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, heâ€™s gone and upset me this time. I mean really upset. Lets take a look at what he says:
â€œThe launch of Nintendoâ€™s Wii console could be the most destructive videogame event for more than 20 years. More destructive than the launch of the Playstationâ€¦ than the 1983 collapseâ€
Now donâ€™t get me wrong â€“ I agree with his point that the Wii is both â€œunprecedented and unpredictableâ€. However, what I donâ€™t agree with is his use of pejoratives. Heâ€™s clearly forgotten to mention the fact that it is exciting, interesting and innovative. Iâ€™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 â€œgame publishers sell 90% of their products on the quality of the graphicsâ€. Iâ€™m assuming what he really means is this is how the products are marketed. On the other hand, defending Nintendo (which I donâ€™t often do these days), I donâ€™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 Â£30 or more (like $50 US y’all) must actually be fun to play.
Going on, Keith thinks that â€œThe Barbarians â€“ and by this I mean women and older people are at the gates, armed with Wii remotesâ€. I really hope heâ€™s right. It will only be when gaming becomes much more mainstream/inclusive that weâ€™ll see truly innovative and interesting products being released. Frankly, his idea that â€œfor many men this is a terrifying, emasculating prospectâ€ just seems to be third rate psychology. If your girlfriend picks up your Xbox360 controller do you think â€œoh my god, she has become emasculatedâ€? Didnâ€™t think so. More like â€œthis is brilliant, we can play TOGETHERâ€. 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 â€“ 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 â€œI canâ€™t believe I managed to do that, that was awesome!â€ rather than â€œOMG this uses normal maps that is so 1337â€. I havenâ€™t got my hands on a Wii-mote yet, but I really want to. In the meantime, Iâ€™ll just have to content myself with the fact that Iâ€™m not the only one who believes a games/tech industry shakeup is almost upon us. About time too.