Experienced Points: Escapist and Me

By Shamus Posted Tuesday Jan 27, 2015

Filed under: Column 89 comments

My column this week is about the column itself. It’s about how the gig works and what kind of controls the site imposes on me.

For context, last week Defy Media (company that owns the Escapist) let a bunch of their staff go. I had no idea this was coming, and nobody really said anything afterwards.

Another interesting point: I set up the [email protected] email address specifically so people could propose questions for the column, and almost nobody uses it. The Diecast inbox is constantly overflowing with more stuff than we can answer, but people don’t seem interested in seeing questions answered in column form. I’m not sure why, but there it is.


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89 thoughts on “Experienced Points: Escapist and Me

  1. Aaron says:

    maybe no one uses the column email because they can draw 3-4 people off on wild unrelated tangents at a time instead of just one?

  2. WWWebb says:

    Ow! I think I just ruptured my cheek with my tongue.

    Considering the long, long, long forum section after the announcement, it’s probably a good idea to give people another chance to talk about things now that we’re a little farther away from the change.

    Bets on how many comments until someone mentions GamersGate?

    1. Otters34 says:

      Let us not even THINK about that. Personally I can imagine no better way to waste lots of time and gets lots of people angry about something totally meaningless.

      How about…er…Shenmue! We haven’t heard anything about that in a while. So how about that book-carrying puzzle, huh? Was that annoying or what?

      1. Ivan says:

        I agree, nothing that I’ve heard about it has convinced me that we won’t all be better off if the entire issue were just forgotten.

      2. newdarkcloud says:

        I’d rather talk about cupcakes. It’s not gaming-related, but they’re cupcakes.

        Who doesn’t like cupcakes?

        1. Bropocalypse says:

          I like cupcakes conceptually, but they’re slightly inconvenient when it comes to eating. The cake itself is usually too tall for my mouth once you account for the dollop of frosting, and that then gets all over my nose. Or inside it, eugh.
          In my ideal world cupcakes would be more like actual cakes, with the cake and frosting stratified more evenly.

          1. swenson says:

            I have adopted the cupcake sandwich style of eating them, and it truly is much better–cut the cupcake in half, put the bottom on top, and eat away. Now you can squish it down for more convenient eating without worrying about getting frosting everywhere!

            1. Otters34 says:

              That’s the best idea I’ve heard yet on the Cupcake Conundrum. Is anything not improved by making it into a sandwich?

              1. Rob says:

                I put leftover spaghetti between two slices of bread the other day (not enough left to waste a plate or bowl, too much to just throw away). Indeed, everything is better in sandwich form.

                1. Daemian Lucifer says:

                  Bread is the worst thing for sandwiches.Ive perfected the art of breadless sandwiches,and let me tell you,sliced tomato between two pieces of ham,or sausage between two pieces of grilled meat,or melted cheese inside a chicken breast is delicious.

        2. Daemian Lucifer says:

          Im still waiting for Joshkett to send me the pizza rolls.

        3. Purple Library Guy says:

          In my experience, cupcakes tend to be kind of dry compared to the same thing done as a proper full-sized cake. I suspect it has something to do with the small size creating a higher surface area to mass ratio, so it dries out easier.
          So given a choice I’d generally prefer a genuine slice of cake rather than a cupcake.

    2. KMJX says:

      Uhm, you put an excessive “s” in there.
      Gamersgate is an online game shop, and they kinda don’t like the association to that thing on twitter much, mostly because of the unwarranted abuse they got from people associating them with it.

    3. Isaac says:

      Thanks pal, now everyone and their mom is gone swarm this website and turn it into a GG battleground!


      1. Volfram says:

        Actually I don’t think very many GG supporters are left here. I know Twenty-Sided dropped several ranks on my priority list.

    4. Ronixis says:

      I bought Recettear from them, I think. I was able to get it… sort-of-DRM-free? It didn’t give me a nice install file, but did temp files normally, and I could back those up. I was happier with them than anyone else selling it at the time, anyway.

  3. Wide And Nerdy says:

    I’m glad you still get to do your thing but I’m also happy to see the Escapist at least try out this “enthusiast” approach.

    Its niche seeking. No harm in that. I think they saw there’s been a lot of negativity and criticism lately and that there’s been a call for a positive space (on all sides of any discussion, I think there are people who want this positivity).

