SOE president John Smedley: “People that don’t play games have no business in this business”

As president of Sony Online Entertainment, John Smedley oversees Sony’s online game business. He’s been company president for a decade, overseeing development of the likes of Planetside, DCUniverse Online and Free Realms. He’s a senior executive at one of the biggest online gaming companies in the world. And he actually plays games – not just the ones he makes, but other people’s, too.

Read Full Story >>
The story is too old to be commented.
Trunkz Jr2282d ago

"My son is a delinquent because of video games!"

Parents need to start playing video games and understand it's just a game, if their child is in the wrong they should be looking at their own parenting skills.

-Mika-2282d ago

That not really well said. Video games do have some type of influence in children behavior. You honestly can not deny that.

CernaML2282d ago


Video games don't turn people into psychos. They just give psychos ideas.

milohighclub2282d ago

As do tv, movies, school, society, music..etc. no one can say whether or not games Influence behaviour, as There is so much violence and negativety in everyday life. no one could actually pinpoint the root cause Unless it started at the same time as child started using said medium.

yesmynameissumo2282d ago

@ -Mika-
That's where parenting comes in. When I was 7, I watched Friday the 13th Part 4 with my mom. Have I killed anyone? Not that many.

Ares84HU2282d ago


You get influenced by everything around you. Take away video games you still have TV, internet, books, music, movies and friends.

You take away everything and than what do we have???

Every person is responsible of their own actions and can not blame something else for it.

sikbeta2281d ago

@Trunkz Jr

Gaming is an spacegoat and always will be,

replace with *gaming* and you got the answer

"We must blame them and cause a fuss
Before somebody thinks of blaming us!"

MySwordIsHeavenly2281d ago


How do you screw that up?

sikbeta2281d ago (Edited 2281d ago )

Ugh sorry, can't edit

yesmynameissumo2281d ago

A spacegoat sounds creepy as hell.

+ Show (6) more repliesLast reply 2281d ago
DarkZane2282d ago

Ratings are put on a game box for a reason, but apparently, parents don't follow them as you have kids playing M rated games now.

waltyftm2281d ago

COD is a prime example of this, full of little kids.

crimsonfox2282d ago (Edited 2282d ago )

I tried explaining this to my father when San Andreas came out I was 14, I told him he was a great father and I would never have any real world desires to murder anyone. He bought the game for me and I ditched school to play it BWAHAHHAHAHAH

Blues Cowboy2282d ago

@Trunkz Jr: Yes, agreed. The scapegoating needs to stop, and the buck stops with the parents.

@Mika: that said, I agree with you as well - it's unhealthy to put our fingers in our ears and pretend that games can't exert an influence (be it corruptive or compulsive) on a small number of people. It's a complex issue that deserves to be talked about with an open mind, not yelled about in blanket statements.

Hicken2281d ago

The problem is that it's NOT being talked about with an open mind; gaming is being blamed in blanket statements.

Look at the comments above. No one is saying "I don't wanna hear it, blah, blah, blah." We, as gamers, tend to have a pretty clear idea of how gaming can and does influence people. And because so many of us started as children, we know that gaming is no more an influence than anything else.

As a child, for example, the ONLY thing I imitated was Power Rangers. Granted, there weren't exactly a lot of games I could emulate back then, but the only entertainment source that influenced me enough to take action was NOT gaming.

We gamers also understand that parental discipline is important. I'd go as far as saying it plays the largest role of all. Thanks to my parents, I didn't curse, or have a desire to get in fights(a few still found me), or steal or break the law. For the most part, they kept me AWAY from things that most folks would say aren't for kids; when I WAS allowed near, say, violent movies, they made sure my sister and I understood the difference between the movie we were watching and real life.

That's the thing: these days, "parents" don't want anybody telling them that what they're doing is wrong, all the while they do very little that's "right." I don't care how mature he is for his age, a ten year-old shouldn't be playing Grand Theft Auto. But if you give em that game and an Xbox, you have a babysitter for the day.

And it doesn't help that kids now think they're immune to being disciplined on those few occasions when parents DO take action or threaten it.

Video games are really the least of their worries.

mynameisEvil2281d ago

By the way, I played GTA III and Vice City when I was 10 (thanks to some convincing on my sister's part). I'm proud to say that not only have I never abused or sold an illegal drug (alcohol is a drug, children, remember that), I'd never gotten blown by $15 hooker (I go with the $1,000 a night ones. I kid, I'm too broke for that. :P) or assaulted someone or murdered someone. Do I "swear"? Yes, but that was on the part of me eventually going, "There's not some magical thing that makes one word worse than another word that has the same meaning," not the game. So, yes, it DOES matter how mature a child is for his age.

The problem now is that most 10 year-olds aren't very mature for their age at all. At 10 years old, or at 15 years, you won't see/hear me call anyone a fag. These kids, though, I don't know. Do they think they sound cool telling someone to go f**k themselves? Because, if any of those kids are reading, let me say something: You aren't cool. You're either hilarious or annoying. Mostly annoying. No one is afraid of some kid on CoD who lies and says he has a 15:1 kill-death ratio or that he can kill all of the enemy team out at once whenever he feels like. So, please, for the love of God, shut the hell up.

