Grand Theft Auto San Andreas: How does it play?

Good ol' Grand Theft Auto. If there's one thing you do right, it's tick people off. Whether it be ignorant government types or Haitians, rest assured you'll manage to set somebody off. Well glorious video game, soon you will grace us with yet another sequel, the 5th in the series. E3 brought us a swirling array of stories on this latest sequel, each one making me feel even worse for humanity and the gaming industry in general. The big part of this sequel was where it took place. For the record, it's San Andreas California. Is this really such a big deal? Does it really matter WHERE you kill people? My question is, how does it play? New "innovations" let you join gangs for some team based play (real innovative unless you haven't played one of the 50 other squad based games on the market), rob houses (different from robbing the gun store in the third iteration how?), and the new AI gives all the people in the game's world a supposed "brain." This is what EA Sports shoved down our throats in the 16-bit era with all their sports games and I never noticed a difference. My question is, how does it play? The new graphics engine has new lighting effects, new character models, and cars taken from the early 90's, the era the game is set in. Looking at screen shots (granted their early), I see no difference. The same blocky polygonal models that filled the first two 3-D entries are back. They are simply are wearing different clothes. My question is, how does it play? See, no one seems to care how it plays. Why? Because most people who play video games today are stupid. Yeah, I said stupid. Read the line again if you want. They walk into a video/gaming store, scan the shelves, look for a "M" rating, and walk out satisfied. $50 later, their having a blast blowing peoples heads off, capping grandma with a sniper rifle, and beating down a hooker for cash. Millions of people will pre-order for no apparent reason. What, do you think their will be a shortage or something? No, Rockstar knows the title alone will make you plunk down the cash the same way you bought an X-Box to the play the same exact games you already have on your PS2. Does the violence bother me? No, not at all. I love blood in my games, but only when they play decently. Does GTA have some decent gameplay? Sure. Does it get old and infuriating thanks to a horrific targeting system? Definitely. Does anyone seem to care if the targeting system has been worked on? Guess not. Does anyone care to know if the controls for the vehicles have been improved? Guess not. Does it need to be? Definitely. See, the art of making a video game play well has been completely lost. Ok, actually, it's still alive and well, but no one buys these types of games. Did you buy Beyond Good and Evil last year? Will you give a second look to Metal Slug 3 when it hits the X-Box in a month or so? Of course not. Why? Probably either: A: You've never heard of it or.... B: You've seen the graphics and "they'z l00kz l1k3 At@R1...WTF?" Why is it? Metal Slug is the epitome of great gameplay. Developed over the course of many years, Metal Slug 3 is arguably the best of the long running series. It has killing, blood, and non-stop action. Do you care? Yeah? Really? Oh, by the way, it's 2-D which means no polygons. What? Now you don't care? These games are only for the hardcore gamers now. The group who knows exactly what it takes to make a game enjoyable and fun. The rest of you are idiots, plunking down cash for various games with the names Madden and Grand Theft Auto. Am I telling you what you should like? No, oh god no. Everyone has their tastes and that's completely understandable. My argument is that you no longer look past the big budget ads, hype, and graphics. Maybe, just maybe, if someone sat your mainstream butt down for 5 minutes with a multi-player game of Metal Slug, you'd change your mind. Of course, your too busy cappin' yo' hoes to be bothered with things like this.

Comments (46)

Kevin:

Hey, yes this game has a lot of violence but its kick ass and it better for people to use it to get anger out, would you rather people go kill people run rampages out on our streets in real life... hmm.. i know i dont.... this is just a fun game...and you cant buy it unless your mature, and if you get it when your under age then your parents believe that your mature enough to own it...im 13 my self but i have no plans of stealing a car and shoting peoples heads off.....i just play the game fun.

Jack Mehoff:

I think grand theft auto san andreas is going to be the best game yet anyone agree.

Calm down buddy it's just a game. Here's an idea, GET A LIFE!

JC:

HOLY SHIT MATT,

HOW MANY PLACES ARE YOU GOING TO POST THIS SAME ARTICLE! TAKE A HINT FROM KEVIN AND GET A LIFE!!!

JC - take a chill man! Its called "syndication" get used to the concept. Just because we write about video games doesn't mean we don't have a life. Right now my job, more then video games, denotes wether I have a life.

You people all need to get a life. This is a meme, we rant and we rave, that is the purpose of a site such as this. If you do not like it, there is no one holding a gun to your head telling you to read my site.

OH AND WHAT IS WITH THE YELLING, IT IS UNCALLED FOR!

CLM:

I know this is an old article, but I ran across it when I was googling for the answer to a question about the game.

You're being snarky because you think it's fashionable to be negative about things that are popular. You think it makes you sound smart and objective. But it makes you sound snobby, arrogant and completely ridiculous.

But you couldn't be more wrong; IMHO it may be one of the best games ever. So to put the rest the notion that somehow "real gamers" will shun it... I consider myself a real gamer. I've been gaming for the better part of 2 decades. Since the days of the TI994a (Microsurgeon, ahhh), 2600, AppleII, C64, Amiga (Bubble Bobble, Nebulous, mmmm), etc.. You name the game, I've probably played it at least once. Even your vaunted Metal Slug standie series (meh, average. More of a fan of Golden Axe and Dungeon & Dragons standies).

So to answer your question: how does it play? This "real" gamer thinks it plays very very well. The targetting system is not at all horrible. For a game that uses both sticks, the Dpad, and all 10 buttons, the entire control scheme is surprisingly intuitive and easy to learn.

It's not perfect by any means. The character as you mention models are blocky, and the game has that overall muddy, "PS2" haze about it. Also, there are certain places in the game where you can get stuck in the graphics.

But it's easy to overlook these things because the original concept is that damn innovative. It creates something that's been attempted before but never quite acheived: a persistent world. And it pulls it off well. And yes, the innovative play options that they've included in the latest version do indeed justifying buying the next in the installment. If it were simply a rehashing of Vice City, I would agree with you to a degree (somehow insinulating that people don't like what you like are stupid is the height of adolescent, egocentric arrogance). The improvements they've made put GTA:SA several orders of magnatude above Vice City.

Sometimes, a thing isn't popular just because of marketing. Sometimes, that thing is popular because it's actually quite good. As soon as you learn that, then you'll be writing columns worth reading.

I've been gaming as long as you, maybe longer. I like popular games. I love Halo, I like Madden (not as much as ESPN, but still), etc. Is it that hard to figure out that just maybe someone doesn't like the series? In your opinion, it's great. In mine, it's the furthest thing from it. You simply can't accept someone elses opinion. Isn't that an ignorant thought as well? GTA has no point. The whole "go anywhere, do anything" is a joke.

Sure, you can walk around the city for hours, occasionaly beating someone up or finding some ridiculously placed package. But what's the point? You're not gaining anything by doing it. It gets old in less than 10 minutes. The whole purpose of a video game is to make progress towards a goal, to beat it or conquer it (choose your term). By allowing freedom like that, you defeat that entire purpose.

I hate the mission structure, which of course is the only way to actually really do anything with a point. Now, I'm referring to III and VC here, but I hated it. It gets so frustrating due a combination of bad control and a lackluster camera. I like how you can approach them in different ways, but that's about it. It's not worth fighting with everything else to deal with them.

Oh, and I'm not even getting into the "orignal concept" argument. It's not. The very first GTA started it, Shenmue brought it into 3-D. GTA simply started to EXPAND the concept, not create it.

I'm glad you're enjoying it, but rest assured I probably won't when I finally get a copy from Blockbuster.

CLM:

" You simply can't accept someone elses opinion. Isn't that an ignorant thought as well?"

That's a straw man. You're trying to shift the debate. I never said you were ignorant. I don't have any doubt that you know the subject that you're writing about. I said your opinion was arrogant.

I started my opinion on the game with IMHO. That stands for In My Humble Opinion. I can accept that people don't like the game, and have opinions differing from mine. I'd welcome an intelligent debate about it. Some folks rabidly love games like The Sims, FFXI and Star Wars Galaxies. I don't. Whatever. To each their own.

"Sure, you can walk around the city for hours, occasionaly beating someone up or finding some ridiculously placed package. But what's the point? You're not gaining anything by doing it. It gets old in less than 10 minutes."

Like I said above. To each his own.

" The whole purpose of a video game is to make progress towards a goal, to beat it or conquer it (choose your term). By allowing freedom like that, you defeat that entire purpose."

Again, your opinion. I would disgree. I can think of several great games off the top of my head that weren't geared toward conquering some goal. The very well reviewed Little Computer People leaps to mind. To this day it has a rabid following (google for Little Computer People). Sims, Everquest, Elite... More leap to mind.


"I hate the mission structure, which of course is the only way to actually really do anything with a point."


Kinda contradicts what you were saying above. The mission structure in GTA:SA is how you advance the story toward that goal that you mentioned.

From the original article:
"Because most people who play video games today are stupid. Yeah, I said stupid. Read the line again if you want. They walk into a video/gaming store, scan the shelves, look for a “M” rating, and walk out satisfied."

My gripe with your article is that it's premise is the above quote. It doesn't have much to do with your opinion on the game, but it's your supposition that video game audience are such marketing slaves that they can't help themselves from buying any peice of drek that comes down the line with a big advertising budget. You on the other hand can see through all of the marketing haze. That's arrogant.

It is possible that a game can be heavily marketed and be a good game.

"Oh, and I'm not even getting into the "orignal concept" argument. It's not. The very first GTA started it, Shenmue brought it into 3-D."

At this point GTA:SA bears only a passing resemblance to it's 2D predecessors. The 2D games weren't a living, breathing fake city. The city, it's residents and the level of interactivity is what defines the game. Not the fact that you can steal cars, and not the fact that it's 3D. Totally different game at this point.

Also, the point of letting you know how long I've been gaming wasn't get to get into some sort of bizarre "biggest geek bulge" argument. It was only to illustrate that I've been through the age of rasters, vectors, laser discs, fake holographs, and not some kid weaned on PSX stuff. I've grew up with all the same games you have. Which ever of us has been gaming longer is irrelevant.

Its great to see someone challenging Matt on one (or more now) of his columns. Thanks Chris.

I agree with you on Matt's GTA:SA column and the $50 for a video game piece. I know a few people in the video game biz, and that $50 price tag is worth it. GTA:SA is a very good reason WHY that $50 is worth it. Look at the production values of these games. I don't care that its on a CD or DVD, its paying for the development, which in this case calls for voice talent, as well as marketing, etc.