    I don’t even think this means you have to lose your bite. You can make your points just as well highlighting what games are doing what things right as you can highlighting the reverse. And I’ve heard at least in parenting that catching someone doing something right is better for conditioning behavior than catching them doing something wrong. Probably similar here.

    1. A good example of an “enthusiast” reviewer like that described by the Escapist editor’s note would be Johnny Millennium over at Happy Console Gamer on Youtube. He keeps an upbeat attitude and brings a lot of excitement for his games. I’d be down with seeing if this is the track that the Escapist is going for.


      The tone of the editor’s note (“We want to focus on finding the good in the geekspace”) reminds me of that of well-meaning schoolteachers and relatives who tell you to just be nice without addressing how to be nice in the midst of bad situations. I don’t want them to ignore news stories for the sake of being the Disney channel, but it’s their choice if that’s the route they want to take.

      I will continue to read Shamus articles nonetheless.

    2. Ivan says:

      Yeah, definitely, starting out with the positive, moving on to what it got wrong and finishing on more positive wouldn’t be a bad format. You would still get to say what you need to say and your reader would walk away remembering a mostly positive experience (as it’s mostly the beginning and ending that we remember).

    3. Zak McKracken says:

      To be honest, after reading about a game on Twentysided, or watching a Spoiler warning season about a game, even if everyone liked it, I know so many of its flaws, and they’ve been featured so prominently that I end up not wanting to play it any more, no matter how much everyone says they like it. I can’t have such a deep hard look at everything that’s wrong and still be really enthusiastic about something.

      So, the “enthusiast” approach as in “talk about who got it right rather than who got it wrong” seems like an eminently good idea, and a good way from keeping parts of the audience from getting into this rather pessimistic mood.

      …but then, that editor’s note could be interpreted as discouraging people from mentioning unfortunate facts and demanding that games must get at least 8 out of 10 stars. … I would hate to see that.

      …that said, my info on games comes mostly from this site anyway, so this wouldn’t affect me much.

      1. Galad says:

        I picked up Alan Wake during the Christmas sale, since Shamus&co praised its story, even while they got tired of the gameplay. Let me know if you’d like updates when I get to playing it sometime probably in the second half of 2015 :)

        1. Volfram says:

          I picked up The Walking Dead seasons 1 and 2 and The Wolf Among us only after watching the Spoiler Warning LP. The Hitmas specials prompted me to buy the Hitman package when it appeared on Steam.(Spoiler: I am not as good as Rutskarn.) Spoiler Warning helped prompt me to look into doing Let’s Plays of my own, and the series is a big hit with even with my pickier friends: the ones who aren’t fans of LoadingReadyRun, for example.

          Speaking of which, I need to run over to YouTube to publish the last episode of my Nekopara demo playthrough.(That game is terrible!)

        2. Zak McKracken says:

          Oh, that’s funny because I got it maybe half a year ago during a GOG sale, thinking that it wsa a rather good game, after all, and it was really cheap. Haven’t even installed it yet because the appetite to play it is so much weaker than for the other games I have, and I only watched three of the AW spoiler warning shows…

          … and while not playing AW, I very much enjoyed my time with Brà¼tal Legend, though I’m sure the Spoiler Warning Crew would have ripped the gameplay apart (it’s really not very good…).

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:

            The expansion to alan wake is much better than the original.Just watch the original on spoiler warning and play american nightmare,and youll be much more satisfied.

  4. Otters34 says:

    I don’t write anything in to the Experienced Points address because you already discuss things I would never have thought of that are far, far more interesting.

  5. Dev Null says:

    Given the usual associations of the word, I like the picture of the young curmedgeons mellowing with age.

  6. Bloodsquirrel says:

    First I’ve heard of any of this. I haven’t bothered with the Escapist for a long time.

    This “enthusiast” stuff sounds creepily like wanting their content to be more thinly-veiled advertising. It’s not like the site is even particularly negative- they did give us Greg Tito’s DA II & III reviews, after all.

    1. Ivan says:

      I got that vibe as well, it sounded like they were warning against criticism, although I think everyone got the exact same e-mail. Though I will say that the only times i’m on the escapist are to read experienced points and zero and extra punctuation, so yeah, unless they want Yhatzee to leave that’s kinda his shtick and shamus has never exactly been abusive.

      Like I said though I don’t wander nearly as far as I used to on that site any more.

