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Poll: Which do you like more?
Poll Results Which do you like more?
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September 01, 2011, 03:08:15 PM - ORIGINAL POST -

I'm very curious to see how this community responds to this question. I have no doubt that the majority of us enjoy both forms of entertainment, but if you absolutely had to chose just ONE, what would it be?
Read September 01, 2011, 03:27:12 PM #1

Last time I played a video game: Umm, now.  (About to play some Giga Wing 2 after I make this post)
Last time I seriously watched anime: ~1 year ago.

Read September 01, 2011, 10:01:15 PM #2

"Anime" as a general term versus "Games" as a general term?

Anime.  I'm not much of an anime fanboy, but I'm even less a gamer.
Read September 01, 2011, 10:11:54 PM #3

In high school, anime & games were definitely 50/50 equal. So many defining games like Golden Sun & Super Smash Brother Melee..
Also tons of great animes had just appeared, since Toonami was running strong.

Presently though, great games are prevalent while I've basically seen most (if not all) of the best animes out there already. Therefore at present, games are more liked.
Read September 01, 2011, 10:13:49 PM #4

"Anime" as a general term versus "Games" as a general term?

Anime.  I'm not much of an anime fanboy, but I'm even less a gamer.
Don't make it any harder than the question is. You decide what "anime" and "games" mean. Does 'games' include board games and crossword puzzles? Does Avatar the Last Air Bender count as 'anime'? Who knows, that's your call. I'm just curious, so I made the question as vague as possible.
Read September 01, 2011, 10:22:36 PM #5

I took it to mean electronic games

board games and card games would be > anime
Read September 02, 2011, 08:37:49 AM #6

Yeah, I have to echo the general claim - was a lot more into both in the past.  Other than rhythm games, I don't invest anywhere near as much time/effort as I once did into gaming, have generally not been too interested in industry developments, and haven't been going back and playing through my collection that extensively either.  Handhelds - and even casual games on my phone - are nice when waiting in line, and sometimes I'll spend a couple hours playing something when the mood strikes me, but that's less often than it once was.  Board games hold a bit more interest for me than video games, probably since they do a better job playing to my interest in strategy - I think a big part of my lowered interest in video games is that I've felt like there are fewer and fewer titles that appeal to my favorite niches in new and interesting ways.

On the other hand, I've barely been watching any anime for a few years now and don't really care that much.  Sometimes it seems like it'd be fun to go back and watch something again, and if somebody spoke really highly of something newer, I might be inclined to go watch it, but overall, I have a lot less interest in anime than in games.
Read September 02, 2011, 08:57:34 AM #7

I have to agree that board games appeal to me much more now than either anime or video games for not only for the fact that they generally involve more strategy than video games, but they also provide an opportunity for socialization.  Rhythm games also appeal to me, possibly because they have the side benefits of exercise and socialization.  As for just "normal" video games, occasionally I will want to play random stuff in my collection (I'm on a shmup [i.e. 2D vertical scrolling ones] kick right now), but these are hardly regular and I hardly care about the mainstream.

And let's just face it--these days, the video game industry today sucks.  Some say it's going through its "awkward teenage years" right now, but I doubt it.

« Last Edit: September 02, 2011, 09:02:26 AM by tadAAA »
Read September 02, 2011, 09:03:55 AM #8

And let's just face it--these days, the video game industry today sucks.  Some say it's going through its "awkward teenage years" right now, but I doubt it.
I'd have to disagree. The media primarily covers the same ole' stuff (the big-ticket games) but there are SO many unique indie projects out there that I'd be amazed if there's 'nothing interesting' out there for you. Just like the movie industry, it's just difficult for something unique to get noticed amidst the big boys.

On that note, have you "strategy" people checked out Frozen Synapse?
Read September 02, 2011, 09:18:38 AM #9

Video games.... Anime was cool in high school. Too obnoxious usually for me nowadays though.

Although I'm not gonna lie, over 10 years have passed and I still sometimes wish life was like Dragonball Z and I could power up and shoot beams and stuff...

