Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Reactions to my previous post

On LinkedIn, there has been some great discussion going on about my last article, and I want to share those comments in addition to the others here on my blog.

Ted Southard CEO at DigitalFlux Entertainment, LLC:

"Interesting, and you raise valid points. However, how do we know that Six Days in Fallujah was not that mature game in an FPS shell? It may well have been, and it was something that was touted as one of it's differentiating features, since I believe it followed the story of an actual squad in that battle.

The actual matter is that it's okay to do Call of Duty 4 or Modern Warfare 2 in these locations because they are not real, and thus do not enter into the realm of politics, which Six Day in Fallujah did. When that firestorm brewed up from both sides of the argument, Konami backed off and folded like a chair at the beach...

What needs to happen, in addition to what you had recommended in more deep games being produced (and you're right in that those are in short supply) is for companies to stand up to their parents as well. I would not have backed off the game, but would have addressed all of the critics with facts and slugged it out.

People appreciate integrity, and the lack of it in some of the dealings in this industry reflect the immaturity you speak of. In this case, Konami showed a lack of integrity in backing off of the project instead of taking their case to the public in a more aggressive manner, which not only would have benefited them, but the entire industry by showing people that we can and will stand up for our medium. Otherwise, we just look like kids with their hand in the cookie jar."

Ernest Adams Game Design & Development Consultant, Freelance Teacher

"Your message is worthy but short on specifics. Yes, the industry needs to grow up. I've been complaining, sometimes bitterly, about that for nearly 20 years. But what does that mean in specific terms?

To me, one thing it means is that when the developers of a game DO choose to tackle difficult and controversial subjects, they must do so with the utmost seriousness. They must not yield to the temptation to include gratuitous shock content, inside humor, or anything else that would justify a criticism that the game is trivializing the subject. (It will receive that criticism anyway, just for being a game; the question is whether the game includes content that, in candor, really DOES trivialize the subject.)

Some will undoubtedly complain that if Quentin Tarantino can trivialize violence and brutality, why can't we? And the answer is that Tarantino works in a medium that has already earned its cultural status -- as you yourself point out.

I don't know enough about Six Days in Fallujah to know whether it treated the war with the gravity that it deserves. I had heard a rumor that it was less a Rambo-style FPS than a survival horror game, because that's what the battle really was: survival horror. If true, I think it would have been an important step forward in our portrayal of war, and I would like to have seen it. But I also know how game developers love to slip in cheats and Easter eggs and other supposedly "clever" material that is fun to find, but subverts the tone and message of the subject matter. And that would immediately destroy the credibility of any game on a subject as grim as the battle for Fallujah.

If Atomic had included even one powerup, or hidden super-weapon, or invincible mode, or Easter egg that changed all the enemies into giant rabbits, then it would have ruined the game -- and been a major setback for anyone else trying to address a controversial subject. Did they? Or did they really take their subject matter as seriously as they should? I guess we'll never know."

Ed Salsberg Owner, Steel Valor Online - Video Game Consulting & Beta Testing:

"We've done WWII to death, raised it and to the death again! When I heard it was canceled due to the controversy of the current war(s) I was majorly disappointed. We need fresher content!

Honoring the fallen by telling their story and even pushing some of the profits to the families of the fallen would change the public's view of this game entirely. The stories on the Military Channel, especially those dealing with current or recent events are the most interesting and very popular.

I really think they should reconsider or pass the project to someone with the balls to do it and do it right. We could use the new content as teh only gold series we currently have that deal with modern day combat are GRAW, CoD and ... ummm ... exactly.

Honestly, if K was concerned about content dealing with current conflicts maybe they should stop selling their Crusades games ... as that was will always be fought until we die or forget the gods."

Jaime Kuroiwa :

"I believe this is the reason for SDF's demise. Shortly after this news broke on the blogs, Konami pulled support. I don't think it was coincidence.

And here is a comment from user randomlulz:
"... is the opinion of a jobless MBA grad in his twenties..."
...I must say I am flattered that I can still pass for twenty-something...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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