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SUNDAY DRAMA! Neil Druckmann/Cory Balrog vs Jason Schreier goin' down on Twitter!


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1 hour ago, ShreddieMercuryRising said:

Man, I support Shreier's take on labor abuses, but he's such a whiny baby about everything that it just makes me yearn for better writers and journalists to take on the same topics.

 

Yeah, I agree with his take in this instance, but for someone who gives out a lot of criticism he receives it very poorly and always assumes the worst of intentions from anyone who disagree with him.

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1 hour ago, ShreddieMercuryRising said:

Man, I support Shreier's take on labor abuses, but he's such a whiny baby about everything that it just makes me yearn for better writers and journalists to take on the same topics.

 

19 minutes ago, Moa said:

 

Yeah, I agree with his take in this instance, but for someone who gives out a lot of criticism he receives it very poorly and always assumes the worst of intentions from anyone who disagree with him.

 

I will admit that Schreier going to work for Bloomberg (of all media outlets!) did cause me to raise an eyebrow ever so slightly. 

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This isn't the first time Schrier has been accused of not being able to take criticism well, isn't it? 

 

Anyways, yeah comparing The Last of Us Part II to Schindler's List is a bit much. I get comparing a game to any highly regarded, prestige cinema can be seen as ridiculous (remember when Hilary Goldstein of IGN compared GTA IV to The Godfather in his review?), but maybe a better example of a movie to compare it to would be The Road, Children of Men, Unforgiven, Man on Fire, or any other movie that probably follows the themes of the game more closely, rather than a movie based on real life events of people being saved from the fucking Holocaust. I get what he's trying to convey, but poor choice of a movie to use. 

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56 minutes ago, Brick said:

This isn't the first time Schrier has been accused of not being able to take criticism well, isn't it? 

 

Anyways, yeah comparing The Last of Us Part II to Schindler's List is a bit much. I get comparing a game to any highly regarded, prestige cinema can be seen as ridiculous (remember when Hilary Goldstein of IGN compared GTA IV to The Godfather in his review?), but maybe a better example of a movie to compare it to would be The Road, Children of Men, Unforgiven, Man on Fire, or any other movie that probably follows the themes of the game more closely, rather than a movie based on real life events of people being saved from the fucking Holocaust. I get what he's trying to convey, but poor choice of a movie to use. 

The original comparison to Schindler's List from Jeff Cannata was intended to describe his emotional response to playing TLoU II rather than an actual comparison of them as works of art or their respective cultural relevance. Jeff did a vastly better job of describing when he meant by the comparison here:

 

 

Now, I am personally in full agreement with the notion that just maybe using a film that depicts the unimaginable real-life depravity that was the Shoah as the basis of comparison of your emotional response (even if that emotional response is "justifiable" to the individual experiencing it) to a fictional video game with zombies is something that probably should be VERY carefully considered before doing so or simply just not done at all (the VASTLY better option).  As @Brick pointed out, there are DOZENS of films or other works of media that should elicit a relatively similar emotional response to acts of violence that simply don't carry the historical and cultural weight as Schindler's List.

 

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50 minutes ago, Emperor Diocletian II said:

The original comparison to Schindler's List from Jeff Cannata was intended to describe his emotional response to playing TLoU II rather than an actual comparison of them as works of art or their respective cultural relevance. Jeff did a vastly better job of describing when he meant by the comparison here:

 

 

Now, I am personally in full agreement with the notion that just maybe using a film that depicts the unimaginable real-life depravity that was the Shoah as the basis of comparison of your emotional response (even if that emotional response is "justifiable" to the individual experiencing it) to a fictional video game with zombies is something that probably should be VERY carefully considered before doing so or simply just not done at all (the VASTLY better option).  As @Brick pointed out, there are DOZENS of films or other works of media that should elicit a relatively similar emotional response to acts of violence that simply don't carry the historical and cultural weight as Schindler's List.

 

 

That does make things a little better, but yes I agree 100%.

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Some more context as I was following this a bit yesterday too - Schreier subtweeted Cannata yesterday by screencapping his hyperbolic tweet and then passively aggressively saying like "don't do this" type of thing. 

 

That pissed off Cannata and played into the subsequent arguments. He apparently has some kind of at least acquaintance status with Jason and took it personally that he wouldn't just reply to him directly. 

 

 

For whatever it's worth, my take: 

 

Jason does great work and has an incredible network of sources, but he creates a lot of this drama needlessly. His argument for screenshotting the initial Cannata tweet I just don't buy - he said it was to not bombard Cannata with replies but we all know that's not how twitter fucking works. And just like...what he's implying in his initial tweet isn't some casual criticism, he's accusing the man of making light of the Holocaust. And it's at least worth discussing, but in my opinion doing the subtweet thing in that context is a REAL shitty way to do it, especially if you have some kind of personal relationship with the guy. 

 

Jason's subsequent responses just get a little obtuse and sensitive for no reason as well, like accusing the attacks on perhaps Druckman didn't like his recent reporting and whatnot. It's just like... Jesus Christ dude you could so easily own this discussion but you're botching it so bad, it made me want to fucking side with Colin Moriarty, a dude I happen to despise.    

 

To be clear, I think Cannata is kind of, I dunno, a really bad critic? He's the dude that said God of War was basically a combination of all of the greatest games of all time and was some monumental achievement. But he doesn't strike me as a guy who needs to be drug in that way, and I get the sense that if criticized in the correct way he would probably have backed off of digging in so hard and been like "oh I see how it could be construed that way, that's not what I mean, here's what I meant, my bad" sort of thing. 