Well, I love how half-way through this comment, I stopped talking to Hicken and to some kids that will likely never read this in their lives.

i3eyond the Circle2282d ago

When I was a kid...I would've avoided several fights if the Punch Out theme didn't ring in my head at the sight of danger from another person...

Around 10 or 11 I swore I was Eddy Gordo and back flip kicked my younger cousin in the face.

God...let's not even bring up DBZ..

Kids tho man...we get imaginative it doesn't mean we're carrying it into adult life...I say let em enjoy it while they have it...because sooner or later it turns into due dates, past due dates, and disconnection notices.

Perjoss2282d ago

If I ever have a child I would like them to be into video games! but knowing how addictive and time consuming they can be I would heavily restrict hours they spend with them.

On a plus side I imagine that a child with an addiction can be very easily disciplined, I remember when my mother used to threaten to take away my computer for a week if I didn't do my homework or help her do stuff, and it sure did work because I hated having it taken away from me and I always behaved :)

+ Show (3) more repliesLast reply 2281d ago
Meep2282d ago

I have heard awesome things about Planetside 2. This is also great PR. I mean I am definitely glad this guy is in charge the game instead of some guy in a suit. I can trust that Smedley can keep up with modern business models. I can imagine if some guy in suit was in charge of SOE, Planetside 2 would be heavily subscription based.

TopDudeMan2282d ago

Well, I dunno. A drug dealer never uses their own product. That's a stupid analogy, but maybe a lot can be said for keeping work and pleasure separate.

BrutallyBlunt2282d ago

I imagine some drug dealers do but the smart ones won't. Pimps try out their own product don't they?

As for videogames i think it's better to be educated on them if you are in that field.

spartanlemur2282d ago

A drug can influence people more or less equally no matter how strong their mind. Games and Movies can only affect the minds of idiots.
It's the difference between manually removing a car's suspension system and putting it on a bumpy road to see how it does.
Hence your analogy is flawed.

TopDudeMan2282d ago

Okay, well doctors know the symptoms of every illness, but of course it doesn't mean they've suffered all of them, does it?

Someone can be good at making games without playing them. If they spend all their time learning how to make good games rather than playing them, then of course they're gonna be good at it.

It's the difference between enjoying reading books and writing books. All you're gonna get from reading books is inspiration, but if you don't read books, you'll come up with your own ideas and it'll be totally unique and uninfluenced. And you can apply that to any medium such as movies, music, tv etc.

By the way, I'm just playing devil's advocate here.

spartanlemur2281d ago

I suppose that makes sense. *If* someone simply looked at trends; spoke to the community and learned from the best games in each genre then they could indeed make very good games.
Of course, in reality, most people *that* involved would probably have to be either extremely dedicated to the pursuit of wealth (in which case they'd probably be in another industry, like finance) or they'd probably have a love of games themselves.
The games industry doesn't often yield massive profit and is high risk. What it needs is people who enjoy what they do; delivering a great game, whether they are on the PC's coding or on the phone arranging distribution deals. Pride in the product (and the joy of making it) is part of the pay, hence why people who don't feel the same achievement should move to industries where money replaces that pride.
So yes, I agree that someone can be good at making games without playing them, but equally skilled people who love games would take a lower wage to be part of something they love.
(and to counter the doctor analogy; playing games is fun. Having a disease isn't quite so enjoyable :P )

Meep2282d ago (Edited 2282d ago )

Well, The difference between that analogy and Smedleys quote is that drugs are chemically addictive, but I understand what you are getting at. In the entertainment industry I wouldn't call watching/interacting with your work pleasure. People like to play games and once they're are done they analyze what they felt playing it, and use the data they gathered from their experience to put it into their work to improve it, or make an entirely new works. That's how people get inspired right.

Also just want put a random link of one of Smedelys comments on some Planetside Forums.


This is great PR. When I read his comment I'm like "He plays League of legends, so do I. He is awesome." This is definitely good PR without paying anyone to do it. He just speaks his mind out and people agree

TopDudeMan2282d ago

See, that's different. That's testing, which is a necessary stage in the design process. They have people who do that for them. He's talking about playing games in your spare time, as a game developer.

Meep2281d ago

He is doing what he likes for a living. Not many people work in their desired area. Smedley happens to (by the looks/sounds of it) loves his job. Their are advantages when you are doing what you love for a living. Also its always best to form your own opinion. Since he runs a company he wants to actually know what is going on instead of being told what is going it. If someone told me "this thing is cool", I would want to know why "this is thing cool". Then I would want to experience it when I can. In his case, in his spare time. Sure he can just have people do it for him and not bother with the games, but the most understandable opinions are your own.

GammaSix2282d ago

Why does Mika always say something really stupid?

Disco Downey2282d ago

I really dont like this attitude. Its the same for people who try to get into working in games have to be people who spend their time making games on the side. Few other industries are as anal about it as games. It keeps a lot of intelligent people out of the industry. Having people from outside the industry involved in game making can also bring different ideas/views/innovations. The gaming industry is very secular and the barrier to entries are really high. He says he plays all these games, well either he barely plays them, or he is incredibly reckless with his work time.

Show all comments (39)
The story is too old to be commented.