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FEATURED VOXPOP oblivion437 Update: I was unfortunately not aware of Shamus Young's severe criticism of Fallout 3 available here to link in the original piece and I regret that.  It dovetails rather nicely with what I've written and it's much better executed than my piece.  I strongly recommend anyone...

DAILY MANIFESTO

Vox Pop of the Month (November 2008)

Posted on Tuesday, December 9 @ 16:07:20 Eastern by
Winner = $50. Runner-ups = $25. The rest of you = $0.

Once again, staff blogs and manifestos are excluded. And only the best Vox Pop entry of a member in a given month is considered for that month's Vox Pop contest.

And yes, The Last Remnant is sucking my soul.

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Winner: LinksOcarina
Title: "Confessions of a Pokemaniac"


Comment: Don't try to hide it, Links. You want to marry the Pikachu Girl and swim in a sea of Pikachu plushies and construct a house completely made of 1st Edition Pikachu Pokemon cards and recreate Viridian Forest and populate it with yellow-dyed mice and defeat retail store jerks with a Skull Bash so you can evolve without a Thunder Stone and inject your eyes with Pikachurin and fill your room with Pokedexes turned to entry #25 and marry a Pikachu with an indent at the end of its tail so you can make litters of Pichu and... wait, just because I know a lot about... damn it...

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Runner-Up: Melaisis
Title: "In Loco Parentis"

Comment: I don't think players really learn much about ethics from games (or even that picking up a gun and firing it and being a badass is cool). People learn most of that from movies, television, and traditional storytelling from myth and legend. But what people learn exclusively from games is what games were meant for, a space in which the player must learn and adapt to a given set of rules and devise the best strategy within those rules to reach their desired goal or win condition, whether it be personal or game-defined; in other words, learning how to get what you want by working with the system you're given.

This skill of adaptability can be applied to many spaces - how best to defeat your opponent on the field, how best to drive on a highway versus on the racetrack, how best to get a raise in the workplace, how best to interact with people in a certain social circle at school, how best to work with a set of mechanical tools, etc. Of course, games allow you to make mistakes without the danger of physical harm (unless you forget to eat and drink during a WoW marathon) and being emotionally scarred for life (I hope... no, Aerith... my healer!.... I need some time alone now).

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Runner-Up: wildmario
Title: "Nintendo Reborn: Blessing or Doomsday?"


Comment: You can't blame Nintendo for opening its market to casual players. You can't blame Nintendo for saving itself from possible ruin and raking in the dough. And you can't blame Nintendo for trying something different. And I agree that a lot of Ex-Nintendo fanboys are saying is exaggerated by definition for effect.

But what you can blame the Nintendo for is pandering, and more specifically, turning the Wii into a cash cow for a lot of crappy titles. Now, there are gems out there - Twilight Princess and Super Mario Galaxy, just to name a few - but they are rare and covered in racks and racks of sub-par mini-game collections that no one needs.

This doesn't mean that Nintendo shouldn't make casual games - it means that Nintendo should be making good casual games and trying its best not to allow games like de Blob, Geometry Wars: Galaxies, and LEGO Batman be buried underneath horrible "lifestyle" and shovelware titles like Winter Sports, Wii Music, Ninja Reflex, Furu Furu Park, and Carnival Games. Of course, much of the blame can be placed on third-party developers that don't mind putting out some half-assed title as long as it makes them money from Grandma Penny and Little Timmy.

According to GameRankings, only 44 titles on the Wii have received a rating equal to or higher than an 80 (about 11% of entire Wii catalogue), versus 131 titles on the Xbox 360 (about 19% of entire Xbox 360 catalogue) and 89 titles on the PS3 (about 27% of entire PS3 catalogue). Suffice it to say, both casual and hardcore players deserve better from the Wii.

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