    2. Thomas says:

      I read it as being the same message as in Greg Tito’s; “Why I still call myself a gamer” article

      Given Shamus said he first heard this a few months ago, that seems to align very well. The Escapist was taking a real beating during Gamer Gate’s peak and gaters were constantly DDOSing the site, taking it down for fairly long lengths of time.

      I’m taking this as a further attempt to try and move on from that.

      1. Max says:

        Really, you’re going to blame GG for DDOSing the Escapist, even though its gotten huge praise for allowing open discussion of the topic on the forums, and updating its ethics policy. At the time of the DDOSing, the only people criticizing the Escapist were all against GG.But no there’s a group of people on the internet you don’t like so they must be guilty of EVERTYTHING,even if it doens’t make the slightest bit of sense.

        1. Isaac says:

          SO IT BEGINS.

          1. KMJX says:

            To be fair… that’s pretty much exactly how it blew up everywhere in the first place xD.

            Let’s not go into detail here. It’s forum material and it’s as volatile as most politics/religion debates, so I think it’s not really welcome on this site.

            Though I think most people here would be able to discuss it rationally, because that’s how awesome this site’s community is, I’d rather not initiate a discussion that might bring in less friendly third parties.

            We don’t want to top the Linux crowd’s reaction from a couple years ago, do we?

            1. Daemian Lucifer says:

              “Though I think most people here would be able to discuss it rationally, because that's how awesome this site's community is, I'd rather not initiate a discussion that might bring in less friendly third parties.”

              No,we cant.We tried it,both here and in the forums.It didnt work.The best we can do,as a group,is stop bickering about it and talk other things.

              1. James Bennett says:

                What you’ve said is very true. We have such a strong sense of community here that it can be easy to think that we all just naturally get along, but a big part of why we all get along is because Shamus has laid out (and enforced) some community rules that prevent us from having heated arguments about touchy subjects.

                Without those rules we wouldn’t get along nearly as well as we do now.

        2. Someone says:

          Dude don’t bother. You’re in Listen and Believe territory here. Close you’re browser and go enjoy a video game.

          1. kunedog says:

            No we aren’t; that’s unfair. The topic is semi-banned here, yes, but IMO (based on what I’ve seen during the whole thing) it is mostly an earnest attempt just to keep out the nastiness from both sides.

            That is in major contrast to other sites which claimed to ban the topic but censored only pro-GG discussion, especially during the initial news blackout and the “Gamers are Over” articles which followed.

            I know there are “cracks” and anti-GG sentiment sometimes leaks through, but Spoiler Warning and the Diecast have remained fairly unpolluted and watchable (and I never miss an ep of either). If you tend follow the gang offsite then you should recognize that Shamus’s leadership has accomplished something I don’t think many other people’s could.

          2. Otters34 says:

            Listen and Believe, meaning what exactly? I know its real meaning, but that doesn’t fit your use of it at all.

            1. kunedog says:

              What Tse said: Accepting wild accusations without proof.

              1. Otters34 says:

                Then say that and don’t abuse a perfectly good reminder about giving marginalized people credence and respect when they speak up.

                I don’t like it when people make false claims either, but the kind of blanket gutless, mealy-mouthed cynicism that’d turn that phrase into hallow jargon is so fucking stupid I can’t stand it.

                1. kunedog says:

                  IMO the phrase is flawed and makes for poor advice, just on the face of it (but yes I am aware of its source and “branding” and connotations and “real meaning,” etc.). I contend that “trust, but verify” is more sound, and I’m interested in the quality of a person’s ideas, not their marginalization.

                  Respect? Sure thing. Credence? Not so fast. That depends on the claims made, and the evidence presented.

                  1. Otters34 says:

                    Trust but verify? That means nothing now thanks to just such idiocy. People can and will grasp at even the flimsiest straws to support what they want to believe, and dismiss even the greatest amounts of proof if it opposes their worldview. If they bother to look for proof at at all and don’t just regurgitate what they’ve been told by others. Even people who actually do care about truth are all too easily swayed by its source and if it’s agreeable to them or not.

                    The whole point of that phrase, ‘listen and believe’, is to encourage people to NOT fall into that blind tribalism and actually pay attention when something’s brought up from a quarter they maybe don’t think about or care for too much. Which absolutely impacts the credibility of someone’s thoughts and words, even if their listeners are unconscious of it. Its true meaning is not blind acceptance of all claims but to actually take heed when claims are made.

