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I love video games. I also happen to love television and film — particularly television and film with good scripts. I write a lot of my own stuff, so I tend to be that guy who says things like "huh, that was well structured" while a dude's getting hit in the balls. Naturally, I love it when my areas of interest overlap; like the Zelda documentary being made, or the Redwall video game currently being developed.

Unfortunately, there are times when the overlaps aren't pleasant to sit through. Usually, the overlap happens in one particular area; when a film or television program discusses video games, they do so with almost no integrity whatsoever. It's an incredibly frustrating issue to me, and one that I've ranted on a handful of times to various friends.

Jump inside for examples and complaints; your favorite!

This is a guest article written by James Widdowson. If you would like to submit your own guest article, we encourage you to do so here or email your work to [email protected]

The video game crash of 1983 was a pivotal moment in the history of video games. When Atari released the Video Computer System — known today as the Atari 2600, although that never became its official name until 1982 — they managed to bring a niche product, video games, to the mainstream. In terms of historical significance the Atari VCS is widely viewed today as one of the greatest consoles of all time, and the one that our entire modern industry is built upon. Atari had huge success in the late 70’s and early 80’s, a success that other companies such as Coleco, Bally, Milton Bradley and Mattel also wanted a slice of. All these companies in turn released their own consoles, all superior to the VCS in the technical department, but none of them could come close to matching its success. The Atari VCS was the king of the industry, and the competition was nothing more than its court jesters. But as the years went on the overabundance of consoles and bad, cash grabbing games on the market (such as the infamous ET: The Extra Terrestrial) meant that the industry couldn’t withstand its own weight, and it inevitably crashed.

The video game crash is widely acknowledged today as an event that we wouldn’t want to see repeat itself, but I don’t understand why that is the common view. Although the crash nearly destroyed the industry before it really hit the big time, from its ashes Nintendo carried its Famicom system across the seas from Japan and brought the industry back from the brink. If you look at those immediate five or ten years following the release of the NES it marked the golden age of video games, a unique time in history marked by continual innovation and new ideas. On paper the crash may have appeared to be a bad thing, but as a result, we all received something far greater than what we would have gotten had the industry stayed the way it was.

Head past the jump to keep reading!

I know, EA is the devil. They are the flag carrier for everything that is wrong in the industry. Be it forced DRM in games that don't need it (Hello SimCity... oh wait that's an MMO! Right...), Day one and on-disc DLC, and of course the cursed Micro-Transaction stuff in a full $60 game (micro-transactions in a free-to-play game makes sense. Not in a full $60 retail game.). In essence, EA the publisher has done a lot of things to piss fans off. We have every right to not trust them with anything. However, let’s take off the hater glasses and realize something about this whole situation: EA's development studios make great games.

Lucas Arts has produced a few gems in their day, but most of them were over a decade ago. In general, Star Wars games have been a lot of hype followed by a festering of disappointing reality. The Force Unleashed series, as an example, held so much potential... but if failed to really fully capitalize on its own ideals. As such, it was an okay game, but far from spectacular. 

Believe it or not, the staff members at Gamnesia and ZI aren't all androids. Yes, we play games just like you. And we have opinions on them.

Whether we're keeping up with the latest software from the industry or catching up on the games we missed from previous generations or picking up some overlooked gems on the cheap, we fit our hobby into our busy lives between school and work and family. We have our favorites... and some things that should never be mentioned (oh god, why did I buy My Sims Agents).

It's May and everyone is getting ready for the E3 bombshells of the year. On the first episode (pilot if you will) of The Adventures of the Fellowship of Gamnesia, we catch up on all of our backlogs and grab some Wii U games that have dropped in price. We also play some games we shamefully haven't played before, and we learn Brian plays more hours in a day then there are in a week.

For a look into our lives, clickety click on the jump! Don't forget to share your current gaming schedule inside.

