Playing with Perspective: An Opinion about Fez and Fish
So, this is my first attempt to write an opinion in English. The reason I choose to write it in English and post it here instead on my own blog is because I hope the developer I’m talking about in this article will be able to read it. So, expect some chaotic grammatical errors here and please do not hesitate to give feedback. Here we go.
In the middle of September 2013, the famous humble bundle announced their 9th part of the Humble Indie Bundle. As usual, this bundle consist of amazing indie games bundled in a very cheap price, with some of the profit from the bundle will be given to charity. One of the games included in this bundle is Fez by Polytron Corporation. When I see this bundle, I immediately bought it because I am a cheap-ass gamer and I’ve been waiting for a long time to play Fez on my PC. So, after buying the bundle, my journey with Gomez in Fez begins.
I’m sure most of us here are already familiar with who Phil Fish is, and about the drama surrounding him and Marcus Beer aka AnnoyedGamer. So if you already now about all that, just skip the history part I wrote and off to the main topic.
Before we start, let us talk about the game first. Me, and I am sure some gamers out there, first got interested with Fez when it was featured in the documentary film called Indie Game: The Movie. In the documentary, we can see some parts of Fez’s development process from the perspective of Phil Fish, the game designer. Since then, more news about Fez, Phil Fish, and his outspoken attitude can be seen often in any gaming news websites. One of the most infamous events involving Phil Fish would be when he said to a Japanese developer that Japanese games suck.
This statement triggers a lot of hates among gamers. A lot of people already hate him for his outspoken attitude, and with this thing happened, more haters just joined the hate-wagon. Me, myself thinks that what he said to the Japanese developer was not appropriate, even after he apologized. But that’s it, that’s the only time he did something hate-able from my perspective.
Then several months ago, Phil Fish got into a debate with Marcus Beer from GameTrailers. The heated debate started because Beer calls Phil Fish and Jonathan Blow of Braid a fucking hipster because they do not want to share their thoughts about Microsoft new policy on game publishing. This debate ends with Phil Fish decided to quit making games because he is tired of the trolls and the haters exist in the video game community.
As I begin my journey with Gomez, I was amazed by how amazing the rotating mechanic works. I have seen a lot of footage of people playing the game, but playing it yourself was really a different experience. One thing Fez shows me is, most of the times, you have to see things from various perspectives to fully understand the area in the game. And in my opinion, the game mechanic and the things that happened with Phil Fish is kind of ironic.
A lot of people hate Fish for having an opinion, even when he did not say it in a harsh way. He got this kind of treatment even though a lot of people love his game, and the game he made is something that forces the player to see things from various perspective to understand something fully. But heck, even some people said they bought the Humble Indie Bundle 9 without giving part of the money to the developers because they do not want to give money to Fish. If you rotate this attitude to other perspective, it’s just like seeing people saying "I rather give my money to big developers that love to lay-off their employee, rather than giving my money to some people in small numbers that have big passion in this industry". I personally think that this kind of attitude is really stupid and childish, no wonder a lot of non-gamers still think that us, gamers, are not a community that should be taken seriously. Continuing my journey in Fez, this game always surprises me with the puzzles and level design. I can’t help but wonder, why the hell people won’t treat Fish better with this kind of masterpiece he’s able to create. Whatever happens next, I just hope that this kind of thing where developers were treated so badly will stop happening, and I hope Phil Fish will continue working on Fez II.
I think that’s all I need to say, and once again sorry for the chaotic grammars. It’s kind of hard to write this opinion in my own language, and writing it in English of course doesn’t make it easier. Thank you for reading.