Letters To The Editor: 'Just To Be Clear'

The latest round of Gamasutra's Letters to the Editor contains more reader responses to a variety of our recent features, opinion pieces and general coverage, including clarifications on Scrum (or is it SCRUM?), more Breakout related trivia, and mo
Gamasutra has recently had further interesting feedback to some of our notable features and opinion pieces, as collected through our Letters to the Editor, so here's the latest roundup, with some of the reactions you might have missed. Click through on each link (free reg. req.) for the full Letter. In response to Tom Buscaglia's feature, entitled 'Game Law: SCRUM Deals - Good, Bad or Ugly!' Tom Plunket had a point of clarification: "To get the ball rolling, "Scrum" is not an acronym. It is not spelled in all-caps. Scrum is an agile process, but not all agile processes are called "Scrum." Indeed, iterative development is nothing new, and the listed companies are not historically "Scrum" shops; while they are starting to use it to some degree these days, their success is due to their iterative process before their adoption of Scrum." Russell Carroll appreciated Mark Nelson's 'Breaking Down Breakout: System And Level Design For Breakout-style Games' -- but as a big Breakout fan, Carroll had a few things to add: "One that I noted was mentioning that Funkiball was the first to have paddle bump. Paddle Bump was first seen in Break Ball 2 (2002), some years before Funkiball (2005). BB2 also tried a number of things that were "firsts", so far as I know, such as selectable paddle types with special abilities and moving bricks (disclosure: I was involved in its creation, though not in its design). Alas, the graphics were poor and the game was not as well-known as some, but many of the ideas have since been found elsewhere (a post from 2003 on Indiegamer [then Dexterity forums] details some of the interesting points to Breakout that I had surmised at the time: [look about halfway down])." Finally, Ernest Adams comments on Ian Bogost's recent feature "How I Stopped Worrying About Gamers And Started Loving People Who Play Games": "I see Bogost's editorial games as being somewhat analogous to editorial cartoons. Editorial cartoons are not always laugh-out-loud funny, but they are intended to make a topical point. An editorial cartoonist would, I think, take the exact opposite of Holt's view: it's better to err on the side of making your point than it is to err on the side of being hilarious. If an editorial cartoon is merely amusing without being pointed, it belongs in the funny papers, not on the editorial page -- and the funny papers are the equivalent of conventional video games: enjoyable, but irrelevant to the real news. Bogost's games might not generate as much adrenaline as the latest Crytek extravaganza, but that's not what they're for. If you want big yuks, stick to the funny papers." For more reactions to other recent features such as Leigh Alexander's The Original Gaming Bug: Centipede Creator Dona Bailey and Nick Rumas' 'The State of Korea: PC Games', visit our Letters page.

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