GrE Manifesto

 

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(Editor’s Note: To anyone who stumbled upon this page, take heed: though the dark orb of power may have passed on to a new Managing Editor, GamesAreEvil.com’s mission has remained very much the same; as such, I’ve left this page untouched. If anything, we’d like to keep trucking as long as we can with this aim. Like all living, dynamic things this will one day change and evolve. Know that this is the path we’ve chosen. Mike G out.)

As of July 2012, Games Are Evil is changing. To be specific, we’re changing our focus to be narrower, more specific and more distinctive.

We want Games Are Evil to become your go-to resource for “alternative gaming.”

What do I mean by “alternative gaming?” Let me explain.

The natural inclination in this industry is for the press to head straight for the stories and games that are the most popular — the big-budget “triple-A” titles that everyone’s talking about. The Assassin’s CreedsMass Effects and Call of Duties of this world, if you will. These games are popular for a reason — they’re often impressive technical showcases for the platforms they’re running on, they build up huge player bases with robust community support, and the publishers responsible for convincing you to part with your hard-earned cash plunge a ton of time, money and effort into promoting them through various channels.

Sometimes, though, it can feel like you’re reaching saturation point. When you’re starting to read news stories about how many bullets have been fired in Call of Duty since the last game in the series, you know that things have started to reach “barrel-scraping” territory. But still they continue, because fans of Call of Duty are hungry for every bit of information about their favorite series. And that’s fine. If they keep reading it, sites will keep writing it.

Gaming has many facets — brown shooters and abstract platformers all have their place.

What’s sad is when coverage of this sort obscures lesser-known titles a little further down the perceived spectrum. The “single-A” titles of the world, if you like. It’s easy to be cynical about the games industry when the most high-profile news tends to be about brown-tinted military shooters and games involving space marines. But the situation is, in fact, much more complicated than that; gaming is a rich, broad and rewarding medium filled with the sort of experiences that you cannot get from any other form of entertainment. Gaming is more than just “triple-A,” in short, and that fact should be recognized by the press, because members of the public — who are playing everything from the hardcore “grand strategy” of Crusader Kings 2 to the abstract meanderings of Thomas Was Alone (pictured above) on a daily basis — certainly do.

Hence, “alternative gaming” — the other side of the industry. The games you might not have heard of, but which in many cases provide experiences that are just as impressive and creative as the big-budget releases of the day. The games that are so surprisingly good they make you want to go online and shout about them to anyone who will listen. The games that come out of nowhere and, without support from press and public alike, will return to undeserved obscurity, unloved and unappreciated.

We want to give these games the “triple-A treatment.” We want these games to have a chance at success — and we want to provide refuge for those readers who are suffering from “blockbuster fatigue.”

As such, here on Games Are Evil you’re not going to be reading detailed explorations of what colour Connor’s underpants are going to be in Assassin’s Creed III, nor will you see further ultimately pointless pontificating on whether BioWare was right or not to pander to disgruntled fans’ whims regarding the Mass Effect 3 ending. What you will find, however, is quality reporting, criticism and opinion pieces on the unsung heroes of the industry — the lesser-known titles that rarely seem to get their day in the sun on the big sites out there. We’ll be partnering with publishers and developers across the industry to bring you the latest news and reviews, and we’ll be sharing our opinions on the topics that really matter to us.

We hope you’ll join us as we set off down this new and exciting road, and bear with us during the transitional period as we get new formats and regular features fixed in place. Games Are Evil is still here today after many years online because of the dedicated — and much appreciated — support of our readers. Long may that continue!

– Pete Davison, Managing Editor, July 2012