Dial M for the Women’s Murder Club!

06 Feb

Or something.

I’ve always liked James Patterson, despite having never read anything by him. Sort of like being amiable about the neighbor down the street whom you’ve only ever seen when he’s taking out the trash. I saw a video, on, of Patterson delivering his book to a reader and chatting and he seemed like a nice, down-to-earth guy.

Which is probably true, and probably still is, but now he’s a nice, down-to-earth guy who’s gone on the record saying something dumb.

The Women’s Murder Club being developed by Patterson as a computer game.

I’m not sure what success he expects in this market. The computer as a video gaming platform is in its lull right now (it has peaks and dips, very steadily, throughout the years, you can watch it rise and fall like the tides as the consoles jump past, and then sit while the computer steadily works its way ahead). Right now, the computer game market is not only in a lull, it’s flooded with CSI games, and Law & Order games, and even Nancy Drew games. And now, Patterson games.

But that’s not the nitwittery. The nitwit thing to say was:

It strikes me that the videogame area is an incredibly lucrative niche market, one populated by a small number of boys – and grown-up boys – who like to shoot things and spend a lot of money. But that excludes most of the universe,” he told the Hollywood Reporter.

Which, honestly, hasn’t been true in years. That’s no more true than saying all comic book stores are creepy, dimly-lit places full of sweaty overweight men who live with their mothers and don’t know what girls are. That’s not true anymore either (unless we apply it to MySpace, and then…)

There’s plenty of girl gamers. And gamers of a wide age range now.  Now, if we look at hardcore gaming, then yes, it’s probably grown-up boys with money who like to shoot things. Sure. But honestly, anything James Patterson (who probably has very little to do with the game making, except consulting) is not going to be even a little bit hardcore gaming. Again, like the CSI games, or Bejewelled.

Ah well. He still seems like a pretty nice guy.


Posted by on February 6, 2008 in Uncategorized


13 responses to “Dial M for the Women’s Murder Club!

  1. tjwriter

    February 6, 2008 at 10:22 am

    I’ll agree that does seem a bit on the outdated side as far as comments go.

    I loved me some EverCrack before they made the game all stupid and catered to the nitwits. Hardcore MMORPG’s are cool. And I am saying that totally as a girl.

  2. Pete Tzinski

    February 6, 2008 at 10:31 am

    Oh god, I could do a whole post on MMORPG’s. They fascinate me. And not in a baffling micro-society-studying sort of way (I knew a guy who claimed to play Final Fantasy XI, just to study people interaction. C’mon). I like ’em because when they work right, they’re a delight to spend time in, even when you aren’t doing missions.

    EverQuest was fun, I thought. For its time. My wife and I had, for awhile, World of Warcraft accounts. She would sit across from me on the other computer and we’d talk and go places and do missions. A lot of the time, all I do is get a strong enough character that I can go off and explore the world. That’s my favorite thing to do (and I wish a game catered to characters who just want to explore, something I’ve worked out how to properly do).

    But especially since we got the Hot Topic/Manga/Girl Geek-Chique scene, it’s more popular than ever for girls to play video games. It was always a stupid idea that girls only wanted to play Barbie Magical Island Adventure. None of the girls actually BOUGHT “Game Girls,” (remember those? No? Sigh.) they all got Game Boys anyway.

    World of Warcraft *is* a serious amount of fun. I get no work done, but do have some wonderful conversations (another stereotype: everyone playing MMORPGS is illiterate and cannot speak in the game. Silly. I had fine conversations.) EverQuest was a blast. Star Wars: Galaxies was about the biggest waste of time imaginable (and not in an EverCrack time-waster sort of way).

    Ahhh, games.

  3. tjwriter

    February 6, 2008 at 12:46 pm

    My brother used to bring his computer out, and we’d hook up my two computers and his to a hub and play EverQuest all night. That exploring bit was what I liked about playing a Druid. I could go do any amount of exploring and then just port out if I got in over my head. I met many people that I had coherent conversations with on a regular basis. I met a guy from Texas with kids my age and we hung out doing whatever all the time. I miss having the time to play some of those games.

