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12 Steps To Regain Industry Confidence 55

Next Generation has a piece with some lessons drawn from the Game Marketing Conference. The article offers at 12-step program for restoring the game industry's self-confidence. A good idea, in the wake of Hot Coffee and in the face of angry legislators. From the article: "4. Publicize that history shows we never embrace new media. This is true for silent movies, radio, pulp magazines, comic books and every new music wave including Mozart. Videogames are not the devil incarnate, and not capable of half the deviltry our critics claim for them."
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12 Steps To Regain Industry Confidence

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  • ews? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tomhudson ( 43916 ) <barbara...hudson@@@barbara-hudson...com> on Thursday March 09, 2006 @12:26PM (#14883843) Journal
    Its not like "Hot Coffee" actually hurt the industry. It created the sort of buzz you can't buy. (the only thing worse than bad publicity is no publicity). The people who claimed to be "offended" weren't the target market anyway.
  • 1 Step (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mabba18 ( 897753 ) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @12:27PM (#14883849)
    1. Stop making crappy, overpriced, sequels and even crappier movie based games.
    • Re:1 Step (Score:5, Insightful)

      by TheAngryMob ( 49125 ) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @12:53PM (#14884085) Homepage
      Actually, that just shows they have too much confidence. If they weren't so cocky, they'd be wary of publishing the same crap over and over again.

      The problem with crap sequels is that people buy them! Next time junior wants Madden 200X, smack him and then get him a real game!
      • Every time this discussion comes up someone has to insult Madden. But the truth is Madden sells. People want a new Madden every year. They know Madden is fun, and they can see the upgrades from the previous year. What people don't want is generic RPG number 476, with the exact same story as every other RPG, exact same battle system and exact same graphics. People are more than willing to buy sequels of good games. They just don't like rip offs (see Grand Theft Auto v. True Crime, Final Fantasy v. Shadowh
        • so if you dont wanna insult Madden or other sports games, look at the Pokemon series - yes, it was popular at one time, but then they just started making crap sequels to get little kids who are just now hearing about pokemon into buying the games

          also, look at the Halo series - the first one sold great and I wont deny it had a decent story or multiplayer gameplay (except when you got bastards sitting on one side of the map camp/sniping from the same place every time, and the only way to take em out is doing

          • It's also posible that they expect Halo 3 will sell well because Bungie is a great developer that makes good, fun to play, games. You are self-admitedly not a xbox/halo fan, so I'm not so sure your analasys of Halo and the reasons Halo 2 sold are exactly spot on, but we don't need to go into how easy it is to kill sniper campers once you get into the game just now.

            The point is Halo had several well done innovative aspects to it. Halo 2 had several more, though probably not quite as innovative as the fir

          • Halo was a really good game. It had a good campaign, and a great multiplayer that unfortunately was not net enabled.

            Halo 2 was an even better game. The single player stuff wasn't as good, but the multiplayer was REALLY good. That thing has legs- people are still playing the heck out of it now. I don't think that a better on-line console game has been created yet. On each game I probably spent 30 hours on the single player. But I have spent MANY hundreds of hours on the Halo 2 multiplayer.

            Bungie/Micros
        • Every time this discussion comes up someone has to insult Madden. But the truth is Madden sells.

          I think that was the point of GP's post...
          • It's a deadly circle. Madden-like game gets made, sells well. Its sequel have a bigger budget, more promotion, and sells better and so on, and so on. Eventually all the mainstream media knows of are Madden-like games.

            There needs to be more celebration of creative and original games.
        • Oh dude, gtfo! Shadow Hearts: Covenant is a better game than any modern era Final Fantasy, and FF6 is the only one of any generation in the same league. The first one was kind of weak in most areas, but again that makes the sequels not just rehashed bullshit.

          I haven't played the new one yet, so maybe it's complete crap. But Covenant is one of the best RPGs this generation and I'd go as far as to say ground breaking in a way that Final Fantasy hasn't been since SNES, being that it is both new AND good (Fi
        • They just don't like rip offs (see Grand Theft Auto v. True Crime, Final Fantasy v. Shadowhearts, etc.)

          I don't know if you've actually played Shadow Hearts, but it's NOTHING like any Final Fantasy game I've played. It's actually got a fresh setting for a JRPG (The first two take place during World War I. That's right, in the real world), and a great battle system that requires some reflexes, so you can't just depend on the menu selections.

