Jimquisition: Taking Videogames Seriously

Jimothy Sterling

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Apr 18, 2011
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Taking Videogames Seriously

When will games be taken seriously? Why isn't anybody taking videogames seriously? How many times can Jim say the word "seriously" in a single video? Does any of it matter? No. None of it. Ever.

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Zac Smith

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Apr 25, 2010
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I liked Alien 3 and Resurrection, there no where near as bad as people make them out to be
 
Dec 14, 2009
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I didn't really like Alien Resurrection, but I never understood the hate that Alien 3 received, I thought it was pretty damn good.
 

TheDooD

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Zac Smith said:
I liked Alien 3 and Resurrection, there no where near as bad as people make them out to be
They were damn good movies too bad hollywood really cant handle the Alien nor the Predator IP correctly without it being basically a teen token flick with the normal nuke it military asshats. Ok im really talking about the 2nd AVP movie, it was so bad...

OT

This subject kinda works into the shit that's going down with MLG and the FGC. MLG wants the rowdy world of fighting games to go to a more professional stance so the FGC can get more money and be more taken seriously. To me I don't care if the community isn't TV or family friendly. Look at Jersey Shore if THAT's acceptable TV content then damn near anything above flatout porno is. I don't know why people are so hard up to be taken seriously when enjoying what you love is what matters first.
 

anthony87

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Does this mean people are finally gonna shut up about the whole "Games as an artform" thing too? And yes, Alien 3 and Alien: Resurrection were pretty damn good. You can't not like a movie featuring Ron Pearlman and Xenomorphs.
 

mjc0961

YOU'RE a pie chart.
Nov 30, 2009
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Bravo, bravo! I hate when people spew that crap too. "Oh we can't have fun games anymore, we need serious games so games will be taken seriously." Fuck you, games are entertainment and entertainment is meant to be fun.
 

Dastardly

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Apr 19, 2010
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Jim Sterling said:
Taking Videogames Seriously

When will games be taken seriously? Why isn't anybody taking videogames seriously? How many times can Jim say the word "seriously" in a single video? Does any of it matter? No. None of it. Ever.

Watch Video
Definitely agreed.

We keep poking around for the same validation we deny everyone else, because we don't understand their passions.

Do all of us take NASCAR seriously? Do we all take collectible card games seriously? Sports statistics? Weight lifting? Fine dining? The stock market? Or do we tend to ridicule the people that take these things seriously, simply because we don't understand the passion they feel toward that?

I know I don't take golf seriously. That's why I can still enjoy it. I don't keep score, I live from swing to swing, and socialize with the guys. And this infuriates some of them to no end. "If you're not keeping score, what's the point?" For me, the point is not keeping score. It's to just have fun with the activity and the company.

And on the other side of things, I take my discussions and debates pretty "seriously," in a sense. Not in the sense that I believe the outcome of the debate will change the issue being debated, or even change the mind of the person I'm debating with, but because it will change (refine, streamline, alter) my own mind, and how it works.

There are three baffling categories of people out there, and everyone is all three:

1. The kind of person that asks, "Why do you take X so seriously? Can't you just enjoy it?" Without realizing that they're talking to:

2. The kind of person that enjoys X specifically by taking it seriously. And we all have that thing, so we're just big raging hypocrites.

3. The kind of person that doesn't enjoy or participate in or understand X at all, and wonders what all the damned fuss is about... when they feel exactly the same as #1 or #2 about Y or Z instead.

The same car is enjoyed four different ways by the casual driver (It gets me to and fro, and it has a TV in the seat), the competitive/career driver (I've got so much horsepower I have to feed this damned thing oats, bitches), and the casual mechanic (I just installed a new exhaust system because it makes it sound cooler), and the competitive/career mechanic (I just got some new tools so I can get more jobs done per day and increase my output/income).

Now, which one is "right?" Should I have to know what the hell an idle air control valve is to "enjoy" my car, or am I not taking it "seriously" enough?
 

shrekfan246

Not actually a Japanese pop star
May 26, 2011
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mjc0961 said:
Bravo, bravo! I hate when people spew that crap too. "Oh we can't have fun games anymore, we need serious games so games will be taken seriously." Fuck you, games are entertainment and entertainment is meant to be fun.
You know, that's actually one of the primary things that's been bugging me the past few weeks. It seems like a lot of people have forgotten that games are supposed to be fun. Even while they're decrying things for being simplified to amplify the amount of fun the average gamer can get.

