Monthly Archives: October 2011

Games In The World Of Today


Last night, as I watched a cartoon, I began to wonder; why do I, along with many others, enjoy such mindless activity? The truth is, I feel cartoons are a bit of an escape from the everyday world, including the everyday games.

Perhaps it’s because I have only recently played many of the mainstream console games in my collection, but I had never really noticed much of the degenerate nature of games these days. I remember playing games such as Age Of The Empires where I could learn about all sorts of fun historical facts, command armies, learn about all the types of units I would have and their historical relevance. I could even learn about a country’s rise to power (or, in Sparta’s case, their rise to absolute destruction while using the same combat system that allowed them to become a regional power until the rise of Alexander The Great). The point being, that a game would allow you to learn things if you were so inclined. Recently, however, I played a game called Dead Island. I was rather excited since I’d been told that it was generally a mixture of Left For Dead and Fallout (though more often it was compared to Fallout New Vegas as a shot at its functionality). While I generally agree with this comparison I can’t help but be a bit thrown (for lack of better vocabulary) at the game’s intro. To save on details that hardly deserve anything other than a scoff, the beginning can safely be called trash. The game is about killing zombies, saving survivors, and that sort of deal. So I’m lost as to how the preview or ad for the game was so completely different than the 2 minute intro where not a single zombie or relevant plot piece was revealed. I can only assume that if there was a reason for this (though more likely there was no reason at all), it was to intentionally try and tell the followers of our culture that this sort of trash is typical.

People could try and argue the tried-and-true “Its just a game” arguement, but I feel that if the gaming portion of our culture would like to earn any respect, it must also be subject to the the same scrutiny as the rest of the world. When you are creating a game with a story, which these days is practically impossible to not do, there generally has to be a moral system. Acceptable, then, that there would be the games with less morals, too.  This is understandable. What I find unacceptable, though, is that games are being produced with stories more and more often that do not have moral systems, but exist purely on the trash side of that coin. Further, I’m worried that these sort of actions are being glorified. I am a gamer and I enjoy playing games a great deal. I’ve always enjoyed a good story, finding games that have stories and are also playable is always fun. But I’m growing tired of the 70% factor in these games being sexual innuendo, alcohol, and corruption. Once again, I feel that game cultures should be under the same scrutiny as our own, so to be fair, perhaps developers could not convey the same story if their games were devoid of all these things. But why are all of these amoral things made into such standard occurrences rather than problems on which the other characters frown? Or perhaps problems for the main character (ie you, the player) to remedy? With games, there will always be problems. There will always be things needing to be solved. Such is the nature of a game. There is always an opposition of some sort.

BUT THE OPPOSITION MUST REFLECT SOMETHING.

The lack of balance these days is evident in that more and more often the “good” characters are slim to none. Perhaps some designer has a complex where they feel the world has gone to hell, perhaps this is a reflection of reality. Games are made for entertainment, they are made for playing. They are not smut, they are not some sort of trashy thing that gamers should be embarrassed to own or say they have played.  We used to pit Good v Evil to create a greater Good. Why, now, do we pit Evil against Evil in a fight to create “Okay”? What happened to saving the world? What happened to fixing things? For that matter, what happened to a little yellow man eating all of the white dots as colorful blobs chased him?

In order for games to become what they all wish to be these days, there has to be a story. There has to be a Good v Evil. Or a Last Hope v Evil. There has to be a Something V Evil. When your character is fighting for trashy crap, where the hell is the motivation to save anyone?

Games can be great if only they would stop catering themselves to the less desired creatures of our culture. The lowest common denominator. If you cannot sell your game based on its own merits, or if the only dialogue you include is a long stream of profanity, then you’re not selling your game. You’re selling crap to children. Nothing more. (For the record, I don’t care if you’re 7 or 37; if it hasn’t phased you in the slightest that actual dialogue between characters is plummeting, or that the skin to clothing ratio continues to become less and less, then perhaps you should take a look at what DOES phase you.) Slowly but surely, everything these days is becoming more and more inappropriate, but at an appropriate level. Frankly, I think it’s disgusting. Admittedly, I am an atypically moral person. I am extremely moral. I imagine that, commonly, these issues are less frowned upon than I would frown upon them. But as any person who has ever played games is aware, that M rating you see on all your games doesn’t, hasn’t, and won’t ever stop the youngin-gamers from playing them. The littles of the world are playing these games that show that it’s okay for everyone to be drunk all the time, that it’s cool to be as rude and vicious as possible, that it’s cool to be a degenerate that takes advantage of someone else’s hospitality. It is teaching our children and susceptible teens and young adults that, if there is light in the world, you must do your best to smother it lest it become a beacon.