          Sure, there are some RPG cliches in there, plotwise, but it's
      • Is the problem with crap sequels that "people buy them," or that "you don't like them?" Realistically, if "crap sequels" and movie tie-in games didn't sell, publishers wouldn't make them. And honestly, over the past 15 years, if people never enjoyed any sequels or movie tie-in games, they wouldn't still be buying them. So, for a large segment of the game buying population, sequels and movie tie-ins are good, positive, things.

        That doesn't at all mean that publishers are not trying to build new franchises, o

  • by TripMaster Monkey ( 862126 ) * on Thursday March 09, 2006 @12:34PM (#14883904)

    It's a real shame this one came in seventh:
    7. Embrace the Constitution.
    We have a right in this industry to make and market our product in an unregulated manner. We should be talking about what our rights are. Videogames are part art and part commerce; both parts are protected.
    This is just one more facet of our not-so-slowly eroding civil rights.
    • We have a right in this industry to make and market our product in an unregulated manner.

      No. The law will not limit your creativity but it will certainly regulate e.g. how you can treat your employees and that you cannot market your product by spraying graffiti on public property.
  • by xxxJonBoyxxx ( 565205 ) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @12:43PM (#14883983)

    "1. Promote the ratings system. It worked for movies, the recording industry and TV."

    The TV ratings are bullshit. During G-rated shows I've watched with my kids I've seen:
    1) life on earth wiped out by fires caused by meteors (Disney Channel - "Dinosaur")
    2) promotions for other shows that featured naked people screwing in bed (Fox - don't remember the show) 3) graphic decapitations of live animals (Animal Planet - Animals Behaving Badly)

    "Evangelize the benefits of videogames. Book: Everything Bad is Good for You, by Stephen Johnson. Videogames not only help children to compete more effectively, they make kids more intelligent."

    This may be true for older kids, but all the children I know who started playing before the age of five are borderline retarded. Also, the "compete more effectively" thing seems to overdone - the hardcore online adult gamers I know are complete pansies in real life.

    • This may be true for older kids, but all the children I know who started playing before the age of five are borderline retarded.

      While I don't disagree with you, you can't blame it entirely on video games. I was playing video games since I was probably 3. I played my dad's Atari 2600, then an NES a few years later. I seem to be functioning fine. Key points, I didn't play them constantly, and I also had other extra-curricular activities, such as reading, baseball, and playing with neighborhood friends. OTOH,
    • I started gaming at age 3. I'm now a software engineer and member of Mensa, and still a hardcore gamer. I suggest you meet more gamers.
    • The point was not that the ratings system worked for parents and families, but that they worked for the tv and movie industries to help keep censors off their backs. Obviously kids will still get exposed to the same stuff, by sneaking into movies, poor ratings, etc. The games industry needs to emphasize their ratings system to the public, and convince walmart not to sell AO titles to kids, and their problem with censors should be solved.

  • by Volante3192 ( 953645 ) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @12:51PM (#14884071)
    4. Publicize that history shows we never embrace new media.

    History also shows that the older generation never learns. Change only comes around when they die out and the rebellious young generation becomes the status quo, only to villify the next new thing.

    Wonder what the video game generation will lobby against?

    • Buuuuuutttt Daaaaaad, everyone is getting rna brain parasites!
    • by Prophet of Nixon ( 842081 ) on Thursday March 09, 2006 @01:08PM (#14884223)
      Well, to some extent I think the original twitch based videogame generation is lobbying a bit against the new 'MMO' skill-less videogame-as-timesink generation. At least it seems that way to me. I don't even consider those crapfests games. And I know I'm not the only one. I see MMOs going the way of persistent virtual reality worlds if technology allows, which lead to complete reality withdrawl of their users. I would lobby against that. Its not so much that its morally wrong (its not at all so far as I can tell) as it is completely unnatural and unhuman. We'll be reaching a point soon where the old moral standards aren't going to be able to completely explain why some of us feel strongly for or against some things... where the issues that are divisive will not be along lines of morality or law, but rather humanity and reality.

      I dunno.

      I'm probably nuts.
      • I never really cared a whole lot for the FPS or the MMO type games but that doesn't mean that I think they are evil or wrong, nor would I lobby against them. I've played a few FPS games, but never an MMO. I do think that there are too many FPS type games, or at least, too little innovation or variance between games. MMOs seem to demand a certain amount of use to justify paying for them.
      • People interacting in virtual MMO worlds is completely unnatural and unhuman... he says using electrons speeding down a wire. Man, is your irony-meter broken? This may be the wrong place to decry virtual communication.
      • David Sirlin [sirlin.net] is a good friend of mine.

