Hello again, dear readers of Gadzooki. You may remember that one of the articles I recently wrote mentioned a certain Keith Stuart, of The Guardian and Guardian Games Blog fame. Well, he’s gone and upset me this time. I mean really upset. Lets take a look at what he says:
“The launch of Nintendo’s Wii console could be the most destructive videogame event for more than 20 years. More destructive than the launch of the Playstation… than the 1983 collapse”
Now don’t get me wrong – I agree with his point that the Wii is both “unprecedented and unpredictable”. However, what I don’t agree with is his use of pejoratives. He’s clearly forgotten to mention the fact that it is exciting, interesting and innovative. I’m still trying to work my mind around the fact that The Guardian has Keith Stuart on the Gamesblog panel when he is seemingly, at best, a reluctant gamer.
Following on from this, he states that “game publishers sell 90% of their products on the quality of the graphics”. I’m assuming what he really means is this is how the products are marketed. On the other hand, defending Nintendo (which I don’t often do these days), I don’t recall the last game I bought due to the way it looked. However, every game I have bought has been on the principle that it plays a certain way. I must be one of the few then am I? Basing my gaming purchases on the prerequisite that the game I am about to fork out £30 or more (like $50 US y’all) must actually be fun to play.
Going on, Keith thinks that “The Barbarians – and by this I mean women and older people are at the gates, armed with Wii remotes”. I really hope he’s right. It will only be when gaming becomes much more mainstream/inclusive that we’ll see truly innovative and interesting products being released. Frankly, his idea that “for many men this is a terrifying, emasculating prospect” just seems to be third rate psychology. If your girlfriend picks up your Xbox360 controller do you think “oh my god, she has become emasculated”? Didn’t think so. More like “this is brilliant, we can play TOGETHER”. Either he’s still living in the 1950’s – where the man of the house ruled with an iron fist – or he thinks the rest of us are. Which begs the question of, for the UK at least, who is really tuning in to Corrie?!
I think that ironically many of the arguments raised by Keith Stuart highlight the positive, rather than negative, aspects of the Wii. What it is doing is bringing gaming back – to everyone. Taking it back to the days when coverage appeared on TV, when the family could gather round and all have a turn, when games were about “I can’t believe I managed to do that, that was awesome!” rather than “OMG this uses normal maps that is so 1337”. I haven’t got my hands on a Wii-mote yet, but I really want to. In the meantime, I’ll just have to content myself with the fact that I’m not the only one who believes a games/tech industry shakeup is almost upon us. About time too.