        3. Thomas says:

          I thought this was all dead. A group of people were factually DDOS’ing sites all over the place, a core group of them base themselves out of _8Chan_ and actively dox critics, swat critics and all the other worst and absolutely illegal thuggish things you can do.

          Sure it’s only a small group, but this isn’t a symmetrical argument. There’s a heck of a lot less doxxing of people on the other side of the debate. There’s a heck of a lot less 8Chan.

          It’s not exactly like anyones going to go “Oh yes they DDOS Kotaku and doxxed that guy from BadassDigest, but it’s all okay because I hear they didn’t DDOS the Escapist”

          It’s not a wild accusation. The Escapist co-founder reported that the site was being DDOS’d and the GG thread in particular was being aimed. When I looked at the comments from a bunch of people from the Escapist thread who were talking about it, they were mentioning how the Escapist and Escapist contributors were put on the same list as some Kotaku contributors. Moreover the lead editor of the Escapist written _towards_ gaters trying to disarm some of the criticisms levelled at The Escapist.

          So I assumed they were being DDOS’d for that reason. It may be a wrong assumption, but that’s purely because a bunch of 8Chan’rs have created an enviroment where DDOSing the Escapist is one of the least harmful things they could have done.

          1. Anorak says:

            No idea who was responsible for the DDOS, but I find it unlikely that it was the gamergate lot. The Escapist was one of the only places allowing discussion at all, so what would be the point of ddossing it?

            1. Shamus says:

              I can’t believe we’re doing this.

              * GamerGate is a fractal thing with many sides and factions, all with different agendas that overlap in some cases. To try to extrapolate something as advanced as “strategy” from that mess is a waste of time. Escapist was hosting a thread. The thread makes someone angry. That person has a botnet. They use it to punish the forums that angered them. Is that bad strategy? Yes. Are we expecting social grace and media savvy from someone who controls a botnet?
              * “GamerGate” is both the name of the controversy AND the name of one of the two sides of a debate. If I say “GaterGate ruined my Christmas”, then maybe I mean that the people on Twitter did something that made me sad over Christmas. Or maybe I mean the controversy itself caused this. As in: “Watergate was the downfall of Nixon.”

              You are free to haggle over the particulars of which group of anonymous trolls is actually responsible for the various DDOS attacks with every single person who says”GamerGate caused X”, but… please don’t do it here.

              In fact, let’s just not talk GamerGate. This whole thing is an awful feud of fractal complexity, mostly taking place on a social media platform (Twitter) that is unable to handle nuance and complexity. If you were to engineer a debate designed to irritate people into hating each other, I doubt you could do better than this.

              Let’s let it rest.

              1. Hankelhankel says:

                If you were to engineer a debate designed to irritate people into hating each other, I doubt you could do better than this.

                That reminds me of a recent essay very much worth the read:


      2. Tse says:

        That’s exactly what both Shamus and GG don’t want – wild accusations without proof.

  7. Daemian Lucifer says:

    “Moving forward, The Escapist is eschewing the “curmudgeon” mentality that is so pervasive these days in favor of the “enthusiast” mentality that we want to foster among our community, and geek culture at large. We want to focus on finding the good in the geekspace, rather than focusing on the bad. We want to facilitate enjoyment, rather than disparagement. We want to talk more about the things we love, and less about the things we hate.”

    Oh for the love of…!Uuuugggh…I hate this stupid mentality of “if you criticize it you must hate it”.Seriously people,stop that.Im most critical about the stuff I love,because I want it to improve,rather to decline.Blind praise doesnt do good to anyone.

    1. Thomas says:

      They say that Zero Punctuation is not going to change it’s ways, and Shamus has said he’s not going to change its ways. With Jim gone, that’s the only two curmudgeonly things The Escapist does and they still plan to do both of them.

      I’m pretty sure this is just a reaction to a label they’ve been given(And pushing for a label they want to be given), rather than a statement that they were doing things wrong before.

      1. Joe Informatico says:

        And both of them have already mellowed out on their own. I empathize with Shamus completely–age tends to mellow you out. You can’t really get worked up into a white-hot rage over the same crap over and over again, so maybe you acknowledge the stuff that is better. Or you realize anyone can point out faults, but someone invested in the betterment of the medium as a whole might offer constructive criticism, or alternate suggestions.

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          Im not sure its just age on its own.Its more the fact that at some point you get to the peak angry with one thing or another,and after that,whatever you encounter is “at least better than that piece of crap”.Even if you dont do it consciously,you know that this new bad thing is not the worst.You appreciate even the tiny morsels of good in the new,because youve found the one thing that doesnt have even that.