  4. Shadow Ferret

    February 6, 2008 at 1:41 pm

    *shrugs* I still think the statment is true, that mostly boys and men play video games.

    And have I mentioned how much I hate initials and acronyms? MMORPG? WTF?

    I think Women’s Murder Club is a tv show my wife watches with that woman who used to be on Law and Order who married that cornerback.

  5. Pete Tzinski

    February 6, 2008 at 2:02 pm

    1) TV show or not, it’s a James Patterson novel.

    2) Hate acronyms and initials all you like, but the odds of me spelling out Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game every time I want to refer to that is pretty durn slim. That’s a lot of words. And when you talk about the internet, do you tell someone that you visited World Wide Web Amazon Dot Commercial?

    3) The comment didn’t refer to “men,” it referred to “grown-up boys,” which is a whole ‘nother meaning.

    Aiming the game at “women” and “middle-aged people” (I suspect he means housewives here, or the folk who read Reader’s Digest and watch Lifetime, to cast a stereotype) is not a horrible idea in theory, but honestly, a huge portion of THAT audience is involved in the PopCap empire of casual-quick-games, if you see what I mean.

  6. Pete Tzinski

    February 6, 2008 at 2:03 pm

    (if I’m REALLY quibbling, which I’m mostly not, I’d scoff at his mention of video games as a niche market. Given the sheer amount of money being thrown around, both spent and earned, I think it’s long past the niche market that the original Doom or Castle Wolfenstein were launched into, if you see what I mean.)

  7. Shadow Ferret

    February 6, 2008 at 2:14 pm

    Sorry, I come from a technical writing background where you spell something out the first time, then use the acronym thereafter. :p

    I know it’s a JP novel, I just mentioned that it’s a tv show and therefore popular and therefore the reason they are thinking of making it a vidgame.

    Crab. I think you got your fur up by JP’s grown up boys comment.

  8. Pete Tzinski

    February 6, 2008 at 2:19 pm

    In fiction, absolutely, I always spell something out and THEN use the acronym for it. My wife was reading in the bed the other night and suddenly asked, “What’s B&E?” because if you didn’t know, there wasn’t any clue in the context, and so you were outta luck. And while it was only a casual reference, it can really throw you.

    (Breaking and Entering, is what it was)

    Prior to this story, I didn’t know it was a book OR a TV show. I am not “up” on the “television” like you “kids” are. 😉

    It got my fur gently up, but not very much. It’s not like video games are a great and dignified area that are being besmirched by an author. We’d have to have fewer Leisure Suit Larry games and fewer games named “Captain 0wn4ge92” in order to gain the dignity to be properly mortified.

    Which is fancy talk for saying, you suxx0rs, Ed. 😛

  9. mymidnightmuse

    February 6, 2008 at 2:49 pm

    Well, I can confess happily that I – a woman, fully grown and gainfully employed – can spend long happy hours running around shooting people.

    I was weaned on Doom, Rise of the Triad (which we’d play on the network at work, my boss and the other supervisors and myself) Then came Return to Castle Wolfenstein, and who can forget the Mech Warrior classics? I was a god in those games.

    Now I’m addicted to Far Cry, even though I can’t afford the brand new computer required to play the sequel. And I even played Halo.

    BMFG, anyone?

  10. Pete Tzinski

    February 6, 2008 at 2:51 pm

    Rise of the Triad was one of THE COOLEST shooters ever. Ever. God mode? Oh yes. ‘SHROOM mode? Oh man. And some of the guns were just a blast. You get two machine guns going… The levels were surrealist and odd, but it was so, so much fun.

    I bet it’s freeware at this point. Or abandonware. I bet we could find it. I bet I’m going to look now.

  11. Shadow Ferret

    February 6, 2008 at 3:14 pm

    *eyes glaze over as everyone starts talking in video game-ese*

  12. Pete Tzinski

    February 6, 2008 at 3:16 pm

    Whaaat? Those were all real words. Silly man.

  13. MidnightMuse

    February 7, 2008 at 9:05 am

    I think ROTT didn’t like the newer versions of Windows or something, but that was the greatest game to play with your co-workers or friends. You could put the hit points on 1, the gravity to 0, and use baseball bats as weapons.

    Good times. Good times.


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