Gathering TWiGs – July

You are now approaching the dog days of summer. August is great, but that doesn’t mean that we have to forget July so soon. Here’s a recap of my gaming posts for the past month. As always these have been featured on Talking About Games.

On Soap and Boxes (1036)
I realize in writing this I am likely perpetuating the discussion and will likely arrive at the beginning of where all of this started, thus not really progressing the discourse. But Rome wasn’t built in a day, and this type of change, assuming it is even feasible, will not be complete tomorrow. For all the maturity we desire in our games, I think gamers need to mature more.

On Diminishment and Imagination (979)
I wonder what would happen if these developers were not bound by yearly deadlines to iterate on an existing product. You all saw what kind of creativity is possible with these groups with the release of NHL 3-on-3. They took an existing game engine and put a twist on what hockey is commonly thought of and produced a fairly competent hockey spin-off. These studios have more talent than their design documents require, and it is shown in games like NHL 3-on-3. For as much reality as the simulation genre offers, it will always be criticized because it isn’t ‘real enough.’

On Timing and Postponement (888)
But there is only so much delaying I, as a gamer, can handle before I start to lose faith. Yes, this is a crowded space. Yes, there is a huge financial risk each time you step out into the open and put your product on the line against other major players in the industry. But I’m not here to reward those who play it safe. If your game is good, people will buy it. Maybe not out of the gate, maybe not for years until you reach cult-classic status, but if you are not willing to stand behind your game, how can We the Gamer stand behind it with you?

On Segregation and Ignorance (978)
You all remember Plessy vs. Ferguson and the whole “separate but equal provision of public accommodations by state governments is constitutional under the Equal Protection Clause,” right? You all remember how well that worked out for the next 60 years of our history, right? Now I’m not saying that we are facing a monumental civil rights issue, or even a gamers’ rights issue at the moment, but the idea of separate but equal seems to be in use with regards to video game pre-orders. Everywhere I look games are being offered up months before their release with a different incentive depending on the retailer. Pre-order a game at one store and risk missing out on the rewards being offered at a different store. In case you can’t connect the dots on my metaphor, separate is not equal.

On Funerals and Maturity (919)
Is there a place for mature, story-driven experiences on the Wii in this generation of gaming? Will the Wii ever get its own Shadow of the Colossus? More importantly, would it even sell? Is that the type of game even worth developing for the Wii considering the current state of both the economy and the current breakdown of Wii owners? Is the risk worth trying to prove that the Wii can compete on the same emotional and intellectual level as its high-definition competition?

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