Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Gamers or Game Developers

My laptop brick is completely dead, and thus, I am without a computer. Sadly, the brick in question is nowhere to be found in Australia, so I am waiting for it to arrive from the US. I am, as one might imagine, going completely insane. Also, because I do not like posting to pixelsea during business hours, my posts are a bit thin. I do apologize, and I promise some good, meaty posts when everything is back in working order.

In the meantime, I couldn't resist bringing up a particular pet peeve of mine, because I just saw it rear its ugly head, once again.

Please, please, please don't ever call game developers "gamers" when talking to the media. Yes, I know, "game developer" may be a long, cumbersome thing to say or type. I, as a game developer, will understand, from context, what you mean when you use the term "gamer," in place of "game developer." However, I guarantee you the mainstream media will conflate the two and/or will report about it in such a way as to confuse the public.

It has gotten so bad that when I see any headline about "gamers" earning money, I don't know whether it's going to be an article about professional game developers or professional game players (two very different things). You wouldn't say that "patients" were gathering at a medical conference, would you? Yes, certainly, all those doctors ARE somebody's patient, but that's not the capacity in which they're gathering. Yes, most of us game developers are gamers, but that's not the capacity in which we conduct business.

The same holds true for "gaming." We game developers don't earn money by gaming. Or, at least, I sure as hell don't. That is strictly the domain of professional gamers. Game developers earn money by making games. We should only say that someone is "studying gaming," if they are, in fact, studying the act, nature, psychology, or characteristics of gaming -- not studying game development. While some amount of studying gaming may be useful for game developers, the disciplines are not the same thing.

The 2001 Wired Article, Gaming: Too Cool For School? is a complete train wreck, with respect to this. Consider this quote:

"One gaming company head was enthusiastic about the program."

When I hear "gaming company," I think "gold farmers." Language, people!

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Monday, October 10, 2005

Six letter word and starts with "P"

In his latest diatribe to politicians, Jack Thompson said, "The best entity, then, to determine whether a video game is harmful to a minor, by virtue of its sexual and/or violent content, is a jury."

WRONG. The best entity to determine whether a video game is harmful to a minor, by virtue of its sexual and/or violent content, is a parent. Sorry, Jack, your ulterior motives are showing.

But, pointing out what's wrong with Thompson is merely raising a small voice in a very large chorus, at this point, so I really shouldn't waste the keystrokes.

I swear, I have a longer post coming. I just haven't had a moment to collect it.

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Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Verb: Acquire

So, Autodesk has bought Alias. Imagine, for a moment, if Coke bought Pepsi. That's what we're talking about here. Sure, there's Fanta and Softimage out there. You've got RC Cola and Lightwave. You've got Ramune and TrueSpace. You've got Jones and Milkshape. You've got that hippie stuff they sell at the organic food store and Blender. There's other stuff. But, we're talking about the big two.

It makes me vaguely uncomfortable.

My favorite question from the acquisition FAQ:

"Are there areas of duplication in Autodesk’s and Alias’ product lines?"

Gee, ya think?

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