The Jimquisition: Big dumb shooters are better than 'art games' -

The Jimquisition: Big dumb shooters are better than ‘art games’

Views: 47078
Like: 929
In a spirited response to past and present colleagues who have written off mindless fun as … mindless fun … Jim Sterling goes to bat for dumb shooters like Bulletstorm and Gears of War, arguing that they do more for art than you might thing.


  1. Don't forget that thin line between normal and pretentious.

  2. This is why we have movies and video games…

  3. Interacting and taking part in a story, (even if in the most primitive levels) is not the same as watching a movie.

  4. Most games that people claim to have good story just tell a generic story, i have found the best storys out of games come from the players own actions(not like mass effect). People obsess over the walking dead but the game itself is nothing and the story is pretty linear outside of a few choices you can make nothing ever shocked me about the death of a character because its a zombie apocalypse and you know people are gonna die.

  5. Everyone's got their own preferences in terms of story, it's still different than watching a movie. Of course, as in anything, there ae extremes, like The Graveyard where all you do is hold a button and watch, so it's not even much of a game.

  6. Also, most of the time it does not matter if the story is rather generic precisely because it's a game, so what makes it different is the way you experience the story, through gameplay, it's not like sitting and watching the same kind of movies again and again.

  7. Most games not all but the bulk tell their story through a clip of video with some kind of story bit tied into it much like that recent zombie game that everybody was flipping over.

  8. Yeah, I agree that The Walking Dead was kind of overhyped, but it had a pretty good story imo, it's not every zombie game that makes you face such tough decisions like that, and it did a pretty good job at making the characters feel real and believable. Yes the story was pretty much the same no matter what you did, but the way your choices influenced your personality and the way other characters reacted to you was still pretty cool to see. But yeah, that's just my opinion.

  9. Please explain. I like fun things too – what I'm saying is that fun and artsiness can co-exist, not that art is better.

  10. Please elaborate how I am being pretentious.

  11. No I haven't and I see your point but you may of missed mine. Spec Ops (in my opinion) made repetitive enemies part of the over-arching narrative; the tedious slog of wave after wave of enemies symbolic of the protagonists war-weary mind slowly collapsing under the numerous horrors he's both witnessed and is accountable for.

    Serious Sam is a whole different genre of game, realistic shooter's of today are a result of marketing expectations rather than creative stagnation in the industry I think.

  12. Fair enough, they aren't always incompatible… but in big dumb shooters, they are. Now The Last of Us managed to have a fun shooting aspect (even though many anti-conformists disagree) and great depth (even though many anti-conformists disagree).

    Still, if a game is one or the other, I'm going to skip completely over "wheee"… Wheee is kind of boring.

  13. The Path's message?
    "Duur, we're subversive because if you follow the Path, you loose!!! Hurhurhur, we are being arty by turning everything on it's head!! DUUURRR!!!!"
    Depth: None.
    Quality: THIS IS A BLIZZARD OF BALLS!!!1!!

  14. You're not being pretentious at the moment.

  15. @zkjitwi i agree one of my top 10 BUT! this game is tight been playing all day ==> tiny.ccfal71w

  16. I'd argue 'fun' and 'enjoyment' aren't the same thing I enjoy playing Silent Hill 2 but it's not always 'fun'

  17. Extra Credits left over a row with the Escapist about Alison's fund.

  18. I like The Path though x.x It's not really something that I really think of as a game though. It's more like an interactive piece of artwork ment to be looked at and admired for being just that

  19. They may not be the same thing, but I don't necessarily think that one can exist without the other. You can't honestly say that you enjoyed something doing something if you had a bad time doing it, just as you can't say that you had fun but did not enjoy it. These may be different concepts, but I believe they go hand in hand with how much we may like something. You like this game because you enjoyed it, and you enjoyed it because you must have had a good time while playing.

  20. This is why I don't understand when people say that such games are just inherently not fun, even those that like them. They may not be the blatantly zany fun that you would find in a game like Katamari, but just because a game is deep, emotional or dramatic, does not mean you can't find enjoyment or have a good time. Schindler's List is not a film that anyone would call a "happy romp", but if someone says it's the best movie ever, but they wouldn't say so if they didn't enjoy it.

