Kotaku had a few interesting links the other day I wanted to make sure I got back to later:
Comments: Last week in comments featured some thoughts by readers, including one that criticizes other Kotaku readers’ bigoted comments: “This week has been awful for those of us who like to pretend that videogaming is not a hobby dominated by 13-year-old boys and the 30-year-old men that think like them.”
Concert-goers: A post on Video Games Live casts the orchestral game music show as an interesting conflict between high and low culture; specifically mentions “whooping and hollering,” the “priceless” looks on faces of people on their way to Phantom of the Opera down the street, and cosplayers “invading” a place “where more sedate crowds in business casual (and occasionally formal dress) generally rule the roost.”
Art appreciation: Kotaku also comments on and links to a “top 27” list of “art games”. Funny that games created intentionally to serve as works of art get put in a post titled “Timewasters: Top 27 ‘Art Games.'” Is this a sign of lack of maturity in the art game scene, or simply a lack of recognition and respect among gamers who are more fannish in their tastes?
Porn: And finally, Kotaku quotes the Chairman of Take2 on what bothers them about the AO rating (which was slapped on Manhunt 2, as I described elsewhere): “If you can’t market it because you aren’t allowed by the licensors or the retailers won’t carry it, then the rating doesn’t have any meaning.” Kotaku write Mark Wilson follows up: “My issue with AO? It sounds like I’m buying porn. And I don’t want to wear a trenchcoat and fedora every time I want to get my pretend murder fix.”
That is, of course, the point: Gaming legislation is trying to legally regulate violent games in the exact same way that porn is regulated, but the potential problem with this (if you think porn and/or violent games ought to exist at all) is that the licensing and retailing policies the Take2 chair describes prevent a porn gaming market from existing at all, let alone on the scale of a porn video market. As a strong supporter of free speech, maybe I should advocate for a porn gaming market, but what worries me personally are the attempts to create an environment in which thoughtful (but violent) games might never even get made out of fear they would be denied sale.