This month in Versus Mode we’ve got:
Kevin Leacock vs. Peter Payne!
Kevin Leacock is GameCola’s Web Developer. He maintains our forums as well as our comments boxes, our voting bars, our hit counters, and our RSS feed. He also helps out with html-related projects on an as-needed basis, and he’s written the columns 0wning the Competition and the former incarnation of Versus Mode. This is Kevin’s second appearance in Versus Mode, having written previously with Janra Roberts.
Peter Payne is the owner of J-List, a Web site specializing in Japanese snacks, anime toys, kanji t-shirts and various other “Wacky Things From Japan” since 1996. He’s also been involved with licensing and translating PC dating-sim games and has a blog about what it’s like for an American to live in Japan. This is Peter’s first appearance in Versus Mode.
Kevin: OK, so I can understand where they’re coming from—kids shop in that store, and who wants kids even seeing AO-rated games? I mean, if GameStop won’t carry them, there’s nowhere else for kids to get their kicks in the category of “things they’re not supposed to have”—like porn, weapons, drugs or alcohol. Gimme a break here.
Lets look at this logically. Kids will get what they want, whether they get it legitimately or not. Then there’s the fact that some parents might not care what their kids are playing. (I’m not saying this is either a good or a bad thing, just that it is, indeed, a thing.) But, finally, where I work, there are at least a dozen gamers over the age of 20. Guess where they shop for their games? Wrong! They actually shop at CompUSA because they work there, and a get a discount for it, but if they DIDN’T get a discount at CompUSA, they’d shop at GameStop. Video rental stores can carry some serious porn even though kids go there, so I don’t think it’s too much to ask GameStop to carry AO games.
Peter: Absolutely I think they should embrace the Adults Only games. We’ve been licensing some of the best PC dating-sim games from Japanese companies and bringing them over to American fans for years, and there’s clearly a huge body of mature, reasonable people who believe that themes such as love or sex or violence have a place in their entertainment medium of choice, just as they’re present in virtually every Hollywood movie or TV show.
It’s called dramatic tension, and a story can’t really be dramatic if it’s limited to Italian plumbers jumping over barrels, which is why games should be free to be whatever their creators want them to be. GameStop should create space in the stores for the adult games, make sure they’re separate from their other products and that age is verified properly before the sale, and there shouldn’t be a problem. It’s not like the average age of gamers isn’t well into the thirties by now anyway.
Kevin: On one hand, this gives the writers the credit they deserve. On the other, they’ve been doing it for years, and they’ve been successful for years. I’m not gonna say their success has been a result of the pseudonyms themselves, but it may contribute to part of the formula. But, flip the coin again, and you have publications like GameCola where writers are using their real names. I’m sure there’s a reason for it.
Ultimately, I think it’s up to what the writers really want to do. I think that if some writers still want their funny nicknames, go for it. And if some would rather take the more serious route, they should be able to as well.
Peter: Hmm. If this were abused, it could be really lame. But as long as the pseudonym was tied to one writer who was responsible for that alter ego, and not bounced between hack writers wither and thither, I personally wouldn’t have a problem with it.
Kevin: ATTENTION NINTENDO! You’ve got lots of fanboys. YOU’RE DISAPPOINTING US ALL! Granted, I already have a Wii, but that’s not the point. Every console is supposed to fly off the shelves in the holiday season. It’s a given. The one to run out of stock first is usually determined to be the best. BUT THIS DOESN’T WORK IF YOU RIG IT! YOU ARE BEING RETARDED!
Money. You will make lots of the $£¢€$£¢€ if you sell the Wii this holiday season. But if you don’t make enough, you won’t make the money. Am I getting through to you quite yet? And, by the way? Not
producing enough to meet demand? That is, indeed, a production issue. Now get off your lazy asses—I want my store selling Wiis by the holiday season. Seeing that we’ve only had about five (no exaggeration) in stock since they were first announced, this would make me very, very happy.
Peter: It is outrageous. And there’s something else that’s outrageous. At Otakon in 2006, I asked a roomful of gamers which system they’d be buying, PS3 or Wii. About six people raised their hands for the Sony offering, but the hands went up so fast for the Wii that I could feel the whoosh on my face. So, naturally, I went and bought $25,000 of Nintendo shares after that, right? Right? Of course I didn’t! Bad Peter, bad Peter!
Kevin: Oh. My. Gods. That IS rather hideous isn’t it? If I wanted my Wiimote to look like a TV remote, I’d…well I wouldn’t. I don’t. It’s a game controller, not the mainpiece of my home-entertainment system! And while I really don’t like the shape or design, I think I understand the concept behind it. Rubber, and thick at each end? Well, that’s the next step in stopping the Wiimote from flying out of your hand. Nintendo’s desperate to fix this problem, and the jacket they designed will help—I can’t see that slipping out of anything! But I still don’t like it.
Peter: Hmm, I doubt that I will bother. I haven’t had any flying Wii controller issues at my house, although I did backhand my son in classic fashion across the face during Wii Tennis once. So maybe some kind of exterior padding that protected my children against accidental backhanding would be better? But then my hand would get all sweaty, and that would be gross.
Kevin: Language is evolving. It’s breathing, moving and changing. Everyday I use words that I’d never heard of before. You also have to consider the fact that we’re not the only country that speaks English. Hell, we’re not even the original country to speak English. But before I wanarggleflank, let me finish.
I don’t see it being too offensive. Yes, with every group of people, there are those who take offense at the slightest sideways cough—”HEY! Why did you just talk about a kite?! Is it because I’m a Jew and kite sounds like kike?!”—but that doesn’t represent the majority of people. And really, the only people who can decide if it’s offensive or not IS that group of people. And I haven’t seen the lesbians complain yet.
A quick Google (now that IS an example of language evolving) for “lesbo scrabble” finds me all the news articles on it, and one sourcing from a LGB site—gaygamer.net. But reading the article, the actual site itself is not claiming that the term is really offensive. They’re more reporting on the fact itself: that some father found it in the game and was appalled.
When all is said and done, I don’t think it’s offensive. I wouldn’t be offended to find “homo” (not the full word homosexual, but rather the shortened slang “homo”) or several other words that Urban Dictionary defines as synonyms for “gay” in games. Some people would. Really? I don’t care.
Peter: I’ve never had too many issues with words, personally. I’m a gaijin living in Japan, and I could take offense every time I saw the word “alien” on my alien registration card if I wanted to, but I don’t. Or, like some people, I could be prissy and say that my half-Japanese, half-American kids are “double” instead. I just refuse to let words get under my skin. In Japanese, the word “dyke” happens to mean a carpenter who builds houses. We’d all be happier if we could learn to be less uptight about a lot of things in life.