NYT: Getting it Wrong Again

by Steve Bowler on July 26, 2008 · 4 comments

in uncategorized

Here we go again.  A paper so out of touch with gaming and yet so full of opinions.  This time they’re trying to say that the core gamer backlash against Nintendo’s E3 announcements is nothing more than “nerd rage.”

Call it nerd rage. Like loyalists of a once-partisan politician who tacks toward the center later in an election cycle, old-school gamers are coming to terms with the ramifications of their favorite’s newfound popularity. Though they have long craved mainstream respectability for video games, players sometimes resent the concessions their champion must make to attract mainstream adherents.

Wow.  Nerd rage, eh?  It’s easy to look at Nintendo’s success and attempt to say “that’s the way the cookie crumbles, nerds!”  Unfortunately it lacks perspective on popular trends.  Last weekend’s top grossing movie, one that set all time records for opening day box office numbers, was based on a comic book.  Take a look at this prediction for what the top 10 movies of 2008 will be.  Eight of the ten will be nerd movies.  Speed Racer?  Batman?  Star frickin’ Trek???

Seriously, this is completely off-target industry analysis (again) by NYT.  The reason why the hardcore are pissed at Nintendo is because Nintendo isn’t even trying anymore.  Making games like Wii Music or Wii Fit don’t take 100 man dev teams and tens of millions of dollars.  I know, my company made a Wii game last year.  We farmed it out.  Making that shit ain’t hard, yo.  It’s casual gaming at its worst.

Yes, we want mainstream acceptance of our medium.  We want the kind of success that we see Hollywood finally courting with our other nerd hobbies.  What we didn’t want when we wanted mainstream acceptance was what is actually divergence towards a lowest common denomenator.  They’re not the same.  Nintendo is moving away from core gaming tenents and moving towards a toy that is so simple it’s boring at times.

What we wanted was Nintendo to show the mainstream how awesome Zelda, Metroid, Mario and company can be.  What we’re getting is an embarrassment, frankly.

What we got on stage last week was a sideshow designed to court soccer Moms who weren’t even paying attention.

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