I have found that there are a number of great games IMHO that Matt simply does not like for one reason or another. It is a shame I think, because he is missing a very good thing because of maybe some unrealistic expectations.

San Andreas has a much improved targeting system. The driving is even better.

To answer your question Matt, everyone knows how it plays! It plays like GTA III and VC played. It has some updates to the various game engines, but it plays the same as III did. Thats the point. It plays great, people know this, and will buy the next one, even pre-order it (myself included) because we already know "how it will play." The fact that is is nearly 6 times the size as Vice City, and has more interaction then ever, thats just gravy on the deal.

We all knew that they put the Manhunt targeting system into San Andreas. If you played Manhunt, you knew this was far superior to the GTA system. So yes, we do care, and in fact, we even know it is better then Vice City was.

CHM: I think most of the games you mentioned do have a point. Everquest you' try and level up and up until you have some brute of a chracter. The Sims you try and keep the person alive (or let them die by removing all windows and doors from the house).

The mission structure does have you moving towards a goal yes, but I'm saying the one thing in the game that does that, I don't like.

As for people being stupid, I seen it all the time. There is a large portion of the GTA playing crowd who won't play SA because the lead character it black. Seriously, check out messages boards over on Gamefaqs. If that's not stupid, I don't know what is. I has one guy come into my work about once a week and ask what games came out that "were for him." All he wanted was M stuff. People do it and I've seen it.

As for marketing, what about games like Driver 3? It sold incredibly well, yet it was an absolute bomb. Enter the Matrix? Bomb. Why? Advertising. Sure, some games are great and they get advertised, but so many don't. Play Katarami Darmacy yet? An absolute blast and many, many people today won't even pick it up based on the goofy title, not to mention the fact that it won't get a lick of time on TV.

As for the SA is so much different from the 2-D versions, I don't see it. Not just SA either. You could put any of the 3-D GTA's in the same 2-D viewpoint and lose nothing except the camera system. There are still plenty of people "living" (i.e., mindlessly walking) in those versions.

Ken: I'm not going to try and go way off topic here, but here we go: Tom Cruise stars in a movie with say, Bruce Willis. There's a good $10 million alone. Now, you pay around $10 to go to the theater, $20 for the movie on DVD. That's only $30 for a movie that cost, say, $50 million. No game has even come close to that. if you want to continue this debate, please do it where it belongs. =;)

Keep in mind I had no idea (nor did anyone else) about the targeting system when I wrote that. About my expectations: Is it unrealistic to expect a decent camera now that we've been in the 3-D era for 10 years? That's my biggest gripe with SO many games today.

Oh, and do you think I haven't been challenged enough on BC about this one???

Chris Mayle:

"Oh, and do you think I haven't been challenged enough on BC about this one???"

I don't read BC. I accidentally caught the original article posted on some other blog and tracked it back to it's source, here, because I thought that it would be the most likely place you'd actually read my response.

"As for marketing, what about games like Driver 3? It sold incredibly well, yet it was an absolute bomb. Enter the Matrix? Bomb. Why? Advertising. Sure, some games are great and they get advertised, but so many don't."

Why does the Atari Lynx fade away but Gameboy persists to this very day? Sometimes superior things don't catch on. Reasons vary. I wouldn't be so presumptuous to make some sort of blanket explanation for it.

"I think most of the games you mentioned do have a point. Everquest you' try and level up and up until you have some brute of a chracter. The Sims you try and keep the person alive"

You can use that argument to manufacture almost any "goal" to anything. It can be said that people skip GTA's mission structure to complete the goal of satisfying their curiosity about the game. But it's not a programmed goal in and of itself. Much like my example, "keeping a SIM alive" is more of an abstract goal that comes internally from a player based upon their desire to keep playing, not a programmed one. The game doesn't go "Congratulations, you've kept your SIM alive for 1 year. You win." No, people keep playing it because there's a seemingly never ending array of interesting occurrences that open up further random and interesting occurrences. I hear it's a hoot. I don't play it, but lots of people do.(I also assume there's a community people out there that enjoy killing their SIMS)

"Is it unrealistic to expect a decent camera now that we've been in the 3-D era for 10 years? That's my biggest gripe with SO many games today."

Again, you're trying to shift the debate. Why not make the article about 3D camera glitches and how programmers are dropping the ball. That's not what your article was about. It was about this:

From the original article:
"The rest of you are idiots, plunking down cash for various games with the names Madden and Grand Theft Auto."

How is that not an arrogant, dishonest statement?


"There is a large portion of the GTA playing crowd who won't play SA because the lead character it black."

Racism in gaming would be an interesting debate. Unfortunately, that's not what your original article was about. Again, you're trying to shift the debate again, and again I'm not going to let you. The premise of your article was the following:

From the original article
"Because most people who play video games today are stupid. Yeah, I said stupid. Read the line again if you want."

And then, still referring to "most gamers" continue:

"They walk into a video/gaming store, scan the shelves, look for a “M” rating, and walk out satisfied."

Let's test that. Checking the numbers for an infamous "M" title Singles: Flirt Up Your Life... Not in the top 10 for sales, not even close. However, Star Ocean: Till the End of Time is in the top 10 for sales. I don't know what that game is, because I can't say I've seen a single ad for it. And I'd be shocked if it were an "M" title. Checking...nope!

"I has one guy come into my work about once a week and ask what games came out that "were for him." All he wanted was M stuff. People do it and I've seen it."

Ok, then maybe the premise of your article should have been "this guy at my work is stupid." That would have been an honest article. No, the premise was "most people who play video games today are stupid." How did "one guy in your work" become "most gamers?" Do we judge every politician by Adolph Hitler? Do we judge every game by Custer's Revenge? It's a dishonest premise.

"As for the SA is so much different from the 2-D versions, I don't see it. Not just SA either. You could put any of the 3-D GTA's in the same 2-D viewpoint and lose nothing except the camera system."

You're way off base, because you obviously haven't played the game yet. The people in SA city live out lives. Rival gangs war with one another, lovers hold hands, some folks obey the traffic laws and some don't, they converse with one another independent of you, people commit crimes and get arrested, etc etc. Sure, some things are canned. Like I said earlier, the game isn't perfect. But the environment as a whole is more then a robotic play ground. It's as close to a programmed, living, breathing, vibrant, persistent world as has been created yet.

"Keep in mind I had no idea (nor did anyone else) about the targeting system when I wrote that."

Then why include it as a discussion point in your original article? It undermines the credibility of your opinion.

Chris Mayle:

Ken:

"I have found that there are a number of great games IMHO that Matt simply does not like for one reason or another. It is a shame I think, because he is missing a very good thing because of maybe some unrealistic expectations."

It seems like he's made up his mind already, which I think in this case folks who do that are only doing themselves a disservice. Tooling around for reviews the last few days, it seems like the things that happen later in the game that change it in totally unexpected and incredible ways.


I'm not even a huge fan of the consoles. I'm more of a PC gamer. But, I really don't remember being this excited about a console game in a very long time.

"I don't read BC. I accidentally caught the original article posted on some other blog and tracked it back to it's source"

This was for Ken, sorry. He's seen some of the stuff over there and needles to say, this is far more civil. What other blog was it by the way?

"Why does the Atari Lynx fade away but Gameboy persists to this very day? Sometimes superior things don't catch on."

Ah, but could the argument be made that the Lynx hardware was superior, not the software? I own a ton of soft for my Lynx, and hardly any of it is really great. I think this point is much better when talking about software. Remember back in the 16-bit days when almost everything that really sold well was a great title? Sure, some slipped through the cracks, but the majority made it there on its own. This doesn't happen anywhere near as often as it used to.

"Much like my example, "keeping a SIM alive" is more of an abstract goal that comes internally from a player based upon their desire to keep playing, not a programmed one. The game doesn't go "Congratulations, you've kept your SIM alive for 1 year. You win."

Sure, but don't you want to keep your sim alive to keep playing? If he dies, you're kind of stuck and it really is game over. If that's not the definition of a goal, I don't know what is. In GTA, you just come back to life and keep on going. There's no end in theory. Where's the challenge if you can't die?

Is it unrealistic to expect a decent camera now that we've been in the 3-D era for 10 years….. "Again, you're trying to shift the debate. Why not make the article about 3D camera glitches and how programmers are dropping the ball. That's not what your article was about."

I'm not shifting anything, I'm just trying to make my point against what Ken said. No problem here, we can just drop it.

"The rest of you are idiots, plunking down cash for various games with the names Madden and Grand Theft Auto."
How is that not an arrogant, dishonest statement?"

Just read the comment below.

There is a large portion of the GTA playing crowd who won't play SA because the lead character it black… "Racism in gaming would be an interesting debate. Unfortunately, that's not what your original article was about. Again, you're trying to shift the debate again, and again I'm not going to let you."

That's shifting nothing. It's making my point. Does that not just make my point stronger that gamers can be/are a bunch of idiots?

"Let's test that. Checking the numbers for an infamous "M" title Singles: Flirt Up Your Life... Not in the top 10 for sales, not even close. However, Star Ocean: Till the End of Time is in the top 10 for sales. I don't know what that game is, because I can't say I've seen a single ad for it. And I'd be shocked if it were an "M" title. Checking...nope!"

Sure, Star Ocean has a sort of cult following (though checking charts I have, I don't see it on there, but it may have creeped on). Ok, sure, maybe not Singles, but what about GTA, Driver 3, Matrix, Mortal Kombat, Doom 3, the countless Rainbow Six, a ridiculous amount of war games, Bloodrayne, and Hunter to name a few. Now, some of those are great games, but how many are not? Also, not as many "M" games are released as the other ratings combined of course, so that may not even be a valid argument in the end anyway.

"Ok, then maybe the premise of your article should have been "this guy at my work is stupid." That would have been an honest article. No, the premise was "most people who play video games today are stupid." How did "one guy in your work" become "most gamers?" Do we judge every politician by Adolph Hitler? Do we judge every game by Custer's Revenge? It's a dishonest premise."

Heh…. Custers Revenge. Anyway, he was one of the many examples. These people are everywhere. Walk into a game store for about 2 or 3 hours and just watch/listen. For everyone intelligent one that walks through the door, you'll see three morons who just don't have a clue. Sometimes you begin to wonder if these people just kind of go home and play some of this junk thinking it's the best gaming can offer. It can be a scary thought and a depressing one.

