Serious Discussion: Why is this series attracting so many idiots?

Discussion in 'General Fallout Discussion' started by TheSnake, Dec 30, 2015.

  1. TheSnake

    TheSnake First time out of the vault

    Dec 1, 2015
    So we've had some discussions (or rather, you have--I've been a lurker for a number of years) about Bethesda's dumbing-down of the series, the focus on shooting, the removal of RPG elements. And it's undoubtedly clear that the series is actually enjoying huge success at the same time--why?

    The other day I went to a place to get my car repaired; I was wearing a Vault-Tec shirt I made myself (I work for a t-shirt company and I'm allowed to make whatever I want to yeah). Anyway--guys says he loves my shirt, tells me he's put numerous hours into Fallout 4, and asks "how are you liking it so far?" I told him I had played it for a number of hours and I wasn't really happy with the way they've removed the depth, quality writing, and RPG mechanics to make it more of an open-world shooter. His response was "Oh see, I'm the other way around. All I wanna do is shoot stuff."

    I had a similar interaction with a friend who is actually a writer (and a good one): He told me if I want a quality story or depth I can read a book; he plays Fallout so he can "shoot motherfuckers."

    I'd also like you to take a look at these Facebook comments in response to a recent article about someone beating Fallout 4 without killing:


    So I have to ask, what is it with this series that's causing Call of Duty kids to even pay attention to it? Is it a result of idiots who latch onto whatever big budget title is out at the time? We all know Bethesda is really good at fooling people into believing they like or even need their products. I guess what I'm wondering is, if they just want to "blow things into bits," why not play something more known or conducive to that want/need?

    What does this say about the future of Fallout? When Bethesda has removed the roleplaying elements and the complexity of choice-driven gameplay, where will they go next? How soon before Fallout is a series of cutscenes with some shooting in between?
  2. PossibleCabbage

    PossibleCabbage Vault 22 Survivor

    Jul 2, 2015
    Bethesda games are basically the logical extreme of the "power fantasy" aspect of the aesthetic appeal of roleplaying games. Everybody, on some level, enjoys being told that they're great, special, powerful, etc. and RPGs with their combination of advancement and kinda upside down difficulty curves cater to that desire better than almost everything.

    So to maximize this, Bethesda basically makes games that are entirely about being told that you are the chosen one and you can do whatever you want, and you'll end up in a position where everybody loves you and thinks you're the best. Enjoying this is fine. The problem is that a certain segment of the people who enjoy this a lot, don't really seem to realize that they're being manipulated and that the "you're special" bit is just a fantasy and not an actual truth that transcends the boundaries of the video game.
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  3. Moosick

    Moosick cats

    Jul 8, 2015
    Do me a favour:
    • read through all of the current main threads that fall under General Fallout Discussion.
    • Read the points the users make about this series being crappy and then think about the Livestock-in-Boots that is the average human being
    • review your decision to ask this question
    As for your literature friend, most people who dismiss videogames as a medium for artistic and/or complex philosophical/political/______ expression are very much the same as people who say that all modern music is terrible; they speak of nothing that they are informed about, and have no desire to educate themselves further on the matter.
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  4. Spacemunkey

    Spacemunkey Vault Senior Citizen

    Dec 4, 2015
    COD Black ops 3 generated like half a billion dollars in sales in 72hrs, where a game like Pillars of Eternity won't generate that it's entire life cycle. It seems pretty clear where Bethesda/Zenimax are looking to take the franchise.Quite honestly from a business standpoint it makes sense, doesn't mean I'm happy about though.
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  5. Stone Cold Robert House

    Stone Cold Robert House Mojave Rattlesnake

    Jul 6, 2015
    The series is not "attracting idiots".

    The series is simply attracting a larger part of the general population due to focusing on mass appeal, and there are a lot of idiots in the general population. That has nothing to do with the games themselves and everything to do with society's tendency to occasionally act stupidly in regards to, well, anything.
    • [Like] [Like] x 3
  6. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    You have to agree though that, either due to the nature of the medium - comparable to movies - or because of it's relative novelty, it is very difficult to compare it to the depth and particularly the incredible diversity that you have with literature. From questionable, to thought provoking and entertaining writings/teachings. Which is historically speaking, understandable, if you think about that books, writings and teachings have been around for more than thousands of years. I doubt that games had as much impact as books do. Not yet at least.

