I love Team Bondiís and Rockstarís L.A. Noire. I feel it is an awesome game and a leap forward in emotive storytelling. I also liked the fact that the game was a bait and switch. People expected another GTA style game and they were giving almost an old school point and click adventure in exchange. Any arguments of those who believe contrary are unimportant as this does not deal with the quality of the game in question, but the consequences of its existence in terms of its own post release lifecycle.
NOTE: SPOILERS FROM THIS POINT ON
Post release: The story of LA Noire is incomplete, to place it bluntly. Large gaps exist in the time frame of the story, and even snippets of dialogue between Cole Phelps and his partners sometimes suggest unseen cases he participated in. I believe this to be the case for unavoidable reasons. First, the motion scan tech is incredibly space consuming even on PS3. Some stuff, such as the dlc cases are probably left out not only as preorder incentives but merely because there was no more space to put it in the physical media. Second, the time consuming development cycle probably meant a lot of cases were left on the cutting room floor. Third, LA Noireís story is very focused and cases that donít discuss the rise and fall of Phelps could be deemed superfluous and merely dropped to keep the storyís pace tight. It is inevitable that these gaps eventually be filled through dlc though and, in some ways, they already are.
Bringing up the exclusive dlc; Consulís car, slip of the tongue and so on are the first steps into filling in the gaps of time that exist in between patrol and vice desks (Arson desk is narratively the shortest and caps the story off. Through DLC, we can show Phelps very early days in his one-year on Patrol and all the gaps (I believe a total of 7-8 months are missing from the overall time line of the story. The Pre-order DLC will inevitably be made available through various online stores. As well as more individual cases showing up from time to time.
But where do we go in terms of cases post LA Noire credits. In the story (once again, SPOILERS!) Phelps drowns in a drainage pipe, unable to prove himself a hero to himself, his case lost with the death of Ira (the firebug), himself literally drowning because his self imposed and very real failures and flaws as a human being. The character then gets a double gut punch, once again being branded a hero in a manner he would not have felt he deserved, and having his elegy delivered by men he despised and used his memory and efforts to stay afloat. Evil always wins and the efforts of good men are always subverted for the purpose of evil.
But what happens now? Where do we go in the Story of LA Noire? There are two distinct possibilities, we can either follow Jack Kelsoís career as a DAís investigator, himself becoming disillusioned with the corruption of the new DA and those over his head. We may see some resolution to the story as people who deserve punishment get it. However, I expect this to be unlikely. If this were to happen, it would probably be the contents of an LA Noire sequel most likely, where Bondi can go in and address some of the communities concerns with the first product (most plausible improvements would be more to do in the over world, improved dialogue menu, more integration in how the over world is integrated into the case by case storytelling, more street crime, and so on and so forth, the addition of real side missions and so on and so forth.)
We may also get a Joke expansion story, similar to RDRís Undead Nightmare expansion that may explore stories in terms of film genres. We could get Sci Fi, horror, and spy movie stories. That attempt to use the back drop of LA Noire to tell a very different, very weird story. Imagine playing Cole as a G-man as he investigates a whole slew of UFO sightings and abductions (before you say flying saucers and Sci Fi B was a Fifties Phenomena, remember the famous Roswell incident occurred in 1947, the same year LA Noire is set). Or a CIA Cole as he roots out old style Hollywood depictions of Reds before they use the movie industry to take the country. Considering the success of Undead Nightmare, This is far more likely than one would think.
However this all speculation. What do you think will happen next?
This is not meant to be inflammatory in any way, but rather incite discussion.
Iíve lived through both the nineties and the 2000s. Iíve seen the rise of CGI and 3D graphics for games. Iíve lived through the golden era of sci fi pc games and RPGs (Planescape: Torment, Deus Ex System Shock 2, bioshock, Fallout 2 and 3).
Iíve also seen the rise in the mass use of the internet and the natural evolution of the system as both a information system and a pioneering form of non national communication networks and systems.