  8. RandomInternetCommenter says:

    “Blind praise doesnt do good to anyone.”

    Blind criticism is even worse, and anyone who has been paying attention to the gaming landscape as of late must have noticed a certain tendency for people to confuse cynicism for intelligence. Sarcasm is one tool, not an entire toolbox. Writers, and indeed any commenter, would do well to remember the 1:10:100 ratio when it comes to content producers, active community members and lurkers. Gaming is huge, lots of smart people are reading your words. There’s inevitably someone smarter than you in there. The all too common assumption of stupidity whenever players have different views than their own just makes authors look foolish. Nobody becomes a giant by stepping on dwarves, and nowadays too many are fond of pointing and sneering at strawmen rather than formulate coherent arguments. It’s no wonder gamers are growing disinterested. There will always be a market for faux outrage and circlejerks between “enlightened intellectuals” standing above the unwashed masses, in gaming as in anywhere else; but as gaming matures, the backlash against such crass behavior will also increase.

    1. Cuthalion says:

      “Nobody becomes a giant by stepping on dwarves” is now my new favorite saying.

    2. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Except that people dont tolerate blind dismissal,but they not only tolerate,but even encourage blind praise.

      1. Humanoid says:

        We should encourage both in the hope they cancel each other out. The only reason it doesn’t work out in Metacritic is that the 0s and 10s cancel each other out to 5, which would be a perfectly balanced outcome if only numerical scores were rational.

        1. Asimech says:

          There’s no hope in getting score averages to make any sense, so from that angle neither matters.

          But from a content perspective it’s usually easier to pick when someone is accentuating the negative than when someone is giving a free pass.
          First: if the critic feels there’s no problem in something they’re less likely to mention it at all.
          Second: if they mention that something is good most critics don’t explain it past that. For the most part people don’t feel the need to justify (or explain) praise the way they feel like they need to justify complaints. Some critics even seem to get upset when someone asks for an explanation for why they think something works.

          On top of that a suitable problem can prevent someone from enjoying a game, since in video games people have to “earn” the option to continue and can’t e.g. just skim past it like with books. You have people focusing on the positive and you can bet on them leaving out things that are nitpicks for them but game stoppers for others.

        2. Zak McKracken says:

          Yeah, you should really look at the median score, not the average…

          1. krellen says:

            This is actually one of the few instances when the mode is probably the best average to use.

            1. Wide And Nerdy says:

              Agreed. That would probably solve some problems. Though chucking scores would still be better.

            2. Zak McKracken says:

              not sure though. Let’s say there’s a fierce “scoring battle” over some controversial title: Then it’d either get the top score or nothing, depending on which side gives more ratings, turning the whole thing into even more of a shouting match.
              Also, two different very good titles could have most people going for top score, but in one case it could be 70%, and in the other case it’s 45% top score, 37% second-best score and so on … median would show you a difference, where mode wouldn’t.

              … at the same time, median has weaknesses, too.

              The “best” summary would probably need to be derived from the first two or three modes, depending on how pronounced and far apart they are. At which oint the whole thing becomes even more academic than it is already.

              Maybe just average, median and standard deviation? The latter would certainly tell you how polarizing a title is…

              1. krellen says:

                In this context, saying average when you mean “mean” is needlessly muddying the discourse.

                Also, Standard Deviation would only mean something to people that understand statistics, who are not the people an “average score” are for on the first place.

        3. Wide And Nerdy says:

          We should encourage neither. And I only say that because we’re talking about ‘blind’ dismissal and ‘blind’ praise (actually, I don’t particularly encourage any kind of dismissal blind or otherwise).

      2. Ivan says:

        I think you have a bit of a grammar salad going on there. I only mention it because I am really having trouble deciphering it.

        1. Asimech says:

          Somewhat edited version:
          Except that people don’t tolerate blind dismissal. Meanwhile they do not only tolerate, but even encourage blind praise.

          If that still comes off as a salad I can try rephrasing. No guarantees on not misunderstanding Daemian’s intent, though.

          Edit: Actually, I’ll just explain it, just in case.
          Daemian seems to be saying that blind dismissal and blind praise aren’t directly comparable when it comes to severity because people often go as far as to encourage blind praise while being intolerant of blind dismissal.

