Sunday, December 27, 2009

Malstrom's legacy

Sean Malstrom, blogger of Nintendo and all things Blue Ocean, has decided to not update his blog. The reason he states is because of the issues of greenwashing that are slowly changing things about packaging and distribution of games.

How did the community take this information? Well it depends on who you talk to. One group is cheering because they don't have to hear about his talk of business or disruption. Another group is caught in the throws of disinterest, and confused as to what the future will be for gaming. From what I've been reading on Neo Gaf and Destructoid, Malstrom is compared to either a lunatic, or Rush Limbaugh. To me, Limbaugh is the last person that Malstrom reminded me of. If anything Sean was gaming's equivalent of Howard Beale.

Rush Limbaugh wishes he were Howard Beale.

For those of us who are too young to get the reference, Howard Beale was a character from the movie, Network, who basically rejected the"bullshit" of the time and wanted people to get mad about the way they were being treated, and to fight against the injustices. His signature catchphrase was "I'm mad as hell and i'm not going to take it anymore!!" This causes many others to yell this phrase out of the windows of their own homes during the middle of a thunderstorm.In many ways Malstrom's rants caused people who were frustrated with the gaming industry to voice thier frustrations in a similar fashion. You can't deny that people weren't mad as hell with the problems plaguing both gaming and the gaming community, Or with the people who continually tell one thing, only for circumstances to turn around and prove exactly the opposite.
Much like Beale, Malstrom's critics have ofter referred to him as "crazy" or have jokingly called him "criminally insane", but is this really the case? The truth of the matter is Malstrom has made some solid cases in his discussions about disruption and Blue Ocean strategy, as well as some pretty accurate predictions about the status of certain games, and industry trends. This logic is also proven to be backed up with facts and data, which has often made them in many cases ironclad against the internet's love affair with blind quoting, and meme abuse. Still this doesn't stop his critics from trying to discredit him. A blog post about how Obama wouldn't win the election doesn't lessen the impact of Infinity Ward and Activision's collective screwing of the PC customer base, nor does it make developers any more correct in their logic of selling "tests" to Wii owners to prove that a hardcore demographic exists there. It certainly doesn't excuse IGN from it's recent statements towards Nintendo and it's owners.

On the subject of Disinterest....

Is Disinterest real? It does bother me that the major frame of thinking this generation is making games that play out like movies. I don't really understand the allure, nor do i really feel like these games are the direction that we need to go. This is often reflective in the amount of time I now find myself skipping cutscenes in the games i play, and the minimal amount of interest i have in these AAA blockbuster games that are revered all over the internet. I really have no desire for all games to follow this model, nor do i want to have a library of the same game or same type of game, and I know I'm not alone in saying that. So apparently, it's no coincidence that Malstrom's discussion of disinterest strikes such a strong chord with disillusioned gamers. The disinterest had to be already there in order to resonate so strongly. The problem has not, or will never be about how "the good old days" were better than now. the problem seems to be why are we seeming to lose sight of what makes a good game?, Why are companies ignoring the consumer? and why are we so stuck on emulating hollywood?

No more heroes???...

Seeing people get up in arms about his proclamation is interesting. Like with most, there are many people who see him as a hero, and find his commentary very refreshing against a cold and "hardcore" backdrop. I fall within this group, but I also understand his principles enough to respect his decision. Understand that if he decides to come back or leave, it's not the end. It should be the beginning! Anyone with a voice, should take up the mantle and blog. Blog about your disinterest, your dissatisfaction with the industry, How gaming should be in your own words. Read up on Blue Ocean strategy, read up on Disruption, Create gaming companies, start gaming journalism sites that aren't a bunch of trolling assholes. We all know that things are pretty much bullshit, so what are we going to do to change it? sit by and idly watch things get worse, or state that we're pissed and we're not going to put up with this shit?

As long as I have this blog, I have a voice, and damn it I'm going to use it to the best of my abilities... Ladies and Gentlemen... Gamers of all ages.. Game on!


  1. Yes this is sad but his content wasn't as good as it was back in the day.
    That said, it was the only blog I read on the internet, it will be missed. I hope he'll still post something for major news like the upcoming Switch updates.

    1. Yeah, I fell out of interest with his blog around 2011, when he basically went in a different direction with his content. I go back every once in a while to see what he posts about, but that's about it.