Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 28

Thread: The MAINSTREAM stereotype - BAH - HUMBUG!

  1. #1
    Banned

    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Milwaukee, WI
    Posts
    1,939
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Default The MAINSTREAM stereotype - BAH - HUMBUG!

    Reading through some discussions on this board, I noticed that a lot of stereotypes came up over and over again about "mass appeal" games and "mainstream gamers."

    "Mass appeal", "mainstream", vs. "hardcore". Forget about it! The terms have elitist positive and negative connotations. The mainstreamers fall for money-making, commercialized mass appeal games with splashy flashy effects and can't recognize a good game if it kicks it in their butt, while the hardcore gamers have lots of knowledge about games, emphasize gameplay, and recognize a good game. It's nonsense.

    1) I have confidence in the "masses" because (as a general rule) the best games are also the top- sellers. That doesn't mean that there were and are always sleeper hits and hyped bad games which sell well; but the vast majority of players are very good at recognizing a good game and gameplay if you look at older and newer sales figures. When I bought Windwaker and Gran Turismo 3 I was glad to be part of the belittled "mainstream."

    2) Playing older games doesn't make you hardcore, and neither does your knowledge about games and/or collecting them. I bought and played the top-selling Super Metroid a couple of days after it was released, did this make me mainstream back then? and does it make me hardcore now because I know and play the SAME game once in a while today? If you collect games more than you play them, this might make you a hardcore collector, but not a hardcore gamer, and a guy who knows statistics about baseball isn't a baseball player.

    3) Looking at an individual game, sales figures don't say much about the quality of a game. A well selling game isn't necessarily bad, and a poor selling game isn't necessarily good, and vice versa. Judge a game by it's quality independently of sales figures. A good game is a good game, no matter when it was released, for which platform, and who is playing it.

    4) Games are always about business, no matter what. Games are a commercial product. Even "homebrew" developers don't live in the clouds. Every game developer loves to know that many play his game. This goes for "homebrew" developers who target a niche market, and smaller developers and developing powerhouses of the current games. I never met an author who complaint about that his book sells well and/or is read by many. As soon as they have a firm, game developers and publishers are exposed to the market, and they have to calculate accordingly. Every form of art always was and is business, and every artist was and always is a businessman, and this goes even more so for the videogame industry in which millions can be earned and lost.

    Result: replace "mass appeal" and "mainstream gamers" with casual gamer, and "hardcore" with frequent gamer. Knowledge about games, collecting them and playing experience are indicators of a deep interest in games which result more or less in increased play time; therefore these terms capture all kinds of aspects of our hobby, and elitist implications and belittling mass connotations are avoided.

  2. #2
    Authordreamweavervisionar yplusactor Arcade Antics's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    The Arcade
    Posts
    6,827
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Default Re: The MAINSTREAM stereotype - BAH - HUMBUG!

    Quote Originally Posted by lendelin
    Every form of art always was and is business, and every artist was and always is a businessman...
    Wrong. But the funny part is that you've started a post about unfair generalizations... and then you make a really unfair generalization.
    Selling collection, Atari through XBox. Send a PM with whatever games you're looking for.

  3. #3
    Pac-Man (Level 10) Kid Fenris's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    2,784
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Default

    I agree with much of the above. Elitism exists among gamers of all stripes, and it's seldom justified. After all, detesting something on account of its popularity is just as inane as praising it for the same reason. And while there are many younger gamers who should be reminded of the medium's history, it often seems as though there are just as many experienced gamers who take a simple hobby to an ugly extreme.

    I would, however, take issue with the suggestion that a homebrewer is just as business-minded as a large company, as homebrewers are typically hobbyists first and foremost. Not that big-budget games aren't created as labors of love in part, but the profit-minded specter of corporate funding always looms over such productions. The conflict between art and money is never clean, but there are many independent souls who are concerned primarily with the former category.
    Kidfenris.com: Never Updated.

  4. #4
    Banned

    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Milwaukee, WI
    Posts
    1,939
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Default Re: The MAINSTREAM stereotype - BAH - HUMBUG!

    Quote Originally Posted by Arcade Antics
    Quote Originally Posted by lendelin
    Every form of art always was and is business, and every artist was and always is a businessman...
    Wrong. But the funny part is that you've started a post about unfair generalizations... and then you make a really unfair generalization.
    Artists have to make a living, right? Very few can live actually from their art and therefore have another job. Rembrandt was a businessman and had to live from his art, but he was a bad one and died in poverty, and Rubens who lived a couple of houses down in Amsterdam was a fanatstic businessman and had the house of a nobleman. Mozart was, Brecht was...Every artist depends on selling his art, and they depend on the ones who can pay for it - the church, the clergy, aristocracy, the emerging middle class in the 18th and 19th century, communities and cities, museums, the state and federal governments.

  5. #5
    ServBot (Level 11)
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    boston
    Posts
    3,253
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Default

    "down with your old stereotypes! long live my new stereotypes!"

    who cares? do what makes you happy.

  6. #6
    Authordreamweavervisionar yplusactor Arcade Antics's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    The Arcade
    Posts
    6,827
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Default Re: The MAINSTREAM stereotype - BAH - HUMBUG!

    Quote Originally Posted by lendelin
    Artists have to make a living, right?
    Sure, but not just artists - everyone should make a living, though many people choose not to.

    Very few can live actually from their art and therefore have another job. Rembrandt was a businessman and had to live from his art, but he was a bad one and died in poverty, and Rubens who lived a couple of houses down in Amsterdam was a fanatstic businessman and had the house of a nobleman. Mozart was, Brecht was...Every artist depends on selling his art, and they depend on the ones who can pay for it - the church, the clergy, aristocracy, the emerging middle class in the 18th and 19th century, communities and cities, museums, the state and federal governments.
    Just because you don't know about an artist (your next door neighbor, a little old lady two towns over) doesn't mean that they aren't an artist.

