Friday, January 14, 2011

Till all are one....

Arc System Works director Takeshi Yamanaka did an interview with EDGE recently. Here is the blurb from that interview featured on EDGE's website

Blazblue director says industry should dismiss notion of east-west divide and just make games they want to make.

BlazBlue director Takeshi Yamanaka has dismissed the notion of distinct western and Japanese audiences, saying instead: “I only see gamers.”

Yamanaka’s comments form part of an interview in our new issue, E224, in which we visit Arc System Works to discuss the state of the Japanese arcade scene, changing business models in the digital age and modern fighting game development.

Asked if he ever considered taking BlazBlue in a direction that would appeal more directly to western tastes, Yamanaka flatly declares: “Absolutely not. If you want to make a game that appeals to the west, you might as well have westerners doing it.

“Personally, I don’t view users according to their nationality, but rather as gamers. I make games for people who like them. If there are people who like fighting games with Japanese-animation-style motions and a fantasy setting, I’m making the game for them.

“I don’t understand why some of us in the industry want to draw a line between the Japanese and overseas industries. I see only gamers, with various tastes.”

Yamanaka’s comments come as the days of Japanese developers focusing their efforts on western audiences appear to be coming to an end. Last month Namco Bandai followed Capcom in saying it was shifting focus back to domestic shores after titles aimed at western gamers met with disappointing results.

E224 should be hitting subscriber doormats in the next few days, and will be on shelves on January 18.

Growing up with gaming back in the 80's I didn't really get to experience much of the split between gaming that was supposedly there between the PC and home console market. All I saw were kids like me who were enthusiastic about gaming. Every Saturday afternoon the arcades were bustling with kids who came from all over to spend quarters and hang out. Gaming itself was a social phenomenon that crossed boundaries and broke barriers to get people to play them. Wherever you were there it was. Years later. the controls are different, the games are somewhat different, and gaming is still bringing people together. 

Like that youtube video I posted a while back there are no Hardcore gamers, just hardcore games that require you to spend lots of time and effort to complete them. The 'Casual' games are just games that are easier to pick up and play and are aimed at a wider audience, but ultimately these are corporate buzzwords that are too vague to define something that never needed these terms in the first place. 

We are gamers plain and simple. 

It's something that isn't restricted by caste, race, gender or age. A toddler watches their siblings, cousins or parents play video games and immediately grows fascinated with the colors and things going on and wants to be a part of it. So they pick up a controller and mimic what they see others doing. Eventually they too become gamers, if even for just a short period of time that spark is already there. It's amazing to see a child who is just learning how to speak that enthralled with gaming as a full on adult who grew up in the 80s, but this does nothing but prove my point; gaming has no limitations, and is something we all have in common in one way or another. 

That's why it's incredibly stupid to see people stating that gaming should be catered to one segment of people over another. It's about as retarded as people thinking that any one race of person is the most deserving of privileges over another. Again, Gamers are gamers. We all enjoy taking time out to pick up a controller and get lost in a game world, it's just some of us like spending a bit more time lost in that world than others. We're all doing the same thing and yet we're dividing ourselves into corporate created subcategories. This makes about as much sense as categorizing people by their oxygen intake. ("i can't see why you half breathers don't take in as much air as we do")

A couple weeks ago, we were throwing out resolutions for ourselves to lose weight, and to improve our lives. I propose a new resolution; Let's get over this petty bullcrap of dividing ourselves by the games we play, and just work on considering and calling ourselves what we've always been - Gamers. 

I know this post is a little preachier than the norm, but gaming is is for everyone, and I won't stop preaching this until we all take notice..and until all are one. 


Game on!

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