Games, Film, computers and the Internet mark the beginning of a new era of civilization; The gradual building progression to massive, techno-cultural event known to science fiction authors, futurists, scientists, engineers and computer technicians as the singularity. By the logic of this theory, there will be a point in upcoming history in which major technological advancement will continuously speed up until a crux point, the singularity is encounters, in which technological, cultural and artisinal advancements will begin to increase at an infinitely exponential rate until human civilization will be unrecognizable to us and our preconceived notions of it. I believe such an event will occur within the next 10-15 years with the development of a few primary technologies; quantum computing, nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, and conventional space-time movement subversion (CERN, Quantum tunneling and entanglement, instantaneous travel across the universe regardless of momentum and mass)
I theorize that there have been smaller singularities over human history, signifying points of rapid development in art, technology and culture. Such examples of smaller singular events are the renaissance, the massive technological growth of the Chinese empire before its rapid decline, and most recently, the rapid development of audio-visual and broadcast media in the early 20th century.
But as we make our final steps to the ultimate final singularity, which threatens or entreats the absolute reconstruction of human civilization and consciousness, a growing trend seems to have popped up since the new millennium. It disturbs me very much. And this growing trend is that people are fucking stupid! And theyíre growing stupider every day.
Despite access to growing information networks and consistently evolving forms of informational access, people are becoming less informed and frequently more aggressive when defending the pathetic, half formed excuses. They act in a fashion similar to that of an arrogant genius when in actuality they are low intelligence morons. I make no effort to assert myself as being a intellectually superior being, but I have the benefit of saying that I am far more adaptive and inviting to the introduction of new ideas and concepts into my personal being.
A few cultural points seem to pop up when in defending my development. These are conspiracy theories, social networking, and cultural backlash.
Conspiracy theories, for many, are the basis for fanciful thinking and fiction. For a great deal of others, they represent a concealment of the truth in face of overwhelming counter evidence. These people believe Kennedy was assassinated by his government, the moon landing was faked, and the World Trade Center was destroyed by their own government to justify a war in the Middle East. These people will interpolate, interconnect and invent evidence as they see fit in order to confirm their devout and even insane claims of subterfuge and dishonesty.
In the real world however, the marked stupidity of such people is clearly evident. Despite consistent and continuous proof by non-government experts (history channel, mythbusters, and the discovery channel respectively) countering every conspiracy theory listed above and then some, they doggedly refuse to accept a logical explanation.
I contribute this to a form of evolved natural stupidity. Humans have been able to maintain themselves as the dominant species because of one primary aspect that most animals seem to lack; abstract thinking. While primates and dolphins seem to possess this skill as well, our ability far exceeds them. We win because we can perceive and recognize patterns and hypothesize about the future. We can also inference and preconceive concepts and ideas before we act upon them. Itís what has kept us alive during our development as a species and civilization and allowed us to flourish. Unfortunately, this comes with a downside. This is the persistence of pattern seeking behaviour in a time in our development where itís mostly vestigial in use. Many are incapable of perceiving chaos and random, non-interconnected behaviour and thus, almost as if it were a defense mechanism, people instantly and doggedly stick to the largest web of events and behaviour possible and defend as if with their lives, despite clear and present lunacy in such hypotheses. It can best be interpreted as a bizarre neurological freak of natural selection. With regards to us, it is a specialization and evolution of desired taken to such a point in which it becomes detrimental to us as a species. Because of such rapid onset programming in peopleís brains, its allowed for the persistence and perpetuation of incoherent webs of interconnection and meaning amongst massive groups of people. Through our primary communication systems, writing, imagery and speaking, these ideas persist and flourish amongst groups of people, entering, corrupting and spreading these logic webs/programs in a fashion similar to that of a virulent computer program. An example of such is religion and religious dogma and the problems they cause.