    And in both cases (neighbor, little old lady) they might be among the best artists in the world. But for whatever reason, they might keep their art to themselves, or at the very least, not earn a dime from it.

    But they're still artists. And their art is not a buisness proposition, nor would they ever want it to be. So...

    Quote Originally Posted by lendelin
    Every form of art always was and is business
    ...is just not true.
    Selling collection, Atari through XBox. Send a PM with whatever games you're looking for.

  7. #7
    classicus carnivorous
    digitalpress's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Circling about overhead
    Posts
    26,331
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    1
    Thanked in
    1 Post
    Xbox LIVE
    Digital Press
    PSN
    digitalpress

    Default

    Lendelin, thanks for the great post, I am a fly in your ointment.

    I am both a casual gamer and a hardcore gamer by your defnitions above. I would not consider myself a "frequent gamer" though I think I'm much more knowledgeable than the "mainstream gamer". Maybe no one really pays attention to those stereotypes when they're used and overused, after all?

  8. #8
    Kirby (Level 13) Buyatari's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Cleveland
    Posts
    5,332
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts
    Xbox LIVE
    WastingOrpheus

    Default

    You can use whatever words you want. They are merely abstract constructs which serve only the user to get his point across.

    You can generalize and try to group people in an attempt to make sense of how things work and why people do what they do. However, it just doesn't always work well.

    You see.......People have the darndest tendency to do what ever the hell they want regardless of the label they have been assigned.

    That being said, any theories into the psychology of the aforementioned gamer or the sociology of any or all subcultures of "gamers" are always welcome for dissection and discussion.

    Carry on
    Adam

  9. #9
    Banned

    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Milwaukee, WI
    Posts
    1,939
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Default Re: The MAINSTREAM stereotype - BAH - HUMBUG!

    Quote Originally Posted by Arcade Antics
    And in both cases (neighbor, little old lady) they might be among the best artists in the world. But for whatever reason, they might keep their art to themselves, or at the very least, not earn a dime from it.

    But they're still artists. And their art is not a buisness proposition, nor would they ever want it to be. So...

    Quote Originally Posted by lendelin
    Every form of art always was and is business
    ...is just not true.
    Well, if you define artist in such a broad way, the discussion is obsolete and it's beside my point. If the lil old lady who paints refuses an offer to have an exhibition in a gallery, then of course she isn't an entrepreneur and not exposed to market considerations.

    Kid Fenris:
    I would, however, take issue with the suggestion that a homebrewer is just as business-minded as a large company, as homebrewers are typically hobbyists first and foremost. Not that big-budget games aren't created as labors of love in part, but the profit-minded specter of corporate funding always looms over such productions.

    Of course there are levels of degree differences, and homebrewers are idealists who have a passion for what they're doing. But even they take market considerations into account. Let's assume the market takes a dramatic change, old school games become THE hot item, (smile) and he creates his own development firm instead of accepting the offer from Capcom. He's still an enthussiast about making games, but has to calculate very carefully market processes so the firm can survive. (and has to hire a well paid administartor if he doesn't want to run a firm instead of making games) Smaller developers have to be economivcally very careful, and business aspects certainly play a bigger role for Konami and Capcom.

    digitalpress:
    I am both a casual gamer and a hardcore gamer by your defnitions above. I would not consider myself a "frequent gamer" though I think I'm much more knowledgeable than the "mainstream gamer". Maybe no one really pays attention to those stereotypes when they're used and overused, after all?

    YOU are a casual gamer? Nope, my neighbour is who plays once or twice a month Unreal Tournament on his PC, and then his wife comes upstairs and rolls her eyes. On a scale from 1 to ten, from casual to frequent gamer, you'd be at least in the middle when it comes to pure playing time with your interests about games, I'm not buying the casual gamer stuff . ...and that's exactly my argument, the terms are independent from what you know, how many games you played, your experience with games, and which games of which era you play, they are neutral terms based on sole playing time; and all the above mentioned aspects in various degrees will result in playing time. However, if you indeed hardly play anymore, if you collect games, read about them, engage in discussions about them, organize gaming expos and whatever else you do secretly in your bedroom, then you're indeed a casual GAMER, and a hardcore collector, historian, fan, or journalist; but I can't imagine you play merely twice a month for one hour, not with your passion for games.

    Nope, when these stereotypes are used, they aren't empty and have meaning. They are exactly used in the sense I described them, more or less explicit. When it comes to discussions about comparing newer games vs. older games, evaluating new releases, market considerations of developers, developing individual games, the belittling mainstream stereotype always pops up. I have nothing against stereotypes, sometimes they are true and hit the nail on the head, but in this case the stereotypes don't make any sense and are just plain false.

  10. #10
    ServBot (Level 11)
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    boston
    Posts
    3,253
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Default

    whats the point of turning over the tired collector vs player argument? we've done that death and unlike the 100s of other game boards online this one is focused on game collecting. a lot of other aspects of gaming are discussed here but the bedrock of this community is that we're into retrogaming, having too many old consoles wired together like a spiderweb, knowhatimsaying? your signature line seems to be your opinion on this matter, the more games you have the less you play, the logic engine doesnt work there.

    say instead of games we were talking about music, fan x only has a handful of top ten albums but they play them constantly, in the house,car and walkman, they spend 70 hours a week listening to same 10 CDs. fan y has 1000s of CDs covering all sorts music from all eras but only has time to listen to handful a week. who would you consider the hardcore music fan, the one whose played destiny's child 20 times this week or the one who turns you on to japanese punk band you never would have heard of?