Hence why we play Dragonforce hehe
Read September 02, 2011, 09:37:53 AM #10

I'd have to disagree. The media primarily covers the same ole' stuff (the big-ticket games) but there are SO many unique indie projects out there that I'd be amazed if there's 'nothing interesting' out there for you. Just like the movie industry, it's just difficult for something unique to get noticed amidst the big boys.

Maybe so, but on top of that, I'm just not interested in playing video games as much anymore.  It was a lot more appealing in high school and to an extent college, when you really aren't sacrificing much to be able to play them.  But these days when I'm job hunting (probably/hopefully coming to an end soon), I can't really seem to play a video game without the constant thoughts of "I could really be doing something more productive right now, like studying or a side project to buff up my resume".  Rhythm games override those thoughts because I'm also getting exercise and socializing while I play them.  Then with niche games, there's the added annoying thought of "Nobody's ever heard of this game; I won't be able to talk about it with anyone".  These thoughts may sound like depression, but ultimately depression is a motivator.  My subconscious knows there's stuff I have to get done, and it's not video games.  I guess somewhere along the line, socializing (and in turn, gradually building social skills) and success in the real world became more important to me than video games.
Read September 02, 2011, 10:42:19 AM #11

I will definitely have to look into Frozen Synapse.  Then again, I've also been meaning to take a look at Achron, since the concept (the battles involve time travel - you can send units and orders back in time and the game will recalculate the current game state accordingly) seems amazing.  Plus I finally have a copy of Red Alert 3 waiting to be played... as soon as I find the English audio/text files (Amazon shipped me the Russian version, which I did not immediately return because having the Russian version of RA3 seemed oddly appropriate).

Suko/Tada: I'd say the game industry is definitely not in a downward spiral, but it is in a strange mixed state.  Between open source engines (and games being packaged with a variety of modding tools) for PC games, free/cheap licenses for console/phone APIs, and internet distribution, it's definitely the best times for indie development.  Additionally, games like Katamari and Catherine have shown that you can go off the path a little (Catherine) or a lot (Katamari) and still get a solid enough following to justify the effort.

The gaming media has always focused on the same things - the biggest upcoming RPG title and the next few FPS titles.  There are only two differences these days.  First, major industry players have been trying to market to the media instead of the players - not that they didn't in the past, but it's getting worse.  Secondly, the FPS genre is no longer PC-exclusive, so it has come to dominate console media just as it did (and still does) the PC gaming media.  I think the latter is the heavier blow, since consoles able to give a good FPS experience skip eliminates the cost barrier that made PC gaming a niche for so long.

The Cracked article Tada linked also ends with a good point about the current state of the industry - the idea of what a game should be is in a heavy state of flux.  Between the wide availability of gimmicky features (like motion control or 3D screens), the and the rise of casual gaming, the industry has been confused about what kinds of things should go into what kind of game, leading to a awkwardly tacked-on and/or poorly designed features that are there mainly because some completely unrelated game has them.
Read September 02, 2011, 12:31:46 PM #12

There may be indie/niche games out there, but by their very nature they are hard to find; there's no way I would have discovered some of the more niche titles I've played, like Disgaea or Katamari Damacy without word of mouth.  I know websites like GameFAQs, or even Amazon provide recommendations now, but it's hard to really know if you want to play a game by a title, the boxart.  It would be pretty cool if maybe there was a site that recommended indie games based on what you played and like, but AFAIK such a site doesn't exist.

« Last Edit: September 02, 2011, 12:36:29 PM by tadAAA »
Read September 02, 2011, 01:11:28 PM #13

Googling "indie games" got me this.  I can't comment on how useful a resource this is, but it's definitely an attempt at organizing the inherently disorganized indie world.

