The above link takes you to a story on Kotaku about the Game Developer’s Conference (among others) being turned into an invite-only press event. I’ve covered videogames for eight years now. I did not get an invite to E3 in 2007. I didn’t try to get one, but that’s sort of beside the point. When you make these things invite only, it becomes a boys’ club of invitees and I think you end up losing something. Isn’t game coverage corporate enough already? Research and be smarter with your press credentials and this isn’t a problem. By turning it over to the publishers and developers, you’re almost guaranteeing they’ll stack the deck with favoritism and all the same old guys that cover every show (usually with no excitement and a cynical attitude).
I think what I understand the least (and this applies to E3 more than GDC) is that this industry is so intent on keeping the people who love their games away. One of the things that sets gaming apart from other entertainment mediums is the interaction between the game makers and the gamers on messageboards and via e-mail and the like. But when you start talking about those dirty gamers coming to a trade show to play their games, all the pubs and devs want to do is kick them out! Sony got a black eye in 2006 at E3 when no one really cared about PS3 and PSP while they hopped through their booth to get to Nintendo’s, and I think that’s where this all started.
They want to sell us as many games as possible, but keep us at arm’s length.
Some years ago I did a really stupid thing and left one of those 80 CD cases on top of my car and proceeded to drive across town. When I pulled onto the highway, said case went flying and I didn’t realize it until I was up the road quite a ways. I went back but it was gone. One of the games in that case was the one you’ll see at the link above. The Reap is possibly the greatest shooter ever created for the PC. It’s only on the PC and I’ve wanted to replace it for eons. I finally decided to take the plunge on a UK eBay seller and the game arrived today! It’s as awesome as I remember it, and they finally patched it to run on Windows XP so that was a major bonus.
I feel more complete today knowing that The Reap is back in my collection.
Oh yeah, one of the reasons it’s so cool? The game scores in body count. You are the invading aliens destroying humanity. Everything you destroy sends bodies flying everywhere. How cool is that?!
I’m between reviews again (and still waiting for one of them to appear at http://www.crispygamer.com so I can link it here), so today I rented The Club. Normally I’d buy it right out, but I just couldn’t decide if I wanted the PC or the PS3 version of the game. Hollywood Video had the PS3 version on the shelf when I dropped off a movie so I just went with it, even though Game Crazy is in the same store and had both versions for sale. This is a game I know I’ll buy, but with my time so limited lately I didn’t want to spend full price on anything. After I’m done here I’m off to land some headshots so expect a full report on that one sometime later this week.
As an aside, videogame rental pricing is out of control. $7.99 for five days? That’s highway robbery. I immediately decided to start a Gamefly account after running into that massive fee for such a short rental period. I’m going to suspend my Gametap account at the same time since I haven’t had the time to use that lately. I love that service and it’s still the best value in gaming, but when you get back on the writing treadmill, it’s hard to justify having it unless the rest of the family is using it regularly… and they’re not.