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Sunday, November 19, 2006

Ploys R' Us

My Google homepage helpfully informs me that it was Benjamin Disraeli who said "How much easier it is to be critical than to be correct"; poignant words indeed, particularly because today my great eye bares down on this chap, and his critical but unhelpful comment.

"One of the worst things going for us is that we're called videogames"
Doug Lowenstein - Entertainment Software Association

I believe that the best which can be said about this statement is that, upon primary ponderance, the notion makes perhaps a little sense. Ultimately, the worst that can be thought is, 'How on earth could this nonsense be uttered by a public representative of gaming?'.

Presumably, the ESA chief believes the 'game' part of 'videogame' to be the main problem, because of the connotation the word carries with children and their toys. Now, you can find some excellent arguments for and against this train of thought all over the web, so I'll try and assume another tack.

I believe it's fair to make three statements in regards the current state of the general public's view on modern gaming. 1: Gaming is becoming culturally and critically accepted, but, 2: A few aspects of modern gaming mean some people remain skeptical. However, 3: The word by which we choose to name our hobby and passion has little (if any) baring on the level of skepticism gaming draws upon itself.

The factor which will dictate the opinions of gamers and non-gamers alike is that of quality. It is only through developing games worthy of respect that gaming will be accepted gladly by the mainstream populace as a cultural artifact. Altering the paint scheme of a fast-food takeaway which fails basic health and safety tests may momentarily increase the level of custom, but it is not without addressing the underlying issue that the number of explosive-diarrhea sufferers will be reduced.

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