          As I see it the logic is that this leads to people more easily giving a pass to blind praise while scrutinising blind dismissal. Which in turn means that the former has more potential for harm:
          With blind dismissal people are more likely to spot it and leading them to seek for another source or to dismiss the claim itself.
          With blind praise they’re more likely to just take it at face value, so they’re more likely to end up with a skewed view.

  9. Mistwraithe says:

    Regarding the email addresses for asking questions, I don’t really have any questions to ask so I haven’t sent any through.

    However I read every single column you write voraciously. Conversely I have never listened to a Diacast and suspect I never will. I have never watched through a whole let’s play either, I think a few minutes is the most I have ever managed and even then only a few times.

    It isn’t that there is anything wrong with them (I wouldn’t know, would I?). Video and audio content just doesn’t work for me. The writing is entirely why I follow this site and contribute. If sending some provocative made up questions to askshamus is the way to prompt you to write more columns then I could certainly give it a try!

    Just so that you know there are still some of us old timers who are here for the writing and little else…

    1. Bubble181 says:


      Though, of course, there’s nothing wrong with making video and audio content; it’s a personal choice not ot listen/watch and I encourage Shamus to keep doing what he does, namely, make the content that interests him and hopefully draws in some intelligent traffic.
      As long as there’s the occasional text as well :p

    2. Robyrt says:

      Same with me. I find print a lot easier and more fun to consume than audio or video, and I don’t submit any requests for column topics because I think Shamus is doing a great job picking topics already.

  10. Grenaid says:

    Maybe this is as good a place to ask as any:

    Shamus: Why does the Escapist still see HTML5 and mobile as a ‘premium’ feature that requires cash money to be paid?

    Apparently they’ve been running this since Firefox FOUR: http://www.escapistmagazine.com/subscription/help/video

    Maybe you can’t comment since you work for them, but I’ve found it frustrating in my attempts to drop flash.

    1. Volfram says:

      As the column this week points out, Shamus isn’t Escapist staff, he’s a content contributor. You’d be better off asking on the Escapist forums directly.

      OK wow, did I do something? My last 6 comments on this site have been put on moderation delay. I’d like to think I’m not usually that badly behaved.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        “OK wow, did I do something?”

        Yes,you forgot to appease the filter before typing your comments.You need to sacrifice a goat in a simulator now,or else they wont see the light of day.

        Joking aside,the filter is wonky.Its triggered by a rng.Dont fret about it,just wait for Shamoose to see your comments and let them through.

  11. Mephane says:

    I am still worried even though they might never say or do anything to nudge Shamus in a certain direction with the articles. There is a psychological effect that can make you subconsciously react and adapt anyway, without even realizing. Over here we call it “Schere im Kopf” (literally: “scissors in the head”), a kind of self-censorship that occurs without anyone ever demanding such of the author.

  12. Jokerman says:

    So they ” Want to focus on finding the good in the geekspace, rather than focusing on the bad.” There biggest contributor? uhh… Yahtzee Croshaw.

    1. Torsten says:

      If the changes in Escapist make Yahtzee stop telling dick jokes on every second paragraph of his column, I see that as a positive change. He is a smart guy but his “angry young man raging about videogames” character – that he still plays in his mid thirties – has always made his points harder to accept. Even when there has not been anything to disagree with.

      1. Jokerman says:

        I don’t think that has much to do with his “focusing on the bad” it’s really the whole point of his show,

      2. evileeyore says:

        Man, Yahtzee without dick jokes would be like Penny Arcade without dick jokes… okay maybe not as extreme as that, but my drift still stands.

      3. Wide And Nerdy says:

        I don’t normally like to pull this one out but really: Sounds like a personal problem. Yahtzee is not the vanguard of comedy or criticism, his show isn’t even close to that*. He has no obligation to be pure or representative, only to produce videos that entertain an audience. As long as he has an audience it matters little who is and isn’t a part of it.

        *In fact this seems to be a common thing. Something that’s not too serious becomes popular because its not too serious. Then when the people who take things so darned seriously see the influence its gotten, they want that thing to take seriously what they take seriously ignoring that its appeal comes from the fact that its not one of those things. I think it frustrates the serious people that their really serious stuff doesn’t garner the same kind of popularity so they have to impose it on non serious stuff that has become popular.

    2. Daemian Lucifer says:

      So?Yahtzee always points out the good in games,even in the games he hates.Whats more,in his extra punctuation column he often gives numerous ways on how to improve a certain concept.