Niche games released through more conventional channels are a bit trickier, but not impossible.  Word of mouth is a powerful tool, but does have limits, since somebody has to find the game in the first place.  If GameFAQs and Amazon give you recommendations without much content, the title alone is enough of a bridge to get you to that content - Youtube is full of gameplay videos, and there's always Google.  I'll admit that a single central system would be nice, but mashing up Amazon's recommendation system with Youtube's content by hand is extremely powerful.
Read September 02, 2011, 02:48:17 PM #14

Niche games released through more conventional channels are a bit trickier, but not impossible.  Word of mouth is a powerful tool, but does have limits, since somebody has to find the game in the first place.
Maybe it's the age gap, but how the hell did you find out about good games prior to 2000? I mean, I actually talked with people about games and heard about them that way. I don't see how this is too much different.

My feeling is that people are still being told about good, niche games. Unfortunately, in our ADD world, few people remember to check it out when they have the free time, or there are just so many games out there, that hearing a game is "good" now-a-days just doesn't catch anyone's interest.
Read September 02, 2011, 03:37:47 PM #15

When I was a kid, I found many of the games I ended up buying via a combination of rentals (my grandpa rented me and my brother random SNES games), friends, and stuff I found cool in Nintendo Power (I very distinctly remember that I found out about Pokemon Red/Blue and eagerly awaited it with the latter method).
A lot of my recommendations these days are either from friends, or hell, sometimes I've checked out a game because people talk about it on a message board (in fact, I found out about Ikaruga from a thread way back in the day on the Global BBS where people were talking about the hardest games).  Then these days there's also TVTropes, which pretty much sorts games by various aspects of their gameplay.

Perhaps another issue is well, the paradox of choice.

Now that (I'm pretty sure) all of us are adults and have more money, we have much more choice than when we were kids and we had to pretty much just play whatever we were given, and now there's the internet which pretty much allows you access to thousands of different games via various methods.  It could be very easy to find hundreds of games out of those that are "good", but the matter of having so much to choose from makes the decision that much harder.

It could also be the fact that, (I'm also assuming) we've all been playing video games for such a long time (almost two decades for me) that our standards are much higher than they were when we had just started; each new game is competing with progressively more games that we've played to get our attention.

Ultimately though, I think it may just come down to the fact that we don't want to play video games anymore.  Now that we have jobs and/or social lives to attend to as adults, we just don't have time/want to spend our time playing video games.  I forget where I heard it from, but this pretty much sums up my thoughts: "Nobody on their deathbed wished they played more video games".
Read September 05, 2011, 02:13:38 PM #16

I used to find games through three main sources: word of mouth (including playing at a friend/family member's house), brute force, and Nintendo Power.

NP was obviously a bit biased a source and focused heavily on Nintendo and Square (though, they were both consistently putting out good stuff in the SNES era, so that's not a bad thing, though it wasn't helpful because I was buying their stuff anyway) but they did do a reasonable job at least giving a two paragraph blurb about the bulk of the games coming out each month (sometimes movie/TV tie-ins were skipped, but almost everything else got it's sixth of a page in the back).

Word of mouth is obvious enough, but it was a little different in the past.  Console games - and the players themselves - hadn't developed firm genre lines just yet, so  most people usually had some gem hidden in their collection that they had picked up based on the console art.

Brute force is also fairly obvious.  I had an allowance they covered a new game roughly every month and a half and my parents would pay me WA minimum wage ($5 / hr at the time) if there was actual work that I could do (either large yard work projects or coming along to help them fix up their their rental houses - they work 7 days a week when a house was vacant, so I could make as much as $80 over one weekend if I would actually put in 8 hours of work for 2 days in a row).  Eventually, I got kind of tired of the majority of my purchases not being worth it, which is why my SNES collection dwarfs my later collections.  It didn't hurt that Burien has had a couple used game stores at different points in time (there's never more than one at a time, but it's always in the same plaza), so I could often find stuff at a solid discount, though this still had the same problem wherein one-in-X games were actually good, they were just cheaper, so you could buy more of them.

After that, I just generally figured that a company I liked would probably put out more games that I would like.  This did actually hold fairly well in the past, since buyouts by one of the industry megacorps were happening quite yet.
Read September 05, 2011, 03:00:26 PM #17

Unlike Tony, I didn't have very much money or ways of making money as a kid; my main way of buying video games was either from my birthday or Christmas, or saving up money that my relatives gave me on holidays, or (very embarrassingly) begging my parents to buy me them.  The rentals that my grandpa did gave me exposure at least, but there's no way I could just brute force buying games and hope they were good.

