June 21, 2010

Stop making Mac owners look delusional: A break down of a crappy article

First of all, electricity is back.  I've survived the apocalypse!  Woot!

Second, via The Boyfriend's perusing of the Neogaf forums brought my attention to this thread about a Macworld article about E3.  I got pretty angry at it.  When stupidity's afoot, I get easily irritated.  I think I gave that article the finger for a full minute while The Boyfriend read it, just to have him turn around and laugh.

To do things a little differently, I'm going to highlight the part of the article I find particularly ignorant or stunningly idiotic before I give it a full assessment.  You can find the whole article here, but do you really want to read it without my witty critiques?

Alright, let's start out with something ridiculously nit-picky I noticed in the second paragraph.

"I walked the floor of E3 until my flip-flops broke in protest at the mediocrity. When your footwear is sounding off about the originality of your industry, you know you're in a tough place."

Uh, who wears flip-flops to an event where you're walking that way?  Shoes that are meant for casual use and not miles of walking for hours at a time?  An idiot, that's who. That was my impression of the author, Chris Holt, when I first read the article.

His impressions of Microsoft are pretty fair, though harsh, and then he moves on to Nintendo.

"If you want to buy Zelda's Wind Waker crossed with Twilight Princess, Nintendo would like to sell you that game. Nintendo is so willing to sell it, in fact, that its willing to put adult men in front of thousands of people and have them swat pretend swords for your amusement."

1) Did the guy ever play those other Zelda games? I don't think that combo is correct, especially if you know the series. Sure there is some rehashing, but windwaker? 2) God forbid there are people who use there IMAGINATION to pretend to be a badass fighter by using a game controller. Not like that hasn't happened in the history of gaming, ever. (P.S., it's almost the entire history of gaming)

"The saddest bunny that Nintendo pulled out of its hat was the trailer for a new Goldeneye 007 game. The reveal was met not by wowed enthusiasm, but instead with the sound of thousands of hands slapping a thousand foreheads."

As much as there was some hesitance to this game, I watched the Nintendo conference live and there were some genuinely excited people. Was he really there? Was he only surrounded by his "jaded" friends?

"On the show floor, I later played the new Goldeneye 007, and I can confirm that you still can't play first person shooters on the Wii..."

It was clarified that you could only play the new Goldeneye with the Classic Controller on showroom floor. I assume this guy isn't used to buttons and joysticks and basically all he wants to do is tilt his screen to be able to snipe people. Doesn't work that way.

"Sure, the 3DS has 3D graphics without glasses--but also without a sense of perspective. That is to say, Apple is eating their market and Nintendo's Reggie Fils-Aime is sitting in the white Buick with the devil as they go over the cliff, laughing, a la Thelma and Louise."

And this is where it's obvious this guy isn't aware of the real gaming industry. How is Apple steal from a market that it's not even competing in? More on that later, couple more quotes on this article and how it's written by an unobservant man.

"Sony at least knows that the casual gaming market is gone to them. Apple's SDK can't be beaten by conventional platforms or conventional weapons..."

Am I missing something? Was Apple presenting at E3? Did they unveil their second Pippin? The Pippin 2? Does it also have motion controls like everyone else?

"The three big console developers, previously unchallenged in their supremacy, have become complacent swine, out of touch with the modern gamer. They keep making games that they already made because they know they will sell, not because they will be challenging, creative, or fun."

Any corporation in a capitalist society is driven by the prospect of profit. To get mad at a company for chasing dollar signs is to be mad at a mud for being dirty: it's in their nature. Sure, over time you want a market to evolve, but if the consumers are eating up a classic formula, a company has no incentive to change. And might I add, the "newest" thing that Apple has recently come out with is a bigger iPod touch.

To give the guy credit, the gaming industry will not survive on rehashes, but at the same time Apple is nowhere near competing in the gaming world. I'm not even talking about it from a hardcore perspective, if you look at the casual games Apple's market is EXACTLY the same as the PCs. Even the phone games can be found on different phones. Also, no one is going to buy an iPhone for the games. Sure, there are fun games on it, but I can play most of those on other popular smart phones. Hell, most games I can play on ANY computer if we're talking Zuma/Dinner Dash/Any facebook game application.

The kind of casual gamers E3 was talking to are the ones who take time out of their day to relax with video games. This isn't something to play on the plane/train/carpool, this isn't something to do when your boss isn't watching. This is something fun you want to do after a long day, or during the weekend, with your friends over on a random hangout night, with your family when it's rainy, or even if you want to shed a couple pounds on your off time. It's an actual investment, it's not an afterthought.

I'm not saying Apple is wrong to invest in games as an afterthought. It works for their platforms. But there aren't a lot of Mac gamers for a reason: Apple doesn't make it easy to be a gamer. You can't upgrade your system, there aren't a lot of games you can play, except for some casual games that will take up your coffee break. You don't have an accessible network or community (until recently with Steam on Mac), you don't have an interface that promotes games that are slightly more complicated, you don't even have them really trying. It feels like their entrance into gaming was more accidental or peripheral than in the forefront of Apple's mind. And that's fine.

Lastly, I'm tired of my fellow Mac users acting as if Apple is perfect and does everything right. I'm sorry, but no.  This company, at least to what I see as a consumer, seems to be also running out of ideas.  I'm so afraid of what happens after Steve Jobs kicks the bucket with that company. The iPad wasn't revolutionary, the stuff they make isn't perfect, and for the love of God they weren't at E3 so they can't win E3 without being there. Sorry, Holt, you're overreaching.

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