"You're way off base, because you obviously haven't played the game yet. The people in SA city live out lives. Rival gangs war with one another, lovers hold hands, some folks obey the traffic laws and some don't, they converse with one another independent of you, people commit crimes and get arrested, etc etc. Sure, some things are canned. Like I said earlier, the game isn't perfect. But the environment as a whole is more then a robotic play ground. It's as close to a programmed, living, breathing, vibrant, persistent world as has been created yet."

So, none of that could be done in 2-D? That's what I was trying to say, and you could even argue that if technology had not moved along like it had, it would have stayed that way with the improvements.

Keep in mind I had no idea (nor did anyone else) about the targeting system…. "Then why include it as a discussion point in your original article? It undermines the credibility of your opinion."

No, I included it because at the time I didn't know. Simple as that. No one knew. It was based off an awful article in Game Informer that mentioned nothing about the gameplay in the game, but went on and on about the graphics. It's kind of what spurred me to write it really.

Yes I would like to know what other blog it is too! Because AFAIK it is only published at Blogcritics and here, unless someone ripped it.

Chris Mayle:

I'll respond properly tomorrow, this one is just for you guy's information about where else I saw the article posted.

"This was for Ken, sorry. He's seen some of the stuff over there and needles to say, this is far more civil. What other blog was it by the way?"


"Yes I would like to know what other blog it is too! Because AFAIK it is only published at Blogcritics and here, unless someone ripped it."


I don't even remember how I came to the article off-hand, let me track back in my history to see if I can find out...


Blog Critics. I assume that's what you meant with the initials "BC". I didn't put 2 and 2 together because I've never (knowingly) looked at blog critic.


http://blogcritics.org/archives/2004/05/20/184542.php

If you google for "grand theft andreas," that above link comes up on page 3, and I looked at google's cached version. And I'll admit that I didn't read all (or any) of the responses posted there before I write my response here. I just read the initial article. So I apologize if we're rehashing an old debate that you guys have had ad nauseum already. Not that I'll let that stop me, though. Ohh well, off to bed.

yea, sorry, BC = BlogCritics. And as Matt stated, this discourse is a lot more civil.

Coop:

OK, let me chime in. I grew up without a video game system until Ken sold me his old playstation system when I was 21. I'm now 25. I have just about every modern system that has been released since my first venture with that old playstation system.

I have to take Matt's side on this one. From someone that has worked at FYE, and been responsible for the video games department, there is a majority of the gaming community that just walk in, scan the shelf and grab something that has an 'M' rating. I've seen it. And the worst part about it is that many of these people pick up the game long after it's been released, and the community has already distroyed the game in reviews. If they see a game for $49.99, they almost always assume that it's a great game since it is priced so high. Myself, I wait for the game to come down in price before I purchase it. To tell you the truth, the only game I ever purchased for $49.99 was Silent Hill 4.

Granted, there are educated people in the gaming community. I don't think Matt is denying that. He is an intelligent gamer himself. However, I think we can all agree that the vast majority of gamers are idiots. Does anyone ever get educated by playing GTA? It doesn't even take half a brain these days to play most video games. I, myself, prefer the more challenging, thought-provoking games. Ones with problem-solving, mind teasers, etc. GTA just doesn't fit into that category. I don't care which one you are playing in the series.

We all have our different opinions. You may want to refute someone else's opinion, but I can tell you. You are not going to change Matt's mind nor are to going to change mine. The entire GTA series is a waste of money, IMHO. But, it's just that, my opinion. I wasn't standing outside at 9pm the night GTA:SA was released. Yet, I almost hit 6 guys with my car who were standing in line at a GameStop to pick up the game. They were totally absent-minded about what was going on around them. Hell, the world might have been a better place if I had hit them.

Matt does continue to argue his point with the racism point. Let's be honest, how many games exist where the main character is black or a minority for that matter? Take out your Japanese characters, which are stereotyped, and your sports games, what do you have left?

I have young cousins who are gamers. Any game they see on a commercial is worth buying when it comes out. Again, confirming the point of game popularity directly correlating to marketing campaigns. However, intelligent gamers don't buy games because they are advertised. They buy them for other reasons, graphics, game play, the premise, etc. We each have our own checklist for making a game worth buying. How many of us own a SpongeBob video game? How about Dora the Explorer? There is a community out there that buys these games. However, I'm not a member of that community. Nor am I a member of the GTA community. Talk to me about Zelda, Castlevainia, Silent Hill and I'm there. Give me a shoot 'em up game, and unless it's Halo or Medal of Honor, don't even try to sell me.

Healthy debate is good. However, there are some thimgs in life that are based on premises. Pulling from logic, even though premises are wrong, that doesn't mean it's an invalid argument. It's only when those premises are based on fallacies. There is a gaming community for each game, or they wouldn't be released. Most of the gaming community is grouped into "idiots who buy anything". This is not to say that intelligent gamers don't buy the same games, we just have different reasons.

What he said! Coop, you nailed it. I'm glad someone can back me up on the M thing (FINALLY). Thank you.

Seriously, the more this debate goes on (here and on BC), I think I'm figuring out more and more about what irks me about GTA. Here's another one: You can't die. Oh, sure you can, but it just sends you back with very little penalty. How is that fun? Isn't the point of a video game to be challenged? When you have unlimited opportunities to beat something, you're going to do it eventually. You just keep at it. You die in Contra (or Metal Slug to stay somewhat on topic) and you have to start from the very beginning. THAT'S a video game.

Oh, I'm not just trying to change the topic here so just ignore this post if you want. I just felt the need to get this out there.

Chris Mayle:

Ugh, typekey not working.
I'm going to try to be fair and address all of your points, but if I fail it's only because each of these posts is getting incredibly long. I'm not being intentionally selective.


Matt:

"There is a large portion of the GTA playing crowd who won't play SA because the lead character it black… That's shifting nothing. It's making my point. Does that not just make my point stronger that gamers can be/are a bunch of idiots? "

I'm not going to defend racists. Racism is a mental illness and a social scourge. But I say you're trying to shift the debate because your original article didn't mention racism.

But that's OK, let's breifly talk racism. I don't deny that there are racist gamers. It only stands to reason, they're in all walks of life. In fact, I'm a software engineer and I would hazard to guess there are some racists software engineers. Probably even in my company. I may have even seen or heard them in action. Does that mean that "Most software engineers are idiots?" Does that even mean "Most people I work with are idiots?" No, it doesn't stand to reason. It would be a pretty unfair blanket indictment of everyone around me who wasn't a racist idiot.

What you're trying to do is called the straw man argument. It's when you exaggerate something to the point of to the point of ridiculousness, and then attack that ridiculous exaggeration.

"Sure, but don't you want to keep your sim alive to keep playing? If he dies, you're kind of stuck and it really is game over. If that's not the definition of a goal, I don't know what is. In GTA, you just come back to life and keep on going. There's no end in theory. Where's the challenge if you can't die?"


Using your same line of logic, one can say that it's not very fun to keep spawning at the hospital and dying. The "goal" would be not waste time running away from the hospital, because that's not "fun." But again, I don't think either of these is a programmed goal. The goal of "having fun" is implicit in any game we play. Why else are we playing them? Are people out there playing a game that they don't find fun? Maybe the masochists amoung us. But I'm not here to defend masochists either. What manner people go about achieving the goal of fun is individual. Like I said, there are probably people out there somewhere that enjoy killing off SIMS.

But does this debate have to get so abstract philosophical?

"Ah, but could the argument be made that the Lynx hardware was superior, not the software? I own a ton of soft for my Lynx, and hardly any of it is really great. I think this point is much better when talking about software."


Fair enough. Hardware or software, my only point was that it's not always a given that superior things will succeed over inferior.

"Sure, Star Ocean has a sort of cult following (though checking charts I have, I don't see it on there, but it may have creeped on). Ok, sure, maybe not Singles, but what about GTA, Driver 3, Matrix, Mortal Kombat, Doom 3, the countless Rainbow Six, a ridiculous amount of war games, Bloodrayne, and Hunter."


Can a cult following push a game to #9 on the top 10 chart for sales? And if so, doesn't that kind of sink your premise that all gamers are idiots.

On the other games you mentioned, I can only comment on them individually. GTA:SA--good game, worth the hype (100% positive reviews, I haven't found a bad review yet);
Mortal Combat--venerable title that was enjoyable as a standie in the 90s, I haven't played the new game yet but I wouldn't doubt that it's wretched;
Doom 3--Same scenario about it being a venerable title, actually everyone I know who played it enjoyed the hell out of it (I haven't played it yet);
Bloodrayne/Hunter--have no idea, haven't played it (only so much time in a day);
Ridiculous amount of war games--I play some of them, I very much enjoy America's Army and Joint Operations, Some are better then others, your milage may vary. But I'm not so presumptuous as to say "most gamers are stupid because they're content to plunk down $40 for BFV while America's Army is 100% free." Not everyone enjoys what I enjoy.

"So, none of that could be done in 2-D? That's what I was trying to say, and you could even argue that if technology had not moved along like it had, it would have stayed that way with the improvements"


Well, appearantly the folks at Rockstar Games agree with you because they're releasing a 2D old school rasterized port of GTA:III for the Gameboy Advance. Don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of 3D models, but 2D rasters don't stop me from playing games. I would hazard to guess it doesn't stop "most people" either, at least noy by the sales numbers anyway. These GBA titles are all rasterized 2D titles and they fly off the shelves. There were 2 GBA titles in the top 5 for total sales in September. I suspect that Kingdom Hearts for GBA in December will be another huge seller.


So, I dunno. I'm still not buying the premise that "most gamers are idiots." At first, I just thought that it was an arrogant statement but I hadn't really researched or examined it in depth. But the more I look at the numbers and facts, the more I'm becoming convinced that "most gamers" are pretty dag on smart, at least by the criteria that you set forth.

Chris Mayle:

Coop:

"However, I think we can all agree that the vast majority of gamers are idiots."

No, in fact I very much disagree. And I've meticulously detailed why in this thread.

