Game Word of the Week

Joe Six-Pack (n)

A proverbial average player who is not interested in thought-provoking game experiences and has a low tolerance for complex rules that he needs to learn.

Usage: The mind reading hamburger character an interesting concept, but do you think Joe Sixpack will really care?

Comment: Ah, Joe Sixpack. How I love you. Joe keeps us honest and kills self-indulgent design. There is room for games that Joe Sixpack won’t like, of course. Braid is my favourite example. But it’s a fairly small amount of room. I’m quite sure that Halo 3 and Call of Duty 4 did a lot more business than Braid or Ico. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Crafting a Joe-accessible entertainment experience is just as challenging as becoming an intellectual astronaut. It just works different muscles.

3 thoughts on “Game Word of the Week

  1. Andrew

    There’s a lot more middle ground then Braid. Less “accessible” games like turn based or real time games sell much less then Madden, Fifa or Halo but obviously are worth making :D

    It’s an interesting “game word” to bring up, obviously all entertainment somewhat thinks in the mentality, although there is plenty that can be done to make a game fun for different people, which might not net the sales of Madden, but sells more then enough to make it worthwhile.

  2. Tynan Sylvester Post author

    Of course, I just use Braid as an easy punching bag on this topic.

    Interestingly, I’d say games like Civilization or Starcraft do appeal to a certain type of Joe Six-Pack, just not the one usually called Joe Six-Pack. Joe himself is a testosterone-addled Halo obsessor. He wouldn’t like Civ, but that doesn’t mean Civ isn’t appealing to less hardcore gamers, simply because the subject matter is so accessible.

    We’ll always have a spectrum of games from Joe on down(up?). As it should be. My main point in talking about Joe is that he’s not a bad guy, and that appealing to him is no easier than appealing to anyone else.

  3. Andrew

    Yeah, fair enough :) I agree, it’s no easier appealing to him then anyone else, but it is entirely perceived that getting “that guy” will make up game sales, when it’s never that clear cut (there are tons of examples from last year, and while it did make a developer basically shut down, a good example would possibly be Haze, aimed exactly at that market but utterly failing to sell).

    Also; while I reply here, care to add into the “Game Word of the Week” topic title the actual word afterwards? If you look at the bottom of your post, it does seem quite difficult telling your recent blog entries apart ;)

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