January 2008

Just To Pile On…

…in case you weren’t sure, darling, that University of Maryland study quoted in Fox’s “Sexbox” squib isn’t exactly what it was advertised to be.

This study didn’t involve thousands of young children. It didn’t even involve “real life experience” or even if they knew the difference between real life and fantasy. The Washington Post, in their story Students See Video Games As Harmless, Study Finds is more accurate, but not much more. The post still sensationalizes the issue by claiming that 14-year olds, who are filled with wrath, consider themselves “immune to mayhem.”

I Did It All For Teh Lulz

Julian Dibbell in Wired on the wide world of griefing (including figures all too familiar to loyal readers of this blog such as Prokofy Neva, 4chan, Goonswarm and its parent Something Awful).

Asked how some people can find their greatest amusement in pissing off others, ^ban^ gives the question a moment’s thought: “Most of us,” he says finally, with a wry chuckle, “are psychotic.”

Meanwhile, 4chan/b gets political and decides that Scientology’s pool has been closed.

“I Was Wrong! Who Knew!”

Today’s New York Times brings word that noted video game analyst Cooper Lawrence has actually determined, after keen study, that Mass Effect is not a movie starring Ron Jeremy and Jenna Jameson.

I recognize that I misspoke. I really regret saying that, and now that I’ve seen the game and seen the sex scenes it’s kind of a joke.

HAH HAH! You’re so funny, ma’am.

Darling, I gotta go with the research. And the research says there’s a new study out of the University of Maryland right now that says that boys that play video games cannot tell the difference between what they’re seeing in the video game and the real world…

Poochiekins, I gotta go with my own research, which says that there’s a new study somewhere on the Intarweb that says that girls that appear on The Tyra Banks Show cannot tell the difference between what they randomly guess is in a video game and the real world.

cooper.jpgOf course, this whole whozabobbawhumsit did accomplish one very important thing: it set up the first appearance by Cooper Lawrence in the New York Times.

Cooper Lawrence fans everywhere thank you! Really. Just as soon as we find some, we’re sure that they’re gonna be thankful all over the place. Don’t worry, Ms. Lawrence – this being the Internet, and your being a perky young female, we’re pretty sure someone will show up to give you lots of gold and powerlevelling. That’s how things work out here in the male-driven rapeland that is video gaming!

Reviews Are Serious Business

Via Slashdot, Sam Kennedy, editor of 1UP, has a good post-mortem on Gamespot’s Gerstmanngate.

As a marketer, if you recognized you needed more traffic to your product, you could buy it. You could even buy a top placement for your title on the GameSpot homepage, pretty much assuring clicks to coverage on your title, regardless of whether there was organic interest or not. And we’re not talking about just banner advertisements here — we’re talking about buying one of the top stories on the front of the site.

A writer by the name of Amadeo Plaza, who works for an advertising agency that did business with GameSpot, had this to say on the subject:

I don’t mean to maliciously call GameSpot out on this, but if you didn’t know, they sell a lot of their content coverage. The front-door rotation spots, otherwise known as “gumballs,” on the homepage are paid for by game publishers at $7,000/2 weeks (March 2006); and if you remember back, they absolutely whored themselves out to Vivendi for the release of 50 Cent: Bulletproof, a game that everyone and their mother knew was going to be terrible.

It’s encouraging that we’re starting to see accountability (even if user-driven rather than editorially) in the gaming media.