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Banj avatar 4:33 AM on 08.26.2007
Exposition as a gameplay mechanic...

I'm at work and I'm bored. There are only so many YouTube videos you can watch before your head melts clean off.

So, I started thinking about stuff.

Kasumi, tits, poo, cigarettes, BioShock... Now, before you all run away, this isn't just another vapid post about "OMG!!! TEH BYOSHOKZ IS 1337 WINSKI SNIZZLE FIZZ!!!" etc (well, not entirely anyway), I have some actual observations to to share with you.

See, I was sitting here thinking about how absolutely amazing the game is when it dawned on me that in the game I am actively seeking exposition. I am craving the story, searching every nook and cranny for the audio logs and playing them all through the pause menu so I can read the transcription too so I don't miss any details. I am scanning every wall, floor and ceiling for the graffiti that hints at a backstory I have yet to discover. I am relating the audio clues to the environment itself, seeing signs of a struggle here, a dead body with a backstory there.

Then, another revelation hit me. I never do this. I am Mr Cutscene Skipper, I'm all about the gameplay.

See, the thing is, videogames to me are very childlike and cartoonish in their stories or characterisations. They are, most of the time, full of one dimensional stereotypes with blatant drives and a penchant for the dramatic and on the occasion a videogame tries to give a character some depth, some humanity, it just becomes a laughably immature caricature of actual human emotion (except in the case of Rock* who are intentionally satirical), hence, my complete lack of interest in anything except the gameplay.

A shining example of the above, and I realise this will make me about as popular as a turd in a swimming pool, is Metal Gear Solid. Behind the fascade of insightfull socio-political commentary lies a story that is pure childish fantasy. No matter how poetic Snake's bitching about war may sound, the actual content is fucking ballbaggery. That is a series masquerading as having mature themes and being story driven but the real challenge is in sitting through the fucking endless, baffling, pointless cutscenes.

This may sound like flame-bait, or indeed, one man's campaign of hatred against Kojima but the same can be said of all games that claim to be story driven and for a mature audience. e.g. Farenheit (Indigo Prophecy), Condemned, F.E.A.R., Parapa The Rapper... okay, maybe not that one, but these games all merely have the illusion of being mature, or having a story with a modicum of intellect. If you scratch the surface then the story is infact boring, childish, simple and stupid.

Indeed, BioShock too has a silly ass storyline. Fucking stemcell producing sea slugs? Plasmids that let you freeze bitches then break them into peices with a wrench because you took a 'super hard' tablet? It's bollocks isn't it...

It's the integration of this story, the way you feel like Columbo peicing it all together, it's the atmosphere, it's the...

...aw, fuck it. BIZZLE SHIZZLE IS THE SNIZZLE!!!




p.s. got bored of hyperlinking stuff so, y'know...

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