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Tycho / on Wed, Aug 19 2009 at 12:00 am

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Character Assassination

As proponents of interactive electronic entertainment, we’re accustomed to troglodytic salvos from all corners re: the fiendish nature of this hobby.  I feel like troglodytic is a savvy choice, but I may be in the minority; I would also accept backwoods, and bonus points could certainly be earned for uncorking something like “benighted” or “unlettered.”

I actually forget what we were talking about.

No, no!  I’ve got it.  Seeing this article was almost incredible, like cracking open a time capsule full of another era’s bullshit preconceptions.  I almost couldn’t believe I was seeing it:  a piece of journalism from this century correlating Dungeons & Dragons with violent acts has the delicious, dry-aged character of an artisinal salami.  Really?  It’s 2009, though.  Really?!

We can envision scenarios at the gaming table that might culminate in multiple hammer assaults, but the journalism on display here is utterly concussed.  There are manifold unanswered questions:  for example, was defendant Zachary King playing a class that can even wield hammers?

Gamescom, a scion of the Leipzig Gaming Festival, has dished up some food for thought.

Reporters can’t seem to decide if the three hundred dollar PS3 Slim is awesome or too awesome, when it’s actually a barbed black crown of shame, and that’s more or less the end of the discussion.  It can’t be seen as anything but a concession to a market that has consistently chosen their competitor’s products - an act of contrition, the purest evidence possible that this brand is no longer sufficient to sway consumers.  There is an optional stand available that allows you to stand the system vertically, on its side - making the system a literal tombstone, as well as a figurative one.

For my part, I’m overjoyed that Eye of Judgment - the highly experimental merge of collectible card game, tabletop tactics, and (here’s the experimental bit) image recognition - will see a new life on the PSP.  Day one purchase, easily.  Joystiq wonders if people will still buy in without the “camera gimmick,” which implies at a very deep level that the author is unfamiliar with the product.  The “camera gimmick” is what got the game made to begin with, an R&D lark writ large, but ultimately the camera undid the product.  From its very requirement, to issues with recognition in different lighting environments, to the fact that the duplication of collectible cards in a competitive environment was a trivial matter, it created nothing but problems for a game that (mechanically speaking) has much to offer.  Decoupling its savvy strategic core from those trappings is an act of faith, and - I hope - wisdom.

(CW)TB out.

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