"Does anyone ever get educated by playing GTA?"
Does anyone get educated playing Zelda or whipping zombies in Castlevania? Does anyone get educated playing anything other than "Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing" or "Where In The Hell Is Carmen Sandiego"? Educational titles generally don't crack the sales charts, and they aren't heavily featured at your favorite games shop (in deferrence to Best Buys and Circuit City, they do keep a pretty good section of education stuff. I have no idea what their sales on them are. They may just sit there and marinate on the shelves forever). I personally don't play games to get educated. And I would also put forth that puzzle solving games also aren't particularly educational. No one got into Mensa on their Rubix Cube skills.


"Matt does continue to argue his point with the racism point. Let's be honest, how many games exist where the main character is black or a minority for that matter? Take out your Japanese characters, which are stereotyped, and your sports games, what do you have left?"
You can't make a point and then remove from the debate every bit of evidence that goes against your point and then expect your argument to hold up. Why on god's green earth would I remove all of the sports games from consideration? They're the biggest selling titles and filled with minorities! Tiger Woods was in the top 10 of game sales last month. No one is more of a minority then Tiger Woods. And he's right on the friggin cover pointing at you in all his minority glory. No, I absolutely do not accept this argument and the numbers prove it to be false.
And also, why remove from consideration every title where characters are stylized? What characters in video games AREN'T stylized? The very act of depicting a person in a video can only be imperfect by nature and therefore subject to stylization. Joe in Viewtiful Joe isn't a person, he's stylized. Mario isn't a depiction of an italian, he's stylized. Pricess Toadstool isn't an honest depiction of princesses, she's stylized. The characters in Neverwinter Nights are all stylized. As are the characters in GTA. Link is stylized (elves can be nothing but stylized because there's no actual elf frame of referrence). The vampire hunter in Castlevania isn't a faithful depiction of some real guy who hunted down Dracula. He's stylized. I can go on and on.

"The entire GTA series is a waste of money, IMHO. But, it's just that, my opinion."

A very honest position to take.

" I wasn't standing outside at 9pm the night GTA:SA was released. Yet, I almost hit 6 guys with my car who were standing in line at a GameStop to pick up the game. They were totally absent-minded about what was going on around them. Hell, the world might have been a better place if I had hit them."

This statement however is incredible and I'm complete at a loss to respond it.

"I have young cousins who are gamers. Any game they see on a commercial is worth buying when it comes out."

They're kids. Their brains aren't fully wired yet, and their gullible. You can't expect them to be able to make informed choices about quality. That's what their parents are for.

"This is not to say that intelligent gamers don't buy the same games, we just have different reasons."

Fair enough.

I'm going to try and be brief too since each response takes me like an hour!

"What you're trying to do is called the straw man argument. It's when you exaggerate something to the point of to the point of ridiculousness, and then attack that ridiculous exaggeration."

No. I'm just pulling out more facts. It's not an exxageration, it's just another form of stupidty, just like Mr. "I only want M games" and those who believe that only GTA is worth playing. It's stupid, damaging to the industry, and just as ignorant as those racists.

Maybe this entire argument is something you just need to see for yourself. I'm very serious when I say "walk into a game store" for about an hour or two. You really won't believe what you see. Now, as for how you've seen gamers getting smarter through this, I have absolutely no idea. What numbers, what charts?

Can a cult game make #9? Sure, if the following is big enough. Star Ocean has that kind of following. You could very well argue the same thing has happened to Final Fantasy. Those games sold somewhat poorly until 7 came around and now everyone believes Square is the greatest company around. Now, why will Kindgom Hearts make it? Hmm.

Killing off the SIMS is the only enjoyable way to play that game. Desiging a house if fun, picking up your own garabge in a video game is not. But, that's so far off topic, I'm dropping it.

The GBA market is largely juvinille. I find it hard to believe that most 20+ year olds would be paying $20 for a NES game (which you'll see on those charts). It's an entirely different market really. Hey,I love it (probably my fave system out of this current gen), but look at all the liscensed titles for it. I've never seen that many (and finally collecting for it will be a bitch).

Coop, you're on your own. I can't sit here anymore tonight.

Chris Mayle:

"Killing off the SIMS is the only enjoyable way to play that game. Desiging a house if fun, picking up your own garabge in a video game is not. But, that's so far off topic, I'm dropping it."

The point of that you said that GTA didn't have a "goal" (which it does), and I proceeded to list several other games which also have more abstract goals. SIMS being one of them. The manner in which you play is entirely up to you.

"Maybe this entire argument is something you just need to see for yourself. I'm very serious when I say "walk into a game store" for about an hour or two. You really won't believe what you see. Now, as for how you've seen gamers getting smarter through this, I have absolutely no idea. What numbers, what charts?"

You sited that gamers are stupid because 3D games, "M" games and games with huge marketting budgets are flying off the shelves. I dove into the numbers and found several games that aren't "M" games, don't have huge marketing budgets, and are pretty obscure. You can't dismiss Star Ocean as irrelevant. It's a big huge "#9" middle finger to your entire argument. I could list more, but I'm not interested into starting to cite sales charts in this argument. you can do the leg work for yourself. You choose to ignore the facts.

"No. I'm just pulling out more facts. It's not an exxageration, it's just another form of stupidty, just like Mr. "I only want M games" and those who believe that only GTA is worth playing. It's stupid, damaging to the industry, and just as ignorant as those racists."

You drag out the racists amoung us, and then proceed to beat "most gamers" over the head with them. That's an exaggeration. You've got no evidence, other then observational (which doesn't confer any sort of expertise on you, that's yet another fallacious argument), of how racisms relates to "most gamers." You're the one making the assumptions and conclusions. You should be citing numbers. Cite a study that estimates the density of racists in the gaming community. Then we'll discuss if "most gamers are idiots." Otherwise, your argument is nonexistant. Observation proves nothing. Maybe most of the gamers that frequent the shops you frequent are idiots. Maybe you live in an area saturated with idiots. Don't judge the rest of us by the idiots around you.


You haven't made a case for "most gamers are idiots" yet.


Titles like Madden, ESPN 2K5, GTA:SA and gobs of NBA titles that prominently features black people and put them on the cover will sell huge. So much for the racisms charge.


Games like Star Ocean (there are numberous others too and you know it. Tales of Symphonia springs to ming) with hardly any marketting and no "M" tag on them are selling. So much for the "M" tag and marketting argument.


I'm not seeing it. I'm just not seeing it.

Now, of course games that aren't rated M will sell. Duh. Sports games are of course the big ones and probably the biggest sellers in all of VG land. But, a large portion of the current game playing public will only by M stuff, stuff with blood, etc. It may not show up on a top 10 chart (10 spots for the current 3,000 games on the market is not a large one), but they do. When these charts are filled with 6 sports games (the current one I'm looking at does), that doesn't leave much room does it?

I NEVER said most gamers were rascist. I'm simply adding more meat to the fact that most gamers are stupid. This GTA example has recently come to light and fits right in. Of course games like Madden and ESPN will sell. Not everyone is that ignorant.

Certian stupid gamers will be rascist, certain stupid gamers will only buy M stuff, certain stupid gamers will ignore anything that's 2-D, certain stupid gamers will threaten to kill people when they give a supposed bad review. Seriously. Here's yet another example.

IGN recently reviewed the hyped up Kill Zone for the PS2. They said it was ok, gave it a decent score of 7.5. Their letters section now shows 3 death threats and countless bashing letters, all from people who haven't even played it (the game is JUST hitting retail). Yet ANOTHER example of how MOST of the game playing public CAN be stupid, brainless, fanboys. Oh, and if you want a link, I can dig it up.

Holy Toledo Matt you finally got smart and got a TypeKey account! I am so proud of you!

And I figured it out all by myself!

Chris Mayle:

"This GTA example has recently come to light and fits right in. Of course games like Madden and ESPN will sell. Not everyone is that ignorant.
"

They don't just sell, they top charts for months and months. And I don't see a lot of racists going "You know I don't like games with [insert racial epithet here] in them, but I'm gonna buy it anyway." You can't just ignore HUGE GLARING examples of things that so blatantly refute your theories. It makes your opinion less credible.

"Certian stupid gamers will be rascist, certain stupid gamers will only buy M stuff, certain stupid gamers will ignore anything that's 2-D, certain stupid gamers will threaten to kill people when they give a supposed bad review."

That's absolutely true. But how did "certain gamers" become a blanket indictment. Nah, that's pompous. If people don't buy into your narrow and obscure definition of what's good, they're stupid. I deny that. That's arrogant and flat out wrong.

"Their letters section now shows 3 death threats and countless bashing letters, all from people who haven't even played it (the game is JUST hitting retail). Yet ANOTHER example of how MOST of the game playing public CAN be stupid, brainless, fanboys. Oh, and if you want a link, I can dig it up."

No need for the link, I don't deny that your example is true. I'll accept it sight unseen.


This is ridiculous. I don't have to try very hard to find examples of people doing stupid things in any category of people. But it's an incredible blanket statment for me to take that and say "Most [whatever] are stupid." But it wouldn't be a reasoned stance or honest commentary on the state of a community. It's a lie built on appeals to false authority and straw men.

It's not a theory, it's fact. People ARE refusing to buy GTA SA because the lead is black. Do they buy Madden? I don't know. Maybe it has enough white people to satisfy their idiotic needs. These people are stupid after all.

I'm not trying hard. All of these examples are right there in front of you. If you choose to not see/except/believe, then there's not a whole lot I can do about it. I can get a new one everytime I post if I post once a day for the next year. I'm not straining for them. Go over to the thread on BC and read some of the responses. You can't miss it. 4 out of 5 responses are stupid and ridiculous. That doesn't exactly make MOST of the community look intelligent.

I could care less if people don't like what I like. That doesn't make them stupid. Hell, me and Ken haven't agreed on anything for the years I've known him. It's the choices most gamers have begun making. The fact that they only buy a very small section of games and in the process, hurt the market sending us into another crash. THAT'S anothe reason how ignorant the mainstream CAN be.

Coop:

Here's the thing: Most people ARE stupid. It doesn't have to be specific to any population, but the majority of people are stupid. Now, Chris, you are one of the educated few, Matt would belong there, too. Ken, I have my questions about. :)

Hey, I'm all for buying games based on what you like. I think I made that clear in my original post.

Chris, you say we shouldn't throw out Sports games, but I ask you, what other games are modeled off real life other than sports games. Each of those games are based on REAL people for the most part. You do see the occasional generic name because the team hadn't picked up a player at the time the game was in production, but Randy Moss is black. Sports games stylize off real people. You won't see a white Randy Moss in a Madden game because that just doesn't make sense.