    I would not dismiss games as art or creative work, absolutely not. But ... com on ... books ARE still reaching more people than games do. And they have a far bigger impact on people too.
  7. Moosick

    Moosick cats

    Jul 8, 2015
    Without wishing to derail the thread, I believe that, due to both the relative youth of the medium and the marketability of something easily associated with simple physical drinking games of old, games were creatively stunted and pulled away from being used as a medium of expression from pretty much the moment that big businesses saw that potential. Though some argue that technological difficulties are/were a problem, I reject this, as I'm firmly of the belief that even the most complex, raw and emotional of creative genius can be expressed in something as simple as a series of pixels if it works, is within reason, etc etc. In addition to that, money is a problem and this also stops people from accessing games in the same way that one might learn about Monet (or some other random namedrop) by picking up a book from a £15 a year library. As such, games are evaluated on fun:money rather than on intellectual or emotional quality by a very large portion of the population. This current sentence is a caveat talking about how sometimes simple dumb entertainment is sometimes nice.

    I am of the opinion that now developers are moving even more toward more philosophical works and moreover a larger amount of more interested gamers are beginning to treat it with interest. Games like Limbo, which, though highly formalist, use that formalism to express more interpretive narratives and themes, contribute to this. The problem I have is that while you get Spec Ops: The Line or SOMA or the like (despite their respective faults), you also get a lot of Beginner's Guides, where key philosophical texts are poorly read and plots are written that, in accord with the text they're blatantly ripping off, totally fall apart under critical analysis.

    tl;dr it feels like gaming is largely in a sort of more naive modern period and it's all been stunted as a medium due to commercial interests
    tl;tl;;dr;dr yeah i p much agree
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2015
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  8. Walpknut

    Walpknut This ghoul has seen it all

    Dec 30, 2010
    Bethesda and Toad Howard are like the Michael Bay of videogames, they attract that kind of idiot.

    It's the expected result of any "Widenining of demographic" type of movement, many will try to pass it off as wanting to reach more people with their artistic vision, but only an idiot wouldn't realize they are just after the money. Their blatant trend chasing in Fuckoff 4 is just ridiculous.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2015
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  9. Dr Fallout

    Dr Fallout Centurion

    Aug 17, 2015
    Fallout 3 had some unique Elder Scrolls moments... but Fallout 4 was an obvious copy of the most popular games at the time.
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  10. Oppen

    Oppen FIXT n°1 fan

    Dec 26, 2011
    While all you said is true, it is also irrelevant to the argument. It was not an argument of reach or variety of the medium (for the same reason it has a wider reach, it has a wider variety), but about the quality of being a valid medium for artistic, philosophical, political or otherwise expression. The fact the accumulated wealth of written culture is way more vast doesn't change the fact videogames are still a very valid medium for culture in general in the least.

    Regardless of that fact, the same way I could just read a joke book because I'm bored, I could play a game about shooting stuff because I'm bored. You don't really have a need to be intellectual at all times. As phallacious as it is to consider games *should* be about mindless fun, is to consider they *shouldn't* ever be about mindless fun.
    And well, most people just aren't that intellectually and emotionally invested in Fallout to stop a while and think about the deep parts of it, and the dilluted way most people got to know it means most people will identify it as a franchise for mindless fun and nothing more. Some might even look for depth in different games at the same time, it really doesn't necessarily mean they are idiots as much as it means they are just not really informed about the vein of the original games.
  11. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    All I am saying is, that games as medium, are simply not there yet. They are not mature enough to be of the same thought provoking quality as books/literature in general.

    But like I said, it isn't a fair comparison anyway. Literature had a long time to come to the point where it is today. I would say that not even movies can compete with it yet.

    However, I do not denny the equal value of games to our culture, compared to movies or literature.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2015
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  12. ZigzagPX4

    ZigzagPX4 The Swiftness of the Ranger

    Nov 22, 2015
    This. There's nothing particularly special about why Bethesda's works are so attractive. They focus on mass appeal, simple as that.

    Fallout has basically joined the squad of FIFA, Call of Duty, and GTA in "games that people who aren't gamers also play". People who come back from work, only own a console for the same reason they own a TV and music player, and just want to relax.

    Most of the world doesn't go to games for a mature, philosophical viewpoint and a challenge to the complexity of the mind. At least, not yet. They go to it to chill out. It's why we still have a culture of writing off people who think too much as "nerds", despite gaming being part of everyday culture. Because a lot of people go to games to not have to think. This doesn't speak for all people, but society tends to lean on focusing towards the majority. So long as the majority says "video games are for comfort-zone fun", then video games will stay exactly that.

    Just because games like Fallout 1 and 2 pop up from time to time doesn't mean they represent the face of video games.
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  13. Oppen

    Oppen FIXT n°1 fan

    Dec 26, 2011
    And all I am saying is you are completely right, but that it doesn't really follow the previous thread of ongoing discussion. The fact it isn't quite there yet is not a reason to dismiss the medium and just go along with mindless use of it and say "if you want depth, pick up a book". Maybe it would be better to try and exploit the medium for once instead of vouching for status quo.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2015
  14. Risewild

    Risewild Antediluvian as Feck
    Modder Orderite

    Jun 14, 2014
    I don't think the series is attracting so many idiots, I think more idiots are playing games, as simple as that.

