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Sometimes Foresight is 20/20 [roundtable]
So we  are all familiar with the phrase 'Hindsight is 20/20' right? For those that may not be it means that looking back things are clearly understood. This thread/round table is about cases when you believed something unpopular but now is a common opinion or even a fact.

For example, during the whole Rock Band/Guitar Hero craze I held fast in my belief that it was a fad that would completely die out before too long. 

So the first question is: What are some niche opinions you have held that you feel like history has proven you right on?

The next question is: What are some niche/unpopular opinions you have now that you feel will be eventually accepted as truths?

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Posted: 03/31/13, 11:49:21  - Edited by 
 on: 03/31/13, 16:03:17
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Hmm interesting question, gonna have to think about this for a while. I'll answer this later.
Posted: 03/31/13, 14:28:00
The only thing I can think of is when I first started college, back in 1998, the Pokémon phenomenon was just starting to build some steam. By the end of 1999, (I think?) it was the biggest thing ever. A roommate of mine thought it was going to be a fad, and eventually die out. I know some others thought the same - including people I knew IRL, and even some posts I read years later on IGN. It wasn't too far of a stretch to think that, since the world (kind of) recently saw the rise and fall of the Troll Dolls, and the Beanie Babies - both very popular kids merchandise that kind of revolved around the whole "collect 'em all" marketing strategy.

But I was convinced Nintendo's pocket monsters were here to stay, and continue to be popular for years to come. I think I was proven to be correct, by now.

As for something now....hmm. I'll think about it and come back.
Posted: 03/31/13, 16:04:14
I don't know if it was a niche / unpopular opinion overall, but during the Gamecube era there was a very vocal group of people who were claiming that Nintendo as a developer had lost their magic and was never going to create a truly killer "AAA" title again. I said sure they are, and then bam... Super Mario Galaxy comes along and gets universal praise as one of the best games EVAR.

As for now well... I think motion controls will come back big in the very near future, because they're such an obvious step forward, they just never got real support. Yeah Stephen, I said it.
Posted: 03/31/13, 16:11:37
I voiced this one in chat, but given the sheer amount of 'Nintendo is teh doomed!!!' rubbish that we've been facing for at least 15 freaking years now...would having faith in Nintendo's continual survival count as a niche opinion?
Posted: 03/31/13, 16:48:23
I was against the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
I said during the Democratic primaries in 2008 that Obama wasn't nearly as liberal as his rhetoric.
Posted: 03/31/13, 17:03:28
@Jargon I thought we were talking Nintendo here!

I was against the wars too but man... has history proven us right in the sense that this is an accepted truth now? It should be, but is it?
Posted: 03/31/13, 18:04:49
This is probably not the time and place to get into it, but yeah, I think attacking "Afghanistan" was a mistake and Iraq well... that just plain had nothing to do with the terrorist attacks.

My real view is more complicated than this though, because it spans back many years before 9/11.

I really think we should discuss this stuff elsewhere though or Stephen's thread will turn into a quagmire.
Posted: 03/31/13, 18:17:05
Zero said:
I really think we should discuss this stuff elsewhere though or Stephen's thread will turn into a quagmire.

Agreed. I'm actually gonna delete my post before...anything...happens.
Posted: 03/31/13, 18:29:27
Do we really KNOW if the wars were or were not a mistake? I mean, yes, aspects of them have been terrible for many people, no one would ever deny that. What we don't always see are the people any intervention helped. And we're unlikely to really ever see it, we can't predict alternate timelines.

It becomes tricky in that regard. One singular event changes the course of history, big and small. We'll never know what history would have been. To call it a mistake is a little bit playing God in a way. Taken further, for example, the Holocaust was a horrific, terrible thing. What might have happened without it, though? Could someone more destructive than Hitler have risen because people were not prepared? Sure, could have. I myself do not know, so making guesses makes me feel not so good about it. It's one of the reasons morality is so important, because when we ignore (or sidestep) it, we open things up to the possibility that everything we do can be rational and reasonable, even if the rest of the world sees it differently. If we are going to swim in the deep end of the pool, we need a life preserver. As a wise man once said:

Certainly is an interesting bit of Philosophical thought, though.
Posted: 03/31/13, 19:30:29
I don't define mistake in such a vague, butterfly effect way though. For instance, let's say I have the chance to save a child's life who is about to be hit by a car, and I do so, and then the child grows up to be the next Hitler. Did I make a mistake? I say no. I made the right decision. The fact that life is unpredictable and a lot of bad came from the right decision doesn't make it not the right decision based on the information that I had at the time.
Posted: 03/31/13, 19:52:51

I'm going to argue against it. I will say that bringing the troops back home may have been his original intention but he was speaking as a person outside of the knowledge of a President. Once in office, he realized things aren't as simple as just giving the order and bringing them back home. I'm still iffy about the reasons and honestly think this is mostly a matter or pleasing the "benefactors" than it is about the "war on terror" in Afghanistan or Iraq (specially Iraq).

