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Op Ed

Games On Net - Devil's Advocate: You Don’t Want Innovation, So Stop Asking For It.
You hear talk about how there are only seven basic plots running throughout the stories we tell in our lives. How many movies can you name that are simply clever re-tellings of a Shakespeare play? And why stop there, when we can dig even deeper and realise that many of Shakespeare’s supposedly epoch-defining works are nothing more than retellings, or ruthless cribbings, of ancient myths and other classical sources? Get used to it: telling, and re-telling stories, is a central pillar of the human condition. People don’t want innovation because people haven’t changed in literally thousands of years - okay, we’ve got better dental hygiene (except for games journalists, maybe) but other than that we’ve still got the same hopes, fears, and special places in our heart for the stories that speak to what it is to be human.

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15. Re: Op Ed Mar 30, 2011, 20:45 Asmo
 
Cutter wrote on Mar 30, 2011, 14:32:
The article was either written by someone incredibly dumb and naieve, or simply trolling to get trafic. Take yer pick.


I've been following DA since it's inception (game.on.net is hosted by my ISP so I've been following it in general for some time) and the guy writing simply does not know what devil's advocacy is all about.

Instead of arguing an unpalatable concept, he argues incorrect assumptions (ie. You don't want innovation) and then flames the reader on the way past. His lack of understanding leads to the posts coming across trollish.

For example, he could argue that innovation is unnecessary because a large portion of the player base is happy to accept retreads. It's a plausible argument even if you don't personally agree with it.
 
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14. Re: Op Ed Mar 30, 2011, 17:41 Jdrez
 
Gamers who read this site might want innovation but the masses simply want whatever's new.

CoD and Halo sequels sell because the lowest common denominator only cares about multiplayer anyway.
 
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13. Re: Op Ed Mar 30, 2011, 17:31 JoeNapalm
 
PropheT wrote on Mar 30, 2011, 17:06:
Creston wrote on Mar 30, 2011, 13:13:
A PERSON can easily want innovation, and most likely does. "People" don't want innovation. The mob will gladly buy yet another Call of Duty this November.

As opposed to what other innovative FPS game that they could be buying instead? Every single one of them is just a new twist or variation on an existing and recognizable formula, which is exactly what he was talking about in the article. Just because you like Crysis and someone else likes Modern Warfare doesn't somehow mean you like innovation and they don't.

There's a reason why sequels are as popular as they are in gaming, and it's not because we all want something really new and different. We just want better versions of ideas that came before, and are happy with innovation almost exclusively meaning that technological advances make new variations on the old themes possible.


You are making the same erroneous leap of logic that the author of the article is - the mistaken assumption that AAA companies like EA and Ubi have execs sitting around asking "What do Gamers really WANT?"

No. Just...no.

What they have are a bunch of suits who look at big charts and ask "What's selling a metric @#$% ton, right now?" and then they make a whole metric @#$% ton of games identical to that, and pour all of their marketing money into those games.

The result? No innovation.

The proof that gamers DO want innovation is that these games are rarely runaway hits. Yeah, CoD sells huge, record breaking numbers...but it, as a brand, has a huge, record breaking marketing engine behind it.

The something like Minecraft comes along and makes MILLIONS without marketing. Did CoD make more money? Sure it did...a lot more. But in terms of money in vs money out? Minecraft CRUSHED CoD.

Gamers LOVE innovation. But innovation is tricky - it's an art, not a science. A lot of innovative games fail. It's RISKY! The corporate bean counters HATE risk...and corporate bean counters are who decides which games get the green light.

So they flood the market with homogenized crap, and since that's what's available to buy, that's what sells. Particularly on the consoles, where people have been trained to buy the next installment on a short turn around (Madden 2011, anyone?).

Here's the logic of this article, spelled out: You can have any FPS you want, as long as it's CoD clone. People still buy FPS, therefore...people hate innovation!

The Sims has probably sold more copies than just about any game ever, over time. It was incredibly innovative. Aaand now they crank out the same spam year after year and tell us that gamers hate innovation.

Do they still teach logic and/or deductive reasoning in school?

-Jn-
Ifriti Sophist

 
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12. Re: Op Ed Mar 30, 2011, 17:06 PropheT
 
Creston wrote on Mar 30, 2011, 13:13:
A PERSON can easily want innovation, and most likely does. "People" don't want innovation. The mob will gladly buy yet another Call of Duty this November.

