Archive for the ‘GWJ’ Category

Of Sites

Friday, September 14th, 2007

Over at Gamers With Jobs Sean “Elysium” Sands pens his 200th article since the site started in 2003. It is by no means a small feat, one that I also managed to accomplish. Twice. Now that I’m sneaking up on my 500th article on this site, I thought I’d take some time to reflect on some of the highs and lows of this site since I started it back in 2002. It’s almost embarrassing to see what the site looked like back then, but look if you must.

We can go back further, to back before I had a domain name, but that effort would look absolutely amateur.

I’ve changed the guts of this site no less than 3 times along the way, each time causing more headaches than I was prepared for. Fixing the self-referential links on this amount of articles is a bit of a pain anymore. I’d recommend avoidance.

In the years that I’ve been doing this site, there are of course some articles that I’m particularly proud of:

Of course, they’re not all gems. For a time I tried my hand at being a commodity blogger and realized that it was a whole lot of work to scour sites and post up the same news as the ‘big boys’ but with different snarky comments. Those articles were boring to write, boring to read, and devoid of almost all value.

So, my daily updates about what’s going on that particular day have waned, which is just as well. They were boring to read and boring to write. And though I’ll sometimes lament that this site has been around so long without making a significant impact, I’m pleased with the position it has and the direction it’s going.

Right, enough of the reflective navel-gazing. My neck’s getting sore.

Irregular updates ahoy!

E3. the home game

Thursday, July 12th, 2007

I’ve only been to one ‘old school’ E3 event, and while it was pretty neat being able to schmooze with other game developers I could not imagine what it would be like to actually work the thing. Rushing from meeting to meeting, press conference to press conference, interview to interview, all to get what is essentially the same information as everyone else. There are only so many ways you can interpret the same information. Elysium from Gamers With Jobs has the right idea

Covering E3, even for a relatively low-maintenance audience like GWJ … is a hell of a lot of work. I’m not complaining exactly, because in the process I get to play video games still months from release, but there’s a lot of jockeying through understaffed PR folks to see canned demos by over-tired developers who’ve spent too many hours over the past three months just trying to make their E3 demos look good.

And in the end, from the uncomfortable chairs of the media center, my olfactory processes abused by the stench of sweat and stale caffeinated drinks, I end up reporting basically the same information as everyone else.

So, while I could create dozens of posts about how this game or that game looks great or looks terrible. I’ll let the other guys do that. Much less stressful that way.

Link! (GWJ)

Game review scoring methods are flawed

Friday, June 29th, 2007

Scores that games get at various news sites influence their sales. Developers are sometimes dissatisfied with low scores, because or this. Mitch Gitelman, who worked on the latest Shadowrun game, is one of them.

“According to OXM’s scale, a 7.0 indicates a game that has a lot of things going for it, but still has a few major issues, or something that limits its appeal. That’s fine for OXM, but an arbitrary value like that means different things to different people. I don’t think a 7.0 is a game that deserves my attention, and I’m pretty positive that most people feel the same way. The Xbox 360 version of Shadowrun is hovering around 70.3% on review score aggregators like, and that number means radically different things to developers, reviewers, and consumers.”

It’s tough to see a game (or anything that you’ve poured a huge amount of yourself into) get raked over the coals. So I can empathize. Though a 70% is hardly abysmal, it’s still C- territory. I’m not going to detail why I think reviews are flawed, I’ve beaten that horse so many times I’m starting to get tennis elbow.

Link! (GamersWithJobs)

Personification in video games

Thursday, June 21st, 2007

Gamers With Jobs has an interesting article that explores how not just women, but many of the non-young male characters are objectified in games. Even better, the article is written by a female gamer, a rare specimen indeed.

“Unless you’re a wise old martial arts master guy, you better not age. And when I say age, I mean at all. Remember Sir Auron from Final Fantasy X? Great character. Kicks butt all over the place, and even gives good story. All through the game he gets crap about being an old man. If you do the math from the facts in the game, he would be 33 years old (if he wasn’t already dead but if you’ll follow the immutable point). How does it feel to know that you’re really old, guys? At least he’s there. I tried to think of a female equivalent in age and story role, and got nowhere. I have come up with a theory about grown women. I think they morph into crates once they turn 26. They wrap themselves in a wooden chrysalis and change into their final form. The next day they emerge and shake out their skirts as 80-mumble year old NPC’s and shuffle off to live in a random village in the nearest jRPG. It would explain why those things are all over the place and there’s no grown women in sight, wouldn’t it?”

Link! (Gamers With Jobs)