I managed to land a probation on The Escapist the other day. Though I question the logic of nailing me with “trolling/obnoxious behavior” over a post that largely endeavors to get the other party to stop with the trolling/obnoxious behavior, I nonetheless interpret this as a sign: I’ve become a surly, surly man.
I blame you, Internet.
Right now, I’m taking a usability class mostly focused on making Internet websites. We’re told that the best way to design a website to be usable is based off of 3 laws of Steve Krug‘s:
- “Don’t make me think.”
- “It doesn’t matter how many times I have to click, as long as each click is a mindless, unambiguous choice.”
- “Get rid of half the words on each page, then get rid of half of what is left.”
The bottom line, according to this foremost authority on Internet usability, is that Internet users are to be regarded as ignorant fools who are too busy to be bothered to apply themselves towards anything.
Just how far this extends is hard to say. Internet forums certainly reflect this mentality. But what about popular media? I could certainly name quite a few pieces of music, movies, TV, books, ect that are primarily targeting the stupid.
To think that the human race has come down to this. Well, I’m not going to adapt a “if you can’t beat them, join them” attitude. I’m going to take the higher road of developing my own software that works on these usability rules:
1. “The user may not want to think, but can be warmed up to the idea if you go about it carefully.”
2. “Delivering a shallow experience just so the user won’t be intimidated is an inconsequential achievement versus delivering a deep experience in bite-sized pieces.”
Why? Because Krug’s approach is why we got ourselves into this fix to begin with. When you encounter idiocy, you should be attempting to educate it, not enable it.
Perhaps it’s time I move on to some other platforms?
I’ve been solely a PC user for awhile, and I wonder if this might be part of the problem. Though we have our exceptions (e.g. Braid) it seems like the larger body of American PC developers are addicted to the shallow cash grab. Maybe what happened was that the majority of the smart American developers left the pirate-infested PC market?
Out of a desperation (I was morbidly depressed for hanging around a GameStop for over an hour and not liking any of the games for my current platforms) I bought a PSP over the weekend.
I haven’t regretted the purchase. A lot of these games are more satisfying than the kinds of games I’ve been exposed to lately. I’m not wapanese (I’ve also run into some good European and Russian titles lately) but I’m afraid the prevalence of Japanese titles may be a large part of this. It’s reassuring to know that the American cash grab addiction has not fully infused the developers in all other countries on Earth yet. (Granted, Nintendo’s focus on the casual as of late indicates the infection is spreading.)
My success with the PSP, coupled with my noticing how much of its content is online distributed, clues me towards another likely source of awesome.
I now deeply suspect I’ve put off going to the iPod/iPhone/iPad platform for too long. I hope to have enough money set aside to get an iPad when they come out in a few months.
Who knows? Maybe I’ll even become a developer for the software for that platform. In the meanwhile, I’ll continue working in BYOND. It is, at least, quite good for prototyping. Developing an incredible innovative game is tough, but I have found a far easier goal: developing simply to get better at developing.
Filed under: Life