As opposed to what other innovative FPS game that they could be buying instead? Every single one of them is just a new twist or variation on an existing and recognizable formula, which is exactly what he was talking about in the article. Just because you like Crysis and someone else likes Modern Warfare doesn't somehow mean you like innovation and they don't.

There's a reason why sequels are as popular as they are in gaming, and it's not because we all want something really new and different. We just want better versions of ideas that came before, and are happy with innovation almost exclusively meaning that technological advances make new variations on the old themes possible.
 
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11. one good troll deserves another Mar 30, 2011, 16:57 space captain
 
reductionism does not make things simplified, it makes them oversimplified

this article worships at the altar of "if you cant beat em, join em" and therefore i spit on it

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XI6YJPAh8eQ#t=1m13s
 
Go forth, and kill!
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10. Re: Op Ed Mar 30, 2011, 16:55 killer_roach
 
Cutter wrote on Mar 30, 2011, 14:32:
The article was either written by someone incredibly dumb and naieve, or simply trolling to get trafic. Take yer pick.

If "being largely factually accurate" is trolling, I'll take the trolling.
 
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9. Re: Op Ed Mar 30, 2011, 14:57 StingingVelvet
 
For every "innovation" I yell at for being poorly done, dumbed down or whatever else there is usually another I actually like.  
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8. Re: Op Ed Mar 30, 2011, 14:32 Cutter
 
The article was either written by someone incredibly dumb and naieve, or simply trolling to get trafic. Take yer pick.

 
Avatar 25394
 

"Nobody wants to be nobody in America. Ed is the apotheosis of a prevailing American syndrome. It used to be that someone became famous because they were special. Now people are considered special just for being famous. Fame, itself, is its own virtue.
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7. Re: Op Ed Mar 30, 2011, 13:55 wtf_man
 
Creston wrote on Mar 30, 2011, 13:13:
A PERSON can easily want innovation, and most likely does. "People" don't want innovation. The mob will gladly buy yet another Call of Duty this November.

Publishers know this, which is why they never bother to innovate.

Creston

A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it. Fifteen hundred years ago everybody knew the Earth was the center of the universe. Five hundred years ago, everybody knew the Earth was flat, and fifteen minutes ago, you knew that humans were alone on this planet. Imagine what you'll know tomorrow.

-Tommy Lee Jones aka "Kay", Men in Black
 
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6. Re: Op Ed Mar 30, 2011, 13:13 Creston
 
A PERSON can easily want innovation, and most likely does. "People" don't want innovation. The mob will gladly buy yet another Call of Duty this November.

Publishers know this, which is why they never bother to innovate.

Creston
 
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5. Re: Op Ed Mar 30, 2011, 12:23 ASJD
 
Yes I do you stupid fucking piece of shit!

It's just that most gamers, even most 'hardcore' gamers are satisfied playing their 1000th modern warfare-style FPS.

I, however, am not. I didn't even fucking buy Black Ops...
 
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4. Re: Op Ed Mar 30, 2011, 11:10 Wallshadows
 
The only innovation which is coming out of studios is from the indie developers who make money on their unique and often addicting games until either (a) a bigger studio assimilates them or (b) it gets copied which leads to it no longer being innovative.

The other method is brought to us by folks such as Tim Schafer who make amazing games but sell so poorly due to either the genre or poor marketing which gives other studios the fuel to say "they didn't do well, so we won't change and continue to make millions".
 
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3. Re: Op Ed Mar 30, 2011, 10:29 JoeNapalm
 

Wait...because Joseph Campbell was right, we don't want game innovation?

It's no stunning revelation that most people seek comfort in the familiar...but that doesn't mean that we ALL get off the plane in a foreign country and head for the nearest McDonald's.

Games like Black Ops selling well has nothing at all to do with The Hero with a Thousand Faces and everything to do with marketing and brand recognition.

There are plenty of examples of innovative games/bands/movies/whatever hitting it big - just because what is familiar, mainstream, and hyped to the gills sells well doesn't mean that "People don't WANT innovation!"

It means that bean counters abhor risk.

-Jn-
Ifriti Sophist
 
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2. Re: Op Ed Mar 30, 2011, 10:26 ldonyo
 
Contrary to the author's opinion, I believe gamers really do want innovation. The problem is that publishers are afraid to take risks and choose not to let developers innovate because the publisher is afraid that sales will not be in the millions.  
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1. Re: Op Ed Mar 30, 2011, 10:14 InBlack
 
I was thinking "Wow finally a decent gaming article" until I read the last sentence....

 
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I have a nifty blue line!
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