Rant Central #14: Leo Laporte, stop talking about gaming, PLEASE!

Disclaimer: Leo Laporte diehards, I realize he’s building the Ultimate Gaming PC, so don’t even bother bringing that up.  That’s beside the point. 😉

I don’t mean to disparage anyone, especially when the wolf pack that follows Leo Laporte would be very happy to eat me for lunch, but when it comes to the topic of videogames Leo needs to not even bother. The misinformed sludge that comes out of his mouth every time he tries to speak about games time after time confirms that he’s just plain out of touch.

As I write this I’m listening to the 6/27/08 edition of his Nationally syndicated radio show The Tech Guy and what do you know Leo has just started telling his audience that more than likely don’t play videogames (a good percentage do, but this is about the latter) that gaming is all about “shoot’em ups”. Now, when was the last time you heard anyone call any game a “shoot’em up”. Surely, he has some merit when he say’s there hasn’t been a whole lot of innovation so to speak, but then there’s this sequel talk he brings up. He brings up Halo “3”, Metal Gear Solid “4”, and a few other’s as being prime examples of this all the while in the tech sector that he mainly covers you have things like OS “X”, Windows Vista (which is version 6), Firefox 3, IE 7, Photoshop might as well be 35 since they’ve ditched the numbers for “CS” its gotten so high up there. So, why is gaming really any different after at the beginning of this very segment he starts his monologue professing his love for the tech industry that’s infinitely more guilty of the very same thing he’s complaining about?

By now you must be thinking why the hell am I bringing this up or why the hell do I care what Leo Laporte says? Well, it’s rather simple. A large chunk of his audience are what many would call a potential casual gamer. Fear mongers of the likes of Leo are spreading their lies and down right false notions onto the public of potential gamers who know no better than to believe every word he or anyone like him says. The false nature of Vista hate comes to mind for sure. Bringing a thought process from circa 1995 in the heyday of Doom and Doom II about videogames today is not only careless, but doing a complete disservice to the entire gaming industry as a whole.

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Then, he brings up the advancements in the technology as if its only there to make games look pretty, and that is a big part, but that’s only what someone who thinks with a mass affinity for being shallow would only see on the surface.

The only games that make money are shooters, right? Well that’s what our boy Leo says. It’s only contrary to all of the yearly sales charts that frequently are topped by games specifically aimed for kids. Isn’t it funny how Leo nearly only mentions shooters, because that just so happens to be the types of game he’s interested in? Then again, he lightly includes racing and sports games as if they’re so few and far between as compared to the fraction of shooters released versus those other two genres. Clearly all videogames are violent, there for there can not be any semblance of games that aren’t for a kid/family friendly demographic, right? Unfortunately looking at the facts about the videogame market (#8 especially), they contradict nearly everything the uninformed continue to believe about the videogame industry.

The State of Videogame Awareness

And of course, this entire argument I have against Leo Laporte is really just a manifestation of the reality of things in relation to the public perception of anything having to do with videogames. The Xbox 360 is seen by the not to keen eye as only a box that you kill (virtual)people with. Naturally that is not the case, yet that perception continues to persist regardless of the reality in which we all live and “play” in. It’s all to easy to point a non-gamer to a console like the Wii thinking you’re doing them a kind service, because it has a perception of “family friendly”, then again the Xbox 360 has a large share of family friendly software choices as well. Isn’t it funny how that’s conveniently ignored when it hurts your already flawed opinion?

Leo has done quite a bit for the Tech world, but when it comes to gaming it immediately turns into a case much like your parents at some point trying to be hip while their around your friends back in the day. It’s quite simple to understand isn’t it? Unfortunately, spewing falsities based on sales figures alone is not only reckless, but down right incompetent. How are potential gamers going to learn the truth when there being lied to? The Wii most certainly is not the only console for family entertainment. The Xbox 360 is only a shooter box perception will only cease to exist when everyone’s last generation consensus is no more.

-William “thewilleffect” Bell-

3 Responses

  1. Are you offended by the phrase “shoot em ups” ? The truth is *most* games involve shooting… Leo may not be a hardcore gamers, but he does play some games and keeps up with the latest stuff.

  2. I really like most of what Leo has to say. However, he and a lot of others (FOX News) seem to totally mess up facts and or just don’t do any research before running a story or commenting on the video gaming industry. Honestly in a lot of cases I imagine it is more a case of lazy reporting or to tight of a timeline then the source really doing it on purpose. Could be wrong tho, maybe he just hates getting “Pwned” in Halo 3 🙂

  3. Zak: I’m not offended by the phrase shoot’em up. I’m offended by the context at which he uses it. It’s as if it’s used as a put down as referred to shooters in general. He’s been talking with Paul Thurott on Windows Weekly about the misconceptions about Windows Vista that are out there, but at the same time doing that very same thing when it comes to videogames.

    Bigglesworth: I’ve been a Leo fan for a long time. I’ve followed him throughout the entire ZD/Techtv era and so forth, but every time he mentions videogames he makes me cringe. As someone who isn’t just the average joe gamer, I’d just like to see him call on the so-called “experts” for a real conversation on this topic like he does for everything else. Am I asking for too much?

    I’ve tried contacting him before, but he’s rather hard to get a hold of. I’ve been sitting on this for quite a while and decided to just get it out there regardless. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of Leo. He plays games, yes I know, but nearly everything he says comes from hearsay and not his on viewpoint from playtime experience. I’d imagine doing video for how many hours a day and having a family on top of that would leave you with much gaming time, not to mention all of the tech only stuff.

    This is all about the fact that he has a major influence over the greater public that he speaks to. Him saying some of the things he says only placates to the sad fact that most people will take what he says at face value.

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