Social networking is another piece in the growing evidence towards mankindís stupidity. Primarily designed as a informational interconnection in the era of post-national internet communities, networks have devolved into cesspools of human idiocy and childish behaviour. People, because of anonymity on the Internet with sites such as this or networks such as facebook and twitter, lose their ability to act with basic social skills. They let their ID run free believing there to be no consequence for their actions due to the dissociative and disconnected nature of the internet. They build groups and communities of likeminded morons on such websites and social networks to persist in their own childish behaviour. Unfortunately this has larger scale ripple effect upon them and society. They begin to dissociate from their real life and seem to only exist on the internet. They become unable to properly interact with people outside their social network and when they do move within the real world, they begin to act as they do on the internet. Unfortunately the clustering effect of such destructive behavior has generated a whole population of people socially ineffective outside the limitations of the internet. They literally cannot function without facebook or myspace and they become unable to properly interact with real people.
To finally address my point is the idiocy of cultural backlash. As films, books, games and such form of entertainment grow in popularity, there is a vocal group of people who express hatred towards it for no reason other than the fact that it is popular. This is known as cultural backlash. The point of such patterns of behaviour is nonexistent. It instead stands as counteraction in a futile attempt to attain independence by rejecting conventional popular media. They then run to sites such as this and Kotaku and many others, spewing off half baked counter culture opinions to make themselves seem unique from what they believe is everybody else.
Look, while I give credence to the belief that Twilight is poor, exploitative genre trash, I realize why people like it. I respect it, as much as I hate it, for its ability to garner such an audience. But the backlash against films such as Titanic and Slumdog Millionare is idiotic at best. These films are expertly made, confident dramas, which display excellent screenwriting and direction. However, the hatred for these films based on popularity makes no sense. While personal preference not matching up with the film resulting in someone not liking it is perfectly fine, having disdain simply because many people like it is idiotic at best. It is merely an excuse for foolish half-wits to use antisocial behaviour on a group with little consequence. They think, by avoiding popular opinion, they can make themselves more noticeable and unique to others. Such attempts at recognition is the desperate throes of a weak simple minded fool who wants more attention than their personality or intelligence should allow.
But such moronic behaviour has extended even further, leading to backlash before a film is even released. Such is the case with the upcoming film Avatar by James Cameron. Remarks that film looks like it will be shit and further general hatred make no sense. All right, while someone may not like something because they donít like the art style or they are not interested in the story is fine. But disdain as well as broad generalized remarks when they have no basis in reality and canít even be determined yet doesnít make any sense. People displaying hatred for a film which has done nothing wrong yet as it has not even been released is the most idiotic thing ever conceived by a human being. It is essentially the judgment of something, with no proper understanding of its quality. Itís thoughtless hatred by groups of nasty self-serving morons who would go personally out of their way to discredit something because they can latch their lamprey like suckers on any handle of the hate wagon they can reach with their sad, limited intellect.
This may seem like incessant ranting, but there is a specific point to my argument. Why is it that in the era of widespread knowledge and interactivity is people growing stupider, louder and less informed? The rise of fools across the world is a sad reminder that though many wonders await us in the future and the next decade, the world is filled with witless, low brow worms who slither in the dirt of their own ignorance, misery and hatred and do nothing to simply live and be happy for the sake of being happy. I wish the stupidity will end with the new decade and hopefully lead us to an age of intellect and honesty towards oneself and others in their. But I doubt that will happen any time soon.
This place is hell. A vast labyrinth of strange near asymmetrical buildings and outlandish perspective and physics bending architectural anomalies. Places that twist the logic between interior and exterior space. Children wander through the town with their own strange customs and gangs. The Adults are trapped in their own world of superstition, politics, and bizarre pseudo-physical class distinction. A thick blanket of yellow brown smog covers the dingy cattle town making everything brown and dying. Unseen dogs bark and howl madly in the distance. Overhead, a tiny patch of sky shows a distant sky of blue and clouds. This is Ancient Step.