  21. hmmmm that is a good point. I guess that Silent hill 2 at least 'excites' a part of my brain even if it is both my pretentious la-de-dah side of my brain and shit my pants.

  22. I really liked Spec Ops: The Line. It had a great story, and if the gameplay was a bit generic, well, it wasn't awful, so it was a good game.

    I really liked Bioshock. The story, my gosh that reveal, and the insane fun of shooting lightning from your hands and hitting people with a wrench whilst they convulse.

    I really liked Just Cause 2. Should be pretty obvious why.

    I really like Rainbow 6 for the challenge.

    All of these games have different draws, but all share one thing: I find them fun.

  23. There was nothing wrong with enjoying art. Madoka Magica is a wonderful series with unfathomable depths. Conversely, Redline is brilliant because of its cheesy simple plot. And the retina burning animation. You can enjoy different ends of the spectrum. You like what you like.

  24. not fun = boring, you know. If you're not having fun, what are you doing playing a game?

  25. I had fun playing Papers, Please and Spec Ops: The Line. They also were interesting on an intellectual level, but they were a source of entertainment, a distraction, something enjoyable. AKA 'Fun'.

  26. "Fun is paramount." But a good game isn't always necessarily "FUN."

    Spec Ops: The Line was a soul-crushing march into the hellish darkness of war, which repeatedly rebuked the player for playing it. It really wasn't FUN at all. But it was engaging and deep. So no, not every game has to be FUN in order to be loved/respected. But it does need to be ENGAGING. It has to hold your attention either with laughs, delight, sadness, or action. Whether the game is FUN or not is a different story.

  27. Interesting to hear him argue this case, because I have been saying for a long time that I think video games can provide completely unique experiences, and can use the medium to create wholly new forms of art, and be more than just your "dumb shooter" – yeah, I have always thought this. I also like mindless entertainment if it's of acceptable quality, so I partially agree, but still want to see more from – nah, I don't care about video games lol

  28. Now the games that I have seen come along which I have found satisfyingly artistic… have all been very goo, very fun games. Braid I love. Limbo is also really cool, and a lot of fun. So is Shadow of the Colossus. So yeah, it's important that a GAME is fun, but I would like to see GAMES for ADULTS become something more than they are, because I'm an adult, and I can't fucking stand manboyism geek fucktard idiotic bullshit. I'm a fucking adult male of above average intelligence.

  29. City of Heros one of the great superhero games now defunct it was well played for a decade and plenty to do in those games Infamous is ok but we need a sequel to city of heros where you can create you own superhero or supervillian.

  30. doesn't have to be fun to be good. ask spec ops

  31. I see comments saying mindless fun is lazy, boring, repetitive, blah blah blah. At the end jim said a game with the ability to trun ur brain off and is enjoyable to play is, in his opinion, "the highest form of art." That eliminates many repetitive games as many people find them boring. In fact you can say all games are repetitive if you shred them to there basic form you're constantly doing the same thing (gameplay wise) and yet many people how found ways to make these tasks different enough that they are considered fun to play by many different people. The mindless games that manage to do this. The games capable of making shooting guys in the face for the sake of shooting guys in the face, not fighting In horde mode constantly, fun and not feel repetitive is very difficult and, in Jim's opinion a true work of art.

  32. Goddamn it, being engaging and deep is the same thing as being fun. And if it wasn't fun, you would think it was bad and wouldn't be playing it.

  33. The only "art" game I've ever played that truly blew me away (besides Team Ico's two masterpieces) is Loom, the point & click adventure game from LucasArts.  I played that game as a kid and I couldn't get it out of my mind for a long time.  But that's just me.

  34. Gears is fun but the dom story has heart

  35. Those sunglasses look like something a meth addled street hooker would buy from a gas station

  36. In which JIm sees the games journalism industry start to preach SJW religion, and he is confused.

  37. So basically all you're saying is that 1 type of game is just as valid as another. And the headline saying big dumb shooters are 'better' is a load of click-baity bullshit.

    Yeah, I see what you did there, Jim.

  38. That Kevin Spacey comment in 2017. Damn it.

  39. Fun isn't "enough": fun is "everything". Your game can be the most deeply philosophical, moving, meaningful thing ever shat out by this industry, but if it isn't fun then I don't give a shit and won't play it let alone buy it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.