Master Control ProgramIan ArbuckleComment

MCPIt's the lusty month of May! How to ring in the new month, which is possible the best of the twelve available choices? With very few news stories of interest, apparently. Thanks, games industry. I'm going to ring your doorbell and run.

First up, a little item from 1up regarding David Jaffe's responses to the reviews of his Calling All Cars. The developer posted his comments on his own journal, but that's not the interesting bit. He's all right with scores around the 80% mark and higher; he's upset with Gamespot's 6.7 score, and so on. What grabbed me was this little quote from the 1up report: "Could Jaffe's comments be indicative of a future style of game reviewing where the designer's [sic] allowed to critically respond to criticisms aimed at their own games?" Well, yeah. Only it's not a future style of criticism; it has kind of been happening in other media since around the time of the inception of formal criticism, and in the games industry since around when Pong came out. Criticism is composed of arguments; arguments don't exist in a vacuum. Of course, forming a useful dialogue out of a pissing match between Jaffe and whoever he's mad it is about as likely as me bringing my Gamerscore up to 4,000.

In an upcoming Bit Players Roundtable, we're going to be discussing the state of the current generation of consoles, now that they've all had time to propagate. Vital to that discussion, I predict, will be this list of games Nintendo has confirmed for release (in Japan, at least) on the Wii during 2007. The list includes such luminaries as Super Mario Galaxy, the next Smash Bros. iteration, and Metroid Prime: Corruption. Remember that this is all for a given value of "confirmed," though, and North America and the PAL market may not be so lucky.

In further news of death and destruction, Slashdot links us to an article on Slate by one Amanda Shaffer titled "Don't Shoot: Why video games really are linked to violence." It's a useful article in that it compiles three different studies that each form a correlation between violent videogames and violent behavior, but there are several minor problems that you should be aware of before diving into it. 1) Correlation != causality (which Ms. Shaffer herself notes, but doesn't adequately incorporate into her argument). 2) Be wary of any article about cognitive behavior that uses the word "intuition". 3) Jon Stewart inspired this article? Really? Other than that, it's a good read.

The last bit of interest for today is that PaRappa the Rapper will be shortly appearing for North American PSPs. The PSP may be a happy little port machine, but considering the games that are getting the treatment, I'm not going to complain too loudly. Someone might hear me.