I am the player. I am playing Pathologic. I insert myself into this horrid place as a number of characters. I am, at best, a casual participant or pawn in the events that will unfold before me. I start as the scientist who wishes to conquer death. I have come here to see and immortal man.
I wake in a dingy little bed and breakfast. All the mirrors in the town are broken for some inexplicable reason. I leave. In the backyard is a transient and some bizarre fetal creature, they are the half formed men, the cattle herders of the swamplands. They are the wurm. By the buildings gates is a creature in a medieval plague suit and a faceless wraith like creature. They tell me to behave like myself and be mindful of my condition, for I am bound by the rules of reality here. I can hunger, I can weaken myself through fatigue and illness. I listen carefully and leave.
The immortal man is dead. Found murdered in his hidden antechamber between the folds of space and time. Worse, my friend and mentor is dead, found with a giant spike as long as your arm rammed straight through his chest. Some suspect his son, the crazy surgeon. Others suspect a mad half man cow slaughterer. I am deeply confused.
Worse yet, something terrible is coming. Disease. Death, my enemy, creeps ever closer. Every day, people die, places become quarantined, fights break out, and food and resources become excessively scarce. Horror and violence breaks out amongst the people as they fight to survive. I find a weapon and have to sell it for medicine and food. But only the children with toy dog heads have the proper medicine. I have no money and nothing to barter with these mad kids. I am desperate, I am dying. I have no choice; I find a group of them and slaughter them, one by one, with a bullet to the head. I finish off my indiscretion by raiding their corpses and stealing what I need. What have I done?
Soon the world becomes infected. The walls welt and sores open on the buildings. They fester with this strange disease from beyond the concept of conventional understanding. The bodies pile higher and the people grow increasingly mad. The government comes in to quash the infection only to fall to this strange metaphysical illness. People die and I am incapable of doing anything outside of making things seemingly worse.
A million years ago and a face later, I am the surgeon, a healer of men and savior of life. I am also a serial killer. I know I can survive coming illness. I can make medicine but only the swamp dwelling wurm have the sufficient materials. To make my deal with them, I need to sow the land with flesh and blood. I murder people and bury their kidneys in the ground. I get my medicine and live a little longer. The ditches fill with my corpses of my sacrifices. Itís good to be alive.
It all suddenly becomes clear to me. I am responsible for this. If there one thing that is clear, none of this would have happened if I had not pressed the new game button. I speak not of myself in terms of my masks, the characters I can choose to play. I speak of myself, the man before the computer. The disease and horror I unleash is a result of entering this world. If I chose nothing, to not play this game at all this place, this town would still be here trapped in its own little digital universe. I am the outsider, who brings a disease to a new world. I am a bringer of death.
Such are the consequences of my actions. They span not only across this game, but all games. The fact of my mere presence brings suffering to bear for all the simple digital beings within the code. It is like a dark atom, trapped in a constant quantum flux between two states, ever changing. The simple act of observation upon this place of quantum flux causes the condition of the observed Ďuniverseí to change. The quantum state chooses one aspect and for some strange reason, it always destruction. I wish I control this universeís quantum state change but I can not seemingly jump timelines where everything is okay for the town of Ancient Step, the world of Oblivion or the wastes of Chernobyl. But this is simple quantum physics on a macro level, a basic law if you will. The act of observing something will always change the conditions of what you are observing.
I am the player. I am not a passive observer or pawn of the events that unfold before me. I am the instigator, the chaos bringer wrapped in many faces and personas as I travel between distant worlds and stories. I bring famine, war, disease and death upon a people innocent of the Armageddon I unleash upon them. I am the horsemen of the apocalypse. I am a dark god who sows the seeds of misery and destruction in the myriad of worlds I choose to play with.
I am the player of games and I wish to be entertained. Now, who do I play with next?
In all forms of entertainment, the aspect of selling commercial art is generally considered a part of the entertainment business. This business as people understand it, has been closing studios, merging properties, removing dedicated servers and providing trouble for people for a very long time now. Yet people fail to really understand how abstract the business and all forms of business really are.
