Wednesday, December 17, 2014
PSM Swimsuit Special: How Things Have Changed
A couple weeks ago I talked about how I may have accidentally stumbled upon the initial spark of #Gamergate while searching for something I wanted to share with you. Well I know it's been awhile, but I didn't forget! So without further ado, here's the surprise! A limited edition 2004 Swimsuit Special of (Unofficial) PlayStation Magazine, one of my favorites from the time. My my my...how video game "journalism" has changed over the years! I could only imagine how something like this would fly today...Imagine the boycotts and outrage that would ensue if Game Informer or The Edge tried to do this! Hahaha that would be awesome.
Well a decade ago it really wasn't anything to put your keyboard warrior gloves on for. It was just a sign that you were a nerd and something your friends laughed at you about when they found it. Pretty harmless, or at least I thought it was. The magazine obviously took a page out of the Sports Illustrated playbook and brought the swimsuit special to their mag. Game journo outlets were hype masters then, and how better to get their mostly teen male audience excited about games than showing off everyone's favorite game girl's assets.
This is what I enjoyed about games writers back then. Not the obvious pandering or or over-hype, but the sincerity behind it. There's no doubt in my mind that they loved the games they wrote about, and they were excited to share that with their audience...But of course, as time went on people got tired of over hyped games ending up being complete shit on release. Even on the cover of this issue you can see a screen shot of LotR: The Third Age, a game that mags wrote about with such enthusiasm you could easily confuse it with the second coming. I played it...it was alright.
So it makes perfect sense that the Totalbiscuits, Jim Sterlings and Zero Punctuations of the world (or more precisely, the UK) would rise to take their place. I mean they have British accents! They must know what they're talking about! The current trend is almost the exact opposite, it's the "your game sucks, until proven innocent"mentality. It's good to be weary of any developers claims, we've all been burned too many times, but some of these new personalities just come off way too salty sometimes. But this same mentality is rampant everywhere you go. Try going to any forum on the internet to talk about that game you love. I'm sure you'll find plenty of people there willing to tell you 20 ways why you're an idiot and your game sucks.
The pendulum has swung too far to the other side. If you only want to give credit where credit is due, that's fine, but let's just remember why we're all here at the same table. We love games because ultimately they're fun...remember? That thing you used to do all as a kid? Now what do you play for? To be better than other people? To give you some sort of false sense of accomplishment? To bitch about minute details of incredible works of art? Ok?
Well...I feel somewhat in the middle about all of it. I see the benefits of being a consumer advocate, but this competition of who can be the most cynical person on the internet is, albeit popular, very predictable. I don't think we'll be leaving the cynics behind anytime soon, but maybe we can find a happy medium of critical thinking and a love of the medium. Hey I know! Maybe another swim suit edition!...and hell we don't need to discriminate lets put Solid Snake in a speedo! Fuck it.
Miss old game journos too? Like it the way it is? Can you name all the ladies?
Lemme know! Thanks for reading,