It's hard to argue when the facts are staring you in the face, but Alex Plant from GenGame has definitively proven false the general notion that the Wii hurt Nintendo and it's core gaming audience. In fact, it's almost so well defeated as a standing point you could almost argue the Wii actually grew the Nintendo core fanbase. That being said, I'll let them do the talking:

Fundamental to the idea that Wii wasn’t a system for core gamers is the notion that Wii wasn’t a system for core games, either. However, it’s easy to see from Wii’s lineup that this simply isn’t true. In fact, the record shows that Nintendo’s “core” lineup for Wii stands its own against those for Nintendo 64 and GameCube.

In the lineups, which you can see in the original article, the Wii's core lineup from Nintendo alone rivals the core lineup of the GameCube, destroys the lineup of the N64, and arguably is overall stronger in terms of the quality and breadth of the core games. Of course, that is buyt one argument against the grain. Check else was provided to show the Wii's actually grew the base.

In the late 1990’s, shortly after the original Red, Blue, and Green Pokémon games, the development of the original Gold and Silver Pokémon games was in full swing. These new games, with Pokémon being intensely popular at the time, were hounded after by thousands of salivating fans and journalists alike simply begging for details regarding the new game titles.

One such piece of information given to the masses was a rumor concerning a skateboard; the protagonist’s speculated new form of transportation. Soon this particular rumor became more than just speculation, but actual fact as stated on Nintendo’s original Pokémon 2 page. Hop inside for more details!

I am going to share my perspective on Nintendo's performance of late. If you'd like a primer, see Nathan's recently-posted article and its comments. We all know it's been a rather 'new' window period for Nintendo. By that I mean that we have a new console, we have a new future ahead, we have the unknown. So it's during a time like this when it helps to communicate and formulate your views on things. I express those views but I will address myself as if it were meant to reach someone at the Nintendo headquarters.

To whom it may concern at Nintendo,

Somehow, some way, things are not being carried out as I wish they were, as many-- many, of your followers wish they were. Let's start simple..

It’s almost impossible to go to any site on the net and not see a hint of negativity at the mere mention of the Wii U. Even Nintendo centric websites have been wondering what the deal is with the console. Where are the games? Why is EA not supporting the platform? Why is the hardware not PS4 quality? Was the screen in the controller a mistake? Why is the OS slow… why this… why that. Why Why Why.

There have definitely been some big mistakes made in the launching of the Wii U. The name, for starters, should have been something else… something which Nintendo appears to finally be grasping. The OS out of the box, even after a massive update, was sluggish… and yes it’s fixed now. I could probably go on and on about all the things wrong with the Wii U. Still, you know what? It’s a great console, and its future will be just fine. It’s time we begin to show a little appreciation for Nintendo’s new box.

The PlayStation 4 is a grand machine thus far, with its souped up graphical capabilities, all the social interaction you could want, streaming game services, and generally feeling like a neat evolution on the standard gaming medium.

We as of yet know little confirmed information about the Next Xbox (May 21st needs to be here right now… seriously) and we know just about all we’re going to know about the Wii U until we get more software announcements. There is still likely so much more to show off for the PS4, but right now I can already tell this is going to be a must have console in the next 3 years (giving people time to afford it and for it to build a library you want).

There's been quite a bit of controversy on the site today concerning pirates. Nate's piece Piracy is Never Justified was published earlier, and many comments criticized the writer of ignoring key issues such as availability and price of products, although Mr. Rumphol-Janc states quite clearly that he believes video games to be a luxury, rather than a thing a person is entitled to.

My fellow staff member Colin followed up on the issue by reposting a piece he wrote in 2012 entitled Piracy: the Good, the Bad, and the Future. In this piece, Mr. McIsaac-san brings up the idea that "piracy bridges the gap between supply and demand." Pirates can be both a good and bad thing, but it has to be executed in a way respectful to the game creators.

Want to know my opinion? I don't give two hoots about either of these pieces. Hell, I love piracy. The industry has proven to us time and time again that pirates aren't hurting the industry, but rather making publishers profitable. It's amazing what pirates can do to the video game market!

How you say? Hop inside to find out!

