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Mainstream Audience 'Noticing' Games Again 58

In an interview with the San Jose Mercury News, Shigeru Miyamoto makes it plain that he's extremely pleased with the way the Wii has changed the face of gaming. He says that he gets the feeling that 'because of the Wii, people ... are finally taking notice of videogames again.' The interview goes on to discuss some ways in which Miyamoto hopes to capitalize on that 'notice', including the possibility of introducing new Nintendo characters sometime next year: "For characters, we came up with the concept of the Miis and that allows people to come up with their own characters. Maybe next year sometime, we may have new characters in the same way we came up with Pikmin when we introduced the GameCube."
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Mainstream Audience 'Noticing' Games Again

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  • Re:Jack who? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Brian Gordon ( 987471 ) on Tuesday July 31, 2007 @02:48PM (#20061201)
    Even inside the US, an astonishingly small number of people know who even their own senators/reps are, let alone Jack Thompson..
  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Tuesday July 31, 2007 @03:01PM (#20061365)
    For me the moment was there when I sat in the cafeteria and heard two people who are anything but geeks talk about WoW. Not as in "my son is playing this horrible game" but actually discussing strategies how to slaughter some boss.

    That was when I realized that games broke out of the geek sphere, that it's no longer the pastime of teenagers and people who don't want to realize they ain't teenagers anymore. There were two usually quite sensible guys in suits, with ties, discussing the relative benefits of the racial differences of gnomes and elves.

    It's not like they'd watch a second of a pro-gaming tournament. Nor would they waste a week of their vacation on a LAN party. But they're playing a game. Whether that game is good or a waste of time to a "true" gamer isn't relevant. They're playing.

    The Wii certainly adds to this. A coworker who is anything but a gamer recently came in on monday with a severe case of a tennis arm, telling me he was at a party where they played Wii Sports all day (and according to the age calculator he's like 70 or something and he's asking the boss for retirement...). But I doubt the Wii is the mark of the start. It's more like something that adds to it.

    Games aren't as "hardcore" anymore as they were years ago. Anyone ever played R-Type, Menace, Blood Money or Katakis? You simply couldn't play them as a "casual gamer". Made no sense. They were geared towards people who could and would waste months to get the sequences of enemies JUST right. This didn't appeal at all to people who actually had a life outside the silicon box.

    Games today are more for enjoyment, less for "proving something". Sure, the latter kind still exists, but the game industry found the casual market. And the Wii (and Nintendo generally in the more recent time) is geared for this market, mostly. Personally, I think they will succeed with this strategy. After all, someone who doesn't spend his entire life sitting in front of a console must have some kind of job that enables him to buy more games...
  • by EtoilePB ( 1087031 ) on Tuesday July 31, 2007 @03:11PM (#20061509)
    ..wrong. The mainstream has been noticing video games for quite some time now. Hence why all these juvenile violent crimes are being blamed on video games. The Wii had nothing to do with it. Jack Thompson put video games more under the spotlight than the Wii.

    There are two different kinds of "notice" at work here. The one Miyamoto's after is, "Hmm. This is a form of entertainment that I am interested in learning more about, and perhaps even in participating in." The one Thompson creates is, "Clearly, there is some kind of evil mischief afoot here, and video gaming is something perverted that only children and sickos participate in."

    The attention Miyamoto's after is the kind of "notice" that hopefully means, in the future, that when I say, "I like video games" to my co-workers, they take that in the same vain as they take it when I say, "I have a film degree," not that they take it in the same vein as if I said, "I regularly murder babies and sell their souls to Satan to finance overseas oil corporations."
  • by PresidentEnder ( 849024 ) <wyvernender AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday July 31, 2007 @03:39PM (#20061921) Journal
    I think that's the whole point: cartoon graphics are good enough. People watch anime, and don't need it to be photorealistic; people play Wii sports, and it's fine. Less complex, more approachable games have always been where it's at. I'd like to see someone market a cheap handheld, easy to develop for, and allow anyone to put games out for it. You probably don't even need the cool controller to make it work.
  • by morari ( 1080535 ) on Tuesday July 31, 2007 @04:18PM (#20062459) Journal

    Effects movies have maxed out; with current CG technology you can put anything on the screen, so nobody is impressed.
    I don't recall ever being impressed by CGI in film. They have always looked so ridiculously fake that it destroys any possible suspension of disbelief. At least scale models and what-not were actual, solid things that existed. Not like CGI, which also has the downfall of instantly looking dated no matter how "well done". Traditional effects which were more focused on ingenuity tend to stand the test of time much better.
  • by LKM ( 227954 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2007 @03:20AM (#20067675) Homepage

    But Anime is hand drawn lines by usually a very talented cartoonist/illustrator, which is then colored by someone just as talented. Videogames cannot compete on this level.

    What you're actually saying is: Art direction trumps realism. And if you look at it like that, games absolutely can compete. Look at things like Okami, Alien Hominid, Dragon Quest, Super Mario Galaxy, the Katamari games, Wind Waker, Jet Set Radio, or even the Wario Ware games. None of these have particularly "good" graphics if you look at realism, or number of polygons. But they all have awesome art direction.

    Which is why graphics are mostly good enough nowadays: Great looking games are possible if you have talented people working on it. Same as Anime, really.

  • It's a Gimmick... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Duffy13 ( 1135411 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2007 @10:07AM (#20070179)
    The Wii is a gimmick. A very cool gimmick when implemented correctly, but a gimmick none the less. The problem I foresee, which is the same problem other consoles eventually run into: it will become stale rapidly. How long till they can't think of any other cool things to do with a Wiimote? They've covered most of them already, with varying levels of success. Which brings us to the question spawned from the other next-gen consoles: Why do we need better graphics? Because basic gameplay has barely changed in the 5+ years. Theres innovation here and there, but when was their a completely new style of game or a truly unique idea? The Wii and... oh shit I see where this is going. That aside since it's mainly a "gamer's" concern, I will admit that the Wii gets non-gamers playing...much like the Gamecube party games also got people playing, though not nearly as much. I give Nintendo some credit, they realize they will eventually lose the hardcore gamers, so they cut them off before they wasted too much time and effort on a losing battle. Instead they are focusing on the niche market, the "party" games, and to reach outside the gamer mainstream market that's the only thing they can do. Something thats fun not always because of the game itself, but because you're playing it with other people. I mean honestly, Mario Party, Strikers,Smash, Wii Sports, etc... are rather boring by yourself. Get a few people together and you find yourself playing 235 matches of strikers in an evening...err and technically the next morning.

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