g-Ripe: Who is the Real Bully?

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How about another g-Ripe? I actually have two.

Rockstar reassured its Xbox 360 customers last week that they would be addressing gameplay issues that have come up in the version they ported over for Microsoft customers. There were some performance issues that did not come up during testing, because it apparently only affects older boxes. People still have old ones that haven’t experienced red ring?

That’s not my gripe. My gripe is this . . . some stinkin’ Canadians are upset about the content of the Bully game. The president of the Canadian Teachers’ Federation is asking retailers not to sell this game, because it encourages kids to be bullies.

What? Are you kidding? You’re really reaching here, lady. I don’t fully understand the politician’s need to find a correlation between video games and school shootings, but I am even more confused by this . . . who plays a game like Bully and thinks to himself, “Man, I can’t wait to get to school tomorrow, so I can try some of this stuff.” No one, because the whole train of thought is ridiculous.

If anything, I would take a gander and speculate that most of the people buying this game were actually victims of bullying themselves and this is an amusing way to relive those horrible, but in retrospect, memorable moments. I do not see the incidence of bullying and hazing rising because of this game in any way, shape, or form. Some people have way too much time on their hands.

My other g-Ripe? Piracy. THQ Creative Director Michael Fitch said that the Iron Lore, developers of Titan Quest, were forced to close due to rampant game piracy. Are you kidding? That’s all you could come up with?

According to him, the game was pirated and released in the stores before it was put on sale in the stores and those cracked copies crashed due to failing copy-protection routines. These crashes then lead pirates to get on message boards and tell everybody what a poorly programmed game that TQ was.

First of all, I am not a pirate. I don’t even burn CDs or download MP3s illegally. I believe we should give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, even if she is some drugged out, teeny-boppin’ popstar who is in rehab for the third time. I am totally against software piracy. I think software developers should get what they deserve.

At the same time, though, you can’t blame piracy for the closure of a game company. Piracy is a part of the game culture. How many people get CD keys off the Internet within 5 minutes of doing a Google search? How many people are using emulators and torrent files to play all of the latest games? It is unavoidable and must be taken into account at every level.

So, quit your frickin’ whining and get back to making games that rock. I am tired of people looking for scapegoats and excuses when they underachieve. I am not saying TQ sucked. I have no idea. I have never played it. I am just saying that as with everything in life, we have to own up and just recognize our faults and mistakes in any failure. Don’t lose the lesson, right?

This market is a competitive one and you can’t hope to succeed by jogging through. It’s a marathon and people just need to suck it up and do what they gotsta do. Don’t flame me. I’m sure you lost much sleep making this game, but something didn’t happen and you need to figure out what it was.

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