The Game Stash: Show Some Respect

Fearzone

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Dec 3, 2008
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Shamus nailed it in his "games as art" Stolen Pixels... the whole search for validation seems to be an ongoing issue in video gaming. To wit:

Are you l33t or are you a n00b? Are you casual or are you hardcore? Do you play games on easy or insane? There seems a lot of self-esteem tied to these answers, for an activity that supposedly is entertainment.

How about this: is videogaming a sport, or "eSport" as people are trying to call it. There are some people who take the term seriously, pathetic as that may be. Or are games art? Now how many things are both a sport and art? Competitive diving... figure skating... synchronized swimming... ballet and other forms of dancing? Maybe martial arts sometimes... well I guess is it called an art so yeah. Now do any of these things have any remote resemblance to videogaming?

Videogaming is just that... gaming, on a video monitor. You may be very talented or you may suck, but at the end of the day, it's a game, like chess, poker, Candy Land, and Scrabble, not particularly art, and definitely not a sport, but hopefully you had a fun time doing it.
 
Apr 28, 2008
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T-Bone24 said:
Irridium said:
Seriously, who cares what they think? Just play your games and be happy. I know you want to convince the general public that gamers aren't rage-fueled killing machines, but sending threats to an opponent of gaming doesn't exactly help our cause.

EDIT: Also, happy birthday you magnificently mustachioed man.
Unfortunately, however, a frankly sad number of people who badmouth games and hold outdated beliefs are either in power or at least have a degree of influence with people. I agree that people shouldn't be overcome with hatred when it's brought up, but defending a passion is a worthwhile cause, I would say. I very much doubt that movie fans or music fans would appreciate their hobby as a whole being labelled as dangerous. I'm well aware that there are films and there are songs which are deemed unfit for consumption or attacked by the big wigs at the cracker factory, but I never hear anything from anyone that matters that even implies an inherent danger to films and music.

And a very merry, belated womb-poppin' anniversary for that most mustachioed of men, Steve Butts.
Defending our passion is a worthwhile cause. But I don't think we should defend our passion by going ape-shit and sending threatening letters/emails/ect.
 

T-Bone24

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Dec 29, 2008
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Irridium said:
T-Bone24 said:
Irridium said:
Seriously, who cares what they think? Just play your games and be happy. I know you want to convince the general public that gamers aren't rage-fueled killing machines, but sending threats to an opponent of gaming doesn't exactly help our cause.

EDIT: Also, happy birthday you magnificently mustachioed man.
Unfortunately, however, a frankly sad number of people who badmouth games and hold outdated beliefs are either in power or at least have a degree of influence with people. I agree that people shouldn't be overcome with hatred when it's brought up, but defending a passion is a worthwhile cause, I would say. I very much doubt that movie fans or music fans would appreciate their hobby as a whole being labelled as dangerous. I'm well aware that there are films and there are songs which are deemed unfit for consumption or attacked by the big wigs at the cracker factory, but I never hear anything from anyone that matters that even implies an inherent danger to films and music.

And a very merry, belated womb-poppin' anniversary for that most mustachioed of men, Steve Butts.
Defending our passion is a worthwhile cause. But I don't think we should defend our passion by going ape-shit and sending threatening letters/emails/ect.
I think that everyone can agree with that. It only serves to further a stereotype.
 

RMcD94

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Nov 25, 2009
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The reason we want people to understand the games, is because it's the majority of those people who make the laws regarding games.

Edit: Probably been said so +1 to them.
 

V8 Ninja

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May 15, 2010
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Great article, but while I was reading it, I realized that the whole "Gamers are horrible people!" argument is a never-ending cause-effect cycle. People complain about gamers over-enjoying our hobby that involves performing violent and sexual activities in a non-realistic world, we respond by swearing and threatening them, they reinforce their argument because we threatened them, and repeat. We, as video game players, have basically screwed ourselves over with having any sort of positive public reputation.
 

mikespoff

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Oct 29, 2009
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This reminds me of a recent article (can't remember which one, though) on this site talking about how we need to be more proactive in sharing our love of gaming to try and counter the image of "Gamers are those people that we hear about on the news whenever there's been a violent crime".
 

mikespoff

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Oct 29, 2009
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Oh, wait - it was "View From the Road: It's Time to Grow Up".

Thanks for the article, Steve.
 

Sikachu

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Apr 20, 2010
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Steve Butts said:
All I'm suggesting is that we're blaming them for not understanding something that they have had no opportunity to understand.
Wrong.

