What are the thirteen takes?


In episode 228, “Discourse X Easy Mode”, Austin mentions “The thirteen takes” that the games industry cycles through endlessly, getting nowhere. I’ve had a look around online to see if this was something that might already be answered, but I had no luck.

So - What are the thirteen takes? What do you think deserves to be on that list?


Not sure 13 was meant literally, but some are probably:

  • Ludology vs Narratology
  • Games are/aren’t [good/bad] art
  • Games should/shouldn’t take their cues from other form of media (usually films, but can probably apply to others)


This is more game studies than game industry tbh


that’s fair   


I was just doing a bit, but I do suspect that people in this thread will be able to ID the many repeating debates that reoccur again and again (and rarely with any reference to the past conversations and work done on the same topic).


I thought that might have been the case but it also definitely felt like it COULD be real.


So what takes are the seven lights to counter the thirteen takes’ darkness?


I can guess the Thirteen /r/games Takes:

  1. Video games belong only to people like me.
  2. That game you play that I dislike doesn’t count as a real game.
  3. Games are better than other media.
  4. Games cause violence.
  5. Fuck you for saying that games cause violence.
  6. Easy games aren’t real games.
  7. Games that appeal to audiences that aren’t me suck.
  8. I don’t want “politics” in my games.
  9. That game you like is overrated.
  10. That game doesn’t have the top possible graphical options, therefore it sucks.
  11. Piracy doesn’t support developers.
  12. Actually developers can screw off if they make something I dislike or don’t release it on my platform of choice.
  13. Soyfun.



I have no idea but I’m absolutely ready to refer to twitter as “Descending into the realm of darkness and swinging your TakeBlade at heartless nobodies”


I think 1,2,6,7,9 and 13 are basically the same though…

I think I’ve got… 8

How do you become a game developer/journalist?
What is the state of games journalism/criticism?
Difficulty vs approachability/accessibility (Casual games aren’t real games)
Do games cause or encourage violence
Games should be more like films
Ludology vs Narratology
Games preservation vs corporate ownership (I think any marketplace arguments go here)
Realism/graphical fidelity vs artistic/aesthetic choice

I feel like we might have finally dropped “Games are/aren’t art”? I haven’t seen that one in a while…

  • The indiepocalypse is here/is coming/has been overstated.
  • It’s racist to hold non-western devs to western standards about problematic thing x/No it’s racist to assume non-western devs don’t know better

  • <genre> is dead/is popular again

  • Let’s Plays ruin/improve the industry

  • zombies are cool/lame again

  • Video games should/shouldn’t be political

  • Gita Jackson’s “Titty good or titty bad?”


Maybe something about games being gesamtkunstwerk.


Where does the poop go?


we’re still missing something about photorealism and maybe framerates?

Though I haven’t seen much of a framerate discourse lately, so maybe it has been abandoned?

Every now and then I do a “which videogame discourse is the worst?” poll on twitter and I just realized that we could do a much more extensive poll over here. Though I’m not sure if aggregating all the bad games discourse in one place and asking people to debate which one of them is the worst (spoiler: It’s all of them) would be benefitial to a positive community atmosphere.


The thirteen takes are what you must master before you can unlock the deadly secret of the Fourteenth Take. This is a path not many survive… walk it carefully, traveller.


Speaking on an entirely personal level, I’d agree. I think there’s room for such a discussion to be able cast light on why (for lack of a better term) “a discourse” is misguided in a way. For example, I think there has been a lot of good discussion on this forum and elsewhere regarding how the discourse over Sekiro has often resulted in conflating difficulty and accessibility in a harmful manner. Hell, I even think the games community could still use some more discussion of what sort of games are profiled as “art games” in video game canon and how it’s limiting, and that’s a discussion as old as the medium. But it’s difficult to find the balance between that sort of discussion against “lol, look at these people still talking about Roger Ebert/Jack Thompson etc.”

At the end of the day, I don’t know what dunking on other communities and their discussions does to benefit our community.


Blessed fourteenth take: Petting the dog makes a game better.


I think this goes back to what Ausin said about most of the games discourse being tiring, because it never moves forward and that’s honestly the reason why I personally say that all games discourse is bad, because none of it moves forward. And parts of the reason why it rarely moves forward is because a lot of people who could be driving these discussions in a specific direction end up leaving the industry.

Doesn’t meant that there aren’t occasionally good and interesting things being said (as exhausting as it was, I did learn a lot of new stuff during that whole debate around Sekiro), it’s just so hard to keep marching through it, especially when you’re in a position where people are actually paying attention to what you say.