Ok, this is a rant. You’ve been warned. With that out of the way —
So I was reading Gamespot today, blasphemy I know, and apparently their editors decided they hate us all and want to explode our brains by posting some of the most mind-destroyingly stupid things said by some of the most self-serving people to ever walk the face of the planet. Gamespot got clever, I’ll give them that, and didn’t put the articles one after another, with the assumed reason being to make the pain last longer. I’m far nicer than that and will go for a quicker brainsplode by posting all three things in one relatively concise article.
Thing #1) NRA vice president Wayne LaPierre decided the culture of violence created by video games was far more responsible for the Sandy Hook shootings than guns could ever possibly be. You want to say it’s an incredibly complicated issue, and that Crazy Bastard stole legally-owned guns to do his killing, and the real problem behind it all was that he was batshit crazy? Can’t argue that, but when the question is raised about the easy availability of guns designed specifically for killing a lot of people as dead as possible in a very short time, you’d better believe the NRA is going to find something else to blame.
Thing #2) Analyst Doug Creutz, of Cowen & Company, assured investors that Sandy Hook won’t negatively impact gaming sales. Well thank god for that! It’d be terrible to go through the coming months not knowing that an industry that had nothing to do with Sandy Hook and has only been lightly connected to it in passing by sensationalist talking heads looking to fill up air time might be negatively impacted by the deaths of 20 children and 6 adults. To be fair, he says “We have received many questions from investors about the potential impact of the recent tragedy in Newtown on our covered universe of video game publisher stocks,” so apparently someone was worried about it, but all you need to do is look at the reactions to Wayne LaPierre’s miserable attempt at deflecting blame to understand that nobody’s buying the “Violent Media” boogeyman story.
Thing #3) This one’s a bit of a relief, seeing as it’s not about real life dead children, what’s to blame for it, and how it will effect one’s investments. Maxis Vice-President Lucy Bradshaw posted a blog entry that the always-on DRM requiring a constant internet connection to play Sim City will make the game more fun. This is stupid. The arguments over requiring an internet connection to play the single-player portion of a game have been had over and over again, and every single time it happens the people arguing in favor are wrong. Requiring an internet connection is, and I’m repeating myself here, stupid. The only winners are the pirates. The Piratebay exists and is easily accessed by anyone with an internet connection, as do dozens of other torrent sites that are less well known. Justifying the requirement means saying things that makes marketers happy but pisses off people who’d like to be customers, simply because the things said are so obviously cheap justification rather than reason. Publishers and developers need to knock it off, stop lying to us about how it’s for our own good, and realize they can’t win this one.
And that’s the day in Incredibly Stupid Things Said By People Who Know Better. Some days are more intelligent than others, and this was not one of them.
To get the Wayne LaPierre quotes in context, skip ahead to 7:10-