Scorn a popular role-playing or online game which sells in the millions and scorn the gamers who play it without reasonable proof and you’re up for a rage and revenge by this dedicated online community that speaks of total commitment and loyalty to their group - and that includes even the conservative gamers who openly show scorn for the critic. There are a few lessons learnt here and learnt very well.
A self-help writer, Cooper Lawrence and author of the book “The Cult of Perfection: Making Peace With Your Inner Overachiever”, openly criticized Mass Effect, one of the most critically praised games of 2007, on “The Live Desk With Martha MacCallum”, a Fox News program featuring a discussion of the apparent sexual content of the hit video game.
Even worse, the author admitted on the programme to not having played the game after having delivered intense criticism that the game contained frontal nudity and explicit depictions of sexual activity. The assertions of virtual lasciviousness first appeared earlier this month amongst online bloggers who were incensed by short ‘YouTube’ clips which were taken from the 30- to 40-hour game. Cooper Lawrence appeared to mischaracterize the game when she stated:
“Here’s how they’re seeing women: They’re seeing them as these objects of desire, as these, you know, hot bodies. They don’t show women as being valued for anything other than their sexuality. And it’s a man in this game deciding how many women he wants to be with.”
Mass Effect is a science fiction game which includes a complicated romantic subplot that is no more inappropriate in its plot or graphic in its depiction than any television show played in the evenings to public viewers. Factually, and as a point of further embarrassment to Ms. Lawrence, Mass Effect allows users to play as either a man or a woman, and the few suggestions of intimate contact occur in the context of a detailed interpersonal story line.
An exacting revenge by online gamers - who turned their caustic disdain and anger on Cooper Lawrence - materialized. Ms. Lawrence’s most recent book user-rating on Amazon.com, “The Cult of Perfection”, was sent spiraling into near oblivion with one-star ratings given by these gamers who sought their retribution.
The book was tagged with the keyword “ignorant” and tied for 2nd place for keywords “garbage” and “hypocrisy,” and tied for 4th place with the words “hack” and “hypocrite”. Gamers went on to attack the book further on the Barnes & Noble Web site, symbolically fulfilling the game’s now seemingly most appropriate title ‘Mass Effect’. Amazon has stated that they would soon begin to remove reviews written by users who, obvious to them, did not read the book.
What is ironic and causes the most humorous aspect in this fable is that many of the reviewers admit that they have not read Ms. Lawrence’s book - as one Amazon user puts it:
“I know all about this book but have never fully read it. Why? Due to the overwhelming backlash, I have no choice but to agree with the 1 star ratings. The rumors are rampant that this book was poorly written and poorly researched. So without verifying the contents myself — I give it a 1 star. Good thing video games aren’t judged in this manner — whew!!!”
In all contrasts, the game Mass Effect, which sold more than 1.6 million copies since November 2007, is far more popular that the book “The Cult of Perfection”.
Since her interview on Fox Channel and the ‘mass’ ensuing controversy, Ms. Lawrence has said that she had watched someone play the game for about two and a half hours (after the fact) and further:
“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… Before the show I had asked somebody about what they had heard, and they had said it’s like pornography, … But it’s not like pornography. I’ve seen episodes of ‘Lost’ that are more sexually explicit.”
Coming on the heels of the controversy and seeking an apology of some sorts, Electronic Arts, the giant publisher that owns Mass Effect, has asked Fox News for a correction but Fox only offered that Electronic Arts be given a chance to appear on the channel. Electronic Arts has not yet decided whether to accept this offer. Chief executive of BioWare, the Electronic Arts studio that made Mass Effect, Ray Muzyka and who is a medical doctor, further stated:
“We’re hurt. We believe in video games as an art form, and on behalf of the 120 people who poured their blood and tears into this game over three years, we’re just really hurt that someone would misrepresent the game without even playing it. All we can hope for is that people who actually play our games will see the truth.”
Lesson #1 learnt: Prove it before you speak.
Lesson #2 learnt: Revenge is not fair.
Lesson #3 learnt: Ms. Lawrence’s ‘Making Peace with Her Overachiever’ is obviously still a ‘work in progress’ for the author.
Richard Garriott, a game developer known for creating the multiplayer online game Ultima, will be the sixth private citizen to take a ride on a Russian Soyuz rocket to the International Space Station in October 2008. And in a way, he will follow in his father’s footsteps, but without the NASA credentials. Garriott’s dad is former NASA astronaut Owen Garriott, who flew to the first U.S. space station Skylab in the ’70s.
Garriott will fly with Vienna, Va.-based Space Adventures, a space tourism company that offers flights to ISS for between $25 million and $30 million. But because of a weakened dollar, the cost of the trips will go as high as $40 million in 2009.
Richard Allen Garriott (born July 4, 1961), also known as Lord British in Ultima Online and General British in Tabula Rasa, is a significant figure in the video game industry. He was originally a game designer and programmer, but now engages in various aspects of computer game development. Richard is a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism.
Yup, we couldn’t believe what we were reading; but the case scenario has been put into simple English for us all to understand. Windows Vista is certainly not ready for you dedicated gamers. READ THE DEBACLE HERE.
I, personally, have been waiting since Christmas to see when my gamer fiance could play Neverwinter Nights II again with me. It was before Xmas that he got this really bright idea to install the Beta Windows Vista Operating System; we were both pleasantly impressed by the OS and oohed and aahed about for some time. But it’s been over 3 weeks now and ONLY less than 2 weeks until the OS offcially launches and to date, the drivers are just not ready.
My fiance is now considering uninstalling the OS and reverting back to Windows XP so that we can at least share some prime time together and not endanger our further bonding because of Microsoft’s incabilty to deliver the required drivers for gamers of the new operating system.
According to this report, “So for gamers hoping to install and run Vista Ultimate this is certainly a disappointment.”; I’d like to add that IslandGamers forgot to put it this way: “So for gamers hoping to install and run Vista Ultimate this is certainly an ULTIMATE disappointment”. Further: “They said themselves that they are being forced to leave out several optimisations and performance tweaks just to deliver a stable product.” Uuuuhhh, that doesn’t seem to make much sense, does it?
Sounds like MAC OS10 has the last laugh because in my personal opinion, Windows Vista is just a damn cool copy of that operating system; yeah some things better and a few new bright ideas but wait!…. MAC OS10 is ULTIMATELY stable and Windows is trying to create a cool repeat but not on an intrinsically stable platform. If they’d been individual enough to start an absolutely new trend from scratch, then maybe they would have had MAC trying to copy them instead. But that’s just my humble opinion, ahem.
Read IslandGamers.com article for the real deal of what’s awaiting you gamers if you go ahead with this new OS which seems to be way behind meeting the goals before launch time. It’s an utter mess as far as we are concerned; a ‘debacle‘ as put so nicely by IslandGamers.