Archive for the ‘Controversy’ category

Kotaku, convenience and laser tag

May 16, 2010

With the continually growing popularity of home consoles, it’s often easy for the consumer gaming media to marginalise other types of gaming – be they tabletop games for the home or larger experiences, such as arcade gaming. Occasionally however, someone will speak up in defence of these other games. Recently, just such an incident cropped up involving Kotaku, whose editor Brian Crecente penned an article on the issue of convenience. This examined the relationship between the decline of laser tag and Dungeons & Dragons and the rise of Halo and Everquest, concluding that the video games are simply more convenient, and looked to the future by comparing the iPhone’s business model with that of the Nintendo DS and Sony PSP.

So far, so standard. It’s true that purchasing games for the iPhone is an easy process, given their instant availability and general low prices. But Kotaku chose to run an interesting response from Jason Bock, the director of marketing for LaserTron. It highlighted the busy laser tag location he is employed by, as well as the variance in equipment, target audiences and location quality.  The suggestion is that while laser tag is not a daily entertainment choice for many people, it is still a valid one and opinions on the whole industry should not be formed on the basis of a single location. I’m inclined to agree – just last year, a huge new venue opened up in my home town.

There is a lot here that we can relate to, as arcade enthusiasts. Blanket assertions of a “dead” industry are fairly common, but they are often based on the all-or-nothing premise that if the arcade sector is not leading the video game industry, it has nothing left to offer. Of course, the arcade clearly does not lead the video game industry and hasn’t done for some time, but to call the industry dead is to ignore the companies making good money, and the new arcades which open. Most players may not be spending every day at an arcade, but enough are still heading out to make it worthwhile for all of us involved in the industry.

[Kotaku: Video games aren’t killing laser tag] [Discuss on the forums]

Advertisements

Anti-violent video game laws brewing in state legislatures – what effect on coin-op?

March 4, 2008

In the world of video games, we’ve always had to battle negative and usually erroneous opinions regarding our hobby, especially when it comes to violent video games. There was a time when arcades were central to the “controversy” as games such as Mortal Kombat  came along and gained popularity.  There have been a few other violent games in arcades, including what was probably the first violent game ever, Death Race which was released way back in 1976. But as time has passed the number of violent arcade games has decreased and governments put their attention on home and PC games – which they have already regulated with a detailed rating system and at least in the US, fines can be imposed on stores that sell these games towards minors. It doesn’t seem to matter that in the end it’s in the hands of the parents as for many governments it’s never enough as they seek to satisfy their appetite for regulation and power. This is of course a sensitive subject but it comes to mind as I read a post by the AAMA on CoinOpToday.com. They state:

STATE VIDEO VIOLENCE UPDATE
With many state legislatures returning to session in January, there are again a series of bills that have been introduced that seek to restrict access by minors to games that contain violent content.  To date, all of these legislative efforts have been focused on the home- and PC-based side of the industry, with most attempting to restrict access to
games on the basis of ESRB ratings of “M” or “AO” which are not relevant for the coin-op industry.

The coin-op industry uses a different rating system (click on the thumbnail to enlarge)gamerate.jpg than home games where a series of color-coded stickers with a brief description of the game content are printed on them. Green stickers are the equivalent of “E”, Red stickers are the equivalent of “M”. The AAMA also writes about pending legislation for coin-op gaming in a few states which I’m putting this after the post break as I have some more to say on the subject.

(more…)

Controversy over “The King of Kong”

June 1, 2007

A few days back I posted about a new documentary called the King of Kong that documented one man’s quest to conquer the world record for Donkey Kong but it also featured several other players such as Billy Mitchell. As it turns out, a few people including Billy Mitchell and a number of people at the site Twin Galaxies weren’t too happy about it and as such MTV News has done a little investigating about the different points of view that this film brings to light. They cover both sides of the issue and it shows that things are a little more complex than they seemed at first. Either way I think the main point here is that neither player had it out for each other from the looks of things and the folks at Twin Galaxies aren’t too appreciative of the fact that they and Mitchell are made out to be ‘villians’ in the film. As always with any documentary, it’s good to look at both sides of what is portrayed in the film. [Via Twin Galaxies forums]

[MTV Movie News ‘Donkey Kong’ Record Holder Says New Flick Settles His Score]

[MTV Movie News – Billy Mitchell’s and Twin Galaxies’ response to the film]  

[Discuss on the Forum]

Controversy over "The King of Kong"

June 1, 2007

A few days back I posted about a new documentary called the King of Kong that documented one man’s quest to conquer the world record for Donkey Kong but it also featured several other players such as Billy Mitchell. As it turns out, a few people including Billy Mitchell and a number of people at the site Twin Galaxies weren’t too happy about it and as such MTV News has done a little investigating about the different points of view that this film brings to light. They cover both sides of the issue and it shows that things are a little more complex than they seemed at first. Either way I think the main point here is that neither player had it out for each other from the looks of things and the folks at Twin Galaxies aren’t too appreciative of the fact that they and Mitchell are made out to be ‘villians’ in the film. As always with any documentary, it’s good to look at both sides of what is portrayed in the film. [Via Twin Galaxies forums]

[MTV Movie News ‘Donkey Kong’ Record Holder Says New Flick Settles His Score]

[MTV Movie News – Billy Mitchell’s and Twin Galaxies’ response to the film]  

[Discuss on the Forum]