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Randy Pitchford, Coney Fetcher
Posted on Sunday, March 3 2013 @ 15:11:30 PST

Randy Pitchford is a damned fool.  This is not news to anyone who has heard him make proclamations or try to defend his arguments or behavior.  This latest incident of 'Randy Pitchford made a fool of himself again' concerns an article at

Randy Pitchford on the "tug of war" Between Creativity and Business

The article begins with a far-too-polite summary of David Cage's latest self-serving hypocritical rant.  There's enough stupid in the rest of the article to go around.  Misuse of the word awesome more severe than a Dragon Age II promotion.  Use of the word 'this' in an indefinite fashion like a character out of a J.D. Salinger novel.  But wait, there's more!

"Borderlands, on one level, you can go, well the shooting stuff feels like Halo and the RPG loop is... Yeah, but I never got to eat a Reeses peanut butter cup until somebody decided to mix chocolate and peanut butter and thank goodness because those are so freaking tasty."

System Shock 2 did it better a decade in advance.  It didn't include lazy meme humor to cover the lack of intelligent writing, real jokes or story.  The art style was also not plagiarized (  Its systems were deeper and the experience overall much more rewarding.  As an 'artist' Pitchford is happy to tailor his beliefs and standards to match the desires of his corporate patrons:
"Is that bad or good? I don't know. I'd rather have fewer things that are awesomer because I can't play all this stuff anyway. You know what I mean? There's just so much that I can't keep up and I'm f***ing hard core. I play games all the time! And I can't keep up so I actually like the idea of fewer, bigger bets. I'm excited by that. And meanwhile, there's so much vibrancy in the indie world and there are so many more tiny bets. There's so much more diversity there. It's really awesome."

Isn't that nice?  His own team's lack of creativity can be excused by the necessitated conservatism of competing at higher and higher budgets and therefore needing to hedge risk as much as possible.  Maybe they can find another independent artist to rip off for their next big project's 'distinct visual style'.  Continuing on, the part which really pissed me off:
Video game violence has been in the spotlight again lately thanks to the terrible Newtown tragedy and the ongoing gun debate, but Pitchford believes the whole issue could be put to bed if the NRA would only act responsibly. For as much as game developers get frustrated by the ESRB's regulation, most - including Pitchford - recognize that it's for the good of the games industry.

"Think about the world's relationship and the game industry's relationship with the ESRB. The ESRB is our self-regulated ratings body; the industry created this body to put labels on games. Most publishers, we pay for the ESRB, but we also have this high tension relationship. They're really good at their jobs - they hold the industry accountable to fitting within the guidelines of whatever the label is and they will label appropriately. If you cross a line they will put you in a different spot, whether you want to be in that spot or not. And compared to the movie rating system, they have the best awareness and understanding of what their rating system is, and they have the best enforcement. Retail participates. That's awesome," Pitchford noted.

"Imagine if the NRA was actually advocating for gun laws; imagine if the NRA had the same relationship with the gun industry that the ESRB has with the game industry," he continued. "Instead of the NRA saying don't make any laws, now it would be like, 'F**k, the NRA's making me do all this so my guns are safer, and I get why they're doing it but it's kind of a pain in my ass.' That's how the game industry's relationship is with the ESRB. We love that it's there but we've got to deal with ****; we have to go through a process to get the rating. If we don't the retailers won't stock us, and when some of the content pushes the line a little bit they're going to call us on it and we have to deal with that. Imagine if the NRA had that same relationship with its industry, the rest of the country would be like 'Go NRA!' They could be good guys."
A short list of some things wrong with these three paragraphs:
  1. He doesn't know the difference between the NRA and the NRA-ILA.  It's an important distinction to not make.
  2. He doesn't understand that the NRA, as a whole, is a dues-paying membership organization - its advocacy imperfectly reflects the values of its members.
  3. The issue of video games rating is a very different one from the issue of gun control
  4. There are a whole litany of issues at stake such as a long debate on civil and natural rights
  5. Such a body as Pitchford calls for already exists - the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
  6. The aforesaid body (BATFE) routinely oversteps its authority and violates the civil rights of American citizens.  It's so common now it's become routine.
  7. The NRA-ILA has advocated for gun laws in the past, such as the 1968 Gun Control Act and the 1986 Import Ban.  They played an active role in authoring the 1986 law.
  8. Most improvements to firearms safety features since the beginning of the industrial revolution have come from designers and manufacturers.
  9. Last, but definitely not least, Pitchford appears to have the vocabulary and comportment of a twelve-year-old.  He is incapable of anything resembling a moderated and considered expression of a carefully thought-out idea.
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