See, when a company is a publicly traded commodity, its possession is broken into equal sized fragments often referred to as shares. An abstract reference to a collective of shares is commonly known as stock. As a company gains or loses money in its ventures, the confidence of said company wanes and waxes in the view of the public. This confidence filters into Ďperceivedí value of shares, which then quickly becomes the actual value of said stock. This is the lifeblood of sustaining companies. The quick transference from economic confidence to perceived value to actual value is not actually guided by any form of real logic or economic reasoning. It has been proven scientifically that the flakey, nonsensical and overreacting behavior of the stock market has connecting with such things as mass hysteria and herd mentality (with a little pheromones throne into the mix).
The economic confidence of a company, as mentioned above, is governed by earnings. Every year, executives and the CEO make an economic forecast for the coming year. This forecast predicts how much money the company expects to make by the end of the fiscal year. Such predictions are considered reasonable and in line with the earnings of previous years. However, if less than the predicted amount of money is made during the year, then it is considered a Ďlossí by the executives, CEO, and shareholders (ie STUPID). They then cut down the production end by canceling projects, laying off workers and closing studios to reduce the money sink and increase gain.
This is seemingly counter to the fact that said Ďlossí is not a loss at all, as such money did not exist before the prediction was made. For example, If a company predicted 100 million dollar gain and only made 95 million, then it is considered to have lost 5 million and the company has to let things and people go to make up for it.
Such as the case of the industry. But the illogic goes even farther than that. See, an entertainment company is broken into two parts, the creative section which makes the games, and the management section which contains all the producers, managers, executives and Chairmen. This latter section of a company takes most of the revenue produced by the larger corporation when they actually contribute nothing to the bottom line. They are by classical definition, parasitic, as they drain energy and power from the host while returning little to no benefit.
This economic parasite is everywhere, controlling and trampling the creative department under their Ďleadshipí, buzzwords and execu-speak. It is the reason why Free Radical is dead and Westwood was let go. The people in this management Ďcultureí run the industry and our artistic culture. Virtually no executive has any experience with the industry they are knee deep in. They are interchangeable upper management. They are Ďleadersí, raised by the MBA executive Ďcultureí to go out and make money in any field, despite the fact that they have experience or working knowledge of the industry they are in. Theyíre trolling for profit as quickly as possible, no matter the consequences (short term gain versus long term loss). They are the reason while almost all games are homogenous products. They jump on a trend that sells and jump to the next one as soon as it comes along. They are the reason why big chain bookstores have a wall dedicated to James Patterson, yet shrink the Science Fiction department by 100 books a year. They trade in nonexistent commodities (forecasts) as if they were real, which led to such things as prospects and sub prime mortgages. And we all know too well how that turned out.
And nobody manages to see the unsustainable lunacy that North American economics have created. Nobody listens and almost nobody fights back (I havenít bought an Activision game since 2003, Doom 3 doesnít count as it was it just published by them). But people keep buying games and feeding the leeches and nothing ever changes because people sustain what is simply an illogical, unsustainable, stupid and frankly evil system.
You bought modern warfare 2 and thatís how Bobby Kotick, the scum of the industry and indicative of everything wrong with modern commerce, made 35 million in one week period. Congratulations!
This episode deals with the inherent problem with Blogging about games and the problems within my own post.
Games are an interesting culture to speak about. Even in its simplest form, it engenders discussion and argument which websites such a Destructoid facilitates through both its intelligent community and blog feature. However, this is the internet, which engenders many problems with communication and understanding.
First off, communication. With the internet, itís very rare that people actually know someone to a point in which they understand the intricacies of personal tone and meaning. The best example is the We Should Expect Better Articles. People look at me and say that my derogatory tone and singular accusation is too hard edged against people who work very hard at what they do. Maybe they are right. But what people commonly seem to associate with my posts is me screaming and beating my chest like a lunatic. In reality, if I were to speak with my own voice it would actually be quite depressed sounding and in a very matter of fact tone. Very rarely does any of my problems with gaming actually anger me (such exceptions being music games and social networking), but rather simply disappoints me. I feel that what I think are halfassed products getting paraded around at the expense of better titles as well as the fact that game design has been steadily going downhill since 2000 to be quite sad as a gamer.