      Once again,just because you criticize the bad in something doesnt mean you hate it.Quite the opposite,especially when you offer ways of fixing the bad to make the work much better overall.

      1. swenson says:

        Honestly, I think Yahtzee’s mellowed too. Maybe it’s just my impression, but I feel like when he started off, he never had anything good to say about any game, but now he’s a lot more willing to bring up when a game had good aspects (even if other parts sucked) and even give straight-up positive reviews.

        1. Otters34 says:

          I’ve noticed this as well, he really has gotten more forgiving, though not towards modern military shooters or seriously bsd games. If anything he’s even harsher towards those.

        2. Kylroy says:

          I think Yahtzee may have gotten an important memo (“never wavering from being an Angry Young Man eventually makes you a Grumpy Old Man”) that Harlan Ellison never did.

    3. Wide And Nerdy says:

      I think this whole thread sort of underscores the need for more positivity in our community. Not that any of the preceding is invalid, but we could use a counterpoint.

      1. Ivan says:

        All I see being brought up is the issue of positivity and Yhatzee. I mentioned elsewhere that I haven’t explored the escapist much recently and so I have been looking for more examples of people who are generally more negative about games than positive, but Yhatzee is the only name I’ve seen brought up so far (well his and Jim(quisition) once). This isn’t exactly the entire community, just two dudes.

        1. Wide And Nerdy says:

          No my point is that we’re immediately focusing on the couple of personalities we know who don’t fit the mold. Mentioning Shamus is obviously understandable, but mentioning the one other person who fits?

          And I don’t think Yahtzee is that out of place. He’s more like the Don Rickles of video game criticism. Being bashed by him is different than being bashed in earnest by a straight critic.

  13. Ingvar M says:

    I didn’t know it existed. Bt now I do, so I asked you about type theory. Because, why not, right?

  14. Halceon says:

    Shamus, it’s either Defy Media or Deft Media and I can’t figure out which. Your post here and the article disagree on that point.

    1. Shamus says:

      Fixed. Thanks. (It’s Defy.)

  15. I go to the Escapist when you link your column (and then I wander over and catch up on Critical Miss). I don’t ask you questions because I haven’t thought of any good ones, whereas I had a couple for the Diecast.
    You could always poach Diecast questions if you think they’d make good columns, I really doubt anyone would mind.

    Hmmm, questions…
    The only one I can think of right now is ever considered doing a one-of DM of the Rings of the Hobbit? Or even a write-up of how you think you’d do it, since I know getting screencaps is a long process (possibly made shorter if you can use VLC media player with fraps to screencap automatically every so often). I kinda see Bilbo as the clueless first-time player, and the interchangeable dwarves being played by a couple of people who always have to be the center of attention (the only times I’ve seen one player run more than one character at a time in D&D have been either people like that, or the one time I had to because 12 characters needed more than one dedicated healer).

    But that is probably not a workable Escapist column topic, even though it would be AWESOME! Also, I’d love to see a Shamus Plays again, though I totally understand if that’s not in the cards. You’ve given me many years of awesome entertainment, and I appreciate it greatly.

    And now I want to reenact the Hobbit in ESO online once it goes F2P. I’m just going to blame that on the fever. Stupid immune system, only fiddling with the temperature button as a last resort.

    1. Ivan says:

      HA! A DM of the rings would probably be the only way I could ever enjoy that finale.

      Jumping OVER your allies shield wall into an enemy charge!?! Elf Kebab anyone?

      Sorry I have serious problems about watching such tactics in movies and not seeing them as the blatantly stupid waste of dudes that they are. I had the same problem with Avatar: Our blue people are in 3D! When they all charged from the same direction rather than using their superior mobility and guerrilla tactics to surround the space marines and attack them from all angles at once.

      In any case there are obviously 13 dwarf characters because the dwarf race is OP in the most recent expansion, so everyone rolled a dwarf to cash in on those sweet racial perks!

  16. Purple Library Guy says:

    “This is a tough market, and change is inevitable.

    Except for this column. I doubt I’m going to change.”

    So I guess what you’re saying is, change is actually evitable. And you have evaded it. Congratulations!

  17. Geebs says:

    Good gravy, that editorial by the new EIC is the creepiest, most obviously bogus piece of “optimism” seen since the days of Muhammed Saeed al-Sahaf. I could almost see his corporate master leaning over him, silently mouthing the word “synergy”

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