This article was originally published to Zelda Informer on December 26th, 2012. Following our recent piece, "Piracy is Never Justified," by Nathanial Rumphol-Janc, I believe this is an appropriate time to bring this article back to light. This article is intended to serve neither as a rebuttal nor expansion to "Piracy is Never Justified," but rather an exploration and alternate viewpoint of this touchy issue.

Since the beginning of civilization, one form or another of piracy has been a pressing concern. Though piracy in modern times has, in most cases, outgrown cannonballs and rotting teeth, it’s as threatening an act as ever. This is perhaps due to the coevolution of the crime and those who commit it.

When we think of the term “piracy” in its modern sense, we tend to think of the morally reprehensible. Media moguls spent years combatting piracy by conjuring up disheveled images of thugs and depictions of malevolence, along with the line “You wouldn’t steal a car,” but this sort of propaganda couldn’t be farther from the truth. No longer is piracy an act of devestation performed only by the wicked, but as piracy’s negative outcome has weakened, its rates have proportionally skyrocketed. Nearly everyone in the digital world, even the most righteous, has pirated something at some point in their lives, be it a movie, a song, or in our case, a video game.

Head past the jump to keep reading!

We've seen some interesting, if not wholly distasteful, trends in the industry the last 5 years. We have seen day one DLC (which most agree is silly), on disc DLC (again, locking out content you technically already paid for), DRM (attempting to prevent pirate players from playing), and naturally some always-online talk (which most agree is a silly concept). All of this is done mostly because of one simple factor: People pirate games... and they pirate a lot of them. While it's most rampant on PC's, consoles themselves are not inherently left out of the equation.

Personally, I can't deny that I have never pirated a game. I have, just once, and at the time I felt my reasoning was justified. It was a game lacking a demo, and I felt entitled to "try before I buy". To many pirates, this is a logical excuse we use to reason with our own self morals. Of course, this is but one of the reasons pirates have for stealing games. The problem with every excuse out there becomes the fact that none of them actually truly morally justify stealing a game.

Bobby Kotick, the CEO of Activision, has garnered a somewhat perplexing bonus over the past couple of years. According to an article on Joystiq, he has earned a total of $64.9 million in compensation over the past 5 years (approximately $8 million of that for 2012), primarily stemming from stock awards. What's odd about this consistently enormous compensation is that Activision's stocks haven't really been increasing in value; they're just sort of "sustaining."

I'm not a business man, but I'd assume that usually you give huge bonuses for stock awards when your company's stocks are rising in price, not when they're just sitting still like Activion's have, for the most part, for the past several years.

Narutendo and I are taking a break from the Zelda discussions to talk about another popular franchise with some big announcements recently; Pokémon. Now, we recorded this before the whole Mewthree fiasco, so unfortunately we don't address that at all. We also end up talking a lot about the series as a whole; we both have very strong feelings concerning the series, and we are VERY vocal about them.

That being said, there is a lot to consider with this new generation; this is their chance to take off in a very different direction, but should they? The games have been selling like crazy, despite what jaded gamers like us say. What do you think? Has the series soured or improved over time?

Nintendo is known for making bold steps in the industry, but most of that has to do with the hardware they release. A handheld with two screens? That can’t possibly work! 150+ million sales later it’s shown that yes, it can. Motion controls and simplified controls! You’re crazy Nintendo. 99 million in sales later says that actually, no they weren’t. 3DS? No one likes 3D Nintendo! 30+ Million in sales over two years. Not too shabby.

Of course, the outlier right now is the Wii U, of which Nintendo hasn’t fully turned around yet, but let’s give them a bit of time to see how that plays out. History points to it being just fine in the end.

The industry itself is broken right now. Games that sell millions of units aren’t successful or wholly profitable. Every year the big three show up to E3 with many hopes and dreams on the line, only to be dashed when we see the next Kinect game, or see a spell book game with the PS Move, or an emphasis on cable television. Even the mighty Nintendo has faltered, with broken promises (E3 2011) and poorly targeted software (ending E3 2012 with Nintendo Land).