  11. #11
    Great Puma (Level 12) YoshiM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    WI
    Posts
    4,310
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    1
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    26
    Thanked in
    26 Posts
    Xbox LIVE
    YoshiDM
    PSN
    YoshiDM
    3DS Friend
    0860-4642-4923

    Default Re: The MAINSTREAM stereotype - BAH - HUMBUG!

    Oh boy! It's been a while since I dove into a good juicy debate!

    ::cracks knuckles::

    Quote Originally Posted by lendelin
    Reading through some discussions on this board, I noticed that a lot of stereotypes came up over and over again about "mass appeal" games and "mainstream gamers."

    "Mass appeal", "mainstream", vs. "hardcore". Forget about it! The terms have elitist positive and negative connotations. The mainstreamers fall for money-making, commercialized mass appeal games with splashy flashy effects and can't recognize a good game if it kicks it in their butt, while the hardcore gamers have lots of knowledge about games, emphasize gameplay, and recognize a good game. It's nonsense.
    You mention at the end that the Mainstream gamer should be replaced with "casual gamer". That's no different than being a "mainstream" gamer except that it sounds better. Besides, in other circles "Casual" is just as negative as "mainstream".

    A "hardcore" doesn't just play games a lot or know about them, it's a part of their life. Not just as a diversion or a form of entertainment, but it's a passion not unlike the extreme sports fanatic every family seems to have. You know, Uncle Bob who seems to know every stat in baseball since some chap named Bentley won a series in a game of rounders in the 19th century. Hardcore gamers play, live, eat, and breathe games not unlike Uncle Bob and many, many others like him.

    1) I have confidence in the "masses" because (as a general rule) the best games are also the top- sellers. That doesn't mean that there were and are always sleeper hits and hyped bad games which sell well; but the vast majority of players are very good at recognizing a good game and gameplay if you look at older and newer sales figures. When I bought Windwaker and Gran Turismo 3 I was glad to be part of the belittled "mainstream."
    While true that Wind Waker was a good game, if it didn't have "Zelda" on the front would you have purchased it? To be honest I probably would have given it a rental at most. Face it, hype and advertising influence the "masses" quite a bit. How else to explain why games like Madden or NBA Live keep getting purchased in droves? They usually have some small tweaks, some fixes to gameplay, some bells and whistles, and an updated roster over last year for a paltry $50 over the game you bought last year.


    2) Playing older games doesn't make you hardcore, and neither does your knowledge about games and/or collecting them. I bought and played the top-selling Super Metroid a couple of days after it was released, did this make me mainstream back then? and does it make me hardcore now because I know and play the SAME game once in a while today? If you collect games more than you play them, this might make you a hardcore collector, but not a hardcore gamer, and a guy who knows statistics about baseball isn't a baseball player.
    I touched on this a bit before. For one, a video game player is vastly different than a baseball player or even a hardcore fan so your baseball enthusiast/fan comparison is not valid. An armchair baseball fanatic can spout all the plays, the stats, the history but the person probably can't play the game that well. A hardcore video gamer can talk about who the developers were of a particular game, talk about the monsters that inhabit Level 3-4 and how to beat them but can probably ALSO show you how to beat said monsters once a controller gets in their hands.

    4) Games are always about business, no matter what. Games are a commercial product. Even "homebrew" developers don't live in the clouds. Every game developer loves to know that many play his game. This goes for "homebrew" developers who target a niche market, and smaller developers and developing powerhouses of the current games. I never met an author who complaint about that his book sells well and/or is read by many. As soon as they have a firm, game developers and publishers are exposed to the market, and they have to calculate accordingly. Every form of art always was and is business, and every artist was and always is a businessman, and this goes even more so for the videogame industry in which millions can be earned and lost.
    The difference between most artists and authors is that they create what THEY want to create and NOT what is popular in the marketplace. That's creating or writing for the craft's sake, not for the pocket book (though hey, I could be wrong, I don't follow the art scene). However video games are a bit different-they can be artisitic with the combination of story, visuals, and audio but it still has to be a GAME which could interrupt the concept of "art".

    I could be wrong, but aren't developers pretty much TOLD (or at least INFLUENCED) what to make based on trends? This is something that happens all the time, especially when it comes to overseas imports. There are a lot of games that look pretty fun but because of their quirky nature, the bean counters feel it wouldn't be worth the effort to translate and bring over to the US (or elsewhere) as it doesn't fit with the trends of what's popular. Zmeston probably has a better insight on this.

    And of course you aren't going to hear anything from authors when a book sells well. If anything a popular work will give that author/developer more status. As that status builds up, the author can then try and do what they REALLY want to do and not get flak from those up on high. Do you think publishers would have published Stephen King's Eyes of the Dragon (good book, BTW) if he didn't have the popularity he did with his horror novels? Do you think Miyamoto would have been allowed to come up with something like Pikmin if he didn't have some great past games? Probably not. Am I going off on a tangent? Probably so.

  12. #12
    Pac-Man (Level 10) Custom rank graphic

    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Turks and Caicos Islands
    Posts
    2,954
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    9
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts
    Steam
    calthaer

    Default

    You need to read some of Chris Crawford's rants on art vs. business in the game industry. Try www.erasmatazz.com and read up on his stuff in the library. Of particular note is his famous "dragon speech," which I have saved on my hard drive but I'm not sure exactly where I found it on erasmatazz.

    One very intriguing thing is that he made this game about social interaction and the gaming press all said stuff like "It's the closest thing to art on a computer I've ever seen, but it's not fun for me so I don't endorse it." They admitted it was art, but it was a complete commercial failure.
    You are startled by a grim snarl. Before you, you see 1 Red dragon. Will your stalwart band choose to (F)ight or (R)un?

