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Hello, my name is Leo and I'm what you would deem a "hardcore gamer", though when I say that I actually mean "hardcore" (i.e. not someone who just plays Call of Duty). I spend more time playing videogames than doing stuff most people my age should be doing, but it does come with the occasional perk, such as having the opportunity to play some really great games.
That said, because I'm so into my games I do care about the way they're represented and covered on TV, online, and in newspapers/magazines. I love this hobby, and want to see it go side-by-side with films and music, but at the moment that isn't happening because of a flurry of reasons:
- Gaming is currently the whipping-boy by Daily Mail readers, and so has bad press akin to what films did in the early days. This trend will hopefully pass when people grow up, but for now pure bad parenting will constantly equal videogames getting the blame when some little tit does something stupid.
- Gaming media is diabolically horrible. There are hundreds-to-thousands of "gaming journalists" holding gaming back by writing terrible, truly terrible reviews. On the whole you can expect most big-name titles constantly gaining reviews and scores which would be similar the likes of The Godfather, or Shawshank Redemption in film, and this happens several times a year. Because there are so many bad reviewers who are easily pleased it means that there are too many disillusioned developers thinking their works are flawless, and thus not having incentive to improve, while the actual, really important titles get lost in a sea of mediocrity.
The one silver lining out of this is that with most reviewers being so dimwitted and lacking of any actual criticising-skill it means the writers with actual personality and valid views shine out more. There are a few reviewers that can review games properly, and those are Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw of The Escapist, Jim Sterling of Destructoid, and Brad Gallaway of GameCritics.com. Until most critics reach the level of these guys gaming will remain behind when it comes to coverage, acceptability, and respectability as a medium.
All you need do to highlight how bad gaming coverage has become is to go to Metacritic, pick out any big name title and see a list of God-awful me-too reviews. Then go to Rottentomatoes.com and check the top critic reviews for any number of films. The difference in quality is absolutely staggering, and works as an embarrassment to gaming.
- Gamers themselves. I have no problem admitting I love games, but at the same time I'm embarrassed to be considered similar to what being a gamer currently represents. On the whole, gamers are foul-mouthed, childish and sexist, to name a few common traits. Get a female developer to preview a game, and all you'll hear is "wow I'd f**k her", yet when a male developer previews a game the discussion is focused solely on the game; is it quite possible to push potential female gamers away from this medium any more? I don't think so.
Of course, any type of entertainment has its fair share of morons, but gaming is by far the largest. Unfortunately, being an idiot also means your general taste is awful too, but that doesn't stop gamers from spouting out what game is awesome, despite whether the game is actually good or not. IMDb has a list of the top 250 films ever made, voted for by movie-goers, and for the most part it's a pretty damn precise list. Do the same with games and you'll end up with some of the worst shit ever conceived by developers in the top 10, purely because it allows you to either A) Shoot people, B) Talk to AND shoot people, or C) Be massively over-hyped by publishers and reviewed so highly by gaming media that dumb-ass gamers believe it is the best thing ever.
Failing all that, just attend a gaming expo and you'll soon know what I mean here.
So yeah, you could say I'm quite opinionated on gaming-related subjects. However, to end this overly-long blurb on a high note, here's my top ten games of all time list (and a good indicator of what constitutes gaming quality, not OMG NOVELTY THIS GREAT I CAN SHOOT/STAB STUFF 10/10 bullshit employed by 95% of fucking reviewers).
Note: This list contains only my single best entry of a series, so all prequels/sequels won't appear even though I may hold them in higher esteem than other games listed (e.g. I like Ocarina of Time better than Broken Sword, but Wind Waker counts as my Zelda game from the series).
Note: The format(s) I played the game on is listed next to it in brackets.
1. Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker (Gamecube)
2. Okami (PS2/Wii)
3. Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars (PC)
4. Super Mario 64 (Nintendo 64)
5. Final Fantasy X (PS2)
6. Shenmue II (Xbox)
7. Resident Evil 4 (Gamecube/Wii)
8. Ninja Gaiden: Black (Xbox)
9. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (Xbox/PC)
10. The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind (Xbox/PC)
Xbox/Windows Live ID: Darth Ultimo
PlayStation Network ID: UltimoCrofto
Steam/general PC ID: Ultimo Crofto
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