The US garnered a lot of hate by how they behaved. I was told by my Islamic Civ. professor that it was the US that created the taliban to combat the Russians in the cold war. After they no longer needed them, they were just tossed aside, and the soldiers not knowing what else to do they just plundered and created chaos. Al qaeda formed to counter that and blamed the US for all the current happenings in Afghanistan. With that said, more innocent lives have been lost in both Afghanistan and Iraq than in September 11 ever since the "war" started. Both al qaeda and the taliban do more harm to their people than anyone else and the US is simply helping them. But nobody cares about those dirty brownies, right? Amirite? And the attack for all intents and purposes was from a relatively small faction in Afghanistan, why go to Iraq, find imaginary weapons of mass destruction, kill more innocent civilians, find oil? Why don't you invade Iran or North Korea who do have weapons and have repeatedly threatened to use them? Only pick on the weak and defenseless why don't you.

Anyway, back on topic, I don't think I have any "opinions" that later became truths. I will however state that people that are bashing the Wii U for "only being on par with PS360" will be in for a rude awakening. The PS3 has proven to be a less than ideal (by some standards) upgrade and I suspect the nextbox to follow suit. This time, all three dedicated gaming consoles will be in the same ballpark in terms of graphics fidelity. Still, there are people who will throw the "PS4 is more powerful" without actually knowing what they are talking about, but that always happens. I am worried about the fact that we are collectively moving into this place that values graphics before anything else, however.
Posted: 03/31/13, 20:01:09
Stephen said:
For example, during the whole Rock Band/Guitar Hero craze I held fast in my belief that it was a fad that would completely die out before too long.
I dunno, five years of runaway success is a decently lengthy fad. I imagine it would have kept going quite a bit longer if it weren't for Activision forcing a new Guitar Hero out every two months. Would the Tony Hawk series have been a fad if Activision hadn't released one every year with less and less polish each year?

I just wonder if Activision or EA (or MTV or whatever) are gearing up to try again next generation. It was too big a success last gen to not attempt resuscitation. On the other hand, it's one of those things that only appeals to most people during a short window of their lives: when they have a group of musically inclined friends with disposable income and free time, and a lair to set up all that plastic. A next-gen Rockband/Guitarhero would have to chase an entirely new audience, for the most part.
Posted: 03/31/13, 20:04:47  - Edited by 
 on: 03/31/13, 20:05:54
I definitely think we will see an attempt to revive Guitar Hero / Rock Band.

Honestly though, the main reason I think it died wasn't so much that it was a "fad" but that there wasn't really anywhere to move forward with it... it's a pretty limited concept by definition and adding a bunch of crap surrounding it doesn't change the fact that you're doing the same exact thing every game. Well, maybe that is the definition of fad? A one-trick pony? But I think of fads as things that don't even have a real trick, they just kind of get big for some superficial reason and that can't sustain them longterm. I think Guitar Hero / Rock Band got big for legitimate reasons though. I just don't think there was anywhere to go from where they were at. Personally, I only own Guitar Hero 1 & 2... never bothered after that, not because I wasn't satisfied with them, but because the newer versions didn't seem to offer much beyond what I had already played. Rock Band added drums and a mic, I suppose, but by the time that got cheap enough for me to care about, I was living out of one tiny room and rarely played local multiplayer games anyway, so I just didn't need the junk taking up space.

I wonder if the problem is that they kept trying to sell the new games as new games. Maybe what they need to do is a free to play model where the only thing you are buying is new songs? But then you automatically get the new gameplay upgrades? I dunno.

I kind of see sports games in the same boat, except that sports fans care more about new rosters than music fans care about new songs, apparently.
Posted: 03/31/13, 20:28:20  - Edited by 
 on: 03/31/13, 20:29:47
One that I was proved right on: The CORRECT launch date of the PS Vita. In fact, its still seems to gall some people around here. Well, NAILED IT. With all the fiscal year talk for the PS4, I wouldn't expect it to launch in all territories for Christmas this year, either.