I'm asking you to look at games without fictional depictions such as elves, unicorns, etc. Look at the models of humans that are ficticious. Take Castlevania, the main character is modeled off of a human. His role is ficticious, but he is still stylized as a human. Of those games that stylize ficticious humans, how many have main characters that are black or a minority? My point is that there are very few. And can't we say that a stereotype is a function of racism? That's what I've learned.

I'm not trying to say that game manufacturers are racists, or that every gamer is racist. What I'm saying is that group of people who are not buying GTA:SA because the main character is black is a clear example of idiots. Unless you think racism is an acceptable practice in society...

So, there is a portion of your "idiot" gamers. We also have to accept that the preteen crowd is a huge market in video games. Of course, the target market is somewhere around 16-28, but preteens make up a large part of the audience, albeit not the target audience. And I think you have clearly validated that preteen gamers are idiots. Maybe not by choice, but because "their brains aren't fully wired yet, and their gullible." Doesn't this translate into idiots?

And you mention that their partents should be able to know quality. Hey, I hate to tell you buddy, but most of the parents don't play video games so if the kid says I want (insert game here) the parent runs out and buys it. I don't know how many times a parent came up to me during the Christmas season and said, "My son/daughter wants this game for Christmas. He or she is X years old. Would this be appropriate?" Now, is that a sign of knowing quality?

I can't tell you how many games were attempted to be returned because the parent bought it, the kid opened it and started playing, and the parent saw what the game was actually about and brought it back to the store to return it. Do you know what it's like telling that parent that for that $49.99 game, they are going to get $15.99 because it's a used game? I won't even go into the names I've been called.

I wish I could give you solid statistics on how many people came in to FYE and picked out a game that had gotten horrible reviews from gamers, but had a 'M' rating or was $49.99. What I can tell you is what I noticed, while not solid statistics, it is an observation. I would say 7 out of 10 people that came into FYE did just that. Now, I may be high, and I may be low. But if you give it a plus or minus 2, you still have a majority.

I remember several situations where someone would ask for help in the games department (take away parents buyiing games for their kids because they knew absolutely nothing). I fielding questions like, "What game has more violence X or Y? Which game has more blood, X or Y? Do any of these games have nudity?" I ask you, are these questions asked by serious gamers? Are these good criteria to judge a game?

The problem with using a Top Ten list to judge the quality of a game is that there are many people who buy a game, play it once, hate it, and never touch it again. Are there any stats on that for a game? Sales are one thing, and can be used to gage the popularity of a game, but as far as quality, there is no direct correlation to sales.

Let's take an example from outside the VG market. Milli-Vinilli (sp?). Now, there was a group that was extremely popular, and record sales were often at the tops of the charts. They couldn't sing a lick. They lip-sang all their stuff. Does this mean that because sales were high, the quality was good?

All I'm trying to say is that there are a majority of people who don't look at games in terms of quality, they look for what's popular, and that's hit or miss on quality.

Phoenix:

"Whether it be ignorant government types or Haitians, rest assured you’ll manage to set somebody off."

Ignorant government types? You wouldn't be referring to the GTA series, would you? I don't recall a government type of any sort having to do with the game.

"For the record, it’s San Andreas California. Is this really such a big deal? Does it really matter WHERE you kill people?"

I'm sure making up a city called "Zen Hugren" would be better, wouldn't it? The title of an actual city is an attempt at a more in-depth realism, not a means of bragging that they know of the best place to kill people; that also presupposes the game is set on killing people; that's just an addition (a rather good one, if I may say so).

"New “innovations” let you join gangs for some team based play (real innovative unless you haven’t played one of the 50 other squad based games on the market)"

For reference, you don't join gangs, but you can recruit people to be in your own. And it is innovative for the GTA series, seeing as you couldn't do this in any of their predecessors; they never claimed to be the first to invent it.

"rob houses (different from robbing the gun store in the third iteration how?)"

Well, let's see: You have to be stealthy; IE, the more you run, knock into things, drop televisions/radios/VCRs/game systems, the more your noise level raises. If it fills, you have ten seconds to leave the house before you receive a three-star warning level with a parade of cops waiting for you outside. Two, you have to drive a Boxville, and it can only be from 20:00 to 6:00; in other words, at night. You also get money from what you rob instead of being able to use it. After filling up your truck, you take it to a garage. $10,000 in loot signals the end of the mission, but you can still rob houses afterward.

"and the new AI gives all the people in the game’s world a supposed “brain.” This is what EA Sports shoved down our throats in the 16-bit era with all their sports games and I never noticed a difference."

Except the guys at EA sports couldn't invent people having conversations with each other (I watched one person have twenty-five different conversations from random people he ran into on the street), lesbians (I've seen two women run into each other and ask each other out), people who sit down on stairs, people that walk into houses, people that drive cars into parking spots, people that steal cars and run from the cops, and I can go on. This is certainly a difference not only between EA games, but also with the other GTA games in the series.

"Looking at screen shots (granted their early), I see no difference. The same blocky polygonal models that filled the first two 3-D entries are back. They are simply are wearing different clothes."

That's quite a generalization to make, judging off of a few screenshots. Something odd I noticed that's new is that the hookers' breasts bounce when they walk (yes, I do notice that kind of stuff). I do concur, however, the cars (especially the ambulances) look rather blocky. Otherwise, I noticed a substantial amount of detail in people in this game than in Vice City or GTA3.

"See, no one seems to care how it plays. Why? Because most people who play video games today are stupid. Yeah, I said stupid. Read the line again if you want."

I care how it plays. And how exactly do you judge how a game plays, when you haven't even played it yet? I don't judge books by their titles, and I don't judge games by screenshots I see. The only kind of person to make a generalization such as the one you did is.. stupid.

"They walk into a video/gaming store, scan the shelves, look for a “M” rating, and walk out satisfied. $50 later, their having a blast blowing peoples heads off, capping grandma with a sniper rifle, and beating down a hooker for cash."

Key words: "they're having a blast."

"Millions of people will pre-order for no apparent reason. What, do you think their will be a shortage or something? No, Rockstar knows the title alone will make you plunk down the cash the same way you bought an X-Box to the play the same exact games you already have on your PS2."

Actually, in my hometown (which is the second largest city in the state), people lined up for blocks to get the game, and if someone were to get in line the hour before it came out, they would find themselves disappointed because it would've been sold out within the hour after its release. So yes, there is a great possibility of a shortage with a game as popular as GTA San Andreas.

"Does it get old and infuriating thanks to a horrific targeting system?"

Something I agree with you on! zing. I hate San Andreas' targeting system, especially when you're in a large group of people. Sometimes, it gets stubborn and doesn't target anybody at all. I LOST AN AK-47 WITH 25,000 BULLETS BECAUSE I COULDN'T TARGET A COP FAST ENOUGH. DAMN YOU, GTA!

"Does anyone seem to care if the targeting system has been worked on? Guess not. Does anyone care to know if the controls for the vehicles have been improved? Guess not. Does it need to be?"

How exactly would you know if the vehicle-drving controls haven't been improved if you haven't bought the game yet? And they have, in fact, but not at first. As soon as your driving level (a new RPG-esque addition that applys to cycling, biking, muscle, fat, and even lung capacity) increases, your driving ability does so too noticeably. Also, in the Paramedics mission (speaking of car missions, you now have trucking, pimping, and burglary in addition to the ones from Vice City), you have an alert telling you how many seats you have open in the ambulance, although the mission itself is even more hellious than Vice City--but that's for another rant.

"Did you buy Beyond Good and Evil last year? Will you give a second look to Metal Slug 3 when it hits the X-Box in a month or so? Of course not."

Of course, and your take on good video games is obviously standardized and obviously applys to everybody, and anybody that thinks otherwise must be an idiot, or "stupid," as you put it.

"A: You’ve never heard of it or.…
B: You’ve seen the graphics and “they’z l00kz l1k3 At@R1…WTF?”"

You're one to talk about not judging games based on screenshots of the graphics, hypocrite.

"The rest of you are idiots, plunking down cash for various games with the names Madden and Grand Theft Auto."

And you're an idiot for thinking your taste in video games is perfect and uncontestable, and anyone who does contest it is an idiot.

"Am I telling you what you should like? No, oh god no."

You're calling us idiots if we buy GTA or Madden games. That's not exactly complimenting us on our choice of video games.

"My argument is that you no longer look past the big budget ads, hype, and graphics. Maybe, just maybe, if someone sat your mainstream butt down for 5 minutes with a multi-player game of Metal Slug, you’d change your mind. Of course, your too busy cappin’ yo’ hoes to be bothered with things like this."

My argument is that just because a game received a big lot of big budget ads, hype, and graphics, you can't automatically discredit it. You're doing exactly what you're criticizing others of doing, when you claim we might discredit a game because of its graphics. Not to mention, you can hate Metal Slugger 3 somethingorother AND Madden and GTA games at the same time; yours and our tastes aren't necessarily incompatible.

"You're not gaining anything by doing it. It gets old in less than 10 minutes. The whole purpose of a video game is to make progress towards a goal, to beat it or conquer it (choose your term). By allowing freedom like that, you defeat that entire purpose."

Actually, in San Andreas, there is a very clearly defined purpose. In fact, various. While browsing the streets, you can order fast food and get fat, go to the gym and get buff, swim around under water for a long time to increase your lung capacity, etc. Just because you can walk around the streets, it doesn't mean that's all you can do, period. Walking the streets is that freedom granted to you as a side dish, in addition to the hundred or so missions you can do.

"Oh, and I'm not even getting into the "orignal concept" argument. It's not. The very first GTA started it, Shenmue brought it into 3-D. GTA simply started to EXPAND the concept, not create it."

Not original? San Andreas has to be one of the most original, well-desgined games I've ever seen. The missions, unlike the other ones, draw you into them, because of their relative unimportance, but of the significance presented by the people doing it. At least, for me.

"That's a straw man. You're trying to shift the debate. I never said you were ignorant. I don't have any doubt that you know the subject that you're writing about. I said your opinion was arrogant."

ha. haha. His opinion is arrogant? What about calling anyone who played GTA or Madden an idiot?