        He recently wrote a Soapbox opinion piece [gamasutra.com] on Gamasutra which prompted this /. story [slashdot.org]. The story summary highlighted the main point of the piece well and it drew a lot of comments, but of course, only a tiny fraction of even the highly-rated posts demonstrated understanding of the real arguments.

        This problem was largely remedied over the past couple weeks in the discussion on Sirlin's blog [sirlin.net] where myself and other comment authors helped clarify the points that the casual r
    • Wonder what the video game generation will lobby against?

      As retro things come back into style more and more, it'll probably be banging rocks and sticks together rhythmically around a fire in a cave. We'll decry this dangerous activity as inherently violent because it involves blunt objects that could potentially be used as weapons, and because someone might get carried away by the demonic beats and fall into the firepit. Additionally, such activities can have ceremonial trappings, which threatens the religi
  • by Anonymous Coward
    "Videogames are not the devil incarnate, and not capable of half the deviltry our critics claim for them."

    Who's saying they are? Being concerned about side effects isn't the same as saying games are the "devil incarnate".

    ---
    "Slashdot requires you to wait between each successful posting of a comment to allow everyone a fair chance at posting a comment.

    It's been 20 minutes since you last successfully posted a comment"

    Oh yes Taco. It takes 20 minutes to be fair. Do the registered posters have to wait? And if n
  • The quoted argument:

    4. Publicize that history shows we never embrace new media. This is true for silent movies, radio, pulp magazines, comic books and every new music wave including Mozart. Videogames are not the devil incarnate, and not capable of half the deviltry our critics claim for them.

    doesn't hold any water. In fact, it's not really evidence at all. The statement could be read like this:

    1. History shows that we never embrace new foozles.
    2. This is true for blue foozles, red foozles and green fooz
    • I assumed that since it was a discussion about video games, they were implied as being a new type of media.
      • Indeed, but just because two things share a type doesn't mean they have the same attributes. It is only if you can show that the attributes of each thing are caused by being part of the type that this works. Not only that, but the first part about history doesn't prove that those previous forms of media weren't evil. This is not a trivial point: there are plenty of people still worried about (for example) television. Just because something has become pervasive and culturally accepted doesn't mean it's "
        • I read it as a claim (not proof) that the outcry against video games is not because they're bad, but because they're new. He offered evidence that other new things have suffered the same fate, which is evidence that such a cause-effect relationship is possible. Does it prove that cause? No. Does he think it proves it? I hope not.
    • Pour holy water over it, if it doesn't evaporate it's not the devil incarnate.
  • 10. Demonstrate our most creative games. Halo and GTA represent us in the marketplace, and we need to show people it's not all about guns and boobs. Katamari Damacy, DDR, Parappa, Donkey Konga and Guitar Hero are games the whole family can enjoy and play.

    Mmm hmm. How about Shadow of the Colossus, or Psychonauts? Both games were amazing, creative, critically a success, but sold nowhere near the number of copies as the fifth Grand Theft Auto game. I don't think the industry has a problem demonstrating
    • The problem isn't the industry.

      The problem is the people buying the games. The video game industry doesn't stifle creativity , in fact, the gaming industry tries to forcefeed creativity in a lot of ways. But the mainstream buying public doesn't want any of that.
  • Ever notice how every 4 years there seem to be a lot more political commercials on TV?
    Or the fact there are more action movies in the summer and more serious Oscar contender's and fantasy epics in the winter?
    Now, have you noticed about how this "Industry" referenced above (the software industry), always goes into a psychological/monetary depression ever 3-4 years in the beginning of a new hardware cycle? We have already seen a ton of articles that sum up to, "Consumer's unwilling to spend great % of the
  • 2. Evangelize the benefits of videogames.

    Such as that videogames can help you get fit [videogameworkout.com]? So far that project is going okay, as far as the New York Times [videogameworkout.com] is concerned...

    (That was a mirror; the original is behind their firewall here [nytimes.com])

  • "4. Publicize that history shows we never embrace new media. This is true for silent movies, radio, pulp magazines, comic books and every new music wave including Mozart. Videogames are not the devil incarnate, and not capable of half the deviltry our critics claim for them."

    Do they actually think that will help them at all? Television, Music and Movies are still being constantly bashed by the same people who are ragging on video games right now, and largely for the same reasons.

    The only reason that video g

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