Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Doctor is Out

I guess Dr. Phil is going to tackle violent video games. I don't normally have a problem with Dr. Phil, even when I disagree with him. He's already started with this article.

This is the quote that bothered me:
"If you shoot somebody in one of these games, you don't go to jail, you don't get penalized in some way — you get extra points!"
Extra points? What is this, 1985? Very, very few video games use points any longer. It's an antiquated term, based on an antiquated vision of what a video game is. What this says to me is Dr. Phil is speaking about these games from a position of ignorance. He doesn't play them, he doesn't know what modern games are about, but deems himself qualified to speak about them.

His advice to parents is sound, though totally obvious. Be aware of what your kids are playing, limit their time, pay some friggin' attention. Dr. Phil just needs to heed his own advice.


Monday, August 13, 2007

Hasbro on Fun and Profit

Boardgame news reports the Hasbro/EA agreement, then calls the Hasbro COO out for talking like a corporate stooge.

I totally biased on this point, but IMHO the executives at Hasbro don't see their products as games or toys. To them, they are brands. They are brands with profit potential. Some more than others.

Q: Can a company who sees it's own products in a such a sterile, uncaring light, really make things that are great?
A: Not unless they get lucky. Happily for them, adequate is still profitable on a large scale.

I'm a capitalist. I'm all over the idea of creating something great and selling it for money. I'm also an idealist. I believe profit is a side effect of doing great things. If the people at the top don't care, that feeling filters throughout an organization. I know. I've seen it first hand at Wizards of the Coast.

For the record, we've got plenty of caring where I work now, and it's awesome.