"I think most of the games you mentioned do have a point. Everquest you' try and level up and up until you have some brute of a chracter. The Sims you try and keep the person alive (or let them die by removing all windows and doors from the house)."

In that logic, every game imaginable and constructed has a point of some sort. He was referring to a more defined purpose, besides leveling up. Not that difficult.

"As for the SA is so much different from the 2-D versions, I don't see it. Not just SA either. You could put any of the 3-D GTA's in the same 2-D viewpoint and lose nothing except the camera system. There are still plenty of people "living" (i.e., mindlessly walking) in those versions."

Except the human details, the delicacy in building design, and the fact that they do a lot more than "mindlessly walk." San Andreas is different from the other games in the series on various aspects, which I mentioned above.

"I'm not going to try and go way off topic here, but here we go: Tom Cruise stars in a movie with say, Bruce Willis. There's a good $10 million alone. Now, you pay around $10 to go to the theater, $20 for the movie on DVD. That's only $30 for a movie that cost, say, $50 million. No game has even come close to that. if you want to continue this debate, please do it where it belongs. =;)"

Wow! What a good point! Oh, wait, nevermind. Their profit comes from more than one person, moron. Ever consider that some movies make hundreds of millions per week in box office sales? Yeah... If you want to continue this debate, please do it where it belongs.

"In GTA, you just come back to life and keep on going. There's no end in theory. Where's the challenge if you can't die?"

You can fail missions you've been playing, lose all of your weapons, be taken far away from a place that takes a while to get to, etc.. It's a bit more than just dying and resurrecting.

"Is it unrealistic to expect a decent camera now that we've been in the 3-D era for 10 years"

If you push Select, you have four or five different camera angles to choose from, and if you rotate the R-Analog Stick, you can change the current camera angle to virtually anywhere you want it to go.

"So, none of that could be done in 2-D? That's what I was trying to say, and you could even argue that if technology had not moved along like it had, it would have stayed that way with the improvements."

Of course it could have, but it takes a lot longer, and looks a lot better, when done in 3d. Not to mention, it makes the game more appealing to consumers.

"No, I included it because at the time I didn't know. Simple as that. No one knew. It was based off an awful article in Game Informer that mentioned nothing about the gameplay in the game, but went on and on about the graphics. It's kind of what spurred me to write it really."

So someone else's obviously ignorant article spurred you to write your own ignorant one? Very, very intelligent approach.

"However, I think we can all agree that the vast majority of gamers are idiots. Does anyone ever get educated by playing GTA? It doesn't even take half a brain these days to play most video games. I, myself, prefer the more challenging, thought-provoking games. Ones with problem-solving, mind teasers, etc. GTA just doesn't fit into that category. I don't care which one you are playing in the series."

Wait, so gamers are idiots if they aren't being educated by the game? Forget school, and life! And about your challenging bit, try and beat Vice City or San Andreas without using a strategy guide and as cold turkey as you can, and tell me it's not challenging and takes no mind power.

"Let's be honest, how many games exist where the main character is black or a minority for that matter?"

What point are you making, exactly, with that? That a game is discredited because the main character is a minority? I hope it's not.

"You can't die. Oh, sure you can, but it just sends you back with very little penalty. How is that fun? Isn't the point of a video game to be challenged? When you have unlimited opportunities to beat something, you're going to do it eventually. You just keep at it. You die in Contra (or Metal Slug to stay somewhat on topic) and you have to start from the very beginning. THAT'S a video game."

Apparently you haven't played the Paramedics, Vigilante, or Firefighter missions. It does get frustrating, it is challenging, and you do start from the beginning whenever you die. Also, you lose everything you're carrying when you die. That's kind of a setback if you're not using cheats to obtain weapons.

"those who believe that only GTA is worth playing. It's stupid, damaging to the industry, and just as ignorant as those racists."

Yeah, you forgot about that "to each his own" thing you said earlier. I guess calling them ignorant in their beliefs is... tolerant. Oh, well. And I can say the same about you and your metalslugger whatever game.

"Now, why will Kindgom Hearts make it? Hmm."

Because it is an amazing game, I think, as well as many, many others.

"Their letters section now shows 3 death threats and countless bashing letters, all from people who haven't even played it (the game is JUST hitting retail). Yet ANOTHER example of how MOST of the game playing public CAN be stupid, brainless, fanboys. Oh, and if you want a link, I can dig it up"

Weren't you bashing San Andreas earlier about its gameplay, having not played it yet?

"Go over to the thread on BC and read some of the responses. You can't miss it. 4 out of 5 responses are stupid and ridiculous. That doesn't exactly make MOST of the community look intelligent."

Absolutely, and that four out of five responders on BC represent the majority of the commnunity. Forget that it's an overexaggeration, and that it's a subjective observation.

"My point is that there are very few. And can't we say that a stereotype is a function of racism? That's what I've learned."

So a stylization of a white person isn't a stereotype, because they're not a minority? Bullshit.

"Maybe not by choice, but because "their brains aren't fully wired yet, and their gullible." Doesn't this translate into idiots?"

So if you're still learning about life, and you're gullible (I find the generalization of preteens to be gullible outrageous, but whatever), you're an idiot?

"I would say 7 out of 10 people that came into FYE did just that. Now, I may be high, and I may be low. But if you give it a plus or minus 2, you still have a majority."

In all honestness, x% of people totally like San Andreas, and it's just an observation. It becomes a legit argument if I throw in an error margin, though.

"Does this mean that because sales were high, the quality was good?"

Generally.

"You wouldn't be referring to the GTA series, would you? I don't recall a government type of any sort having to do with the game."

Sure did. A few senate hearings brought it up and Liberman was all over it (as usual). I'll try and dig up more info later.

"they never claimed to be the first to invent it."

No, they developers likely didn't. Game Informer made it seem like it was the greatest thing ever.

"Well, let's see: You have to be stealthy;"

Didn't know that at the time.

"I watched one person have twenty-five different conversations from random people he ran into on the street)"

Because everyoe does that nowadays. Not very smart (or realisitc).

"lesbians (I've seen two women run into each other and ask each other out), people who sit down on stairs, people that walk into houses, people that drive cars into parking spots, people that steal cars and run from the cops, and I can go on."

Nice touches, that much I'll admit. If it actually makes a signfigant change to the gameplay....well....

"That's quite a generalization to make, judging off of a few screenshots."

True, but a blocky model is a blocky model. An ugly graphics engine is a an ugly graphics engine. That's not hard to see.

"I care how it plays. And how exactly do you judge how a game plays, when you haven't even played it yet? I don't judge books by their titles, and I don't judge games by screenshots I see."

Let's be very clear. I NEVER judged the game. I never once said SA sucks, or SA will be terrible. You seem to be another person who didn't read everything and just put GTA and sucks together while forming an opinion.

"Key words: "they're having a blast."

Probably, and not having a clue as to what they're missing elsewhere.

"So yes, there is a great possibility of a shortage with a game as popular as GTA San Andreas."

Seems fine so far.

"How exactly would you know if the vehicle-drving controls haven't been improved if you haven't bought the game yet?"

I'm saying it needed to be improved from the previous entries. Again, you're jumping the gun and assuming I'm bashing SA. Sigh.

"Of course, and your take on good video games is obviously standardized and obviously applys to everybody, and anybody that thinks otherwise must be an idiot, or "stupid," as you put it."

As I've said 200 million times, I could care less if you buy GTA, just try something else that doesn't have the hype once in a while.

"You're one to talk about not judging games based on screenshots of the graphics, hypocrite."

I believe I made this clear above, but let's repeat. A blocky graphics model is blocky in a screenshot, a blocky graphics model is blocky in motion. Common sense. In fact, judging graphics can be easily done via screenshots most of the time. I can already tell that the next Prince of Persia is going to be gorgeous. Doesn't take a genius to figure it out.

"You're calling us idiots if we buy GTA or Madden games. That's not exactly complimenting us on our choice of video games."

Only an idiot if that's ALL you buy and ALL you care about while making idiotic statements about how they're the best. Then, well, yes.

"My argument is that just because a game received a big lot of big budget ads, hype, and graphics, you can't automatically discredit it."

I'm not discrediting it. I don't like it, but I'm not discrediting it. I'm pointing out the flaws in what most people see as some "flawless" piece of work when they've probably played 3 other games in their life.

"Actually, in San Andreas, there is a very clearly defined purpose. In fact, various. While browsing the streets, you can order fast food and get fat, go to the gym and get buff, swim around under water for a long time to increase your lung capacity, etc."

It's so defined you can do 300 diffent tasks? That's not what I call defined.

"Not original? San Andreas has to be one of the most original, well-desgined games I've ever seen. The missions, unlike the other ones, draw you into them, because of their relative unimportance, but of the significance presented by the people doing it."

Huh? I don't follow you.

"ha. haha. His opinion is arrogant? What about calling anyone who played GTA or Madden an idiot?"

Never said that.

"Except the human details, the delicacy in building design, and the fact that they do a lot more than "mindlessly walk." San Andreas is different from the other games in the series on various aspects, which I mentioned above."

And everything you mentioned could have been done in the 2-D view. That's already been discussed and agreed upon above.

"Wow! What a good point! Oh, wait, nevermind. Their profit comes from more than one person, moron. Ever consider that some movies make hundreds of millions per week in box office sales? Yeah... If you want to continue this debate, please do it where it belongs."

What? Of course it comes from more than one person. Millions of people will see the movie in theaters, millions will buy it on DVD. How much do you think GTA will haul in this week? I'm not sure what you're thinking is here.

"You can fail missions you've been playing, lose all of your weapons, be taken far away from a place that takes a while to get to, etc.. It's a bit more than just dying and resurrecting."

Ok, it takes a while to get to. That's an annoyance, not a punishment. It's like dying in a shooter. You get sent back to the beginning of the level no matter how far along you are. It's a ridiculous way to extend the games life and a bad design descision. As for losing weapons, it's always seemed awfully easy to get another one. Maybe not the big ones, but you can always get a weapon.

"R-Analog Stick, you can change the current camera angle to virtually anywhere you want it to go."

Doesn't mean it won't start going haywire in the middle of a fire fight which happens in the previous 2. Not sure about this one though.

"Not to mention, it makes the game more appealing to consumers."

Din ding! See, more appealing. Most people won't even touch a 2-D title. They immediately believe the game sucks because the graphics are bad. This seems to be some sort of epidemic with those who have grown up in the post 3-D era.