  13. #13
    Insert Coin (Level 0)
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Posts
    9
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by christianscott27
    the one who turns you on to japanese punk band you never would have heard of?
    Pillows r0x0rz. Glay sux0rz.

    Actually I also have something to say about this whole thing. I would define a hardcore gamer as someone who is interested in what is best for the Industry, and takes responsibility for promoting the integrety of what he feels is a valid form of expression. A mainstream gamer is interested in what is directly and immediately fun or entertaining, without regard for the people involved in the making of those games or the integrity of the industry as a whole.

    A simple analogy would be movie fans. A hardcore movie fan knows what the studios are up to, and is interested in seeing the best possible movie get made; He also gets upset when a potentially good movie is ruined by infighting and other Industry related things, because they hurt the movie and the industry as a whole. The hardcore movie fan may not watch all the movies out there, but he has a vested interest in them. A mainstream movie fan may watch almost every movie that comes out, but does not care about what happened before the movie was made, only whether the finished product is entertaining. The mainstream movie fan may even have excellent taste in movies, but his disinterest in the movie making process prevents him from caring about the industry itself and separates him from the hardcore movie fan.

  14. #14
    Ryu Hayabusa (Level 16) Custom rank graphic
    Oobgarm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Milford. Ohio.
    Posts
    8,086
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    1
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts
    Xbox LIVE
    Oobgarm
    PSN
    Oobgarm
    Steam
    Oobgarm

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by anotherfluke
    The hardcore movie fan may not watch all the movies out there, but he has a vested interest in them. A mainstream movie fan may watch almost every movie that comes out, but does not care about what happened before the movie was made, only whether the finished product is entertaining. The mainstream movie fan may even have excellent taste in movies, but his disinterest in the movie making process prevents him from caring about the industry itself and separates him from the hardcore movie fan.
    An excellent analogy. Time spent with the hobby doesn't determine the status. Knowledge of the hobby is the main ingredient. It just works out that the most knowledgable end up playing more.
    RIP bargora, you will be greatly missed.That is how we do things on Giedion Prime.

  15. #15
    Cherry (Level 1)
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Chequamegon Bay, WI
    Posts
    247
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Default

    I was in a band in college and we did all original, mostly comedic/satirical material. We played little coffee houses and gigs for over 2 years just to save up the money to make our own CD. Then, we made 500 copies and sold them over the Summer. We made $5,000, and spent the money on having our very last show together professionally recorded so we could have an audio snapshot of our college years--not for resale or profit. Now I'm an elementary music teacher and the kids love and respond to a lot of the music that we did. So, not every artist is a businessman. And if you say that technically I am because I'm making money from teaching, then you need to recheck what our salaries are vs. how much time we actually put in beyond the 40 hours-a-week.

    What about John Cage sitting around at his house and deciding to write little snippets of music on pieces of paper, then throwing them in a hat and having people draw random snippets to make a totally random composition? How do you market that? As a Wacky Music Game? Or what about his piece entitled 4'33? Which a pianist sits down at the piano and then does absolutely nothing for 4 minutes and 33 seconds? I suppose the crowds reaction would be the music.

    I detest the "business" of anything, because with business comes politics. That's just my personal view, of course...cynical as it may sound.

  16. #16
    Banned

    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Milwaukee, WI
    Posts
    1,939
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Default

    @Yoshi: :cracks knuckles:

    A "hardcore" doesn't just play games a lot or know about them, it's a part of their life. Not just as a diversion or a form of entertainment, but it's a passion not unlike the extreme sports fanatic every family seems to have. You know, Uncle Bob who seems to know every stat in baseball since some chap named Bentley won a series in a game of rounders in the 19th century. Hardcore gamers play, live, eat, and breathe games not unlike Uncle Bob and many, many others like him.
    There you have it again, Yoshi, ...the elitist tendency. Games are for hardcorers like you and me not "just"(!) a form of entertainment, but much more. What's wrong with looking at games primarily or solely as an entertaining product? If you PLAY a game, isn't that primarily great entertainment and nothing else? Henri Matisse said that a painting should be like a comfortable chair, you sit back and enjoy and relax. That was always good for me when it comes to art, it should be good enough for videogames.

    No matter to which degree you integrate videogames in your life (videogame rooms, reading Kent and Herman, being on game websites, collecting, observing gameplay tendencies of older and newer games, following market trends of the industry), when it comes to the ability to recognize a good game you have fun with, all of these things don't matter a bit.


    While true that Wind Waker was a good game, if it didn't have "Zelda" on the front would you have purchased it? To be honest I probably would have given it a rental at most. Face it, hype and advertising influence the "masses" quite a bit. How else to explain why games like Madden or NBA Live keep getting purchased in droves? They usually have some small tweaks, some fixes to gameplay, some bells and whistles, and an updated roster over last year for a paltry $50 over the game you bought last year.

    There you have the intrinsic tension again between you as part of the masses and an elite at the same time; on the one hand advertisement and hype influence both of us hardcorers as everyone else, but the mainstream masses (which you are suddenly not part of anymore) fall every year for only slightly improved sports games (and make EA richer). I say, who are we to judge a player who is passionately in love with Madden? I say that the average gamer recognizes very well that there are not many improvements from Madden NFL 2002 to 2003, he's neither dumb nor blind, but he loves the game so much that he pays $50 to get some insignificant new bells and whistles; who of us hardcorers did not pre-order the Windwaker because we wanted the bonus disc?? A disc which delivered a game we already have and played, plus a new variation of the same game which didn't offer something significantly new! EA is right to produce these games because the demand is there; only if developers/publishers miscalculate and misperceive the market demand like in 83/84, THEN we'd have a big problem.