Steve Butts said:
Maybe that's getting a little overly philosophical, but I think the same is true of gamers.
Bit of a big word for what is a rather juvenile point.

Other than those two niggles, good article and I particularly agree with the notion that those who push for outside recognition the hardest tend to be the least secure about playing games in the first place.
 

Formica Archonis

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Nov 13, 2009
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Steve Butts thought a degree in Latin would be more useful than it has been.
Really? If so, AWESOME! Fascinating language, that is. I'm a monoglot, but if ever I was going to pick up a second language, I'd probably go for Latin. Silly, but I've never been one to let practicality stand in the way of learning stuff!
 

nik3daz

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Jan 1, 2008
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Summary of different viewpoints

I am Joe Gamer. I enjoy video games because they are fun. It angers me when people that get a lot of media attention speak about games in an ignorant manner, misleading the mainstream.

I am Jack Thompson. I have agendas that are served by media interest in myself. I need a cause that will generate that media attention; something new and edgy that parents already have a predisposition to dislike. I will shit all over video games.

No opportunity to understand? It's not a lifetime's work to pick up a controller and play some games. By being evangelical before you experience or at least understand something, you're being a douche.
 

Stilt-Man

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Dec 31, 2009
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As always, an excellent, well-presented read. The Game Stash (which should be titled The Game 'Stache) is quickly becoming my favorite read on this site.

Hope you had a nice birthday.
 

Dexiro

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Dec 23, 2009
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I can see what you're getting at but a lot of us do return respect.

I'm not angered when people think badly of gaming, but when their reasoning is incorrect and they refuse to accept a different opinion. I'd quite enjoy an honest debate about the effects and worth of gaming, but that never seems to happen.

If the opposition accepted our viewpoints instead of blatantly ignoring them, and then sat down to get first-hand experience of games rather than just giving their 5 year old God of War and looking in disgust at it then i think their viewpoint would be a lot more justified.

The counter argument always seems to be "scientific studies" for them. Both parties have studies that are constantly contradicting each other so they're not a safe ground for justification at all.
 

Steve Butts

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Jun 1, 2010
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Sikachu said:
Steve Butts said:
All I'm suggesting is that we're blaming them for not understanding something that they have had no opportunity to understand.
Wrong.

Steve Butts said:
Maybe that's getting a little overly philosophical, but I think the same is true of gamers.
Bit of a big word for what is a rather juvenile point.

Other than those two niggles, good article and I particularly agree with the notion that those who push for outside recognition the hardest tend to be the least secure about playing games in the first place.
Thanks for the compliment. Seriously.

Unfortunately, your initial two reponses illustrate my point. The extent of your first argument goes no further than saying I'm "wrong" while your second merely insults my delivery.
 

Asparagus Brown

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Sep 1, 2008
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It's essentially the same problem as with modern art. The largely uninformed majority criticise what they don't understand. The difference only really lies within the criticisms.

And, again, in defending their interest, the people who are informed attack and dismiss those who aren't.

It's ignorance versus elitism.
 

bobdevis

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Jul 22, 2010
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The problem with people like Jack Thompson has nothing to do with (not) understanding games. They have a much more fundamental issue;

They believe that the "bad" aspects of human behaviour can best be dealt with by suppressing them and eliminating reference to them. This is ofcause a recipe for disaster and general unhappiness.

Intelligent people give their inner beast a (safe!) outlet ..... like games. There is no way to convince Jack of this though, as this would smut up his perfect, puritan, black/white view of the world.
 

Rigs83

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Feb 10, 2009
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Games will become art the day gamers stop caring about the label and enjoy the experience. I once saw a bar of soap with a bulls eye on it made of pubic hair. Someone called it art and gave the guy thousands for it. I have played games where I just matched colors and symbols and paid for it. Art is in the eye of the beholder and needs no justification to exist. There is no game vital to life as is no work of art in a museum. We want and crave games because it is an expression of our creativity. Gamers spend nearly as much time perfecting their skills at a game as a artist does perfecting their style. We do not need to but choose to do this.

Art has and always will be in the eye of the beholder.
 

Therumancer

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Nov 28, 2007
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I think you miss a third point of view here. There is some truth to seeking self validation, and some truth to defending the industry in a high-minded sense. There is also the other point of view that the people attacking video games for not being art also usually say that they cannot ever be art, and do so with the agenda of trying to belittle them as part of an effort to impose more controls on them. I think the whole "games as art" issue involves more facets than your giving it credit for. For those tending towards the "Jack Thomson" school of thought the problem with video games even having the potential to be art is that this would afford them the same level of protection as other forms of art and would make them harder to regulate.