"So someone else's obviously ignorant article spurred you to write your own ignorant one? Very, very intelligent approach."

Of course. The article showed that gamers only care about the glitz a game can provide, not the gameplay, since that's all the 'zine wrote about.

"Apparently you haven't played the Paramedics, Vigilante, or Firefighter missions."

Yeah, but doing those does what? Earns you some cash? You lose, you just start over. Again, hardly any penalty.

"Yeah, you forgot about that "to each his own" thing you said earlier. I guess calling them ignorant in their beliefs is... tolerant. Oh, well. And I can say the same about you and your metalslugger whatever game."

No, ignorant is someone who buys GTA and calls it the greatest thing ever invented without having a clue about anything else on the market. Or, saying that because of GTA, everything else sucks. That's ignorant, stupid, and damagi....aww, screw it.

"Now, why will Kindgom Hearts make it? Hmm.
Because it is an amazing game, I think, as well as many, many others."

Probably is, but the question remains: Would the game have been anywhere near as POPULAR if Square hadn't created a large, rabid fan base?

"Weren't you bashing San Andreas earlier about its gameplay, having not played it yet?"

Nope, never. I bashed 3 and VC, both of which I've played.

"Absolutely, and that four out of five responders on BC represent the majority of the commnunity. Forget that it's an overexaggeration, and that it's a subjective observation."

Ok, you want more? Head over to Gamefaqs and read their message boards for a while. You'll see so much idiocy, it's scary.

"Does this mean that because sales were high, the quality was good?"
Generally."

Best. Comment. Ever. Hell no it doesn't. You can look at any chart and see it doesn't mean a damn thing. The reasons we've stated above make sure of it. Hell, enter the Matrix proves it alone.

Chris Mayle:

Matt:

"Most people won't even touch a 2-D title. They immediately believe the game sucks because the graphics are bad. This seems to be some sort of epidemic with those who have grown up in the post 3-D era."

And you have yet to explain the strong sales of GBA titles.


"People ARE refusing to buy GTA SA because the lead is black. Do they buy Madden? I don't know. Maybe it has enough white people to satisfy their idiotic needs. These people are stupid after all."

I already said, I agree there are racist in all walks of life and I won't defend them. Racism is a social scourge. But to use the racists amoung is to beat the rest of the community over the head is an exaggeration and dishonest. When the game sells huge (and it will), will it mean that "most" of the racists had a miraculous revelation and decided it was OK to buy a game with black people? No, there will still be racists in all walks of life. How will you reconcile your blanket exaggerated indictment of the community, as filled with racists, with the sales of the game?

"Ok, you want more? Head over to Gamefaqs and read their message boards for a while. You'll see so much idiocy, it's scary."

Again, I agree that there are idiots amoung us. But to say that the people that post those posts are indicative of "most gamers" is an unfair blanket indictment.


Coop:

"Of those games that stylize ficticious humans, how many have main characters that are black or a minority? My point is that there are very few. And can't we say that a stereotype is a function of racism?"

Most RPGs and actioners that feature ensemble casts bend over backwards to make it a diverse crowd of characters. Why do asian made titles featuring asian characters fly off the shelves? Tales of Symphonia, Star Ocean, Nocturne, Tiger friggin Woods (technically not 100% asian I know), Onimusha, Dead or Alive, I can go on and on.

"Unless you think racism is an acceptable practice in society..."

Like I said, there are racists amoung us, but the strong sales of NFL, NBA titles and GTA:SA (it will be a strong seller) kinda point away from the notion that racists make up most of the community.

"Of course, the target market is somewhere around 16-28, but preteens make up a large part of the audience, albeit not the target audience. And I think you have clearly validated that preteen gamers are idiots. Maybe not by choice, but because "their brains aren't fully wired yet, and their gullible." Doesn't this translate into idiots?"

No, not idiots. Just young. We were all young once.

"And you mention that their partents should be able to know quality. Hey, I hate to tell you buddy, but most of the parents don't play video games so if the kid says I want (insert game here) the parent runs out and buys it."

Then I call those cases bad parenting, and it's not a good thing. A parent should know if "Custer's Revenge" is suitable for their 8 year old to play. If they don't, they dropped the ball.

"I wish I could give you solid statistics on how many people came in to FYE and picked out a game that had gotten horrible reviews from gamers, but had a 'M' rating or was $49.99. What I can tell you is what I noticed, while not solid statistics, it is an observation. I would say 7 out of 10 people that came into FYE did just that."

I appreciate your and Matt's similar experiences. Problem is: it's only observational. It might not be indicative of all things everywhere. It hardly confers any sort of expertise or authority.

Here ya go. Here's a site full of nothing but one mans dealing with idiots in his game store. The fact that he's putting out a book on the subject should probably tell you there's enough out there to be "most gamers."

http://www.actsofgord.com/index.html

Chris Mayle:

Anecdotal. Proves nothing. Because this guy has an opinion doesn't make him an authority. You can't throw a dead cat the internet without hitting a cynic. I think we can lay to rest the premise that "most gamers are idiots" at this point.

And it seems to be the opinion of two people who have experience with this sort of thing right here on BW as well. Pattern?

Seriously, what do you want? We've shown you everything, and for whatever reason, you absolutely refuse to see it. There's nothing I can show you that will convince you.

You talk of expertise and authority. I've worked in seven different FYE stores. I've been an employee at Best Buy, spent countless hours at the three local Game Stops, and I still find the same situation at all locations. There is a difference between coincidental observation and those based on mulitple observations over time.

If you ever read Ken's post about me writing for BW, you will find that I am, in fact, a whore to science. Therefore, observations are not just randomly made and taken for fact. If you select a random population of people, and I think visitors to various game stores classifies as a random assortment, including different people in the following categories: race, age, gender, and location. Based on elementary statistics, I can tell you that this would average out to having a plus or minus 2% error. I can provide the link to elementary statistics for psychology averages if you really want.

In addition, I am a member of MENSA. I have debated with some of the smartest people in the world. I know when to point things out as fact and when to keep my mouth shut because I can't back things up.

My critical thinking skills are also advanced. In order to get into MENSA you have to have a certain IQ. In addition, the MENSA examine focuses 90% of it's questions from critical thinking skills. Not only that, but in recent months, I've had to take standarized tests in critical thinking for one reason or another, and each time I score in the 99th percentile. I have not seen any fallacies thus far in anyone's arguments.

Yes, observations are not backed by hard, factual numbers, but this does not mean that they hold no ground in an argument. The basis for all of science is observations. If you negate observations as irrelevant to an argument than there was never any proof that the earth was round, yet it is accepted in the world of science as a fact. The only way we know the world is round is based on observation. Can you prove it based on hard facts? I'd like to see you try!
How about gravity? Can you give me hard statistical evidence that gravity exists, or are we basing the premise of gravity on observation?

I was never saying that white people are not stylized in video games, and yes, I feel that it is racist and degrading. You further confirm my point with the whole comment of the hookers breasts bouncing in GTA:SA. My point there was that there are people who are not buying video games based on racism, and this is further emphasized with the release of GTA:SA. There is a minority of people who are not buying GTA:SA because the main character is black. Now, I'm willing to put money down that they probably own Madden or Tiger Woods, or some other game that depicts a minority. Tell me that it isn't stupid. While it is a minority, it is a portion of the gaming community that we are grouping into the majority of idiots in the gaming community.

You don't hear people complain about white men being stereotyped. In our society, it's acceptable. While I am strongly against that thought, it's something that we live with. However, people do complain about stereotyping minorities and women. And those stereotypes sell. I mean was Dead Or Alive Volleyball really worth buying for playing volleyball or for the depiction of the women in bikinis, or was it just because of that "code" that would allow you to see the players naked? I ask you this, is the way women are depicted in a video game make it a quality game? I think not. Yet people flock to games with the slight possibility of some nudity. Same thing with a movie.

The point is that a majority of gamers are idiots when it comes to quality. Sales do not relate to quality. In an ideal world, a quality game would have high sales numbers, but it just doesn't happen. Most gamers buy games based on titles, marketing, or rating. A rating of 'M' automatically translates into blood and gore and possible nudity. Now, is the level of blood and gore or the possibility of nudity really depicting the quality of a game.

I'm a programmer by trade, I know there is a lot more that goes into a video game, or a movie, or a web page besides the plot. Plot is a portion of quality, but it's not the final dictator of a quality product. There are things out there with wonderful plots that fail miserably in other quality measures, take the old Amazon.com site design. It looked good, became a model for the industry in terms of design, but the site has been analyzed by usability experts. It failed miserably. I also ran it through a CSS and CODE validator, and surprise, surprise, it bombed.

The premise behind Amazon.com is unheard of, and very unique for the times. However, the other quality measures fail.

That's all we are saying here. It's not specifically tied to GTA:SA, it's just emphasized with the GTA series. Idiots see the title and jump on it. And, unfortunately for those of us who actually want quality games, or those who put time in creating quality games, those efforts go largely unnoticed.

Chris Mayle:

"Seriously, what do you want? We've shown you everything, and for whatever reason, you absolutely refuse to see it. There's nothing I can show you that will convince you."

Because you haven't argued your points effectively. Everytime someone shows you numerous examples that refute of your premise, you change the premise. Eg. racism, licenses, company recognition never appeared in your original article. You added them when you were pressed to justify your original points. Your original points were about how people only want 3D titles, "M" rated titles, big advertising and something bizarre about Metal Slug.



Here's what I want: a controlled debate. Clearly define what you mean by "most gamers are stupid" and don't shift the debate.


For example, how much of the gaming community is racist? It's a fair and simple question. But don't point to silly little "acts of gord" and blog critics as authorities on the subjects, because they're not. And don't think that because you've seen racist in action that you're an expert. You're not. Show me an example of some study that supports your claim on the point of racism. Otherwise, your argument doesn't exist. The top 10 sales charts have a counter argument built right in. And their easy to find.

Chris Mayle:

Coop:

"In addition, I am a member of MENSA. My critical thinking skills are also advanced. In order to get into MENSA you have to have a certain IQ. In addition, the MENSA examine focuses 90% of it's questions from critical thinking skills. Not only that, but in recent months, I've had to take standarized tests in critical thinking for one reason or another, and each time I score in the 99th percentile."

