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Column 35: The Next Big Step
November 9th, 2007

Sean - 5:55pm EDT

I do have more letters today than the last time I wrote a column, but not really enough to make me happy! Write in, people! I guess everyone is busy with schoolwork, or something.

The skunks are now gone, but the smell still lingers. Today it is a blessing that I can write this while not at home--I don't even want to be there anymore. This week has been busy at work, and coupled with my birthday yesterday, left me feeling very tired. I hope to sleep well tonight. I didn't get any toys, but my girlfriend did bring up the Next Big Step in our relationship. We will be moving in together soon. I am very excited, as this is the first time for me! On the other hand, I doubt I will keep my gaming time...

The little time that I spent on games this week has been given over to the Witcher. I love that game. It is just so much of a breath of fresh air to play something mature that isn't completely about gunning down infants and running down the elderly for extra points. The game is dark and absolutely delicious!

I spent way too much time in the hospital this week. It was horrible. I feel like I have lost fourteen hours of my life. And we didn't get to see any doctors. How the hell can they justify that? I guess this is what happens if you need help after regular business hours.

So, what is in the letter bag today?

I have been called Seany way too many times now...

How do, Seany?! (That's British Northern speak for you)

I've no idea whether this has been discussed recently, as I've shamefully neglected rpgamer for quite some time now... *blushes*


Bad reader! Bad! BAD! Go sit in a corner. NOW.

Anyhow, straight to the point - I recently went to the Video Games Live concert at the London Royal Festival Hall, and while it was at times quite magical, I'd be lying if I didn't hold my hands up and admit that, at several points during the show, I was literally cringing at how "nerdy" (for want of a better word) the massive majority of the audience was. Seriously, I couldn't move for long leather jackets, thick glasses, bad sweat problems and neck beards - all of them bellowing out the geekiest of phrases and using all the classic terms that the rest of the world so cruelly mocks them for - such as "the time when Neo777 pwn'd a newbie on such and such a game"...


Heh, I am definitely a nerd, but I share none of those traits. I am often clean-shaven (by often I mean once a week), never wear long leather jackets, my glaces are thin and I usually don't yell out geeky phrases. But I do like to jeer people, so that might count.

Seriously, it was such a stereotypical crowd of people surrounding me that it got me thinking - do you think events like this only help further cement the "nerdy" reputation that gamers have, rather than attempt to make gaming in general a less niche activity? I mean, come on - is it really necessary for 95% of the audience to wear the exact same items of clothing, all desperately attempting to look all dark and cool from behind their bottle-top specs? It's really cringe-worthy, and from my personal viewpoint only served to remind me NEVER to reach that stage myself.


I vowed the same many years ago. I just couldn't live with myself, if I did. I had the same kind of view of people when I went to that hockey game last week. When in an arena, regular people become uniformed, beer-chugging, social morons. Dancing around, cheering, jeering, tossing food at others. Disgusting.

I genuinely don't mean to offend anyone with this letter, it's merely my opinion - what are your thoughts?

Cheers Sean,

Josh xx


I don't really care how others portray themselves, only about how I see myself. I am by all means a "nerd," and a "geek," and that is how I am known at work. I don't really care what they think of me. I still remember the shock on some of their faces when they realized that I was just a normal guy with gaming tendencies--I work hard, go to school, have a healthy relationship, etc. Anyways, I don't want to go more into this, so I'll just move on. Thanks for writing in, Josh!

Man, this presentation is boring!

Hello Sean. As others have already mentioned, the PS3 is region locked when playing PS1/2 games on the system. Due to the fact that the PS3 games aren't region locked though, this is actually a non issue for gamers who still have their PS2. I have a friend in the States who bought a Japanese PS3. This allows him to play all of the old PS1/2 games from Japan on the system while still allowing him to play normal NA PS3 games. For all of the older PS1/2 games that he has, he just uses the PS2. It can be done in any territory, so... Food for thought for those that are willing.



The presentation that is being shown in class looks like it was ripped off of the slides presented by a professor of a required class in my program. I smell some cheating! And it is boring--very much so.

Sorry for that, TFM. Do you mind that shortening of your nickname? I see the point, and I did get the idea of doing the Japanese PS3 thing, but I would rather just buy something here. I find it hard to play the games from past generations (especially the PS1!) and since I don't import much, it isn't that good of an idea. I do want to warn people that whenever I plug in Japanese equipment it causes some sparks, so make sure the pay attention when you do so! (I have a Japanese Gamecube.) Thanks TFM!

Hmmm 12th letter from a reader... I think that deserves a prize!


Well, I sure feel like a moron now. Thanks to the two who pointed out my incorrect assumption that the Emotion Engine-equipped PS3 also ran imported PS1 and PS2 games. At least now I know that I didn't miss some big opportunity for such a dream system.


Nah, never a moron. Just uniformed. Remember--I didn't know either! And by the way, it is a dream system. I love Ratchet and Clank. ^_^

With that being said, though, I still don't think that I'm as un-phased by the removal of the EE as you are, Sean. BC is still a big deal to me and my continued pursuit of PS2 and even PS1 games, and having one machine to run them AND PS3 games on is a very big convenience. Also, my PS2 has been showing signs of breaking down too, like freezing, disk read errors, etc. Yeah, for years, I somehow assumed that because I didn't have any of those horror stories of busted PS2's like many other people, I must have been a select few that were lucky enough to get a durable one, but now I see that even I'm not immune to breakdown either. Obviously, I wouldn't want to keep on buying PS2's to replace each one, but would be willing to buy a more durable and BC PS3 and still play my games (unless they can somehow emulate my ENTIRE Playstation library and EVERY PS1 and PS2 game that I am interested in on the new PS3, fat chance). That's why I will miss the EE.


I don't think we will see such awesomeness. I don't see them spending too much time on emulating past games when they can work on new stuff. Personally, I think that they should have just left the chip in the machine, or kept it in the premium model and removed it from the cheaper ones to pass on some savings to the consumer. I'd much rather see a ton of new content than work done on backwards compatibility to play games of the past. I want to see new stuff, you know? And if you want to play PS2 games, most of us still have our PS2s. For the most part, people buying the PS3 as their first PlayStation product aren't going to run out to buy PS1 and PS2 games--they just want PS3 games. Sony just thought that by removing this part of the system, they could lower the costs. Then again, I guess that consumers don't want to spend less money on less, but rather less for more. I keep forgetting that.

Also, does anyone know if Japanese PS3's are still BC? It would make my day if the answer were "yes," given what I explained in my last letter. And I better not make anymore assumptions, lest I look like an idiot again.

And although this isn't really RPG news, I still think that it may be of interest to some RPGamers, if they don't already know this:



Sorry, but the link doesn't work. What was the news? Secondly, I will need to direct the question about the Japanese PS3s to our kind public. Someone, please help him out! Thanks for the letter, FirstAid! Claim your prize!


Did you see Okami behind the counter at the EV Games where Stan was getting his Heroin Hero? You do get South Park in Canada right? And do all Canadians really have flappy heads and beady eyes like Ike?
Don't turn it off, I almost caught the dragon,

Actually, I don't get it at my home. I need to download it later, and I just haven't had the time to do yet. But I'll be sure to watch out for it! And yes, Kezzy, South Park is completely reliable when it comes to Canadians!


I need to beg for letters again, so please get to work! I need some, or this beloved column might slowly pass away... My weekend will be spent on my projects, as they do need some TLC. I will be very happy when this is all over! I just can't wait!

For those that have played it, please tell me about Dragon Quest Monsters Joker!

Have a nice weekend!

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