Saturday, January 22, 2011

If you put a Video Game on the top 100 of all time...

If you put a Video Game on the top 100 of all time...
At the very least, make sure you put it there for attributes that make it a worthy Video Game.

Here's a copy of a short Facebook discussion I started with a status update:

PCGamer Feb 2011 - Top 100 Of All Time List:
#9: "It's one of the few games here you can be a fan of without playing it much. My StarCraft2 time isn't usually spent playing the game - it's watching the commented Korean tournament matches that reach us via GomTV. When I play, I dabble. When I watch, I'm consumed."

To me, that's one of the WORST arguments for the quality of a GAME one is supposed to enjoy playing.
    • RS: Don't forget: EA tried trumping up the same feature/concept with C&C3.
    • Mark Kotlyar:
      It's not about the feature. I'm fine with the feature. It's a neat feature.

      I'm not fine with ranking a game high, when you prefer watching it instead of playing it.
      Hell, I'd rather go out and play ball instead of watching the Lakers.

      When you've created a game that more "players" prefer watching than actually playing, well... Here's Kotaku's completely unrelated to SC2 quote: "For a video game to truly exist, it needs players. Otherwise, it simply stands still. Role-playing game Final Fantasy Versus XIII doesn't have players, it has viewers."

      What I'm saying, is if you have more viewers than players, you've got a problem.
    • RS: Oh you're hitting on the nature of the review. In which case I fully agree.
    • JK:
      ‎"I'd rather go out and play ball instead of watching the Lakers."
      Totally lame :)
      Startcraft is a sport indeed. So if you hate watching sport, you're part of a minority on earth, and that's not a problem related to video games: it's just you being lame :)
    • Mark Kotlyar:
      Hey, if it's a sport, why bother creating a single player campaign?
      A lame single player campaign at that.

      As I told you in person - yeah, as a sport it's great. As a sport it did the perfect thing - it did the same as it's predecessor (though, at this point, Brood Wars is far better balanced than SC2 - which is understandable, as it takes time to balance).
      That's my problem with SC2. It's on par.

      It is not Awesome. By definition, since it reiterates on the same thing consciously staying away from change (being a sport), and we've seen [most of] it all before, it is not Awe inspiring.

      If the US did another Shock and Awe campaign over Iraq, no one there is going to be Shocked or Awed, they will just go "Oh, those bastards again... just leave us alone, would you?".
      SC2 only Awed people because of the wait. And I'm betting that the Zerg and Protoss expansions/games, will suffer from that "Oh, that again" mentality - not in the Sport niche, but the SP one. Unless, of course, they do radically different or, better yet, radically interesting things with those campaigns.

      And no - a completely Naked Kerrigan based Zerg campaign will not do.
      I do have a great idea they could try, and actually Dustin Browder already did the basis of it in one of his previous games, where he led the Design....
    • Mark Kotlyar:
      Also, I'm not arguing it's not a spectator's sport. To each his own.
      Hell, even Golf has Spectators, and while I completely agree that Golf is a challenging and even rewarding Sport on it's own, I don't feel or think it's a Spectator's Sport.
      Unlike Basketball or Soccer (not for me, the last one) or Football etc'.

      My argument is more of a question - should a video game really strive to be a Spectator's Sport at all? Or should it strive to reach as many audiences as possible?

      Or, to take the Ebert argument, is a game a piece of Art when all it is is a Sport?
      I'll restate that - should games strive to be Art or Sports?
      Cause, dammit, if you distill it to a Clicks/Actions per Minute based sport, it ain't Art no more.
    • JK:
      What it "should be" or what it "shouldn't be" is not the point. There is no morality issue here, it's about the nature of people... we love watching interesting competitive events. When a sport is a great platform to host someone's talents, when it has the right rules and the right balance between luck and skill + room for creativity... then it's a great sport to watch and to enjoy. You may not be receptive, it's OK - it's one of parameter that is defining a geek :) Once more, this is unrelated to video games.
    • Mark Kotlyar: Okay, then you agree that while as a sport, SC2 is great. Superb even.
      But as a video game, it lacks. A lot.

      Good. ;)
    • JK:
      Absolutely! I didn't even bother with the solo campaign, I just played in multiplayer. Starcraft 2 is standing out. Starcraft 2 has a purpose, it answers a need, a desperate need of a real competitive game that was invented by the first Starcraft, and was never equaled by any other RTS. When C&C4 and DoW2 will last 1 year, Starcraft 2 will remain THE reference of the genre for the next decade. That's Blizzard choice. They took video games to another level. You cannot change football rules, and you cannot change Starcraft balance: this is a perfect game.
    • Mark Kotlyar:
      Jeremie my man, a bit of the fanboyism (really, no offense) is audible from your text (ha!). Perfect it is not. Superb it is (at least the Terran faction...).

      But, my whole point here was that they put SC2 in #9, because it's great to watch. Not great to play, but great to watch! WTF?
      And, considering that currently SC2, balance wise - i.e. Sport Rules wise - is worse off than Brood Wars - it boggles the minds that they put the original StarCraft, a game superior in Single Player, a game superior as a Game, as a piece of Art and Experience, and, again, currently with better balance, at #86! While 2 is at #9.

      Again, given the reasons that it's great to watch!
      Ipso facto, they gave it #9 because of the great Battle Cast feature... ????
      Because of the awesome streaming, broadcasting, commenting and marking capabilities (all of which, BTW, they more or less copied from EA's C&C3 Battlecast feature - but that's not the point)???
Just a note regarding the Art thing.
I can definitely consider, in certain cases, Athletes as Artists. Kobe Bryant pulls off many feats that are definitely Poetry in Motion - no question about it. And I'd love to see a Cyber Athlete do the same. Which, in that case, make the move or action as the Art.

Anyway, discuss, if you wish.

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