Dear IGN: a few thoughts regarding Game Changer

Dear IGN,

I didn’t want to enter – I just wanted to express how unbelievably stingy and ungrateful the Terms and Conditions of your competition are. Not only does the Game Changer website offer no indication of what the awful prize is (except for in the ‘small print’ T&Cs), the four stage competition demands a hell of a lot of work for nigh on fuck all compensation. Sure – you claim to offer a helping hand for those struggling to worm their way in to the film and video game industry, but frankly this seems like nothing more than a jumped up PR stunt.

The prize for this painstakingly epic tournament is just three instances of exposure on your website, for which you offer no payment and in fact, declare that “entrants’ participation will be at their own cost.” You also mention that participants will take part in challenges in London! That’s really exciting news, and I can think of nowhere I’d rather spend all of my money while I make a futile grab at a future career in your company…

Let me lay this out clearly: you are hosting a competition with no financial or material prize, that will cost participants time, immense effort and money? Does this strike you as something you would enter?

As one of the biggest online video game sites, one would expect that you might offer up….oooo, I don’t know…a free game? A free console? There are competitions to which entrants must simply enter their name that offer much more satisfying rewards than yours. To be honest, your ‘prize’ appears to be little more than a massive, egotistical pat on the back for yourselves, that you are generously offering the humble layman the opportunity to appear, briefly, on your prestigious website. Great. You pompous arses.

Oh, and finally, if the presenter in your Game Changer promotional video is anything to go by, then standards are evidently not being set very high. You really are in dire need of some new talent. So get off your high horse, think up some original prizes, and pitch us something worth buying in to. Until then, kindly remove the Pop Factor X Idol banner from your homepage.

Yours sincerely,

yada yada yada…

More E3 Rambling


Why don’t game studios choose players who have some skill to showcase their incredible new games? As a friend of mine pointed out, the spokesman who presented Halo: Reach made a phenomenal game sound actually quite bland. Equally, when they played the demo of Reach, whoever was at the controls had terrible aim and terrible tactics, assault rifle from a distance?? Is there a more nub approach? If they really want to reach out to their ‘hardcore’ gaming fans, maybe they should show the games being played at their best.

Other than the incredible technology revealed by Nintendo in their spec-less 3DS and Valve’s Portal 2, I don’t think I was particularly blown away by this years E3. RAGE seems to be totally ribbing on Borderlands, AC: Brotherhood looked like more of the same – Ghost Recon: Future Soldier had some sweet gameplay, but not sure I’d pick it up, and a lot of the other much anticipated titles were less novel than I’d hoped. What we need is a developer to really blow everyone out of the water with a game that’s just totally unlike anything we’ve seen before – I blame sequels.

Too many sequels spoil the broth. Gaming Studios and Hollywood both need to learn that people love originality. The best games throughout history have been original concepts. I wish producers would just quit playing it safe, show us they’ve got some balls and take some exciting risks. I’d have a lot more respect for the industry. Anyone agree?


Broadening my range.

So I decided I’d expand upon the range of reviews I’ve been writing. In the past I have written for a few other sites, beginning back in 2001 with Ciao. I don’t write for them any more, but I trawled through some of my older reviews and picked out a few I actually quite like.

You may not know, in fact, you probably don’t, but I’ve been a fairly avid gamer in the past and I still park myself in front of my xbox far more than is constructive. At least I took a step back from WoW. Less said about that the better. (Shamefully I still miss it…) That said, I think I’m fairly qualified to review video games, which is the next area I’m going to start posting in. I’m pretty picky, and the chances are I’ll only review a game if I think it’s a) phenomenally good, or b) mind numbingly awful…everything in between get’s glossed over.

(The first few will inevitably be quite old, think of them more as examples of analytical writing than relevant critiques of new releases – although that’s not to say if I’ve captured your interest, don’t check out the game.) Enjoy.