    I touched on this a bit before. For one, a video game player is vastly different than a baseball player or even a hardcore fan so your baseball enthusiast/fan comparison is not valid. An armchair baseball fanatic can spout all the plays, the stats, the history but the person probably can't play the game that well. A hardcore video gamer can talk about who the developers were of a particular game, talk about the monsters that inhabit Level 3-4 and how to beat them but can probably ALSO show you how to beat said monsters once a controller gets in their hands.
    also @ anotherfluke, and Oobgarm who wrote in a similar fashion: I was a semi-professional soccer player in Germany (played in the third division), AND could tell you who played in the semifinals of the soccer world championship in 1950 and the scores, who scored and sometimes even the minute when the goals were scored; but let's look at two different players who play the same game; player one knows much about videogames , can tell you the developer, can tell you which games the same developer produced in the past and present, might be ven concerned about the future of the industry, and player two knows zilch and played only three different games in his lifetime; do you think that player one has more abilities to recognize if the game he plays is good and if he enjoys it? Player two certainly can not tell you how good this game is compared to other games of the same genre recently released, neither can he compare it to past releases, and he certainly cannot tell you if the same developer made better or worse games in the past; but all of this isn't important when you actually play a game!! (and we are talking about hardcore GAMERS)

    I have a big problem to divide gamers into hardcore and mainstream with their positive and negative connotations when they sit in front of a TV and play. My brother is an extreme casual gamer. He only plays games when I'm in Germany and visit him, take out my PAL NES and SNES and the big boxed Super Metroid (in Germany it was sold in a big box with a guide, like Earthbound in the US) He LOVED ten years ago to play Zelda and Super Metroid. No matter which game I take with me now (the last time it was Equinox and Mega man 7), I get the same answer after two hours of playing the games, which drives me nuts: "It's not as good as Zelda, or Super Metroid". He played the entire Super Metroid again!! Looking at him I say sometimes to myself, damn, he is more critical of games and more finicky than me! He doesn't know the names Xbox or Miyamoto. My neighbour who has two Dreamcast games, plays probably once a month, played Nascar Thunder 2003 on my GC had no probs to figure out weaknesses and strengths of the game. We had a great time, but he noticed that the controls where too touchy at times, and some tracks could need a better design, and praised the AI of the other cars. The guy knows zilch about games. He might fall for a hyped game easier than I do who reads three reviews of each game before I spend money for it, but he talked with a colleague at work about Nascar Thunder 2003 and recognized a good game when he actually plays it; and even professional reviewers of mags fall sometimes into the hype hole. (see GI and the reviews about Enter the Matrix).

    The difference between most artists and authors is that they create what THEY want to create and NOT what is popular in the marketplace. That's creating or writing for the craft's sake, not for the pocket book (though hey, I could be wrong, I don't follow the art scene). However video games are a bit different-they can be artisitic with the combination of story, visuals, and audio but it still has to be a GAME which could interrupt the concept of "art".

    I could be wrong, but aren't developers pretty much TOLD (or at least INFLUENCED) what to make based on trends? This is something that happens all the time, especially when it comes to overseas imports. There are a lot of games that look pretty fun but because of their quirky nature, the bean counters feel it wouldn't be worth the effort to translate and bring over to the US (or elsewhere) as it doesn't fit with the trends of what's popular. Zmeston probably has a better insight on this.
    Some artists are as greedy as hell, like some of us are. The good news and the bad news is, they are like me and you. The picture of an artist who sits lonely in his room, sacrifices for his "art", ignores the demand of the public is an hindsight idealization of popular movies and novels which puts the suffering artist on a pedestal, maybe because we have a bad conscience how much we let him down and didn't provide social security. Historical reality is much more complex.

    To the topic where this plays a role: who says that smaller developers follow market trends to a lesser degree than the bigshots like EA, Capcom, and Konami? and even more important, do the smaller developers create better games? Although this has nothing directly to do with the conceptualization of gamers, it comes indirectly always up when restructering of the industry takes place. Square and Enix merged because the industry and the profit rates grew dramatically, and because they face bigshots like EA now, they merged because they gain more clout, does this mean they will produce less quality games? Every game developer, id as much as EA, faces restrictions and possibilities of the market, and if they don't consider them or miscalculate they have to file for bankruptcy soon. If a game is merely tailored towards the newest polls and market trends, and a developer/publisher restricts the creativity of their staff, then this might be beneficial in the short run and may help a developer to survive in a precarious situation, but in the long run only the creative games which also sell well will make a firm financially sound for years because we gamers (you, me, and the average one) demand something new - and that's good so, because our finicky demands together with the competition with other big and smaller developers prevent that they rest on their laurels.

    And of course you aren't going to hear anything from authors when a book sells well. If anything a popular work will give that author/developer more status. As that status builds up, the author can then try and do what they REALLY want to do and not get flak from those up on high. Do you think publishers would have published Stephen King's Eyes of the Dragon (good book, BTW) if he didn't have the popularity he did with his horror novels? Do you think Miyamoto would have been allowed to come up with something like Pikmin if he didn't have some great past games? Probably not. Am I going off on a tangent? Probably so.
    That's absolutely right, an artist and/or a smaller idealistic developer has sometimes to turn around the sentence ‘time is money'; sometimes a less-risk taking product is offered in anticipation of good sales (which doesn't work often) because MONEY IS TIME. Commercial success means more money, makes you more independent and you have more freedom to do what you actually wanna do. Not everyone is a Miyamoto with a legendary status who is given by Nintendo a lot of freedom to develop his little masterpieces...but then, maybe he'd create even better games if there were more financial pressure?