    In older days most idiots couldn't even turn on a computer, install a game and play it without help of a "geek" or "nerd" friend, and then they would get bored by games that relied on text and would play racing simulators, side scrollers or platform games because those were less "boring".

    Technology is getting more and more accessible each year, which is good but also bad, since now even idiots can use it and while that is not bad in itself, it is proving that it is spoiling the fun for people that need something more stimulating for the brain.

    Also Bethesda almost went bankrupt before, they ended up with only six people working in it and that was when they decided to make Morrowind, and so they might be scared to get put into the same situation as before and don't want to risk it anymore, so they make games that sell best and since there are more dumb players all around they have to make dumbed down games so they won't get bankrupt again.

    Todd Howard Interesting Interview from last year:

    Notice how he mention many things that contradicts what Bethesda did on Fallout 4 :twitch:

    PS: On a very offtopic note I was just reminded from what I typed there before that in the actual words of Todd Howard:
    So back then they made Morrowind to be the game people wanted from Bethesda and the game Bethesda wanted to make, in less than 15 years the game most people want is Fallout 4 and that again shows how idiot the average gamer is today. :yuck:
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  15. DarkCorp

    DarkCorp So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Oct 27, 2003
    IMO, the FPSRPG is not only empowerment IN game but OUT of game as well.

    Nerds used to have the negative yet positive connotation of socially awkward/smart.

    With nerd being a respectable title now, those FPS folks can also say, 'Man, I play both FPS and RPG games. That must mean I not only have L33T skills but I also am a super smart person who is into RPGs with their deep writing and creativity'.

    Problem is the delusion that the RPG they are playing is complex, which it clearly is not. Its been turned into a damn simulator complete with Farmville type planting and gathering.

    Shallow games sell because shallow doesn't offend people. When one takes a stand on an idea, it willminevitably run into another person with an opposing viewpoint.

    Xenogears was one of the best JRPGs ever and it pissed off a lot of people.

    In comes the Michael Bays with their shell that is filled with splosions and car chases.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2015
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  16. Dr Fallout

    Dr Fallout Centurion

    Aug 17, 2015
    They're only idiots from a Fallout perspective due to showing very little knowledge on Fallout history, such as the fact it wasn't made just to kill people. So yes they're idiots.
  17. MercenarySnake

    MercenarySnake Kept you waiting huh?

    Aug 22, 2015
    They attract idiots due to trying to cater to a wider audience by removing things like dialogue so they don't scare people away from having to stimulate their brains with reading and can back out of one liner dialogues to kill everything. They just want the money so if they can appeal to casual gamers that like to shoot everything up then it's extra cash for them. Bethesda are a marketing company first, gaming company second.
    People like this make me want to bang my head against my desk from the stupidity.
  18. Sergeant Politeness

    Sergeant Politeness Where'd That 6th Toe Come From?

    Jun 20, 2015
    You can go where you want when you want, so it's a deep roleplayign game! And don't even try to contradict me, because it's all just a matter of opinion!

    As for the original question, the answers pretty much sum it up. Bethesda are basically putting every popular aspect of AAA gaming in Fallout 4 (settlement building! open world! voice-acting!) to have mass appeal.

    As for the future of Fallout, I'm not exactly optimistic. Just look at how people defend Fallout 4 against all criticism despite the fact that most of it is legitimate. As long as the majority only expect video games to be mindless fun, companies have absolutely no reason to change. There's nothing wrong with "casual" (the term isn't exactly appropriate but I lack better words) gaming as a whole, but the fact that this is what Fallout is becoming and the gaming community is happy with it is pretty sad.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2015
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  19. Hexhammer

    Hexhammer First time out of the vault

    Jul 20, 2015
    Money talks and mediocrity sells, Bethesda folks know exactly what they are doing. If old style hard core RPG would be the trend, I'm sure Beth guys would be making exactly that... Their "widening of the demographic" is just getting so damn wide that even the morons are getting interested. There's other points I'd like to raise but people on this thread have said it better than I could so.

    (/Offtopic: Basilisk Games are working on a new RPG which they say is going to be sci-fi oriented. If they are able to pull off it just as well as they did with Eschalon games, that could be something to look into. )
  20. Earth

    Earth Vault Senior Citizen

    Apr 7, 2013
    I don't know who that AiTenshi1 person is, but they need to remove themselves from the gene pool.