Blog Archives

Right in Front of Your Face

Elitism still is the big divide. It’s the biggest obstacle facing games today. Elitism is the belief that some individuals, who form an elite — a select group of people with intellect, wealth, specialized training or experience, or other distinctive attributes — are those whose views are the only ones that matter.

We are that elite.

Many of my friends resented when Nintendo positioned itself as a beacon to attract non-gamers (including some of my non-gamer friends, interestingly enough). Now, after piling them with shovelware for years, we see our dusted Wiis and state “The Wii Is Dead” in a dismissive tone that implies “See, we were right all along. You shouldn’t have abandoned us. We are the ones that get it, not them”.

Because (OMG!) gaming is art. And we are (obviously) the only ones who can see it.
Some pieces of art are difficult to understand or appreciate. That’s why the elite is the elite; and have Bach playing on the background as they discuss the peasant situation. The thing is that while there is only schooling and experience in the way of turning the Average Joe into H. E. Pennypacker, for gaming there is also the issue of skill. How can grandpa even start to appreciate games when just comprehending the controls is bound to take more spasmodic accidents than his patience and time could afford?

Yes, folks, this is my Omnitopic entry!

No matter how unapproachable a book or a movie may be, one can always get through it. The same is not true for gaming, as the skills it requires are primarily related to manual dexterity – which is not a trivial thing to acquire. It’s mostly an aptitude after all. Gaming is built on progression and not matter whether this progression if linear or open ended, the plot is not. One cannot skip to world 8-8 if one cannot even pass world 1-1 (and the first warp zone is hidden in the world 1-2, mind you). This is troublesome. It’s like buying a movie without knowing how to read it.

I find this unfair, especially now games are maturing into a narrative driven medium. Read the rest of this entry

LA Noire Will Allow Players to Skip The Action

In an effort to court a wider audience with LA Noire, Rockstar will be implementing a type skip-the-action system. “You can skip those action elements and still experience the bulk of the narrative,” states Rob Nelson, LA Noire’s art director. This is only an option after a player fails a section a couple of times, though. Almost like Nintendo’s “Super Guide,” only this isn’t a game centered around action–and that is a crucial difference. MTV states that “80% of “LA Noire” is an absence of action.” The star here isn’t the shooting bits–it’s the narrative, the investigation itself. “The hour-long case demonstrated at the screening had maybe five minutes of typical action,” states the MTV Multiplayer blog. Thus, the choice to include this feature may tell us that this is just how much faith Rockstar is putting on the narrative of LA Noire.

This news has cemented my purchase. As someone who abhors most single player shooting games (“Single player is just me killing algorithms,” as someone on Twitter puts it) being able to skip the parts I don’t care about might mean I actually finish the game!