    You mention at the end that the Mainstream gamer should be replaced with "casual gamer". That's no different than being a "mainstream" gamer except that it sounds better. Besides, in other circles "Casual" is just as negative as "mainstream".
    It not only sounds better; becasue "casual" gamer refers to mere playing time it's not overladen with questionable assumptions and negative connotations, and it cannot be easily filled with negative connotations whereas "mainstream" is negative from the getgo and is perceived as such when it comes to art, movies, songs, literature...and games.

    This is not an obsolete quibble and quabble about mere words; these stereotypes are used in most aspects of videogame discussions, let it be older and newer games, or the state of the industry in the past and present. They are used to simplify reality, ignore actual complex problems, and flee into our pre-assumed truth when reality doesn't fit well our conceptions; same goes for politics.

    The Clonus Horror:
    I detest the "business" of anything, because with business comes politics. That's just my personal view, of course...cynical as it may sound.
    That's not cynical, that's realistic. We do what we like to do under the conditions we choose...as a hobby or a job. Would you really reject a generous offer from a record company, though?

  17. #17
    Insert Coin (Level 0)
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Posts
    9
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by lendelin
    do you think that player one has more abilities to recognize if the game he plays is good and if he enjoys it? Player two certainly can not tell you how good this game is compared to other games of the same genre recently released, neither can he compare it to past releases, and he certainly cannot tell you if the same developer made better or worse games in the past; but all of this isn't important when you actually play a game!!
    Two things. First, your reply missed the mark a bit from what I had said. Specifically, I made no claims as to a hardcore gamer's ability to pinpoint an "excellent" game over a bad game; in fact, I would go so far as to say that the hardcore gamer witholds judgment on all games, instead preferring to identify the games which best suit any individual, be they hardcore or mainstream. A hardcore gamer knows that there is no one 'good' game out there for everyone, but there are definite 'bad' elements that can ruin a game.

    Quote Originally Posted by anotherfluke
    The mainstream movie fan may even have excellent taste in movies, but his disinterest in the movie making process prevents him from caring about the industry itself and separates him from the hardcore movie fan.
    The second thing is, I don't think you are identifying 'hardcore gamers' so much as you are identifying 'fanboys' and 'elitists'. sticking a "hello my name is..." sticker on your chest with HARDCORE written on it does not make you a hardcore gamer. It's impossible to generalize any one group of people as hardcore, elitist, or even as fanboys. All you can do is associate traits with each of those labels, and call people based on those traits.

    Of course, by that logic then, you have defined a hardcore gamer as all of the things you have told us (elitist, biased, unfair, etc) and what we are doing is sharing our definitions with you. If you don't like our definitions, then we are at an impasse, because you will never get me to believe that a hardcore gamer is by definition elitist, unfair, overbearing, cocky, or any of the other traits you have assigned them. For those traits, I have different labels (elitist, fanboy, close minded). In my book, a hardcore gamer is by definition someone who cares about and helps the industry, and the mainstream' perceptions of games. Just because there are people who don't fit that definition and call themselves hardcore gamers, doesn't make them hardcore gamers in my book (even if it does in yours).

  18. #18
    Great Puma (Level 12) YoshiM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    WI
    Posts
    4,310
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    1
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    26
    Thanked in
    26 Posts
    Xbox LIVE
    YoshiDM
    PSN
    YoshiDM
    3DS Friend
    0860-4642-4923

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by lendelin
    There you have it again, Yoshi, ...the elitist tendency. Games are for hardcorers like you and me not "just"(!) a form of entertainment, but much more. What's wrong with looking at games primarily or solely as an entertaining product? If you PLAY a game, isn't that primarily great entertainment and nothing else? Henri Matisse said that a painting should be like a comfortable chair, you sit back and enjoy and relax. That was always good for me when it comes to art, it should be good enough for videogames.
    Nope. I explained a definition of what a hardcore gamer IS (in my mind). That's where the "not just" comes into play. Hardcore gamers do play games for entertainment, but they look at the games beyond just mashing buttons. A casual gamer will plop down and play a game and have a wonderful time. Do they care about who made it? Usually, no unless they happen to like games from Company X. Do they care about the history? Probably not. Just like I'll casually watch a game of Football. My father-in-law can tell me about Bart Starr and the strategies Mike Holmgren used in the Mud Bowl, but honestly I don't care. I'm not that much into sports. He would be hardcore (or at least on the path to hardcore-dom) as he looks BEYOND just the game at hand and understands the battle from historical perspectives. Does that make him elitest? Only if he thinks so and only if others think so.

    As for my views on current games: Matisse may have said that a painting should be like a comfortable chair, but ANY chair after you sit in it long enough becomes hot, sweaty, and finally uncomfortable to the point where you have to get up and sit in a cool chair to be comfortable again. As for games like Madden or Devil May Cry or Final Fantasy (and all of the forementioned's clones) that get retreaded over and over, the chair gets uncomfortable. It seems to me maybe people have numb bums when it comes to certain series. But hey, that's just my viewpoint.

    No matter to which degree you integrate videogames in your life (videogame rooms, reading Kent and Herman, being on game websites, collecting, observing gameplay tendencies of older and newer games, following market trends of the industry), when it comes to the ability to recognize a good game you have fun with, all of these things don't matter a bit.
    Of course all the stuff you mentioned shouldn't matter a hill of beans if you want a good game. It doesn't mean that you have to leave that stuff at the door of the local EB when you buy the game. Especially one's own personal play history.


