I should of known when Sony put a dvd player in their ps2. I should've known when Xbox put Netflix on the 360.............Blue rays on the ps3, hulu, espn, twiter, facebook,....I should've known. Known what you ask? I should've known the game plan. To be honest i always knew Sony and Microsoft were building their consoles after the Walmart / Target "one stop shop"  business model. I just didn't have time to analyze the thought do to the invention of Call of Duty multiplayer. Seriously who had time to think about such things when their trying to get 1000 headshots with a draganov. Anyway i dont play online anymore and frankly im disappointed in the hollywood movie path most games have taken. Now with the next gen consoles around the corner, threatening the world with "always connected", im starting to see their master plan come to fruition. They, sony + microsoft, Both want to be the Walmart of digital entertainment. 


Ok here we go, is Walmart good or evil? IMO its evil, but guess what the question is irrelevant because its the only place to shop, at least in some areas. Ive tried to boycott Walmart my whole adult life. I haven't shopped there in about two years but there were more times than not where i simply had to throw my ethics out the window and shop there. Lets face it, this is the capitalistic dream of all corporations. Keep growing and kill all competition [at least when your publicly traded]. Sony and MIcrosoft sell digital entertainment not food or medicine, but i feel the comparison is worth taking a look at.

I like to think the art form we call gaming is like a man in his sophomore year of college. He's right at that moment when he's seen his talents and potential but he also sees the cold fact that money must be made. A fork in the road where he must decide who he wants to become. This is dangerous times for us gamers because gaming has a lot of evolving to do. It still lacks artistic expressions that movies, books, and TV have. Theres still no comedy or romance section for gamers. Its basically jump this, shoot that, level this up, then take it online. With the "one stop shop" mentality i can only imagine how much energy is wasted trying to bring you netflix or espn. That money, time and man power should be put into gaming. Imagine how great Kinect could be if the focus was on that instead of facebook. 

Lets try a thought experiment. Imagine a parallel universe where the internet grew before video games. Lets say because of war or economic troubles the world was able to have an internet similar to the one we have in our world but video games never took off. Ok now imagine the war / depression is over and people are ready to play video games. Would this parallel universe create a gaming industry as revolutionary as our worlds nes, genesis, snes, n64, and ps1. Or would the already in place internet with its add revenues and all give us a chrono trigger that has adds for Redbull cleverly placed throughout the game? Would we even see rpgs? Lets face it rpgs were not created by board room executives in black ties. They were made by a few creative artists who wanted to create interactive art.

When i ask myself how has the internet changed gaming, i find my answers to be more negative than id like.  BUT, Lets start with the good. I loved the FPS renaissance when it first happened. CoD hit my sweet spot. It might of been HALO, or QUAKE for others. Regardless the game its clear everyone was loving all the online competition. Same for sports titles. Its great being able to play a game of ALL PRO 2K8  with my brother halfway around the world. Add the ability to talk to him live and i thought i was living like the Jetsons. Staying with my sophomore analogy from earlier, this time when home consoles rooted themselves online is what i refer to as the puberty stage. Its when games stopped being for little boys and girls. Now adults were playing. Koby's doing CoD commercials and Chris Kluwe's on Replay. However there are some awkward growth spurts that came with this online gaming evolution. 

What is the internet? seriously how would you answer the question. Id say its all information the human race has collected, accessed through a digital devise of your choosing. Should there be a "one stop shop' for this devise? I say no because when we deal with elements of life vital for survival, food, water, gas, air, and yes, the internet should never be monopolized by any corporation. Well my friends this monopolization is Sony's and Microsofts goal. 


The negative sides to online gaming-

-There are many, but my number one is the games are limited. Im not up on my GAME OF THE YEAR awards but has there ever been a GOTY awarded to a strictly online game. Isnt that honor given to single player games like MASS EFFECT, or ASSASSINS CREED? It seems the majority of online games are based on competition and nothing else. Be it fps, sports, or racing. Yah theres DARK SOULS but that works just fine offline. The only way i can see online gaming not being competitive is in a case like Sim City or  a GTA where every person in the world is controlled by a real person. But even then how could you build a game like that and have any type of narrative? How could that not devolve into competitions like races or gang fights? If you could only play online multiplayer games or offline single player games for the rest of your life, which would you choose?

-ADDS ADDS ADDS. The F$$$s let advertisers in. This is bad on so many levels. I can hear it know, "lets leave out the nipples so we can rate better on the ESRB enabling us to get the nike product placement". Whatever your opinion on nipples in video games is im sure you could see how some projects can be altered to get more add revenue. Hell there may be the best video game idea ever out there but it will never be made because some suit thinks its to controversial. Adds are also bad because once you have a taste for add revenue you never go back. This has mutated into all the apps like netflix, facebook, and espn. I like watching movies on my xbox and all, but what has happened is companies devote time and resources into these high profile hackable apps instead of focusing on the evolution of gaming. 

-"Always connected" + CISPA make baby want to cry ;{   I just cant get into CISPA in this blog so all i can say is "if ya dont know now ya know,.... ninja"

-You can get hacked. Remember sony's ruff month? sure ya do.

-online chats are consistently the most offensive, ignorant, racist conversations i can find on the internet. Im not saying all games have idiots playing them. Im sure MONSTER HUNTER  has a good community. Im talking about the big money makers. the CoDs and Battlefields.

- hackers working the glitch. Thats a person who no longer has fun with his online game so he decides to f$$$ everybody  by making him invincible to bullets or impossible to tackle. or maybe i suck.

-Servers dont live long. How long will your favorite online game's server be running?

-The patch culture was created. "i dont care if the mammoth floats ten feet off the ground, or you get stuck in geometry. GET THE GAME OUT THERE! We'll patch it later." This is how i envision bethesda's conversation went before the release of Skyrim. I hate the vast majority of patches because they give developers a loophole. They can sell broken products then TRY to fix them once they have your money. GANSTA! 


Debatable grey-

-indy games. This seems to be the fork in the road for gaming. An argument could be made that xbox live and psn are the greatest thing to happen to games because it gives unknown developers a chance to show their art. You could also argue that they are poorly promoted, hinting that maybe sony and xbox dont like all this thinking for yourself nonsense. You could also say buying an indy game from psn or live is like going to Walmart or Target to buy the new controversial book "Why We Should Boycott Walmart''. Ive said for a long time, some developer needs to make the Photoshop / Illustrater for video games. Give us gamers the ability to create a game from scratch then sell or share it online free of charge on xbox live or psn. This of course will never happen cause those two are greedy.



What is art? IMO its an expression of ones self through manipulating their reality to create something better and new. Being a painter and musician most my life ive realized not all art is good. Theres the art of war. There is an art to creating a financial ponzi scheme. Im not interested in negative art. I like art that inspires and helps me evolve my consciousness. Games have the power to do both. I also believe art is at its best and truest form when its done by one or two people. The more people involved the more opinions are involved. This dilutes the very spirit of the art, and in most cases mutates it into a completely different being.


Can art and the internet coexist? Absolutely! The internet has been my greatest tool for getting my art out. The question is can the art form known as video games coexist with Wallmart and Target,......i mean Sony and Microsoft? If you say yes, do you think its the good art or bad art? 


Id like to leave you thinking about SEINFELD. I think that show is one of the greatest pieces of art mankind has ever produced, but thats just me being a nerd. My point is the show was the idea of Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David. Their original idea was to have a camera follow jerry through his everyday life. They didnt even want Elaine because they didnt know how to write for a female character. On the flip side Elaine was NBC's idea because they wanted jerry to have a relationship, ya know for da ladies. Anyway or should i say yada yada yada The reason that show was so great is because its the product of  crazy Larry David fighting tooth and nail to keep his original ideas intact. However the show was also great because of things like network censorship. The writers had to tip toe around the word masturbation creating the clever phrase "master of your domaine". I mention this because i dont want to see Sony or Microsoft get out off gaming, but we as consumers and artists must fight these greedy companies. Not to the death but we most def got to get LD on they ass from time to time.



So as of now im boycotting any always connected system. I still need to play all the Assassin Creed games, Mass Effects, Dishonored, Tomb Raider, Batman AC, Bayonetta, Fire Emblem awakening,.....hell i still haven't played Majoras Mask! My point is there are hundreds of games i just haven't got to. I might even be able to hold out four years after the system launches...............But i know what lurks in the darkest bowels of the video game industry,          MADDEN!!!!!!!!!   you get me every year :[