 

Anyway like Jason's work, think he needs to cool his jets. 

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@Paperclyp - Schreier hasn't helped matters at all by blocking Cannata on Twitter, an act that seemingly comes off as a bit petty.

 

However, I'm going to suggest that this event probably has a significant component of emotional resonance that would make it deeply personal to Schreier than one would expect, and that's the fact that he's Jewish.  That being the case, it's not completely out of the question that members of his family perished in the Shoah.  In fact, I'd dare say that's more of a possibility than not.  As such, this would represent an area of deep emotional rawness and sensitivity that I don't blame him at all for reacting viscerally to at the outset.


Even though I totally understand what Cannata was going for and don't discount his emotional response to the game, my man - be a smarter, more thoughtful critic and think long and hard about your analogies and the implications contained therein.

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18 minutes ago, Emperor Diocletian II said:

@Paperclyp - Schreier hasn't helped matters at all by blocking Cannata on Twitter, an act that seemingly comes off as a bit petty.

 

However, I'm going to suggest that this event probably has a significant component of emotional resonance that would make it deeply personal to Schreier than one would expect, and that's the fact that he's Jewish.  That being the case, it's not completely out of the question that members of his family perished in the Shoah.  In fact, I'd dare say that's more of a possibility than not.  As such, this would represent an area of deep emotional rawness and sensitivity that I don't blame him at all for reacting viscerally to at the outset.


Even though I totally understand what Cannata was going for and don't discount his emotional response to the game, my man - be a smarter, more thoughtful critic and think long and hard about your analogies and the implications contained therein.

I think it's totally reasonable for Schreier to have that reaction. I think a man in his position should temper that initial reaction though and go about making a response just a little bit differently. I don't know, maybe it's because I have a traditional journalism background and maybe that just isn't how things are anymore. 

 

Twitter just sucks I guess. 

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14 hours ago, Emperor Diocletian II said:

Oh, and for the record, I consider Roman Polanski's The Pianist to be an ever-so-slightly "better" film about the Holocaust than Schindler's List.

I haven't seen Life Is Beautiful but I watched The Pianist with my paternal grandfather, who is Polish, during one of my trips home because he chose it as a movie to educate me. I'm the family 'historian' so to speak so I always ask a million questions and document our history when I get to go home and he had picked out some of his favorite movies to illustrate his early times. His father had been sent to hard labor in Chelmno but survived, I even still knew the guy, he ended up being 102 years old or something insane.

 

Edit: And I realize this is pretty off-topic with their ridiculous Twitter shit-slinging.

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12 minutes ago, ShreddieMercuryRising said:

I will also throw Son of Saul into the mix, which I thought was fantastic and heart wrenching.

Never seen this one either. These movies are always a bit much for me so I always tend to scoot them to the back of my 'to see' list. 

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3 hours ago, AbsolutSurgen said:

Jeff Cannata is a genuinely decent guy, as anyone who listens to him on the DLC pdcast can attest to.

 

IMHO, his analogy was perfectly clear.

#teamjeff

Agreed, even if people were not, they could ask him to clarify but then they wouldnt get throw their feces at him 

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3 hours ago, AbsolutSurgen said:

Jeff Cannata is a genuinely decent guy, as anyone who listens to him on the DLC pdcast can attest to.

 

IMHO, his analogy was perfectly clear.

#teamjeff

I think the comment is problematic in a couple ways.

 

For one, it’s shitty to compare a completely fictional game to a Holocaust movie, even within the context of how one’s reaction to both might be the same. I’m honestly kind of surprised this is even in question. As loathe as I am to just swap nouns to make points, it would be nonsense for someone to say that watching Lara Croft suffer in the first Tomb Raider remake reminded them of how they felt watching Roots. I really don’t think the comparison being discussed here is any less absurd. It’s completely tone deaf.

 

The other reason that it’s problematic is part of the larger way that games are written about, especially tentpole games like recent Naughty Dog projects or other games that are obviously inspired by films. All reviews and impressions are subjective, of course, but an author saying, “game X reminded me of non-game-and-probably-movie-experience Y,” is just... useless. Even from authors or creators I know well, I’m not sure to know what someone’s take is going to be. I know, say, @Greatoneshere’s movie preferences reasonably well at this point. But if he said, “playing Mario Kart 8 Deluxe reminded me of how I felt watching Speed Racer,” I wouldn’t know what he meant. I could guess and I might even come close to being right, but it’s still not especially helpful. It’s bad writing.

 

So if you make a lazy comparison about a video game that’s NOT about the Holocaust to a Holocaust movie, you should absolutely be called out. Has nothing to do with Jeff being a decent guy, everyone fucks up from time to time. This was one of those times.

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1 hour ago, TheLeon said:

The piece of gold I remember from IGN was a video saying Metroid Prime is the Citizen Kane of games. Good stuff. 

 

Ah yes Michael Thompson, one of the worst video game writers I've ever seen. Overly pompous and trying to sound smart. Opened every article with a personal anecdote because clearly one of his writing classes said that's a good way to connect your audience with your views, so he made sure to do it WITH EVERY GODDAMNED ARTICLE. 

 

The Metroid Prime is Citizen Kane thing though was so cringey though because he totally missed the point of that whole thing. The idea of video games need their "Citizen Kane" was to say that video games need a game that elevates the medium, and really shows that it can be a great art form the way Citizen Kane can be said to do that for movies. Instead he just compared the two because he found similarities in the themes. By his reasoning if they ever made a Citizen Kane: The Game that would be the Citizen Kane of video games because it would copy the themes and ideas of the movie exactly! 

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