first name even though I've never met you? "Mr. Wheaton" seems too ridiculous considering you're only a year older than me), sorry for being so long-winded but I wanted to reflect on your catchphrase: don't be a dick. Part of why I've avoided social media for years is because I'm extremely opinionated. Sometimes my opinions get hold of me and I lose the perspective that these aren't just words on a page, they're people. Usually this is in the context of geek culture like tabletop wargames where everyone seems to have a penchant for arguing with one another (likely due to the frequent *need* to get into the miniutae of rules construction which always starts fights). And then I would find myself Being A Dick. It wasn't until I lost someone I lived with for twelve years last October that I really took stock of my life, including my behavior online, and started making some real changes...which is why I'm now making my very first, tentative steps into social media after a decade of message forum posting (which feels decidedly different to me) As someone who is highly successful in social media, do even *you* have to face the evil of the Intraweb Dick Monster and squash it down? Sorry for the length of this comment. I like words too much. :) P.S. Looking forward to your PAX East keynote later this month. Have no fears, I'm sure you're going to nail it. After'll be with your people.
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Mar 3, 2010