I say this because I care less about high minded principle of wanting games to be accepted as art, than I do about the central issue of free speech, and free speech includes the abillity to be offensive, hateful, and irreverant, without any need for such things to be associated with art. Since I feel it was long ago established that anything could be considered art if hyped the right way, I think the arguement has always beem more about semantics than anything.

-

As a side note I would like to point out that the bit you demean about the guy promoting a game as being the "ultimate male fantasy" is an artistic statement on a lot of levels. Today we typically see more statements from a feminist perspective and "what it is to be a woman" and listen to people ranting on like Dan Brown did in his books about the oppression of the "sacred feminine" or whatever else. People tend to forget about warrior poets and such and people who have explored the issue of what it means to be a man.

In today's society we're rapidly seeing men being forced to rein in their desires and instincts, being turned into so called "meterosexuals". We live in a society where it's increasingly becoming wrong to deal with problems directly, everyone minces words and hides behind bureaucracy and impersonal legal systems. While women will go on endlessly about their sexuality in books, movies, prose, and philsophy, men are basically forced to oppress ours, we live in a society where you could be sued or thrown in jail for coming on to some girl. In general male sexuality tends to only be expressed in a crude, and offensive fashion, if at all. Heck, in fiction today aggressive men are almot always portrayed as the bad guys, a definate differance between the heroes of yesterday in the mould of "Don Juan" who could be said to appeal to both genders.

A game like you describe does sort of make a statement if I understand it properly. Guys being able to express their sexuality towards women without danger (and by this I don't mean rape), very direct and rational solutions to problems. There have been many people who have written about how being frank and direct is a manifestation of manliness, as well as some very interesting explanations as to why duels of honor and such are not a bad thing. Oh sure we all know the problems with "Samurai Justice", "Duels', and affairs of honor like that but for all the problems with that kind of system it can also be pointed out that today's bureucratic system of justice has as many problems where instead of "might makes right" we face a situation that's just as bad where he who hires the biggest rat to argue semantics for him wins. It might be a differant kind of might, but when you look at duelling lawyers with pens and documents from a certain perspective it's really no differant than a couple of Gladiators going at it. You can't even say today that nobody gets hurt in this way of doing things since lives can be ruined, massive jail sentences can be inflicted, and arguably in some cases death might have been preferable.

The point being that games like this can be seen to make a statement. The very fact that some people consider a character like Conan "immature" when he was once considered to be pretty serious sword and sorcery material is sort of the point of making a game like that in response. What's more, ask yourself what is fundementally wrong with a guy being found attractive and picking up girls? Nobody bats an eye when some paranormal romance heroine has her legions of adoring Vampires and Werewolves or whatever, but when the situation is reversed and you have this dude who has tons of sex with all these hot girls people scream that there is something horribly wrong and immature about it. Why?

I respect your opinion that you don't like that game's hype/proposal/whatever it was, I mean everyone has their opinion, I guess what I'm saying is that in a lot of respects making a clear statement or analysis of a concept through a medium is what art is all about. Arguably your arguement against something being art, seems to involve a very direct example of something being art even if you don't agree with the artist's apparent message of exploring unfettered masculinity.

I doubt you (or many people) have read this far, but just in case I'll state this is simply my opinion, and apologize (ahead of time) to any it might offend.

At any rate I seriously look forward to the arrival of a game that gives me the oppertunity to let my hair down, and not only hack up a bunch of bad guys, but have babes all over me while I play it without pulling any punches or acting like I should feel guilty. I mean heck, the teen girls have their fantasies about Edward and Jacob, I have mine about the gorgeous twin princesses I save from the evil overlord and want to show me their gratitude. :p
 

Asparagus Brown

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Sep 1, 2008
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bobdevis said:
The problem with people like Jack Thompson has nothing to do with (not) understanding games. They have a much more fundamental issue;

They believe that the "bad" aspects of human behaviour can best be dealt with by suppressing them and eliminating reference to them. This is ofcause a recipe for disaster and general unhappiness.

Intelligent people give their inner beast a (safe!) outlet ..... like games. There is no way to convince Jack of this though, as this would smut up his perfect, puritan, black/white view of the world.
See, the problem there is exactly what was discussed in the article. You assume that your opinion is correct and that his is ill-informed, and you are defending your opinion aggressively without leaving the option open for rational discussion and a goal of mutual understanding.