Algorithmize This!

Archon

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Nov 12, 2002
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Algorithmize This!

Much of the content on the internet is as easy to produce as fast food...and about as good for you.

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thenumberthirteen

Unlucky for some
Dec 19, 2007
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Great Article. I haven't been on the Escapist for 2 years practically every day for no reason. I come here for both the news updates, and the great articles and commentaries that come out each week. That and the hilarious videos. Don't dumb down.


I also like the comparison of Yahtzee to John Lennon.
 

Schmidtzkrieg

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Feb 25, 2009
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This article is the reason I love this site. The news stories aren't just copy-pasted from a different site. The writer always puts their own spin on the story and usually includes some sarcasm, or a bit of humor that makes the story worth reading; even if you don't care about the story itself. Adding to that the fantastic video series and weekly articles, that in my opinion are the best around, I'll be sticking arouns for a long time
Well done keep it up folks
 

Susan Arendt

Nerd Queen
Jan 9, 2007
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Shigeru Miyamoto has said that the key to Nintendo's success is that they know what you want before you do...before you even know such a thing is possible, in fact. You'd better believe they're not using an algorithm as part of their creative process.
 

Epitome

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Jul 17, 2009
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Very good article, I for one would like to thank you all at the Escapist very much for consistantly striving to produce a higher standard of media for your audience. The Escapist has the feel of actually caring about its members and we recognise the extra lengths your go to to provide better articles, more trustworthy reviews and that foul mouth Brit we all love so much :)
 

hypothetical fact

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Oct 8, 2008
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A good read; up until the end which turned into thumping your chest because you aren't using an algorithm rather than detailing say, how these algorithms actually work.

On the other hand every time I search something wikipedia has come up with the correct article, say what you will about the wiki's editing policies but it hasn't steered me wrong.
 

Alias42

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Sep 10, 2009
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Bravo!

Your website has always been a beacon of good writing and intelligent content for me, and it has led me to some other things (like Bob's Game Overthinker videos). Your readership may be small, but I doubt that anyone who is intellectually interested in interactive media will be able to visit your site only once.

And the funny videos. Kudos to those, too.
 

SamElliot'sMustache

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Oct 5, 2009
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I loved the point about how Lennon wouldn't have made it on American Idol, as the overall sameyness of the contestants on that show is one of many reasons why I loathe it so much. Johnny Cash, Tom Waits, Neko Case, they wouldn't have gotten far with superficial non-wits like Simon Cowell sitting at tables, pretending to be harsh, honest critics, when really they are corporate cronies only wanting people to keep regurgitating the same tripe and scarf it down again with a smile. And we surely wouldn't get filmmakers like Martin Scorsese, Peter Jackson, or Terry Gilliam if everything were run like American Idol, or how (sadly) most of the internet seems to be.
 

AnnaIME

Empress of Baked Goods
Dec 15, 2009
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I have been reading the Escapist for a lot longer than I have been a member. You may not be the largest gaming site, but you are by far the most satisfying. Nearly all the articles are intelligent and thoughtprovoking. Most of the videos are intelligent and fun to watch. Keep it up.
 

Archon

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Nov 12, 2002
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Alexander Macris said:
Finding people like Yahtzee Croshaw or John Lennon is not easy
Are you fucking kidding me?

Alexander Maxris said:
Nor has our pursuit of hand-crafted excellence led to us becoming the largest game-related site on the internet.
What pursuit is that then? The one that has led to the consist dumbing down of articles ever since the .pdf version stopped coming out? I used to really love the content on the Escapist but it strikes that you've all got a bit big for your boots. When it isn't self-referential and self-glorifying articles like this one it is poorly researched or unnecessarily provocative articles designed to increase traffic not consciousness. I refer you, for example, to the latest Going Gold, or to the myriad topics about the biggest and most overhyped games. ZP is funny and good, but I fear it has killed what your website once was.
 

BlueInkAlchemist

Ridiculously Awesome
Jun 4, 2008
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Very well written, as always, Alex. If you weren't busy herding all of the cats necessary to keep the Escapist going, I'd say you should write more often. ;)
 

Hurr Durr Derp

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Apr 8, 2009
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Comparing Yahtzee to Lennon is a bit awkward, but I get the point you're making, and it's a good one.

It made me think: As a consumer, what is it that I want? Do I want information fast-food, pre-processed in bite-size chunks, full of what I want but lacking any flair, style, or originality? Or do I want high-quality hand-crafted information, perhaps not always exactly what I want but always worth reading.

It's easy to say that I want quality, and how much I hate today's mass-produced information, music, television, movies, games, books, clothes, everything you can possibly think of. But if there's one thing I've become good at, it's telling when I'm kidding myself. Yes, I have the same vague, unspecified sense of contempt for algorythm-produced culture that most sensible people have. On the other hand, I am fully aware of how easy it is to take the easy route. Just as I grab a pre-packaged meal when I don't feel like cooking dinner, I use Google or GameFAQs or whatever to quickly find game-related information. Sure, the quality of the information might not be as good as a full review, but often that's not what I'm looking for. I use fast-food information not because it's good, but because it's convenient. I suppose that's just what those sites are aiming for.

