The Proof is in the Posts

A long time ago, in another life it now seems, I used to work in the music industry. Not the high-powered world of Napster hate and Courvoisier mind you, but real in-the-trenches type stuff. My work mainly involved management and promotion in the relatively niche Jam Band scene, a section of the industry known for its focus on grassroots promotion and word-of-mouth popularity. Never once did I think the skills I picked up in that field would be useful here.

Everyone seems so intent on hating UGO right now; I thought I’d try to bring some balance by doing a little grassroots promotion for my friends there. You say there’s nothing good coming from the site? Well then, I respond with LINKS! Before going any further, I also want to assure you readers that Ramblings is not going to become a UGO satellite site. It’s just that the events of the past 48 hours have hit very close to home, and I’m left on the outside to watch as friends who I respect deeply are unfairly dragged through the mud.

First up is a series of “Narrative in Gaming” interview features from frequent UGO contributor Locke Webster. Locke sat down with creatives involved in the development of Fallout 3, Far Cry 2, Dead Space and Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune to discuss the role of narrative in those games.

Fallout 3
Far Cry 2
Dead Space
Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune

Next is a post from UGO’s Rene Rosa, made just after Spore Creature Creator‘s release last year. One of Rene’s creations was banned for carrying the descriptor “Not a penis.” So he fired back in the Gamesblog with this humorous post, masking a commentary on EA’s lack of culpability in what the end-user does with their products behind his razor-sharp wit.

EA Bans Spore Creature Because it is ‘Not a Penis’

Now I’m going to shine the spotlight on Chris Plante. He actually came to UGO some time after I started writing for them, but he’s quickly become one of my favorite working writers in this field. His gaming humor site Hardcasual sits comfortably in my blogroll and should not be missed either, but his touch on UGO’s features elevates the value of even a simple “Top 11” charticle. His 2008 end of year round-ups were particularly inspired, so I’ve linked those below.

Video Game Saviors of 2008
Video Games Heartbreaks of 2008
Be a Better Gamer in ’09

And finally, there’s Russ Frushtick. The man who owns UGO’s games content. This fact makes Russ the hardest personality to capture in a couple links, simply because his work transcends daily posts. None of the above would be possible however were it not for him.

The two links that follow lead to Russ’s controversial review of Left 4 Dead in which he disparaged the relative cost of the game in light of what’s on the disc. He, like many of us in and around the UGO office, loved actually playing the game. The $60 price tag just didn’t feel right though and he took Valve/EA to task on it in the review and a subsequent post.

Left 4 Dead review
Thoughts on the Value of Left 4 Dead

There’s been a lot of talk since this UGO/1UP fiasco started about gaming’s “PERSONALITIES.” It’s become the buzzword of the moment as people have railed against the loss of their favorite voices at 1UP. I can understand the frustration, but I just can’t abide the misinformed hate. UGO has PERSONALITIES of its own. These are people who play just as many games and care just as much about the growth of the industry as the rest of you. I would encourage you all to give them a chance before you condemn them for being indirectly associated with the 1UP layoffs. Don’t hate the players folks… love the games.

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3 Responses to “The Proof is in the Posts”

  1. Hey, so I’ll give ’em a try. I can’t say that they’ll replace the folks at 1up who were lost in the shuffle in my cold, stoney heart, but eh, that’s not what you’re getting at anyway. And besides, I’ve got enough room in there for some more folks. So onward, to READING!

  2. Trying to offer up UGO’s PERSONALITIES seems a bit like when you were a kid and your dog had to go the ‘farm’ and when it came back it looked a bit different. That’s not to say that I don’t understand what you’re trying to say though. I feel that, like many members of the 1up community, the loss of our favorite personalities is not something that we are trying to fill with new personalities.
    To be honest, 2 weeks after the buyout I finally took the time to take a look at UGO. I’m was honestly more interested to find out what the axed 1up members were doing first. Eventually I might take a closer look at UGO, but from what I see I don’t think the site will apeal to me(Don’t like the review rating systems or combination of other media coverage)
    And even if I were to find new personalities at UGO, nothing they offer can fill the void left by the end of EGM.(Though I understand that UGO did NOT kill EGM and there were a lot more factors involved but still)

  3. geminibros Says:

    @ Mark:

    I think you’re misunderstanding my intentions with this post. I’m not offering up UGO’s writers as a potential 1up replacement. That would be pretty disrespectful, and such tactics are not my game.

    I’m merely trying to point out that the UGO editorial team does not deserve the hate that’s been directed their way. Not only because, as you and I agree, they had nothing to do with EGM’s demise, but also because there seems to be a general misconception about the site’s content. The many haters who have castigated UGO’s output as being too juvenile or sponsor-friendly are just plain ignorant. I’m not saying such material is entirely absent, but UGO is no better or worse in that regard than any of the other major game enthusiast websites. The above post was merely meant to correct that misconception, nothing more.

    As for UGO personalities filling “the void left by the end of EGM,” that’s an apples-and-oranges comparison. Both may have covered games, but I don’t think it’s right to compare a 20 year old monthly magazine to a website featuring daily content updates. You’re entitled to your opinion of course, but I think it’s important to set the record straight as to my intentions with this post.

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