10/22/06

An Analytical Discussion of the Industry, Culture, Progress and Nature of Video Games.

October 22, 2006

Some Issues to Work Out

So I wasn't particularly sure what to write about this week. Last week I went on at length about a serious subject (and I thank our reader, who I have named "Gary," for perusing it) and so I wanted this week to do something a little more fun. Unfortunately, I, being the serious and bitter fellow that I am, couldn't think of anything lighthearted and frolicsome to explore in prose. So instead, I'm going to write about some things in video games that are dumb. This will take a form common to so many articles from video game media; a list. This will identify the article as either a. A trenchant commentary on the occasionally prosaic and elementary nature of themes and aspects in video games or b. Filler. Guess which one this is.

  • Gears of War's protagonist is named "Marcus Fenix."

  • In "realistic" war games you can get shot many many times before you die. This being the case, what your army should do, upon the realization that you are some kind of human tank that is mildly impervious to bullets, is simply have the platoon walk behind you while feeding you an infinite supply of medpacs. That's the key, really. If you really think about it, the fact that your wounds vanish with the application of gauze should really cause the world to stop whatever war they are fighting and devote it's resources to discovering whatever magical properties your character has to provide such instantaneous health so that it may be synthesized and distributed to the needier parts of the world. Also, if you're about to die, just stand still, as you'll get your health back, because you are Wolverfuckingrine apparently.

  • Game designers should not get credit simply for vaguely patterning their work after something literary or pretentious. God of War was versed in mythology, but our man Kratos was a very angry muscleman with brutal weapons and a laconic nature, just like, well, every action game hero ever in the history of everything. I swear that if designers adapted The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock to a console, the titular character would be a hulking brute with a rocket launcher. And those coffee spoons? He uses them . . . to kill!

  • Seriously. "Marcus Fenix." I suppose that it's a step up from "Max Payne," but still.

  • If you are a female character in a video game, whatever you do, don't have boobs. If you do, small pockets of anti-gravity particles will center on them, causing various problems with your wardrobe and physiology. Fear not however, as the wind generated by the intense motions of thousands of vigorously masturbating teenage gamers will cancel out the effects.

  • I apologize for the previous joke, but seriously, why would anyone buy anything in the Dead or Alive series except to do a great deal of masturbating. Can't you just look at porn? How do you play those games with only one hand? I suppose they're all rhythm games.

  • Also, if you are a female Japanese video game character with boobs, I extend my sympathies, as your voice is likely very very squeaky. Also, if you find yourself near anything with any from of tentacle whatsoever, just commit sepukku. Trust me, just do it. Things will not turn out well for you, I guarantee it.

  • I know Jack Thompson wouldn't stop being an attention whore even if every game on Earth was suddenly Barbie Horse Adventures or became based on Wuthering Heights, but it would be easier to dismiss his claims if the industry stopped giving him so much ammunition. Have you seen the Scarface game? At what point can we lower a game's rating because it is morally repugnant? An onscreen graphic in Scarface: "Dismemberment! +1000" I know, "it's the gameplay that matters." Well, if they made a game about child molestation that was somehow really really really fun to play, would it still get an 8 or 9? (Or on X-Play, "Four Catholic Preists, out of Five.") "Oh no," you say, "child molestation is different. That just crosses a line." What line? Where is this mysterious line? How does brutal, bloody, excruciating and cruel murder somehow not cross this line? Personally, I'd rather be molested than dismembered, but that's just me.

  • "Marcus Fenix." I mean, there's not much more to say about it. Apparently Gears of War features a scene where the aforementioned Mr. Fenix discusses what he will do after the war with a friend, adding some depth to the characters. The conversation is, surprisingly enough, terse and cynical. Proust it is not. But it is a step in the right direction. Baby steps people. Tiny, tiny, little baby steps.

And that's all I have to say about that. Join us next week Gary, when we will get back to subjects somehow more morose and depressing than the above. Ah Gary, thank you for your patronage, you make all this worth while.

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