Yay for you. And I graduated in the top 98% percentile in my engineering class in '97. I already said I'm not getting into a big brain contest. So other then for that purpose, how do any of those things relate to this debate?

"Yes, observations are not backed by hard, factual numbers"

And when the observation that the community is awash in racists goes against the cold hard factual sales numbers showing titles flying off the shelf prominently featuring black people in the game and on the cover, the obsevation gets blown to smithereens.

"My point there was that there are people who are not buying video games based on racism, and this is further emphasized with the release of GTA:SA."

And you also said that there were people lined up outside of Gamestop and someone else people "lined up for blocks" for GTA:SA. Sooo.... Did the racists take a holiday? Or maybe the saturation of racists in the game community doesn't approach the "most" tag that's being bandied about.



And don't paint me again as defending racists. They exist in the gaming community, and every other community, and they're a social scourge. (It's pro forma that I say this now, lest someone insinuate that I don't think that racists exist in our community.)

" Yet people flock to games with the slight possibility of some nudity. A rating of 'M' automatically translates into blood and gore and possible nudity."

Again, why then is Singles: Flirt Up Your Life not flying off the shelves? Why is Leisure Suit Larry not flying off the shelf?

"It's not specifically tied to GTA:SA, it's just emphasized with the GTA series. Idiots see the title and jump on it."

Or it could just be that it's an excellent game.

100% positive reviews from Rotten Tomatoes (a meta review site):

http://www.rottentomatoes.com/g/playstation_2/grand_theft_auto_san_andreas/reviews.php

"And, unfortunately for those of us who actually want quality games, or those who put time in creating quality games, those efforts go largely unnoticed."

I disagree. GTA:SA isn't the only game that came out in october. Many many lesser advertised titles came out for all platforms and some did pretty well. I keep citing Star Ocean, Tales of Symphonia, etc etc and no one will address them, or they wave them off. Because they don't fit you guys model the way things are (ie. "most gamers are stupid").

Also, some "quality" games don't make sales charts, but they keep getting made month after month. Pick up any games magazines and read the reviews. This one I'm holding right now lists 37 games recently released or soon to be so in the next week or so. A very small portion of those have big budgets, and even fewer still will be blockbusters. But month after month all these games keep getting made and released, all with varying prices, production values, types of gameplay, etc. So shouldn't there be less and less of these titles, not more? No, the games you want are out there, waiting to be found and enjoyed by you.


You cited Zelda as a quality game earlier, and I don't see any shortage of Zelda titles over the years...

Coop:

I was not getting into a debate on who has the biggest brain here. What I was trying to point out was that no where in these arguments has anyone claimed to be an expert. We are speaking on what we have observed. Now, you want hard studies of facts to back up the arguments. Do you want me to publish something for you so you can have a document to reference. I can do that. I can get my publisher on the phone in 5 minutes and have something in acedemia, pop culture, in less than a week.

An argument does not have to be based on proven studies to be a valid argument. You have attempted to shoot every argument down by saying that there are no studies to support the evidence. Citing an "expert" in the field is not necessarily going to make the argument valid.

At no point were either Matt or I saying that racists make up the majority of the video gamers community. The point was that we group those racists into the majority of gamers that we feel are idiots. The other group are those who buy games at are rated 'M' or blood and guts games. Both Matt and I have seen it happen, and if you really want more opinions, I can pool together hundreds of FYE employees that will tell you the same thing.

I'm not about to go out and seek published articles and statistics on who does what because honestly, no area of academia is going to study such topics. I even polled pop culture professors at BGSU, one of the renowned programs for pop culture. None of them feel like tackling these questions for study.

So, yes, what you are getting is OPINION, but it's opinion based on facts we have observed. You can't defeat a premise just because you are not presented with hard statistics. Would you say that restaurant A has better resaruant over restaurant B because restaurant A has more cars in the parking lot? That is a valid argument. There are no cold, hard facts or studies or experts to back up that argument, but it doesn't mean that the premise is disproven or that it's an invalid argument.

You keep on acerting that our arguments are invalid because there are no statistical studies being cited. Why isn't Blogcritics or any other source of information worthy of being cited? They are sources of information just like any other source. No one is claiming to be an expert, and honestly citing someone as an expert is actually a fallacy in logic.

Any study is based on opinion, the opinion that those who were polled were diverse enough to represent the majority. Look at the exit polls in this past Presidential election. The exit polls had Kerry winning by huge margins, to the point that the Democratic party started celebrating. However, obviously, when all was said and done, things had changed. They had not polled enough of a diverse audience to accurately predict polling numbers.

And any published paper or website bases it's argument around opinion. Critical thinking IS supposed to be rooted in opinion. It's just realizing the degree of opinion that goes into the argument that makes the argument stronger.

When it comes to a blanket statement like 'a majority of gamers are idiots,' there is no study out there citing the IQ of those people who buy video games or which video games they buy. My point being, I want you to show hard facts disproving our argument, because you haven't shown anything but sales numbers, and honestly, sales numbers is what we are arguing here. So, just because a game ranks in the Top 10 of sales, doesn't disprove our point. And those are the only facts you have presented.

I don't claim to ever be an expert on any topic because I'm not. I have my knowledge, and I know my strengths and weaknesses. I do claim to know the difference between a vaild argument and an invalid argument. You keep saying that we change our premise. The premise has always been that people buy games for no other reason than ratings, price, advertisements, etc. These people populate the majority of gamers who we think are idiots.

The racism topic was brought in to further emphasis our point on people in the gaming community who are idiots, not to shift the argument. You cannot deny that there are people out there who will not buy GTA:SA because the main character is black. Check out any thread regarding GTA:SA, and I'm sure you will find someone making a comment on the topic. I've seen many myself, and I can't recall where, but I'll look up the sources tonight for you.

Chris Mayle:

I won't beat this to death because I think the thread speaks for itself at this point.


"No one is claiming to be an expert, and honestly citing someone as an expert is actually a fallacy in logic."

Really? Then why was "acts of gord" even mentioned? Why interject some random snarky opinion guy into the debate if it wasn't implied that his writing somehow throws weight behind Matt's argument. If "acts of gord" was actually a 4 year old with no expertise in anything, would it have still been cited as some sort of bizarre source? Also, why list a armload of your own credentials if not to imply that your opinion somehow has more weight because of your list of acheivements?

"I can do that. I can get my publisher on the phone in 5 minutes and have something in acedemia, pop culture, in less than a week."

Please do. Please publish a paper into "academia, media and pop culture" titled Most Gamers Are Idiots. Then, in the paper, go on to prove that most gamers are indeed idiots. And list Blogcritics and Acts of Gord as sources.

"Why isn't Blogcritics or any other source of information worthy of being cited?"

Call me crazy, but I tend not to believe everything I read on the internet. Not everyone who writes something on the internet is credible. Not all set of responses to one blog--or 5 blogs--or acts of gord--can be considered representative of, well, anything other then a group of people that read and respond to those particular blogs. It's the internet, afterall. The home of Time Cube, The Zombie Survial Guide and Paris Hilton. Case in point...

"My point being, I want you to show hard facts disproving our argument"

Don't have to, not even possible. You can't prove that I'm not a 10 foot tall invisible dragon that flies around New York; that doesn't mean that I am indeed a dragon. You guys are making the assertion that "most gamers are idiots." The burden of proof is on you. So far, I'm underwhelmed.

" because you haven't shown anything but sales numbers, and honestly, sales numbers is what we are arguing here."

My point is that when GTA:SA, a game dense with black character and culture, and not safe "Condi Rice" blacks but hardcore gangland south central Eazy-E, sells astronomical numbers like the game will, then it belies the assertion that the community is awash is racists. Yes yes yes, I know I know I know there are racists amoung us. Again, racism is a social scourge and every community has racists. There may be as little as 1 racist guy (unlikely), or it might be as high as 75% (also unlikely). If I were going to take a stab in the dark, I would say it's roughly the same concentration as the general public, but I don't know for sure because I haven't studied it (note: the absence of blanket statements). And my opinion on it certainly proves nothing. But the sales numbers for GTA:SA will speak for themselves. And you'll have a huge example of a massively selling game awash in black characters and culture. And then all the naysayers won't be able to go "How come games with black main characters don't sell?! See! The racists!!

"The exit polls had Kerry winning by huge margins, to the point that the Democratic party started celebrating. However, obviously, when all was said and done, things had changed. They had not polled enough of a diverse audience to accurately predict polling numbers."

Allll riigggght... Granted. However, It's an astronomical leap to somehow connect that to this debate. So we'll let that go.

"You cannot deny that there are people out there who will not buy GTA:SA because the main character is black."

For the 9000th time, I never denied that there are racists amoung us. I agree there are racist gamers. There are racists gamers. They play games and they're racists. And I agree, racists are idiots. If you read back through the thread, I must have said this 5 times in the last week.

However, you don't know the concentration of them, and neither does Blog Critics or Acts of Gord. In fact, the one of the main points in your racism argument lies in the fact that, in your words, "Let's be honest, how many games exist where the main character is black or a minority for that matter?" And now you'll have this huge example of black culture selling hugely in an excellent game, and it doesn't fit into the tidy little mould of your argument (not to mention the numerous other examples of games with minority main characters I've listed in this thread like 4 times that run straight against your's and Matt's assertions but get completely ignored).

Bottom line is, it's an excellent game. The original article made a judgement on the game long before the game came out, and then proceeded to bash people that prejudge video games. And also I understand it's fashionable to dislike things that are wildly popular. Makes us feel smart. But it's dishonest. And no amount of articles on "Acts of Gord" will make it honest.

reid:

My parents will not late me have Grand Theft Auto San Andreas. How can I make my mom/dad say yes? Help me convinced tham say YES

Well, hmmm. Grow up? It is rated M for a reason. I know many parents who will not buy it for their children. I would not buy it for my child. Its even worse then GTA 3 and Vice City was.

Think of it this way: when you are old enough, it will be in the bargain bin for about $5!

Be thankful you have parents that care. They're a rare breed these days.

That is so true Matt!

Deanna:

I purchase Grand Theft Auto San Andreas for my computer. I have downloaded it and it tries to open by running through the intro but then it immediatley goes to the credits (end of the game) it never runs the actually game. What am I doing wrong? Any help?

Wow. Been a while since we've been here. As for the tech help, we would need far mroe info. Windows version, 3d cards, RAM, etc.

holy SHIT this is some bad wrighting

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