And the perennial un-popular opinion: Nintendo is just fine, and they will continue to produce the best games for gamers of all ages on their own hardware for at LEAST another 20 years (thanks largely in part to the unprecedented dual successes of both the Wii and the DS).
Posted: 03/31/13, 22:48:45  - Edited by 
 on: 03/31/13, 22:49:54
Zero said:
I don't define mistake in such a vague, butterfly effect way though. For instance, let's say I have the chance to save a child's life who is about to be hit by a car, and I do so, and then the child grows up to be the next Hitler. Did I make a mistake? I say no. I made the right decision. The fact that life is unpredictable and a lot of bad came from the right decision doesn't make it not the right decision based on the information that I had at the time.

Fair enough. I think in the case of the war thing, it would be like you trying to save the child (or many children) and at the same time causing harm to a number of others, probably not particularly intentionally, you were just trying very hard to prevent the horrible death of the kids you were trying to protect. So maybe in that scenario, you jump out and save the kid, but the car swerves and drives off a cliff and there was a whole family in that car. It's rarely so clear cut in things like war.

Of course I'm not a fan of war ever, so I can't really speak to that. My point was merely that I try not to look at stuff and say "Oh I was right" because I did that for a lot of years and it felt great at the time except looking back now it was kind of terrible for me. That's all I was saying. And everyone has to call that shot for themselves, no judgement here.
Posted: 04/01/13, 03:30:52
Yeah, I think Guitar Hero/Rock Band was a fad. And I absolutely don't fault Activision for crapping out Guitar Hero games. That's the right way to make money off of a fad - and to give the people as many choices as they want during the course of the fad. Think of where we are today: Dozens of options for a Guitar Hero fan, and they're all dirt cheap. Anyone here really think those games could still be viable?

My interest in the series wore out not because there were too many games, but because I just got over it. I'm sure that's true for a lot of people.

As for the foresight, I guess I'd say that I never had any doubt about the success of the Wii. Or the lack of fire there was going to be for the Wii U. But those seem like no brainers and I don't pat myself on the back too hard for spotting them.

In the lousy foresight column, I backed the Genesis and thought the Super Nintendo would go down as an overrated rich kid's toy. So I'm hardly a seer.

Some of the things that have been said in this thread about the recent wars make my head ache, though. I'd make my own comments, but I agree that it's taking the thread in a direction it probably shouldn't go. I'll just add that saying "Hey, the Holocaust was bad. But who knows? Maybe it could've been worse" isn't really the best way to learn the important lessons from history.
Posted: 04/01/13, 03:43:13  - Edited by 
 on: 04/01/13, 03:44:07
I'm rarely right on the money, but towards the end of the GameCube gen a lot of people had written Nintendo out of the console race altogether, I felt they would come back with a motion control based system and seriously turn things around.

Here are some images from the IGN boards when I was trying to explain the idea:

You can see I was off on the basic technology. Gyroscope based but with RF triangulation for an absolute position in space relative to the console. I'm guessing that's not practical because the benefit would be no calibration, but no-one has done it yet. But I was generally correct, the basic unit would stand in for all manner of virtual objects for motion control gaming. Then the Wii was announced and things exploded.

For the future, I believe the Wii U will be a profitable and very creatively rich console for Nintendo - it's just going through its canary in a coal mine phase right now, showing that expensive machines without essential software are even less market friendly as they used to be. This will be evident for all the new machines, even if it's to a lesser extent. Times are changing. Power won't turn heads like it used to. First person to a sweet price point will be the winner.
Posted: 04/01/13, 03:45:53

That's awesome.

You know, one where I really did see the long view is outside of gaming. I've got a piece of paper from high school biology in 1995 where I basically invent Napster.
Posted: 04/01/13, 03:47:54

Wow, that's really close in concept! I'm sure most of you guys are brilliant and come up with some fantastic ideas. I know personally I've had a few original ideas and they actually already exist or come out in the near future. Having the right idea at the right is the first ingredient. The second and most powerful ingredient is actually acting on it. Something as massive as a game console takes a lot of backing. I think the digital age will speed up and broaden the amount of these ideas.


You could have been JT in the Social Network! Act on those insane ideas!
Posted: 04/01/13, 06:18:36
I think one person that needs to be mentioned here is the great, the wonderful, the handsome and the awe-inspiring; Michael Pachter.

Without him, I don't know where this industry would be.
Posted: 04/01/13, 11:43:23
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