 

 

I love to play games. I love stories. I love being able to play these games and fix the problems they present. I love righting the wrongs that these games provide. Problems can be fixed only so long as they are recognized to be problems. When problems cease to be problems and problems become “right”, well… I don’t know about you, I don’t know what you hope for our future to be, but I know that I do not want the scum of the earth to become our beacon of morality, which is the path I fear we are on now.

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Greetings, and salutations!


Greetings world, we’ve known eachother for quite some time. Life and myself that is. 

Like many days, today was another day that caused me to stop and think. I appear to be having more and more of those once again lately. There is much to see in life when you stop and take the time to see it. For example, one may wonder why the elderly woman who hasn’t changed her car oil in 20 years still has a functioning car with no obvious problems while the younger adult with a 5 year old car maintenance properly has been having everything break on it for the last 4 years. (Hah.)

 

“Life is like a box of chocolates.” I completely, and 100% disagree with that. In a box of chocolates, there will be a thin standard layer of chocolate that you know for sure you’ll get. No matter how awful the inside of that chocolate piece might be you do know there something about it that you will enjoy. Life is not like that. Every once in a while your life will go from being sunshine and daisies to the worst winter in recorded history. You’ve got no warning, and there isn’t some underlying thing to expect there. Life is exactly what you make of it, you are entirely the one who decides how your day is going to go.

I woke up this morning with the most amazing woman in the world, sadly. She had to go to work, I am currently out of a job, excluding a very much so part time job (Truly, I cannot emphasis the part time factor of this job enough.) I decided early in the morning, 5:10 AM to be exact that today was going to be a good day. (Thanks bed for letting me get out on the right side. ) I could make the things complicated for what ails me, but the ending result is that despite certain negativity I find myself being very happy. Everyone will always be able to give you an abundance of reasons for anything they feel strongly about, and a few things for why they may support something they don’t understand, and perhaps a grunt for something they claim to support.  But the people who know they’re right, why you honestly, and truly just know you are correct. You don’t give a thousand reasons.

Ex: Question: Why are you happy?

Answer: Because I choose to be.

Question: That doesn’t make sense, what happened to your car breaking down, or your financial health burdens or the various stresses of life weighing you down?

Answer: Like I told you before, because I choose to be.

Question: Please, explain. Why won’t you tell me whats wrong?

Answer: The answer is as simple as I gave it, why would I try to tell you anything but the truth. If something were causing me to be unhappy then I would not be telling you that I am happy, though I may refrain from telling you what ails me. I am happy because I choose to be, I have many things to be happy about. While the human survival instinct is to hold on to what causes us to be unhappy I choose to acknowledge that the negative events in my life have happened, they may cause me distress from time to time but it is my decision to be happy.

 

People, deny what they themselves cannot have. Things that upset the order. When you choose to take away the complicated veil of information that covers fairly close to everything these days it upsets people I’ve found. A rather great deal. To speak so plainly that there is no interpretation needed of your wording, no secret message, a completely honest sentence, would confuse people nearly as much as it would confuse me to understand why social standards and whats “Right” and “Wrong” have changed so drastically, or why morals are able to be put on hold for the sake of defending a people.

 

I’d like to finish my first Blog Entry with a Poll I was easily able to use with the suggestion of WordPress. I’m curious to how people feel about this, and intend to write my next blog primarily on it.

 

If you’d like to have my opinion or thoughts on a specific subject, all you need to do is comment and I’ll make sure to let the world know.

This is Russell signing off, hoping everyone in the world is having a good day. Especially you Cadence, thanks for always supporting me in my endeavors.

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