I still used NP for N64 games.  For PSX games, I pretty much went exclusively by companies/series that I knew.

Then when it comes to my PS2 collection, I was in high school/college and had more money, so my standards for trying to buy a game went way down, and I'd try stuff at the drop of a friend's recommendation or even looking at the boxart.

Unfortunately I came across a lot of mediocre games that way, which really ruined my desire to try anything at random, and now I'm back to buying games from series I know and love as far as commercial games go.  And even some of those are going to crap.  Final Fantasy XIII?  Yuck.  It plays and looks more like an FPS than an RPG, and I've heard some people call it a movie with occasional interaction.  I heard XIV is awful too, plus I'm really not willing to play another MMORPG. 

And for some series, the games just come out so seldomly.  Pokemon is consistently okay to good, but I was a little disappointed with B/W (though I do love HeartGold, I'm a bit burnt out on it for now), and it will probably be at least late 2012 until the next main series game or remakes come out.  New Dragon Quest games only come out about every 4-5 years, so we're probably looking at another 2-3 years before the next one.  I would go out and check Disgaea 4, but I have still barely played 3 at this point and feel awkward about skipping entries in a series.
Read September 05, 2011, 06:00:37 PM #18

My exposure to anime started at Pok√©mon and pretty much ended there.  Never was a big fan, so video games win by default.
Read September 05, 2011, 09:50:22 PM #19

Back to the original topic, I've always been a much more hardcore video game fan than anime fan.  The only time I was significantly into anime was about 2003-2005, my last two years of high school and the very beginning of college (and as said before, it's been about a year since I've watched any anime).  As early as the late freshman year (i.e. spring 2006), Tony was trying to get me back into it.  I can see myself re-watching stuff from that 2003-2005 period where I was into it (and I have sort of been wanting to re-watch Excel Saga as of late), but really don't think I could pick up anything new, and I can't see myself getting back into the fandom.

Meanwhile I've been into video games pretty much non-stop since the early '90s.

« Last Edit: September 05, 2011, 09:57:52 PM by tadAAA »
Read September 06, 2011, 09:58:50 AM #20

Seeing the overwhelming choice for video games over anime, I'm left a bit confused. If this is the case, then how come the vast majority of this community goes to Sakuracon each year, but only a handful visit PAX? It really surprises me, especially when you consider the wait times just to get into Sakuracon. Is it because Sakuracon has a free play arcade room and a DDR or ITG tournament every year?
Read September 06, 2011, 10:30:53 AM #21

Probably because PAX caters pretty much exclusively to mainstream Western gamers, which most of us seem to not be.  Not to mention the horrible B.O. of tens of thousands of gamers who don't shower is pretty overwhelming; even at PAX '05 and '06 (stopped going after that) it smelled horrible and back then there were only about 1/4 of the guests there are today.

As for SC, in addition to being an anime convention, it caters to more niche/indie gamers; they have the arcade machine rentals that Suko mentioned, a classic gaming room, which is something I didn't see at either PAX I went to, and at SC '09 there was even a Touhou panel.  Body odor is pretty much a non-existent problem.

As for me (and I'm sure others) SC has pretty much become tradition.  I've attended every one I reasonably could since '04, and some here have been going since earlier than me.  It's still a great chance to spend a weekend with friends even if you don't like anime in particular; there's plenty of stuff to do for any facet of nerdiness.

There is just a fundamental problem with having one broad category of "video games".   There are so many subdivisions within them that calling someone a "gamer" really doesn't mean anything without an adjective in front of it.

« Last Edit: September 06, 2011, 11:56:36 AM by tadAAA »
Read September 06, 2011, 11:10:59 AM #22

Wait times are pretty much zero for me at SC because I've been on staff since SC08 and staff get to pick up their badges from con offices instead of the ridiculous 127849712987 hour line. There's a classic gaming room, tournaments on games I play, and I like watching a few anime movies each year.

