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  •    Censorless Violence  
    Friday, January 13 2006 @ 10:25 PM UTC
    Contributed by: David

    The NPD Group just released it's 2005 industry report. The good news, North American sales are up 6% to $10.5 b. More peculiar is this list:

    1. MADDEN NFL 06 PS2
    4. MADDEN NFL 06 XBX
    7. MVP BASEBALL 2005 PS2
    9. NBA LIVE 06 PS2

    Anyone care to guess what's odd about the list or even what it is?

    Well, the answer is, these are the top selling games of 2005. And notice that despite the gnashing of teeth and rending of cloth, it turns out that most gamers are plenty happy with E and T games.

    Yup, that's right. Not a single murder simulator in the top 10 this year.

    A few hypothesis:

    1. The censors had their effect and steered mass market game buyers away from violent games while generally helping attract attention to the industry.

    2. Violent games are one of many thematic trends in the industry. Sort of like romantic comedies in cinema. Unfortunately, Hugh Grant will never stop making these sappy "Harry Met Sally" clones. But that doesn't mean they always sit at the top of the box office.

    3. Gamers are tired of playing violent games.

    4. There just were not really cool violent games to play last year. But these year something will come along to sate our bloodlust.


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    Censorless Violence
    Authored by: CapCom on Saturday, January 14 2006 @ 05:22 AM UTC
    Yeah, Nintendo likes to throw these numbers around: "Out of the top games sold last year, none of them were M rated."

    You might find this kind of odd considering the stereotypes of the 18-35 male gamer - the mature gamer who can buy games with the big M. Looks like more people like to throw the skin (not to mention fairly high numbers for both PS2 AND X-box - then again, the list is pretty much dominated by PS2 titles) and other sports games than they like to shoot pedestrians and the undead. Maybe we'll have to change it to the 18-35 male who likes football. Looks like games are turning mainstream. Maybe that's also why EA is the largest independent company - they own Madden, which will sell a million copies every year for minor upgrades.

    The thing is, the M games dominate the popular media because it's easy to get shocked at violent games, so it's something the media can latch onto. It's not easy to get shocked at guys playing football because well, that's what guys are expected to do. What I'd like to know is how many are playing online...

    And maybe those M games just don't appeal to that large an audience because people would rather do something other than kill things... Like I don't know, play a good old sports game with their buds? I keep saying co-op is the way of the future...

    More odd...

    Star Wars Battlefront II was only released in November and it's no. 6?

    Also (and not surprising)...

    No X-box 360 games on the list :P

    "Until next time..."
    Captain Commando
    [ Reply to This ]
    This Numbers are Sick
    Authored by: eben on Monday, January 16 2006 @ 10:20 PM UTC
    Market forces don't make good art. They don't really make good anything; they simply make things more standard, more popular (populist?) more quickly and more cheaply. So what do these numbers mean to me?

    Well, they simply confirm the fact that the videogame industry is more interested in producing numbers than quality videogames.

    Why are we, as the diasporic, critical arm of the videogame medium, ( I like to call this 'simula' cause it kind of rhymes with 'cinema'. C'mon! Everyone say it now, 'simula: the medium of interactive gaming' Damn it people, say it with me or those Scandanavians will coin everything!) ...why are we subject to the tyranny of these infernal statistics? Why must we regard the demographic homunculi- that sniveling bunch of fraggers - as truth- if we ourselves are the exception?

    Our job is to keep our ear to the ground, (not to industry-furnished statistics) and our eyes to the sky because the next big revolution isn't going to be new stats for the same players and a few more polygons. It will be a fundamental challenge to the (poorly) established genre conventions and codes existing today. It will come from someone or some group of individuals interested in making videogame history, not videogame revenue.

    As Chris Kohler so eloquently put it, "This game are sick." Yeah, I've seen it before; it's called the number bug. If you ignore it, you won't get infected.
    [ Reply to This ]
  • This Numbers are Sick - Authored by: CapCom on Wednesday, January 18 2006 @ 06:36 PM UTC
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