I understand the competitiveness of gamers (though I don't share it), but I just can't understand how stubborn people can be in their views. I'm a very pessimistic person, but I don't get up in arms every time a hyped game is bad, or every time a game with barely any information released has an update that shows it went in a different direction, or when non-gamers criticize games.

I don't cry out about how games are being dumbed down or simplified "for the console kiddies" (which is a massive insult, because how many current-day gamers can honestly say they only grew up with a Commodore 64 or Amiga or something and never had an NES? And this very website has plenty of people who got into gaming because of Nintendo or Sega, or even Sony) and I don't get insulted when the likes of Blizzard tries to appeal to a wider demographic with WoW. You shouldn't need to devote ten hours a day, five days a week to an MMO/competitive shooter just to stay in competition with the rest of the people in your respective tier of raiding/PvP play.

Er. To tie this in with the subject at hand, I simply think that gamers actually take games far too seriously. Everyone could deal with lightening up a bit and remembering that these are games. Games are meant to entertain. Entertainment, by definition, is supposed to stimulate something in humans that makes them enjoy themselves, be it via romance, gore and violence, horror, comedy, drama, anything. It's simply supposed to be fun.

EDIT:

Dastardly said:
1. The kind of person that asks, "Why do you take X so seriously? Can't you just enjoy it?" Without realizing that they're talking to:

2. The kind of person that enjoys X specifically by taking it seriously. And we all have that thing, so we're just big raging hypocrites.

3. The kind of person that doesn't enjoy or participate in or understand X at all, and wonders what all the damned fuss is about... when they feel exactly the same as #1 or #2 about Y or Z instead.
Very much agreed on your three points there, and I think it explains to me why I have a hard time understanding why some people will get up in arms over anything involving games.
 

Wookie 1

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Apr 3, 2010
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I dont really agree, he is rather ignoring the question. The people who dont take it seriously are key decision makers and opinion formers. Many more people have heard of famous Film Critics than Jim here or Yahtzee or anybody else from our medium. Until that changes we are just considered a rogue toy industry gone mad. That needs to change, it doesnt matter if we take us seriously really, it matters if the important within society does.
 

Kapol

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May 2, 2010
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I agree with it for the most part that the main thing about something is that, if you enjoy it, who cares if others don't? Of course, there are reasons to care if others don't. Not enough sales means any potential sequel or follow of won't be made (like Advent Rising), and similarly there are important people who don't take games seriously who do matter (politicans and the like).

But the idea that people who's opinions don't matter should be forced to take everything they don't care for seriously is just stupid. And there are those types of people, the ones who try getting validation from other, non-related groups in almost everything. Those people are annoying twats who ruin the reputation of the people they 'represent.' I can think of a few specific examples right away.

Wookie 1 said:
I dont really agree, he is rather ignoring the question. The people who dont take it seriously are key decision makers and opinion formers. Many more people have heard of famous Film Critics than Jim here or Yahtzee or anybody else from our medium. Until that changes we are just considered a rogue toy industry gone mad. That needs to change, it doesnt matter if we take us seriously really, it matters if the important within society does.
Who cares if people respect our critics? I agree there that key decision makers who would have a fairly big impact on the growth and development of the industry matter. But 'opinion formers' do not. Most people wouldn't play games just because Ebert does. There are some who would play the games the stars play, but... do we really care if those kind of people play games anyways? People who wouldn't get into something until it became 'popular' or someone they don't even know plays it? They just seem the type to give the gaming community an ever worse reputation.
 

TheyTookOurJobs

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Dec 22, 2009
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JIM, I HAVE A GORILLA ALIEN ACTION FIGURE WHAT I BOUGHT FROM EUROPE!?

No idea why, but I really felt the need to tell everybody that.
 

LiquidGrape

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Sep 10, 2008
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I can't stand Sterling's mode of argument, but he likes Alien: Resurrection, the single most underrated avant-garde Hollywood blockbuster of the last 15 years...?

...I'm so torn.