But in the end, there's a reason I'm a member of this site. Sure, not every article may be to my liking, and I don't even watch most of the shows. But I keep coming back for more, not because some search engine directs me here, but because I've got the site bookmarked. That's gotta mean something, right?
 

Superasil

Trapped inside a Game.
Sep 30, 2009
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Very good article, very well written. this is why i love this site, its not all the same stuff you can hear everywhere else.
 

ben---neb

No duckies...only drowning
Apr 22, 2009
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And that Gentlemen is why The Escapist has replaced all my old gaming sites.
 

auronvi

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Jul 10, 2009
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Long live the Escapist. As long as I can hide here on the internet away from all that other meaningless dribble, I can live happy!
 

Archon

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Nov 12, 2002
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SikOseph said:
What pursuit is that then? The one that has led to the consist dumbing down of articles ever since the .pdf version stopped coming out? I used to really love the content on the Escapist but it strikes that you've all got a bit big for your boots. When it isn't self-referential and self-glorifying articles like this one it is poorly researched or unnecessarily provocative articles designed to increase traffic not consciousness. I refer you, for example, to the latest Going Gold, or to the myriad topics about the biggest and most overhyped games. ZP is funny and good, but I fear it has killed what your website once was.
So, I'm of mixed minds here.

The content in our weekly issues - that we have continued to publish - is chosen according to the same standards it was during the era when we made the PDF. The same set of writers creates the content. You can read every issue from 1 to the present on the site and I'd hold them all up as examples of great writing. So I'm just not certain where this sense that we've dumbed down the articles comes from.

But we certainly have added OTHER CONTENT that is not as high-brow as our weekly feature content. Does that mean the website itself is dumbed down, or does it mean we're simply serving different content in different flavors?

I don't think we've gone "dumb" and certain the other internet sites who make fun of us for being elitist snobs would find that funny, heh. But I appreciate that you've been a reader since our PDF days and I'm sorry you feel we've let you down. Thanks for your comments.
 

Jared

The British Paladin
Jul 14, 2009
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auronvi said:
Long live the Escapist. As long as I can hide here on the internet away from all that other meaningless dribble, I can live happy!
Huzzah to that!

Nice article though, certainly addressing some issues which I have been talking to collegues at work about...gotta be careful where you go and what you read
 

Archon

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Nov 12, 2002
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Archon said:
SikOseph said:
What pursuit is that then? The one that has led to the consist dumbing down of articles ever since the .pdf version stopped coming out? I used to really love the content on the Escapist but it strikes that you've all got a bit big for your boots. When it isn't self-referential and self-glorifying articles like this one it is poorly researched or unnecessarily provocative articles designed to increase traffic not consciousness. I refer you, for example, to the latest Going Gold, or to the myriad topics about the biggest and most overhyped games. ZP is funny and good, but I fear it has killed what your website once was.
So, I'm of mixed minds here.

The content in our weekly issues - that we have continued to publish - is chosen according to the same standards it was during the era when we made the PDF. The same set of writers creates the content. You can read every issue from 1 to the present on the site and I'd hold them all up as examples of great writing. So I'm just not certain where this sense that we've dumbed down the articles comes from.

But we certainly have added OTHER CONTENT that is not as high-brow as our weekly feature content. Does that mean the website itself is dumbed down, or does it mean we're simply serving different content in different flavors?

I don't think we've gone "dumb" and certain the other internet sites who make fun of us for being elitist snobs would find that funny, heh. But I appreciate that you've been a reader since our PDF days and I'm sorry you feel we've let you down. Thanks for your comments.
I appreciate the acknowledgement! I should perhaps consider that I do still find occasional gems, it's just that I have to sift through much more filler that isn't interesting. It is probably the dilution of the weekly issue that has caused me to have this opinion (so well pointed out). I kind of think where before I was reading 5 articles of which I found three or four interesting and none badly written or researched, now I read 20, of which 3 are interesting, 3 are a bit meh, and the rest either have low content value, are badly researched, or I find uninteresting. So yeah, it's not that the originals have got worse, it's that I find my patience tested by all the other stuff.
Oh, and don't let my complaint be taken as comparable to other websites - this is still one of the best places to read the internet, it's just that I find it not as much better than most others as it was before.
 

swimon

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Jul 23, 2009
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Anyone else think Macris reads Ayn Rand? ^^
Seemed like the article had some inspiration from her work. Like how individuals are the "fountainhead" of creativity or how the fast food created by the talentless masses is "parasitic".

That said I don't necessarily disagree. The escapist is a haven of intellectualism on the internet even if the really good articles are a bit fewer and further between than optimal these days (that article about the word virtual was the most recent really great article).

EDIT: I feel that I have to clarify myself now that the SikOseph thing flared up I don't feel that the site has been dumbed down nor that the quality of writing has in any way lessened. There have simply been fewer article that has piqued my interest lately. Also I only mean the tuesday articles experienced points was always good yet still seem to age like fine wine.