PAX is just not really interesting for me because the focus isn't on the games I play. I only play a couple of game series, and I don't play anything non-competitively. This basically means that I'm not really interested in "new" games unless they're going to have an equivalent sort of scene. I've entered the Rock Band (with some friends) and Tetris tournaments the last few years at PAX. I don't particularly have a desire to go to many of the panels, and the one that was relevant to my interests this year (Then and Now: How Competitive Gaming Has Changed) was a joke. The panelists included TriforceGM, Billy Mitchell, and some guys from the "Council of Gaming Legends" which I can assure you has nothing at all to do with competitive gaming now or "then", for that matter. PAX to me just feels like E3 for people who aren't in the industry now (let's face it; a good amount of companies straight up just brought their E3 booths to PAX this year). I don't really care that much for JoCo or most of the game music groups either. I guess what it comes down to is that I might just not be a "gamer". I have zero interest in anything current now. I more or less just play TGM, Trackmania, Bemani games, and pinball.

One show that I think is much better than either of the other two for me is the Northwest Pinball and Gameroom Show. If you're remotely into pinball, it's amazing as there are literally hundreds of pinballs on loan from collectors all around the state in great condition, and tons of arcade games as well. Hell, Bobby brought more or less the entire Pink Gorilla arcade collection last year. Loads of older arcade games too, if you're into those.
Read September 06, 2011, 11:53:03 AM #23

First off, the wait times to get into Sakuracon are not consistently that bad.  Day-of registration in '09/'10 was atrocious (it peaked at 8 hours in '10) and the executives were pretty ashamed of it, but last year, I believe the worst case was more like 2 due to a new manager and a serious overhaul of the process.  Sakuracon has its issues, but they're quick to recognize and fix them as best they can.  That said, the worst case for the pre-reg line for Thursday evening pickup (any year) was something like 45 minutes, so if you know you're going a few months in advance and can stop by on Thursday (I think early pickup is like 6pm-10pm), the line is a moot point.  I don't remember the full explanation for Sakuracon not mailing badges out in advance instead of making everyone come pick them up, but I believe it was tied to weird convention center policies that PAX literally bribes their way out of (no value judgment on PAX here; the convention center literally tells Sakuracon that they can get around certain rules if they pay for extra convention center staff, who officially to oversee whatever it is that conflicts with the standard policy); PAX is a for-profit convention with serious industry backing, whereas Sakuracon is a non-profit with much weaker sponsorship.  This is also why Sakuracon is always Easter weekend - as well as it being one of the few open slots in the convention center's schedule, they also get to rent the whole place out for a fraction of the normal price.

That said, I first went since I lived relatively close to the old location (by the airport) and there were DDR/ITG tournaments.  The fact there was an anime convention was kind of a bonus which gave me something to do for the rest of the weekend.  Even if I wasn't staff, two tournaments and three days of freeplay would make a compelling case for paying to go, since it's not hard to make up the $35 early pre-reg fee in that case.  For me, the anime convention is, honestly, still a bonus on top of that - it's hard to say if that would be enough to justify the convention in of itself, but it's really cool since I'm already there.

Having not gone to other anime conventions, I can't comment on relative emphasis, but Sakuracon generally doesn't half-ass anything, so as Tada mentioned, as the convention grew, gaming grew proportionally and diversified, so the cramped "console room" from '05 (my first year) is now a 70-something station Wii/360/PS3 room, the retro gaming room has grown from about 10 stations that were available during daytime hours only in '06 to about two dozen stations that run 24/7, Microsoft sets up their own room to showcase stuff, and while the Rock Band stage can be a huge annoyance to the arcade, it does attract some very long lines.  There's also a tabletop room (for board games and collectible card/figurine gaming).  Sakuracon is as much a gaming convention as an anime convention - there's still more space dedicated to anime, and the major events/guests are definitely not based around gaming, but Gaming (the group responsible for gaming rooms/events) gets a solid amount of staff and transitioned away from using loaned equipment (other than the retro room, which is stocked and run by a local retro enthusiast group), so that they could provide consistent quality.  It's only niche stuff they don't have stocked by default (even then, they have some niche stuff, just not nearly all of it), and they're quite happy to let people bring stuff in if they don't already have it.

