Ok, I’ve always been vocal about my love for Deus Ex and how my second gaming passion, Mass Effect was inspired by it. I also grew up playing the Thief games and have had nothing bu the utmost love for the man behind them, Warren Spector. Recently though,he has been creating quite an up-stir and I wonder if he needs to lay down for a moment and think about his involvement in the industry.
Warren has always seemed socially conservative and in fact has done nothing to bolster his public image. With no social media presence, I used to think it was to feed an air of mystery, but events in recent days are forcing me to feel that may be have he’s better off having spokespeople do that talking for him.
Just 2 days ago, Kotaku published an interview with him where he..uhhh…claimed that Deus Ex and Epic Mickey are one and the same. Let’s break this down for a second. I bought his PR stunts for Epic Mickey and went ahead and bought the collector’s edition to compensate for the lack of a Deus Ex one. The game, exclusive to the Wii, was average, suffered from an awkward camera and was a simple platformer that could have been done by anyone for all I care, not Warren Spector. Not the man who defined my gaming experience and taught me to look outside the box. Making matters worse, his response to the dodgy camera was this:
“If reviewers want to give us a hard time about it because they’re misunderstanding the game we made, it’s not for me to tell them that they’re wrong,” he continued, “absolutely not.”
But back to Epic Mickey 2, Here’s the full Kotaku interview:
I think it’s a perfectly natural thing to say. When we think about games, it makes perfect sense that what we think about is actions. What you do. Games are about verbs, right? It’s about what you do.
And so I think when players [play Deus Ex] they think, “I am shooting a gun. Kids don’t shoot guns. I am in the real world. That is an adult situation.” They look at the content, and confuse content and action.
But the reality is, what makes a game mature is not, “I got a gun, I curse, that woman is naked…” that’s adolescent, it’s not “mature.” It’s the opposite of mature. I find it so ironic that we get that so completely backwards. We give mature ratings to the most immature games. In Disney Epic Mickey, it was about how important family and friends are to you. And [Epic Mickey 2] is about, “Do you believe that there is evil so profound in the world that it’s beyond redemption?” In this game, you have to decide who to trust. That’smaturity!
I think the real reason is that they think about the kinds of choices they’re being asked to make: Do I kill that thing or not? Do I fight or sneak? And in this game, the tone is completely different, the choices you’re making are completely different, the consequences are completely different. The kinds of game genres we’re mashing up… that’s what I do, I’m not a blank-screen kind of designer. I’ll leave that to Will Wright and other people who I admire and wish I was more like. But Deus Ex was literally, if you boil it down to first principles, it was literally ‘Let’s take a shooter, and a stealth game, and a role-playing game and mash ‘em all up and see what happens.’
And those are typically thought of as adult genres. And in the first Disney Epic Mickeyand in this one, all we’re doing is taking Mario, and Zelda, and pick your favorite role-playing game, and mash ‘em all up and see what happens. Because I think that could be kind of interesting. You know?
I think that we took genres that are more typically associated with kids, mashed ‘em up, put ‘em together, but the end result is that the gameplay is as deep, the choice and consequence, especially in the second game, are as deep as anything I’ve ever worked on. All it requires is, gamers have to accept that they’re not wearing sunglasses at night, they’re not wearing a trenchcoat in the middle of summer, they’re not carrying a big gun. They’re playing as a mouse.
Right there, I thought the man had lost his and his proclaimed genius has gone belly up. The child in me wanted to rebel and drop a heinous comment on the post just so he and people who entertainmed such thought got a piece of my mind. The adult, however, decided to let it go and opted to give him the benefit of the doubt. No one is really hiring brainy game designers and the world is infested with commercial projects that slave for the money. Look at Mass Effect 3 for any proof of that. The man is a game designer and needs to stay relevant. Fine by me and more power to him.
There I was, sipping my tea this morning, when I came across ANOTHER article that had Spector in the headline. I thought the man must be having a busy week and silently wished him luck for the promotions he may be offering Epic Mickey 2. Then I read the article. The man was back in the news this time because he caused a shit fit at Gamestop because a fan who wanted to get Mickey Ears works for Glenn Beck. *Goes to research Glenn Beck and watches some of his videos*.
Was assaulting and verbally abusing the man really worth it? Let the man leave with his Mickey Ears and be the bigger man about it!