A “Gamers’ Manifesto” & RPG World-Building

I have a feeling everyone else has already seen this. But just in case, here’s a link for you today: A Gamers’ Manifesto. It’s the most hysterical AND accurate screed I’ve ever seen about the state of computer gaming. I have a lot of favorite quotes from it, so it’s hard to choose just one, but here you go:

And this is years after analysts told developers that women would happily play games if they didn’t feel so objectified by them, and several decades past the point where they should have even needed to be told that. Have you guys ever met a woman? Then why don’t you try making just a few games that don’t play off of a 14 year-old male’s idea of womanhood on the apparent hope that he’ll play the game one-handed?

Anyway, that’s pretty much it for today. I need to do some straightening up so my mother doesn’t drop dead of horror (I almost said shock, but that would be the result if the place were spotless) when she visits for the weekend, and I have some more review-book-reading to do.

Edit: Whoops! I almost forgot to proudly pimp my husband’s new article: Case Study in Stealing from History, an article on world-building for roleplaying games. Go read it! I may be biased, but it’s hands-down the best starting-from-scratch world-building article I’ve ever read.


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Posted in Gaming
8 comments on “A “Gamers’ Manifesto” & RPG World-Building
  1. Aaron says:

    Awesome. Here’s my favorite quote:

    “When we’re on our deathbeds, we’re going to wish we could reclaim the time we spent wandering around for save points long after we were done playing every night. Imagine if your word processing program did this, refusing to let you save your progress until you typed six more paragraphs. Or, made you retype your last paragraph six times while zombies tried to shoot your cursor… ”

    I loved the part on crates. Right now, I can’t think of a single FPS or RPG I’ve played that didn’t have crates lying around.

    I have to disagree with him on Nintendo and gaming-vs-multimedia though. I grew up on the Nintendo consoles and was pretty loyal to the brand until I finally traded in my Gamecube (I sitll have the other consoles). It was a shortage of fun, lasting games that made me leave Nintendo behind. I think I wrote a full blog on the subject once.

  2. Chessack says:

    Wow, that is a great article. The crates part made me laugh out loud.

    But just in general, the guy has a lot of very good points to make about games. I particularly appreciated his comments about the AI, and about how all that extra power in CPUs is being used, not to make the AI smarter, but to make the stupid AI’s clothes more realistic looking, etc.


  3. heather says:

    Aaron: Hehe. One of the things that amused me about DDO was the presence of such crates. It seemed… so odd. And I have to agree with his rant on save points—save points always drove me insane.

    Chessack: Yeah, and the sad part is, that’s probably what a lot of buyers want. 🙁 How long ’til the move now?

  4. ScottM says:

    I liked the Case Study in Stealing From Real World history– I hope that successor articles continue the example. I liked the way he generated the country sizes, though using sizes of the era [usually much much smaller, at least in Western Europe] would have made for an interesting difference.

    Of course, as he pointed out, that just gives him another interesting difference to solve…

  5. heather says:

    So far I really love the results of what he’s done—it truly does give the world that medieval feel of being vast and unfathomable, despite the fact that the presence of magic allows for greater travel than in real-world history.

  6. yunk says:

    About the same subject as your husbands’ article: There is another interesting article in Dragon magazine from .. oh probably the early/mid 80s, called The Making of a Milieu, that mainly deals with the map and countries and people. He wrote one way to make a world is to create the geography. After you have your geography map, make a few dozen photocopies. Then start out way back in the early bronze age, or earlier, and start filling in the regions, countries, cities, etc. Then , make more maps, each jumping forward a few hundred years. Each iteration, you can have empires begin to rise and ultimately fall, barbarians sweep across your lands. And each time, the names of your locations may change slightly, to reflect the language of the invaders. Perhaps some cities will be abandoned, then you’ll know where the ruins are, and why they are there. New roads and trade routes will be put in.

    Sort of like creating a character, you create a world, and let it grow and change on its own, and not only does it open up possibilities you wouldn’t have thought of, but then you also know why everything is the way it is.

  7. heather says:

    Nifty. I like that! Kind of like creating the layers of an onion from the inside out.

  8. Zyley says:

    Really nice article. My hobby is reenactment and living history parties, and you can’t even imagine what I feel when I see the clothes and when I know how it should look like…
    Sometimes I even don’t know what to do – to laugh, because it’s really funny or to cry coz the history takes awful perverted forms.

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