Operator Error

Operator Error
Operator Error

Gamer X: “I speak for the entire world…”

Julie: “For the entire world, really? And is this an elected position?

Gamer X: “Well…I speak for all the gamers in the world.”

Julie: “That’s quite a trick – All at once or individually? I mean, if it’s one at a time that could take awhile. How do you accomplish such a miraculous feat? Ventriloquism?”

Gamer X: “I speak for all the gamers in the world by divine right.”

Julie: “Oh, so this is sort of an ‘insane Roman Emperor Caligula’ sort of thing. Since you are the ‘Oracle at Doofai’ maybe you can answer a question.”

Gamer X: “The answer is ‘no’”

Julie: “I haven’t even asked the question yet. So in addition to speaking for all the gamers in the world I am guessing you are omniscient as well?”

Gamer X: “Certainly – how else could I speak for all gamers?”

Julie: “I guess you do have a point there. Perhaps in some insanely twisted, mind boggling way it makes sense. Still I would like to actually ask the question anyway.”

Gamer X:” You may continue lowly creature.”

Julie: “Thank you. Oh great and mighty Oracle at Doofai. I am going to go out and buy Fallen Earth this week. Will I like the game?”

Gamer X: “No – it sucks.”

Julie: “Really?”

Gamer X: “Really. I played the game.”

Julie: “How long did you play it?”

Gamer X: “I played it twice. Once for three minutes, a second time for an hour.”

Julie: “Wow. I am impressed. It took Icarus Studios years to make the game and you have managed to succinctly summarize the entire game with your well thought out three word review.  What can I say, I am flabbergasted. I do have one more question oh Oracle at Doofai.”

Gamer X: “Yes?”

Julie: “By any chance do you work at Eurogamer?”

Back in “grad” school I took what should have been an easy course – but it wasn’t.  Nothing odd about that I suppose, except for the reason why it wasn’t easy.  You see the course was an introductory course in accounting, and what was odd about it was that the Certified Public Accountants who took the course for an easy A were all failing the course. Odder still was the fact that the teacher of the course never questioned his own abilities as an instructor.

It seems that the same problem often holds true in the world of game journalism.

Whether it be columnists, bloggers or any other form of journalism, writers (especially those involved in any form of games journalism) rarely seem to call their own abilities in to question.  I know I do – and hence the recent apology to Doctor Bartle on this site.  Too often it becomes a case of the famous quote by Mark Twain:

“When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished by how much he’d learned in seven years.” – Mark Twain

As my co-host and I discussed with Keen from Keen and Graeves on a previous No Prisoners, No Mercy (NPNM) show a blog is an opinion. There is no guarantee of perceived journalistic integrity. Still, it only takes one match to start a forest fire, and a few well read (and uninformed) articles or blogs to damage a game’s reputation.  Mind you I would rather have someone admit they only played the game for an hour before pronouncing two word reviews (“It sucked”), instead of writers who hide the fact that they spent less time with the game than they do on a toilet bowl in any given day.

Odder still, are those writers, seemingly thinking themselves omniscient, who cannot perceive of the possibility that their maggot ridden garbage is someone else’s treasure.  And perhaps, just perhaps, the game in question wasn’t maggot ridden garbage to begin with. Perhaps it is they who have a problem grasping the game mechanics used by the developers. Perhaps, just perhaps, the problems some writers have with games is a case of…

 …Operator error.

After all, pity the poor developer who has to not only make their product fit the myriad, and often conflicting, demands of the market but keep the corporate bean counters happy at the same time.  Consider that for any length of time and you will perhaps find yourself wondering why there aren’t more developers kept behind locked doors, in padded rooms.

See you online,

Julie Whitefeather

2 Responses to Operator Error
  1. Hirvox
    September 29, 2009 | 1:03 am

    BTW, could you use a different style for quotes (like the blockquote tag)? Coloring the text yellow makes quotes hard to read with feed readers like Google Reader, which use a white background.

  2. Sr. Julie
    September 29, 2009 | 2:01 pm

    Thanks for pointing that out Hirvox. Not being a user of google reader (I personally use RssReader I am not sure what Fran uses) I was not aware of the situation. The problem is finding a color that makes it stand out (better than the hard to read default grey) that works with out background. Let us know if the color we use in the future improves the situation for you.