Sunday, October 28, 2012

Why So Serious?

Why So Serious?

Why the fuck are games so serious now? Back in the day, games were made to be fun. Now, a lot of the time, it seems to be that games are made to approximate the experience you get in a Hollywood blockbuster or whatever. They have to have all of the elements in place that make a big, immersive, “realistic” experience, and while that can be, and often is, great, and effective.....CHILL THE FUCK OUT A BIT! Sometimes I hear the word “realistic” in an interview or read it in a press release and I inwardly groan, because in my view, this often time comes at the expense of fun.

Think about it: “Realistic” means no cheats. No new game+. The restrictions imposed by the rules of physics and such. You know, sometimes it would be nice to be able to jump 30 feet high, turn on no gravity, big heads, paintball mode, infinite ammo, and other cheats, start a game with an overpowered character, and just HAVE FUN. No story, no drama, no rules, no realism. Just quirky, chaotic, crazy fun.

Like the old days.

And yes, I know these games still exist, but you must admit the balance has certainly shifted towards the serious and “realistic.” Take the FPS genre for example. I'm bored as shit with FPS games, and perhaps this realism thing is a part of it (perhaps, I'm not saying it is for sure, and it certainly wouldn't be all of it!). Every shooter seems to be a military shooter with real weapons. How about some crazy jumping, get those reflexes ready, twitch based craziness with completely over the top weapons and abilities? Let's get crazy!

Look at Earth Defence Force 2017: The game looks like shit, sounds like shit, has terrible dialogue, terrible cutscenes, a poor story, broken fucking vehicle control, ridiculous, over the top....well, everything, and it's a FUCKING BLAST!!! It reminds of me of old school games. You start shooting and you don't stop shooting until every last gigantic spider and gigantic, acid shooting out of their asses ant is dead. You use a huge variety of all sorts of fun weaponry, half of which are ridiculously unrealistic, and, get this: the gigantic space alien bugs that you fight drop weapon, armour and health pickups that are represented by a terrible looking 2D icon. I LOVE THAT! Just adds to the old school game/'B' movie vibe.

Realism can be great. Some games are so incredibly immersive because of their realistic and serious tone, but it can get really fucking redundant when they all start being made in a similar vein. Crazy jumps, wonky physics, out of control situations, over the top dialogue, jokes galore, etc. Games are supposed to be fun. I often wish the focus would be more on fun than it is on making the game 'AAA' and shipping 5 million units because the kids got to feel like they were a U.S. Marine for 8 hours.....or at least think they felt like one (they have no idea....and neither do I, but I know a game certainly doesn't approximate the experience). That's the thing, a game will always be a game, so maybe they should keep that in mind.

But maybe it's just me.


  1. Yay! It was a glitch last time. As for your blog games do seem to be skewing towards realism which is fine, but I'm with you. Let's not lose the crazy side of gaming. Gaming is an escape for many and who wants to escape into the very world we live in. Take us somewhere beyond imagination. Create a world we can explore and discover amazing things and while you're at it give us fantastical ways to do so.

    On an unrelated note I was bombarded with polotics since it was an election year. One canidate who's against abortion was asked, "What about rape?". His reply? "That's something god intended to happen."

  2. "One canidate who's against abortion was asked, "What about rape?". His reply? "That's something god intended to happen."

    Seriously? Jesus. I guess 'god' is not held accountable by his own moral prescriptions.


Tell magx01 and the rest of The Thoughtful Gamers what's on your mind!