    There you have the intrinsic tension again between you as part of the masses and an elite at the same time; on the one hand advertisement and hype influence both of us hardcorers as everyone else, but the mainstream masses (which you are suddenly not part of anymore) fall every year for only slightly improved sports games (and make EA richer). I say, who are we to judge a player who is passionately in love with Madden? I say that the average gamer recognizes very well that there are not many improvements from Madden NFL 2002 to 2003, he's neither dumb nor blind, but he loves the game so much that he pays $50 to get some insignificant new bells and whistles; who of us hardcorers did not pre-order the Windwaker because we wanted the bonus disc?? A disc which delivered a game we already have and played, plus a new variation of the same game which didn't offer something significantly new! EA is right to produce these games because the demand is there; only if developers/publishers miscalculate and misperceive the market demand like in 83/84, THEN we'd have a big problem.
    I cannot deny that certain things will get my attention. In the case of Zelda that's nostalgia of the quality of the name not the marketing hype spewed at me. Me liking KOTOR is pretty much due to the fact I like Star Wars.

    If a person likes the Madden game, it's their money. I'm happy if they are happy, but I will still shake my head and chuckle when I ask "so, why'd you buy it when you had Madden 2003?" "Oh, it's the new version." Believe it or not, that's the biggest reason from the people I talk with. Not because it has this new feature or that new playbook-it's because it's NEW. I'd be thrilled if they were like "I think that stadium creator is going to be a lot of fun. I can't wait to dive into it" as it shows they actually put thought into it.

    It's down to the issue of values. If Joe Gamer wants Madden because it says "2004" on the cover, then he feels that it's worth $50 to him. I don't think it is, but hey that's me. While I'm shaking my head about what I think is an ill purchase, he's probably doing the same thinking I'm losing out on a good gaming time.



    I have a big problem to divide gamers into hardcore and mainstream with their positive and negative connotations when they sit in front of a TV and play. My brother is an extreme casual gamer. He only plays games when I'm in Germany and visit him, take out my PAL NES and SNES and the big boxed Super Metroid (in Germany it was sold in a big box with a guide, like Earthbound in the US) He LOVED ten years ago to play Zelda and Super Metroid. No matter which game I take with me now (the last time it was Equinox and Mega man 7), I get the same answer after two hours of playing the games, which drives me nuts: "It's not as good as Zelda, or Super Metroid". He played the entire Super Metroid again!! Looking at him I say sometimes to myself, damn, he is more critical of games and more finicky than me! He doesn't know the names Xbox or Miyamoto. My neighbour who has two Dreamcast games, plays probably once a month, played Nascar Thunder 2003 on my GC had no probs to figure out weaknesses and strengths of the game. We had a great time, but he noticed that the controls where too touchy at times, and some tracks could need a better design, and praised the AI of the other cars. The guy knows zilch about games. He might fall for a hyped game easier than I do who reads three reviews of each game before I spend money for it, but he talked with a colleague at work about Nascar Thunder 2003 and recognized a good game when he actually plays it; and even professional reviewers of mags fall sometimes into the hype hole. (see GI and the reviews about Enter the Matrix).
    I think we have to put the idea of "knowledge of all games" when it comes to determining "good games" to bed when it comes to hardcores. It's getting stretched thin methinks. I can't really say what hardcores truely want as it'd sound like I'm using a fairly wide brush to paint their views. I would think the biggest problem is that many games seem to be developed for the lowest common denominator as seen by a veteran game player (who may make up a large chunk of the "hardcore"). What I mean by that is the veteran may be bored to tears with the hottest game as it's geared for a person who doesn't have the skills the veteran has nor does it (usually) have the ability to ramp up the difficulty so the veteran could try to get into it.

    Who says that smaller developers follow market trends to a lesser degree than the bigshots like EA, Capcom, and Konami? and even more important, do the smaller developers create better games? Although this has nothing directly to do with the conceptualization of gamers, it comes indirectly always up when restructering of the industry takes place. Square and Enix merged because the industry and the profit rates grew dramatically, and because they face bigshots like EA now, they merged because they gain more clout, does this mean they will produce less quality games? Every game developer, id as much as EA, faces restrictions and possibilities of the market, and if they don't consider them or miscalculate they have to file for bankruptcy soon. If a game is merely tailored towards the newest polls and market trends, and a developer/publisher restricts the creativity of their staff, then this might be beneficial in the short run and may help a developer to survive in a precarious situation, but in the long run only the creative games which also sell well will make a firm financially sound for years because we gamers (you, me, and the average one) demand something new - and that's good so, because our finicky demands together with the competition with other big and smaller developers prevent that they rest on their laurels.
    If you look at the majority of the games that are out now, the fact that games are tailored to market trends is evident and this practice has been going on for a long time. Extreme sports games, the latest release of FPS games and the continuing dilution of the RTS genre on PCs are good examples. Whether or not a developer's creative juices are bottled up is anyone's guess.

    That's all I can say at the moment. Too tired to move on as I seem to have swallowed up like an hour of time on this. Amazing.

  19. #19
    Banned

    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Milwaukee, WI
    Posts
    1,939
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Default

    That's all I can say at the moment. Too tired to move on as I seem to have swallowed up like an hour of time on this. Amazing.
    You better take good care of Ms. Yoshi before wasting time with our lil debate anyway, Herr Mahlendorf Today it was a very long day for me too, and I'm tired; but I'll respond to you and anotherfluke, and start cracking my knuckles.

  20. #20
    Banned

    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Milwaukee, WI
    Posts
    1,939
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts

    Default

    Well, yesterday I played tennis and pulled severely a muscle or something. In any case, I'm limping around trying to avoiding staircases like a cat avoids water. Damn. So...I won't crack my knuckles again, I'm afraid I might break them.

