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News > Technology
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A gamer grilling
graphic December 25, 2001: 9:49 a.m. ET

PC game fans respond to charges they dismiss gaming innovation
By Staff Writer Chris Morris
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NEW YORK (CNNmoney) - Turns out PC gamers aren't just fickle, they're easily upset.

A lot of folks took issue with my stance that the PC gaming world demands innovation, then rejects it. Some say I must never have played a game before. Others think I'm a console loyalist looking to seed discord in the PC gaming community. One guy thinks I'm Lucifer.

A lot of folks disagreed with my example of innovation: "Majestic," a Web-based adventure from Electronic Arts that called, emailed and sent instant messages to the player. This thriller, they complained, wasn't thrilling.

Yes, the idea for Majestic was quite original and the technology behind it was quite impressive. However many gamers and reviewers found the actual gameplay ... to be far too slow and dull to warrant monthly fees. -- James

Majestic was good in concept but poor in execution. - Aaron

Others found the game to be intrusive, rather than innovative.

Personally the last thing I want is some company leaving messages on my answering machine, paging me or IM'ing me when all I want to do is relax and play a good PC game. - Matt

No one actually wants to get a telephone call at 4am. That isn't fun, and my friend that is what games are all about. - Shaun

(For the record: The player set the parameters for when the game could and couldn't call them. And, as someone who played "Majestic" to its premature end, I never received a call from the game at an unreasonable time).

A number of readers pointed out that "Majestic" wasn't quite as innovative as I thought it was, citing "The Beast" - a Web game our corporate cousins at Warner Brothers and the folks at Microsoft ran in conjunction with Steven Spielberg's "A.I."

Like EA's effort, "The Beast" had users try to solve a mystery by combing the Web and solving mysteries, interacting with players along the way.

"The Beast" ... succeeded in all of the ways that "Majestic" failed.  It contained a well-written and in-depth plot line, used multiple communications mediums to progress the narrative, and utilized elaborate puzzles that required collaboration with others. - Josh, Todd and several others.

(The above note appeared to be a pre-written piece fans of "The Beast" were encouraged to send to me. I'll give them credit for loyalty to the game. But "The Beast" was free, so it never had a chance to pass the litmus test of a paying customer base).

Some noted other PC titles I didn't mention.

PC Gamers do indeed embrace innovation as is evidenced by the success of games like "Black and White" and "The Sims: Hot Date". These are innovative games that did take off. - Gustavo

Other recent innovative PC games that did not flop: "The Sims" and "Black & White" (both EA, ironically enough).  - Eric

Ok, "The Sims" is definitely a good counter-argument. Will Wright's game of controlling virtual lives on an individual level was undoubtedly revolutionary - and it quickly found an audience. "Black & White," though, was more of a refinement of an existing genre: The god game. It was fun, but hardly groundbreaking.

Then there were the notes that were just plain angry:

Please...don't try to differentiate between a good game and a bad one ever again. You're not qualified. - Rod

Notice that I use short words with simple sentences to explain my opinion. This is because I believe you to be stupid. - "Beakeroni"

I wanted you to know that you are so completely full of <naughty word> that I am now unable to stomach the very thought of reading your inane ramblings ever again. -- Justin

I've got a feeling I'll be hearing from Justin a lot over the next few months. He's the one who thinks I'm Lucifer.


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Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.

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