Additionally, I know more people who go to Sakuracon than PAX, so there's a feedback loop year after year where people prioritize Sakuracon over PAX because everyone else does the same.  

As for PAX, I will admit to having not gone, so my opinion is based on word of mouth, but hear the same things over and over.  First, PAX is the new E3 and everything is built around an industry trade show rather than the attendees.  Secondly, as a result, there's not actually much of a place to do any gaming, and what is available is driven by the industry interests - so, very new, purely mainstream offerings, unless you can fight through the line to get a seat one of the rare open-gaming stations.  Third, even though PAX is only a little bigger than Sakuracon*, it is much more densely packed and offers less content that you can't actually do anything.  Rather than trying to open things up more, they just build larger focal points - for example, while the Omegathon is a cool concept - and a PAX tradition - I hate watching competition, especially for things I could be competing in, so I would never bother watching it, yet it's meant to held mitigate the crowds by getting a significant portion of the attendees to park themselves for hours, thus freeing up things for those not interested.  As much as it's annoying to have to choose between conflicting events at Sakuracon (the things that look interesting usually overlap with the ITG tournament, and then of the few things that don't, a few of them conflict with each other), I prefer the idea that I have to choose what to do than go do the only interesting thing.  I'll repeat that I haven't gone, so this is just based on word of mouth, but in general, I don't hear compelling arguments in favor of PAX, with the exception of how cool it is to see the demos of a few upcoming games.

Also, I just took a look at the PAX schedule, and find the idea of a 4 hour Smash Bros. tournament humorous; it peaked with the '06/'07 Melee tournaments which ran for 16+ hours, but even today, Sakuracon assumes that the annual Brawl tournament will take 10 hours, even with dozens of stations dedicated to tournament play.  Honestly, the structure of the gaming events schedule is kind of telling - during Sakuracon's giant Brawl tournament, they still wind up scheduling another tournament or two, since the main console room can actually fit that many people without blocking off every station.  Additionally, they run multiple daily high-score attack competitions throughout each day, to try and appeal to an even wider competitive audience, without forcing everyone to come in for strictly scheduled tournaments, given the potential for conflicts.

* PAX measures turnstile attendance, which treats a 3-day pass as 3 "attendees"; Sakuracon uses total badges, regardless of type.  Hard to say how many one day passes PAX sells (but, I'd assume it's fairly small compared to the number of 3 day passes), but with a total attendance of 70k, they presumably had between 23k and 25k unique visitors, vs. Sakuracon's 19k.  I'm not going to place any judgment on either reporting system - IIRC, Otacon uses turnstile, too - but it's important to note that PAX does not get 3.3 times the attendance when someone claims it's disproportionately crowded.

« Last Edit: September 06, 2011, 11:54:37 AM by ancsik »
Read September 06, 2011, 12:16:07 PM #24

Tony's description of PAX jogged my memory a little; as far as open console gaming goes, I remember in '05 there was a line of about 25 TVs (at a convention of OVER NINE THOUUUUSAND attendees) and consoles downstairs, as well as some too-complicated-for-a-convention system with renting games/controllers that I never figured out.  I just randomly jumped in on stations that needed another player.  The problems with that were that 25 free console stations support an absolute maximum of 100 people, and it's not a good thing to have complicated (for some definition of complicated) rules at a three-day convention that's supposed to be fun.  If you wanted to game, you better have brought a DS and/or PSP, or you better be willing to enter a tournament (which as stated exclusively cater to the mainstream).

I'd also have to go with the "feedback loop" theory of Tony's; many more people I know go to SC than PAX, which means more possible time with friends.

Not to mention, people at SC are much friendlier and open to meeting new people than people at PAX.  This is mostly subjective, but as an objective measure of this, SC has essentially "missed connections" threads on their forums the days after the con; I saw people make these on PAX forums and they got flamed and their thread get locked.
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