    @anotherfluke and Yoshi:
    Let me get one misunderstanding out of the way: I'm not interested at all in new definitions of "hardcore gamer," I criticized the questionable stereotypical usage of the term which comes up over and over again in exactly the way I described it - and mostly in order to set yourself apart from the so called mainstreamers on which I focused anyway. (and the discussion itself proves it) It's like taking a picture with a camera - you fill up the "negative", and the fill-ins determine the "positive." My specific definitions or your definitions are not important. I do not want a fairer, less elitist definition with less questionable assumptions, on the contrary, I said I want to get rid of it for the reasons listed, and offered an alternative. These stereotypes are used in order to avoid complex reality. Non-gamers and overcritical educators used the term "hardcore gamers" in a negative way, the glassy-eyed poor geeks who sit in dark rooms all day long playing games, depraved of learning social skills which inevitably leads to the low intelligence level of a moron; and they did so in order to set this poor teenager apart from the healthy teenager who plays baseball outdoors and reads books. This was as much nonsense as is a belittling "mainstream " term of the hardcore gamers today. We videogamers do to the so called mainstreamers what the non-videogamers did to videogame players in the past, namely use these terms in order to defy a complex reality. Neither frequent and passionate gameplayers of the past nor casual gamers today are people who have a limited horizon and need to be educated. They were and are pretty smart when it comes to buying and playing games.

    Yoshi, you are very inconsistent when it comes to evaluating these so called mainstreamers. You flee so often to the safe heaven of "hey, that's my view," but then you demand a better information and education of the so called mainstreamers nonseless. (It's really bad in your post about the game crash of 84, and I'll respond to that too)

    Let me give you just one example of your inconsistency. On the one hand you say we should put the idea of knowledge to bed when it comes "to determining good games." Great, that's what I said all along! ...but THEN you say something like this:

    If a person likes the Madden game, it's their money. I'm happy if they are happy, but I will still shake my head and chuckle when I ask "so, why'd you buy it when you had Madden 2003?" "Oh, it's the new version." Believe it or not, that's the biggest reason from the people I talk with. Not because it has this new feature or that new playbook-it's because it's NEW. I'd be thrilled if they were like "I think that stadium creator is going to be a lot of fun. I can't wait to dive into it" as it shows they actually put thought into it.
    So...you'd like nevertheless that those mainstreamers were better informed and had better knowledge about the games they buy! Yoshi, they do what we all do, namely retrospective buying. Not everyone is so interested in games like we are; if you and I buy something in which we aren't very interested, like a pair of shoes or cars, we base the decision of our purchase on past positive experiences without being well informed. I go back to the same shoe store, pretty much to the same brand, because it worked out in the past, without looking around if there are better shoe stores in town or reading Consumers Reports. If a gamer noticed that Madden NFL 2002 had some new bells and whistles which he enjoyed very much, he'll buy Madden NFL 2003 expecting and trusting that the game offers something NEW. It doesn't matter if he knows what's EXACTLY new on there, he trusts the title and EA, and we all know, he's right on target with this very rational retrospective buying. As a rule it works out, but not always. Here is the good part: If it doesn't work out and EA doesn't deliver, much fewer people will buy Madden the next time because people aren't stupid and spend $50 for something they already have.; and if the next Madden doesn't deliver, it will be a big flop, and EA will be in big trouble. Wasn't that one big reason why the crash happened in 84? People got fed up with bad games, the same of the same, while manufactureres expected to make still big profits with them? The reaction of casual gamers might be not as fast as the one of frequent gamers, it might be delayed, but it comes and it comes with a vengeance. Actually, once you loose a casual gamer, you loose him for a longer period of time than the ones who are interested in games. People aren't stupid, they don't like to spend money for the same stuff, they recognize good products in the long run, it doesn't matter so much what they exactly know about it, I know when a shoe fits and feels comfortable...and games tailored towards kids can be the worst, becasue kids without any knowledge about toys can be your worst critics. They get a toy, they find it boring after two hours, and it disappears in abox never to be touched again.

    Go all the way with the sentence "hey, that's just me", don't stop in the middle of the road and assume you're still a bit better than "them." The good and the bad news is, we are all like "them" when it comes to overall processes, no matter how intelligent we are, well informed, individual tastes and individual differences. Same goes for politics where retrospective voting is done in the same way. The sum of all irrationality makes the rationality of the whole. That goes for democracy, and it goes for the videogame industry. A VW bug consisted of mediocre and flawed parts, but putting them altogether made mysteriously an exceptional car which kept running...and running...and running; democracy is the same way, and it goes for the game industry as well.

    I can't understand why people buy Pokemon games, I can't understand why people buy the Yu- Gi-Oh stuff, I can't understand why people like deer hunter and fishing games, and I shake my head when people go to Adam Sandler movies with slapstick and bad bathroom humor, and I just can't understand why the music industry hit such a low point in the 90s and people actually listen to Brittany Spears; but that's just me, and I fully accept it without assuming that I have better taste or knowledge or that I'm more intelligent. I make fun of it, but hey, they might be right, I might be wrong, maybe I'm just full of bs, I am as restricted and limited as they are with my intellectual blah blah. They don't need to be educated, neither "Joe average gamer" when it comes to games, nor "Joe six pack" when it comes to politics. They know what they like, and they are pretty smart when they play a game, are in a videogame store or in an election booth.

    The fact of the pretty rational and smart buyer is exactly why I didn't hear anything about my strongest argument, namely that the best games are usually also the top sellers, which means that the so called "harcorers" are right there in line with the so called "mainstreamers" to spend money for the exact same games. Nah, the stereotypical use of these terms doesn't make sense at all.

Similar Threads

  1. Someone has to agree with me, right? (GTA, mainstream)
    By Gamereviewgod in forum Classic Gaming
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 07-23-2004, 06:49 PM
  2. Street Fighter: Stereotype Origins
    By Sotenga in forum Classic Gaming
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: 04-21-2004, 07:39 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •