A Taste for Pabulum

As I have indicated before, I am a simple man, and that is a philosophy I’m happy enough to embrace. In any real and fair analysis, I must admit that I prefer music that gets played on adult-contemporary stations. I tend to read books that tell a simple, well paced story. I usually avoid movies with complex agendas. And when it comes to video games, I like big-budget, blockbuster sequels from major publishers.

If statistics are to believed — and given how simple I am, I would suggest they are — then I’m actually part of a vast majority measured in multiple millions. If the video game elite and effete however are to be believed — and given how simple I am, I had to get the word “effete” from a thesaurus — then I am the cancer that is slowly eating video game creativity to death.

It has become something of a sin in many gamer enthusiast circles to hold a game in high regard that was mass-produced by a profit-focused publisher, or at least to esteem it as anything but moderately distracting pabulum that lacks the authenticity of most independently developed titles. And, since I’ve already waded neck-deep into heresy, let me walk a little bit further in.

While there are some indie titles that are genuinely entertaining and engaging, I think overall they have generally the same proportions of quality to shortcomings as the big names, and they are as likely to suffer from the same lack of polish, resources, depth and creativity as any other game. In short there is nothing special about independent games just because they happen to be indie.

There are plenty of games that seem to fall within the rubric of “indie” that I like, though most in a transitory, curious kind of way. I honestly don’t get the big deal with Minecraft — is that even an indie title any more? — much less Dwarf Fortress, but those games are like shellfish to me: I see that many connoisseurs I trust enjoy them, but please don’t serve them to me for my main course.

In most cases, I must admit that when I play an independent title I don’t feel like I’m getting anything more complex or deeply affecting out of the experience by virtue of being independent as I do out of any other game. I don’t find a higher proportion of exceptional experiences, nor any inner peace just because my money avoided the grubby hands of public traded companies. In many cases I find the games that claim to address a deep and complex moral issue or try to break the conceits of artistry in gaming to be too often fundamentally poor games masked ‘neath a mountain of pretentiousness.

Sure, there are games like Bastion or Mount & Blade that genuinely do something unique and interesting, and do it in a way that serves the gameplay, but that doesn’t have to do with that game being independent or otherwise. The truth is I’ve seen just as many, if not more, good ideas that I want to see fostered from major publishers as I have from indie games.

That’s not to say that I think there’s anything wrong with the independent gaming movement. It just means I don’t think independent gaming gets bonus points just for being what it is. If you want to sell me half a game that makes for a nice hour long distraction for $5 that’s great, but don’t try to sell me on the idea that it is inherently better than the stock on a Best Buy store just because of its pedigree.

To me, the real thing that independent gaming deserves to be praised for is the diversity they bring to the gaming spectrum. While I grant it no special credibility just for being outside the big studio system, I do recognize that the independent approach allows people to try things that might not be possible with the responsibility of tens of millions of dollars on the table.

This is not the day and age to step to the pulpit and say that big corporations ain’t always so bad, or that putting up with value propositions and asset protection is worth the price of admission to get to play big name games. There is and always has been the desire to see the little guy succeed where the big business fails, and I understand the psychology between proclaiming every inkling of success in indie gaming as a tide turning, David-vs-Goliath kind of moment.

I don’t really understand people who say that they are done with $60 games because such games are creatively bankrupt and there are enough indie games to play forever. I assume they are genuinely satisfied by the near-endless offerings of countless one-man bands and small development houses, but when I play the games propped up as exemplars of the best that indie gaming has to offer, I often find myself missing the polish, the spectacle and the bells and/or whistles that can only come with some serious funding.

I suppose the nice thing is that we happen to live in a universe of gaming where they can go their own way and I can go mine. They can fulfill that wish of never having to buy another full-priced game and satisfy whatever agendas prompt such desires, and I can sit in my easy-minded stupor and blow up highly detailed barrels with abandon. This, to me, is the best thing about a healthy indie movement. Both worlds can co-exist.

For me, though, the world of over-hyped, corporate produced, sequel driven, big-budget gaming is a comfortable and familiar place. C'est la vie.

Comments

I am 100% in agreement. Give me Mass Effect 2 over Minecraft any day, to name but one example in each camp. Sure, there are some great indie titles, but I would say that this is unconnected to their indie status, perhaps even in spite of.

The truth is I’ve seen just as many, if not more, good ideas that I want to see fostered from major publishers as I have from indie games.

And that's the crux of the issue, really.

Rallick wrote:

I am 100% in agreement. Give me Mass Effect 2 over Minecraft any day, to name but one example in each camp. Sure, there are some great indie titles, but I would say that this is unconnected to their indie status, perhaps even in spite of.

Please explain because I have a feeling I'm 100% in complete disagreement.

If you're looking at games, "indie" is just one of many descriptors you can use that has some meaning on what the whole game will be like, but you can't use it by itself. It's like some people clamouring for technology at any cost in games, the latest buzzwords and DX11, even though it's possible to make a spinning cube in both DX11 and DX3, and beautiful games from fairly primitive technology. Hitting the buzzwords doesn't guarantee a good game, it's what they're used to do. Indie implies to me a set of constraints, and also the lack of other constraints that games from owned studios have.

And that's the crux of the issue, really.

Oh, absolutely. I'm try to always be careful to make it clear that I am expressing my opinion and my take on things, not some kind of empirical pronouncement.

garion333 wrote:
The truth is I’ve seen just as many, if not more, good ideas that I want to see fostered from major publishers as I have from indie games.

And that's the crux of the issue, really.

Rallick wrote:

I am 100% in agreement. Give me Mass Effect 2 over Minecraft any day, to name but one example in each camp. Sure, there are some great indie titles, but I would say that this is unconnected to their indie status, perhaps even in spite of.

Please explain because I have a feeling I'm 100% in complete disagreement.

Mostly because indie developers, by definition, lack resources. Sure, one girl coding away on her pc can create a game. The problem is, she's going to have to know about gameplay design. She's going to have to know (rudimentary, at least) art design. She's going to have to be a sound engineer, or at least know where to find sounds and / or music she will be able to use. And, not least of all, she's going to have to know how to be damn good at coding. None of this is impossible, but it's a lot easier to be good at one thing than it is to be good at all these things. If any of these things is poor, then the game itself will also be poor. A great looking and sounding game will still suck if the gameplay sucks. A good game will not be nearly as much fun if it sounds bad, or if the noises and music are inappropriate.

There are of course plenty of games that show that these are not insurmountable obstacles. Braid, for instance, or Audiosurf in a totally different genre. But they do stack the deck quite significantly against indie developers. The big companies have entire teams working on just one of these aspects. Again, this is no guarantee that they will get it right, but as the saying goes, two (many) heads are better than one.

don’t try to sell me on the idea that it is inherently better than the stock on a Best Buy store just because of its pedigree.

If by "pedigree" you mean "just-by-the-mere-fact-of-being-indie" (as opposed to pedigree = "these developers worked on title x in the past which was really good"), I have a hard time believing that anyone who's really thought it through actually believes that. (Although it won't necessarily stop people from saying it).

But I think the other thing that's overlooked is the cost issue. People often aren't going to be able to afford as many $60 games as they have time to play, but they may well be able to afford (via humble indie bundles, for instance) more than enough indie games to fill their time.

Rallick wrote:

Mostly because indie developers, by definition, lack resources. ...

There are of course plenty of games that show that these are not insurmountable obstacles. Braid, for instance, or Audiosurf in a totally different genre. But they do stack the deck quite significantly against indie developers. The big companies have entire teams working on just one of these aspects. Again, this is no guarantee that they will get it right, but as the saying goes, two (many) heads are better than one.

The problem I have with the money argument is that money doesn't always equate a good game. Look at Homefront for example. That was supposed to be Ubi's CoD, but it didn't quite turn out that way.

Then there's the larger team argument, which is more or less the same argument. Yes, a team of 300 people with a ton of QA behind it will (hopefully) create a more polished game. That doesn't mean it's going to turn out to be a good game. But the more commercial indie teams (that make it to Steam, etc.) aren't just a one man job. There are designers, programmers, visual and audio artists and so on. The one man project is a wonderful idea, but it seems to be more myth than anything (unless you think an indie game is something on Newgrounds).

I think Scratched hit my position right on the head, so I'm gonna quote him:

Scratched wrote:

Indie implies to me a set of constraints, and also the lack of other constraints that games from owned studios have.

There's a freedom in indie development that is more hindered when working for a big publisher. Ken Levine can more or less make any game he wants and get funding, but the members on his team won't have that luxury. Instead, they can do what the folks at Supergiant Games did and leave EA to form their own company and make the game they wanted to (Bastion).

I think AAA and indie development (and everything inbetween) has its merits, but it's all about what you're interested in (which, as he said above, is at the heart of Sean's article). Sure, I'd LOVE Mount & Blade to look better, but most of the development went into it's gameplay. I'd rather have a crappy looking game that's interesting and fun to play than a bland game with good graphics. That's the difference between you and me.

And that's a fair position to take. I never meant to imply that anyone who preferred indie games is WRONG and STUPID, in case that's the way it came across. I personally prefer something a little more polished, like Sean. You may be right that indie does not imply single person, though I do still feel that a bigger team, provided it has the right leadership, has a better chance to make a better game. I deliberately didn't mention money because some of the teams on the mod scene are quite big, and they churn out some good stuff without having a budget at all. I guess those guys could be considered indie too, so I do see your point.

I think the definition of "indie games" is a difficult one to pin down. Star Wars is technically an "independent film," but I wouldn't call it an "indie film." I see "indie games" as a term kind of like "indie music," categorizing something in a particular genre rather than a production style. I think Minecraft would fit under this umbrealla; sure it has become hugely successful, but that doesn't effect the way it was originally created, or even how it plays now. It seems to me like you define "indie games" as the games not made by large production houses. Steam categorizes "indie games" as the smaller/simpler/shorter ones that are sold for relatively cheap (AaAaAA!!, Cogs, Cthulhu Saves the World, etc.). But while you categorize Mount and Blade as indies, Steam categorizes it under Action RPG (a subgenre of Action Games) rather than an "indie game." Would you include Sins of a Solar Empire under the banner "indie games?" You already demonstrated the difficulty in defining Minecraft.

I think of "indie games" as a genre, but I tend to think of them more as "proof of concept" type games. Games that revolve around a single gameplay mechanism or story element that that is the primary focus of the game. With AAA games you generally have multiple play modes, maybe an expansive story, top notch graphics, and a very large team working to create these things successfully. When I think of indie games I (personally) imagine them to be simple, often with 8-bit style graphics (but certainly not always), and with a focus on the main gimmick behind the game rather than a balance of fancy gameplay/graphics/story/etc.

I tend to enjoy the "artsy" free indie games. For example, The Artist is Present (http://www.pippinbarr.com/games/thea...), is barely a game, but it is a great commentary on this art exhibit that can be interpreted many ways by each individual player. Even more amazing is The Cat and the Coup (http://coup.peterbrinson.com/). I don't know if I would put these in the same category as Minecraft; and maybe they should be under the category of "art games," but that open a whole other can of worms... Now I would much rather play Battlefield 1942, Mass Effect 2, or even Super Mario Galaxy 2 more than these in the long run, but for 5 minutes, I got my brain thinking, I was exposed to information I hadn't been before, and I learned something (more relevant to my concept of the "human experience" than I would with those AAA games).

Really, I just think it is necessary to try and define "indie games" before getting into a big discussion about them. I would save us a lot of time. And while I love "indie games" (as both you and I define them), they take second seat to AAA (and similar tier) titles for me as well.

PS-I kinda hate adult contemporary, generally despise simple stories, and practically can't stand movies without complex agendas, but still love GWJ a ton!

I think what is special, or different, about indie games is that they are not tied to a particular style, theme, story convention, past series or the like in the way that major publishers now seem to emphasize. It feels like in the last few years the big publishers have taken fewer risks and created little innovative work, in exchange for the latest iteration of their several premier titles.

Independent developers have the advantage of being able to indulge any whim, and instantiate any idea their engine can handle. I read the article as arguing that both independent and major houses can produce good and bad games, but I think the point that is missing is that independent games are *financially* able to take more risks. Maybe you don't like Minecraft; which major publisher puts out a similar game that interest you? Maybe you like Armageddon Empires - which major publisher's series uses the same concepts? Binding Isaac, Dwarf Fortress, World of Goo, SpaceChem, Delve Deeper, Frozen Synapse, Mount and Blade... These and other games explore areas that major devs simply can't touch for reasons of revenue, and I think that alone is enough to differentiate them from their big brother designs.

I think people fuss about with the term "Indie" too much--it's not a flag. An independent developer means I know most of my money goes to them instead of some disinterested investor of a large dysfunctional publisher. Valve is independent. They have control of the IP and aren't publicly traded. So, this isn't inherently exclusive of big budgets. But because independent studios often don't have massive marketing budgets, people have to be noisy about "indie" games.

I've always thought calling these games "indie" is unfair to the term itself. "indie" music was a reaction to a music industry that had grown bloated and stale; "indie" cinema was for films that just couldn't get made in the studio system.

To me, it's a little premature to start demanding an "indie" scene for games. Gaming hasn't hit the kind of bloat and stagnation that led to "indie." If anything, this is the period of video gaming comparable to the 60s for music or the 70s for film.

Indie stuff is great, but it's great because it's great, not because it represents the only alternative to a hollow mainstream.

garion333 wrote:

I'd rather have a crappy looking game that's interesting and fun to play than a bland game with good graphics. That's the difference between you and me.

I'm not sure anyone here wants a bland game with good graphics. I, too, would prefer a crappy looking game that's a great game to a tech demo with no gameplay.

However, plenty of AAA games have great game play in addition to graphics. To go back to the "this is not the 80s of gaming" the Beatles had *amazing* production, AND they had fantastic songwriting. Right now, I don't have to pick between 'good gameplay/crappy graphics' vs. 'crappy gameplay/good graphics' anymore than music fans back then had to pick between good production and good music.

For me its more about price point vs cool idea.

Indie game = popcorn
AAA title = steak

I can enjoy them both. I don't eat steak everyday but I can down a lot of popcorn.

Elysium wrote:
And that's the crux of the issue, really.

Oh, absolutely. I'm try to always be careful to make it clear that I am expressing my opinion and my take on things, not some kind of empirical pronouncement.

This is why you can't make a living at sites that pay based on how many comments you draw.

Elysium wrote:

If the video game elite and effete however are to be believed — and given how simple I am, I had to get the word “effete” from a thesaurus — then I am the cancer that is slowly eating video game creativity to death.

A brief commentary about how high-minded the indie gaming elite really are:

Totally agree with the above. I am happy for the indie gamers - but I like a polished AAA title myself. It is a big tent, and I am just really happy that there is room for so many different tastes.

I love where the market is going.

I mostly agree with what Elysium is saying and have been trying to find a way to express my distaste (not hate) for the whole it's indie so its better feeling I keep getting. While I've enjoyed Shadowgrounds, Terraria and a number of other indie games, there have been plenty I haven't. Most notable among them being World of Goo (gonna give it another try), Audiosurf and Trine.

garion333 wrote:

Look at Homefront for example. That was supposed to be Ubi's CoD, but it didn't quite turn out that way.

Really? I didn't even know ubisoft had anything to do with it. I actually thought it was some low budget FPS that only people who liked to play a lot of military shooters knew anything about. Ubisoft missed the marketing boat evidently.

Homefront was by THQ. Carry on.

I like indie games because, by and large, indie authors don't abuse me. The large companies do. I don't care how good a game is, I will not be abused to play it.

"They can fulfill that wish of never having to buy another full-priced game and satisfy whatever agendas prompt such desires, and I can sit in my easy-minded stupor and blow up highly detailed barrels with abandon."

This is exactly what a lot of indie devs don't want. Not that they want to stop you from enjoying your fun, but they create the kinds of games they create because they see a gap in mainstream gaming offerings. They don't want to stay in an indie ghetto, they want to change mainstream gaming. They want to accomplish what Mojang did--forcing us to ask whether they "are even indie anymore". (As Notch said "I don’t want to work for Valve, I want to be Valve.”)

In other words, they disagree exactly with CheezePavilion: "Gaming hasn't hit the kind of bloat and stagnation that led to 'indie.'"

It's not that the industry is entirely bereft of creativity (nor was music in the 80s entirely bereft of creativity). But AAA Gaming has hit several waves of bloat/stagnation followed by creative revival in the past couple decades, ever since the crash in the 80s. And I think different kinds of bloat in the mainstream industry have prompted different kinds of indie games in reaction.

Take 2D platformers as an example. It's a reaction to the ugly 3D games of the PS1/PS2 era with broken controls (especially cameras) and overcomplicated interfaces that weren't really any deeper in strategy than 2D games of previous years. Indie gamers got sick of that crap a few years earlier then everyone else got sick of it, so they flocked to 2D games with simple controls. They demonstrated that simple 2D graphics could still be beautiful (Knytt, Aquaria) and 2D game play with simple controls could still be deep and emergent (N, Spelunky). If anything, the indie games of this arc were MORE polished than the buggy mainstream games they were reacting against. You may not like 2D Boy's World of Goo, but you can't deny that it's very well polished. The message of these games was: you don't need to have so many bullet points of the back of the box, it has nothing to do with how fun your game is.

The mainstream eventually evolved. It got better at the craft of making 3D games, resulting in more usable products. Thank goodness! Then there was the Wii, and casual games. Simplicity is big again! Then social gaming. Gamification. Metrics-based design. Uh, wait a minute, this is actually starting to suck. The pendulum has swung to the other extreme--like some kind of horrible anti-Zen, the industry has managed to bloat itself with the idea of simplicity. I remember an Kinect advertisement with a sentence that ought to chill anyone with a soul to the bone: "You don’t have to know anything you don’t already know, or do anything you don’t already do." That's the purest embrace of decay, entropy and tamas I have ever heard--it makes me feel a bit physically ill.

The industry has become particularly allergic to any sort of emergence or unpredictability--gameplay must be linear (actions have predictable, non-scaling consequences), to make sure nothing that the games designer didn't anticipate could happen, so that the entire experience could be optimized according to behavioral psychology to maximize the compulsion the player feels to keep playing--and keep paying. Games are perfectly addictive, and perfectly uninteresting.

So now the indie games that people can't stop talking about are about complexity. Especially the kinds of complexity that take things out of the developers control, that result in genuinely new, unanticipated events, like procedurally-generated and user-generated content. Thus all the buzz for Dwarf Fortress (a game few people have the patience to play), and, of course, Minecraft. Not that games with these qualities have been completely absent in AAA development--see Little Big Planet or Spore. But whereas the mainstream occasionally dips a toe in these waters and then decides it doesn't want to mess with anything that could disrupt its business plan, the indies just say "business? plan? huh?" and jump in head first.

So, yeah, the more-indie-than-thou types who boycott games just because they're big are being stupid. But who knows what ridiculous fad mainstream games will chase after next. You like the kind of games they like now, maybe you won't like the kind of games they make tomorrow. And then you too might be indie.

mrtomaytohead wrote:
garion333 wrote:

Look at Homefront for example. That was supposed to be Ubi's CoD, but it didn't quite turn out that way.

Really? I didn't even know ubisoft had anything to do with it. I actually thought it was some low budget FPS that only people who liked to play a lot of military shooters knew anything about. Ubisoft missed the marketing boat evidently.

Scratched wrote:

Homefront was by THQ. Carry on.

Ah, yes, THQ. And there was definitely a significant marketing push behind it. Not Activision level, but THQ doesn't really have that kind of money.

Edit: Not to drag this particular point out all that much (since it's not really all that apropos to the topic at hand), here's a quote about Homefront and it's cost:

With production costs of $35 million to $50 million and tens of millions more to advertise, Homefront is the most expensive video game THQ has produced. The company must sell 2 million copies just to break even, a company executive said.

From here.

It's an odd thing. To me, there's nothing special about indie gaming, too, but the same could be said of big budget gaming - there's nothing inherently special about those games either.

I'm really not a big fan of labels, and this extends to all facets of my life and my thinking. Could be some sort of brain damage when I fell from my crib at age 2. I grab games that I find interesting based on recommendations of gameplay or experience. Whether they're "indie" or "big budget" is rarely a point of significance for me, so I often forget which game belongs where, particularly because they generally don't have commonalities that are at all important to me.

I just don't care enough about that, I suppose.

World of Goo is awesome. Oh, it's indie. That's nice. It's awesome! Nice puzzles, great music, and interesting visuals are its strong suits. I love the way 2DBoy tweaked the controls to tailor to PC, Wii, and iPad respectively.

Dragon Age 2 is awesome. Oh, it's a big budget title? That's nice. It's awesome. I love how Bioware evolved their dialogue game/dating sim, and how the combat was really taken up a notch from the first game.

Er, which title was indie again? I've forgotten.

This is not the day and age to step to the pulpit and say that big corporations ain’t always so bad, or that putting up with value propositions and asset protection is worth the price of admission to get to play big name games. There is and always has been the desire to see the little guy succeed where the big business fails, and I understand the psychology between proclaiming every inkling of success in indie gaming as a tide turning, David-vs-Goliath kind of moment.

On the contrary, I think this is exactly the day and age to use your pulpit to say that big corporations ain't always so bad. Indie developers are great, but Mojang hit it big and employs, what, a dozen people? How many people draw salaries from EA?

It's all well and good to stand up and congratulate the little guy; if they made it big, good for them; but it's the big guys who cut the most paychecks.

I'm in agreement with Elysium here. The games I own and keep, rather than trade in, are mostly titles that get middling reviews on Metacritic. I loves me some Minecraft, but I also loves me the odd movie tie in (the Wolverine game was great, and Iron Man was actually fun once I mastered the flight controls) or the welterweight shooter (Wet was pretty fun, so was The Club and Borderlands)

Not everything has to be an Umberto Eco novel.

doubtingthomas396 wrote:

Not everything has to be an Umberto Eco novel.

The mere possibility that the opposite could ever be true - that there could exist a world where everything does have to be an Umberto Eco novel - is like ripping the lid off Hell so we can all get a good look inside.

Hans

The problem with culture today is this mentality that everything has to be either an Umberto Eco novel OR a Michael Bay movie.

Consumatopia wrote:

The problem with culture today is this mentality that everything has to be either an Umberto Eco novel OR a Michael Bay movie.

Very true. We'd probably call Jaws or E.T. a 'popcorn blockbuster fx extravaganza' if they came out today.

That said, I'd love to see Michael Bay make a film version of an Umberto Eco novel.

CheezePavilion wrote:
Consumatopia wrote:

The problem with culture today is this mentality that everything has to be either an Umberto Eco novel OR a Michael Bay movie.

Very true. We'd probably call Jaws or E.T. a 'popcorn blockbuster fx extravaganza' if they came out today.

They already remade E.T. as an FX extravaganza, though if Michael Bay had done it he probably wouldn't have turned all the guns into walkie talkies and somebody's car would have flipped over at some point.

As for Jaws, we live in a world where Michael Bay did a Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake, Tim Burton did a Planet of the Apes remake, and some guy named Gus thought that matching Alfred Hitchcock's direction shot-for-shot with new actors counted as a remake. Don't give them any ideas for new places to steal other peoples better ideas!

I'm not a huge fan of the Pabulum itself, as you call it, but I wholeheartedly agree with the crux of your post Sean. Of course, I do enjoy some big blockbuster mainstream games. I'm looking forward to my romp in Mass Effect 3, and I spent way too long with ME2. I agree the diversity that indie games bring to the table means that we get to try out new ideas more easily, which can only be a good thing, but they're not automatically good just because they were developed in a garage instead of an office. Indie music is much the same way.

Ultimately, I'm just looking for something engaging and usually at least a little bit different. If a game is literally doing nothing new and interesting, it just has to be executed extremely well to be worth the price of admission. Even then, that often means that there are actually unique little nuggets inside it, even if the exterior as a whole is pretty bog standard by-the-numbers. Uncharted 2 is a good example of that. The cover-based third person shooting was totally standard, but the cinematic approach and ridiculous technology on display meant that we did actually see some unique things, like a building collapsing in real-time with us inside of it, or a train level where the train actually moved and it wasn't just a scrolling backdrop.

I find that for most people, the polish is ultimately more important than being unique, and I get that. I understand where people are coming from. You see the same thing in movies. That's why the Transformers movies make tons of money while something that is unique, albeit flawed like say Scott Pilgrim fails miserably. Polish is comforting, but it can also be bland as a result. I'm more interested in whether I can walk away from something going "Hmm, I've never seen XYZ before".

doubtingthomas396 wrote:
This is not the day and age to step to the pulpit and say that big corporations ain’t always so bad, or that putting up with value propositions and asset protection is worth the price of admission to get to play big name games. There is and always has been the desire to see the little guy succeed where the big business fails, and I understand the psychology between proclaiming every inkling of success in indie gaming as a tide turning, David-vs-Goliath kind of moment.

On the contrary, I think this is exactly the day and age to use your pulpit to say that big corporations ain't always so bad. Indie developers are great, but Mojang hit it big and employs, what, a dozen people? How many people draw salaries from EA?

It's all well and good to stand up and congratulate the little guy; if they made it big, good for them; but it's the big guys who cut the most paychecks.

I like this idea of encouraging growth and greater employment where possible. I'm not a big fan of hoarding cash.

hidannik wrote:
doubtingthomas396 wrote:

Not everything has to be an Umberto Eco novel.

The mere possibility that the opposite could ever be true - that there could exist a world where everything does have to be an Umberto Eco novel - is like ripping the lid off Hell so we can all get a good look inside.

Hans

Look, folks, I think we can compromise. I'm totally cool with a world where Eco sometimes writes nonfiction.

Sean "Elysium" Sands is a blight on the industry!