That said, I think Sterling has made another overtly reductive assertion. While many of the people clamouring for Ebert's approval was probably looking for a validation of their personal interests, I think an equal, if not greater, amount of people simply wished for somebody so obviously ignorant of the subject matter (and someone whose work they probably enjoyed in regards to cinema, thus having a certain amount of respect and/or affection for the man) to consider actually investing something in the form before dismissing it so thoroughly. While it might be an idealistic notion, I honestly believe a great majority of people who love games simply wish to impart the same joy they have derived onto those uninitiated.
 

cymonsgames

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Dec 17, 2010
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Wookie 1 said:
I dont really agree, he is rather ignoring the question. The people who dont take it seriously are key decision makers and opinion formers. Many more people have heard of famous Film Critics than Jim here or Yahtzee or anybody else from our medium. Until that changes we are just considered a rogue toy industry gone mad. That needs to change, it doesnt matter if we take us seriously really, it matters if the important within society does.
I agree. Jim is wrong because these people do matter. And that's only one facet. There's also the fact that video games aren't being taken seriously by the people making them. The professional video game industry is driven by making money. But applying the traditional methodology of maximizing return while minimizing expense leads to a single outcome in a creative medium like video games. Stagnation and eventually death.

And as a fan of not just video games but the industry of them I don't like that thought. But for those like Jim fun is enough so whatever.
 

IamLEAM1983

Neloth's got swag.
Aug 22, 2011
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I've always thought that the crux of the argument wasn't really that games aren't "taken seriously" (which is a claim that means nothing, in my opinion), but more that some people go so far into the polar opposite and work SO hard to belittle the hobby that they'll go right out and invent fallacies about it.

Lookin' in your general direction, Fox News...

So it's not so much seriousness or validation that is (or should) be the primary focus, but more the fact that if you're going to rail against games, then please get your science right. That, to me, is the real problem.

I don't care that some of my teachers think nothing's changed since the days of Super Mario Bros., and I don't care about my father's raised eyebrow when he sees me playing the new Kirby title. I don't give a shit about the shallow bros who won't touch anything that doesn't involve football or guns with a ten-feet pole; it's their freaking prerogative. It's their choice. I'm not willing, nor able to change their opinion on me or the medium as a whole.

What I do care about and what I do call for is a minimum of professionalism, in regards to games. If you're looking for a new culprit for the little ones' moral degeneration, start by checking out to see if the game you're wanting to lambaste is *actually* limited to raunchy interstellar sex scenes.

Beyond that, I don't care that the gaming culture offers as much space to the adventures of a time-bending little chap in an artsy watercolour setting as to the modern dildo-using kingpin of a fictitious metropolis. I don't care that you'll find folks who like Linking Books and Lancer Rifles equally. Different strokes for different folks and all that.

Gaming, in and of itself, doesn't need to be taken seriously or to *be* serious. It's a form of entertainment. The level of seriousness of any given project is entirely in the hands of the dev team. Actively looking for outside validation is completely pointless, when you think about it. Did Jerry Lewis rail out against those who called his stuff Satanic? Did Jimi Hendrix care when people criticized his rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner"?
 

MonkeyPunch

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Feb 20, 2008
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Indeed enough people take games seriously.

Activision sure as hell take games seriously as they can rake in billions with just one title. Ergo their shareholders also take games seriously too.

You could even argue that a whole host of institutions take games seriously as they have taken a gaming peripheral (the Kinect) and modded it in to something useful for other areas of daily life. etc.

The people who don't take games seriously are those who don't care for gaming or any of its facets in the first place or are uninformed about the subject... so who cares.

I don't take a whole bunch of stuff seriously which others do... so 'nuff said basically.
 

dashiz94

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Apr 14, 2009
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This is where I find Jim's argument grounded in a false conception, most INTELLIGENT gamers want games to be "taken seriously" because in that way it prevents dickbags on Fox News from petitioning Congress to ban or limit them as being "harmful" or "negative to the public." That kind of crap. Books at one time weren't taken seriously and thus were banned. Know who those people were? The PURITANS (aka Salem Witch Trials)
 

Something Amyss

Aswyng and Amyss
Dec 3, 2008
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You want gamers to be mature and secure?

God, I thought Lennon was a dreamer, but I guess he wasn't the only one.