Conflicted Artist’s Techdirt Profile

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  • Aug 24th, 2010 @ 11:23am

    They're not the same image.

    They're clearly not the same image. There are too many details that are different-- her hair, the wrinkles in her sweater, the position of her hand-- for one to have been generated from the other. They are two different images from the same shoot.

    The cover shot is more charming because her smile looks warm and genuine. You don't need photoshop to do that. They've cleaned up her complexion and warmed up the tone of the image, because they are professionals and their jobs are to make women look good.

    I don't know what's more ridiculous: the threat of a lawsuit, or Gawker's representation that there is anything unusual about a magazine production artist doing his or her job.

    There's nothing to see here. Move along.

  • Jan 7th, 2010 @ 12:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: yup

    If MW2 had been massively pirated, made poor sales, and gotten rave reviews, it would be a different story IMO. But I'm not aware of any games that have been widely praised as high quality, and yet not sold well.

    I think it is that story. 89% is a good enough review. Check gamerankings.com. It's only 4 points lower than the console versions. Is 89% GREAT? No. Worth more than 170k in worldwide sales? Absolutely. (Mind you, those numbers don't include Steam sales, which might actually be quite good. It's hard to know.)

    MW2's detractors are very passionate and very loud, and demonstrate a painfully acute sense of entitlement. Well, it appears that they got their wish.

    Also, I should note, that the landscape of video games is littered with the corpses of games that got rave reviews and sold poorly, but each one has its own explanation. Often it just comes down to poor marketing.

  • Jan 7th, 2010 @ 12:00pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    That's not what I'm saying at all. Read my comments again, please. I'm saying that the combination of infinite duplication and free distribution devalues the product to the point where it isn't worth putting that kind of effort into it. (And I mean price here, not actual value.) Hence Nissan-->Moped. Maybe not the most elegant example, but I'm trying to reference a previous example in the discussion.

  • Jan 7th, 2010 @ 11:54am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    But guess what, my individual wants and desires do not drive the entire computer gaming industry or the entire economy. As with religion, I can't demand that someone else agree with my views, desires, or beliefs with any expectation that they will change.
    You too easily dismiss my opinion that there is value in sophisticated games. I don't need to demand anything, there are already millions of people who agree with me. What are we talking about here? 4.1 million hits for MW2 on BitTorrent. You don't think they would rather play MW2 than Farmville?

  • Jan 7th, 2010 @ 11:44am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    No, the lesson is that if it were as easy to copy a Nissan, you would have millions of car designs to choose from, download, and put into your car reproducer. So many it would be bewildering to try to decide what to get, just like it is with music now.

    You can't compare music and video game production (let alone car production). I agree that the affect that communication technology has had on the music market has been a good thing, and has the potential to be even better. Music is an individual effort, and the skills to make an album are well-understood and relatively accessible. An amateur musician can develop a comparable product to a professional. The recording industry is a dinosaur that needs to die-- it isn't serving any purpose but promotion and distribution, tasks that are tailor made for the digital network.

    On the other hand, video games (also film and TV) are a highly collaborative effort. AAA console and PC titles take years of full-time labor to produce, by teams up to 200 strong. The skills required are specialized, and require a long period of dedicated effort to develop. Amateurs can and do develop games, but the closest thing they tend to achieve to the level of sophistication seen in professional games is a mod like Counter-Strike, which is built on existing, professional technology. Game publishers pay our salaries. We don't make any secondary income from touring, or T-shirts, and often we don't make royalties. We require a large support structure to work at the scale that we do.

    My point is that it takes a reliable revenue stream to justify the dedication of resources at this scale. Where is that revenue? If you are competing with your own product, distributed by file sharers for free, what value can you offer? This is not a rhetorical question, and I know it is the fundamental purpose of this site to answer it. The thing is, I don't see it. I like my job. I enjoy having the opportunity to collaborate with a large team and build big worlds for people to lose themselves in. The popularity of MW2 on BitTorrent shows that there are millions of people who want to be lost in big worlds. However, I don't see how a digital market where the cost of goods hovers around free can support that kind of effort. If it can't, games like Call of Duty will disappear. You don't think the millions of people pirating it would be sad about this?

    Would Nissan have to lay off a lot of people? Sure. Could the company survive? Maybe, if they changed their business model. Would this overall be a good thing for society? I'm not sure, since cars have negative environmental impacts.

    And you think environmental impact would be the only negative for society? What about the people that were just laid off?