Now about understanding. There are a lot of misconstrued opinions about my articles and I feel that I must explain myself for the sake of clarity.
The primary problem is my statements on stupidity. The word, stupidity, is merely a label I place over my feelings about developers. What I refer to as stupidity is in fact is a lack of knowledge coupled with an unwillingness to learn and a delusion that they do something well. A perfect example for this can be taken from my own family history. My father is a director of childrenís cartoons. Heís directed The magic School Bus, Braceface and is currently working on one of if not the highest rated cartoon on the Disney Channel, Handy Manny. There are animators and board artist out there that he knows. They are terrible. They have awful composition, timing, they are even terrible at drawing. They work at a professional level, but lack the talent to do it even remotely well. But they think theyíre the greatest thing since Walt Disney and when someone more talented calls them out and tries to help them improve, they are resistant to instruction and insulted that someone would even question their greatness. That is stupidity.
Through my familyís constant encounters with Ďstupidityí and my own personal experiences throughout my life, Iíve come to recognize and classify human behaviour quite well. I can see when someone is being Ďstupidí from a mile away. And if Iím incapable of succeeding anywhere else in my life, I can rest easy that Iím at least good at understanding human nature to a degree.
The next part of misunderstanding regarding my work deals with my preponderance towards zero tolerance. Well, yes, I have no tolerance towards something that can be done better quite easily. It shows a singular lack of effort and understanding of the profession you are in when you do something wrong. And my ultimate opinion is, if you canít do something right, donít do it at all. However, my concept of right is very different from what you may assume. I see Ďrightí as being neither perfect nor even good. Doing something right is an aspect which can be seen throughout your work. It insinuates itself into the character of the final product you turn in. Doing it right shows you have a fundamental understanding of the work that you are doing professionally. It can be boring, it can just be just not that great, But if you understand what your working on and actually understand how to implement it into a game in way that is significant and relevant to the player, then you have done it right. Look at Dead Space. Was it perfect? Far from it. But did it display a fairly competent understanding of horror, science fiction, space ship design, narrative progress and third person action adventure gameplay? Yes and it did it quite well.
Oh and for the record, when someone such as myself and others who have an admittedly limited experience with game development are able to point out blatant flaws in level, narrative and game design, there is something very wrong with the product you just released.
I also argue that games nowadays are awfully designed in comparison to products from 20-even 6 years ago. And my belief is that in this day of easy to use third party engines, normal mapping, advanced AI, real-time physics and photorealistic Graphics, if you canít beat a game like Quake 2 (1997), Half Life (1999) or System Shock 2 (2000), what in godís name are you doing? And what depresses me further is that none of these newer games make any effort to understand what made those games, with their limited technology, so great.
I donít expect you to agree with me. In fact I hope you donít as it allows discourse and debate to occur. What these articles are the accumulation of my personal opinions into a series of argumentative essays in order to raise questions about the nature of gaming. Hell Iím probably wrong concerning many aspects of my opinion, but itís just how I feel as a gamer whoís been screwed over too many times to count. I also donít think that Iím the smartest person on the planet, but I feel that Iím smart enough to point out something thatís simply inexcusable and voice my opinions.
EDIT - It was recently stated that I'm the 'glass half empty' type of guy. This statement is both true and false. I have no tolerance for bad ideas and stupid game design and will frequently call these games out for the stupidity they contain. But this doesn't mean I don't like or even love them. Some games are good, just despite some horrid design choices. Metal Gear Solid is one, Far Cry 2 is another. In fact the MGS series is my second favourite game series ever made. But there are some really awful design choices that someone should have taken notice of and fixed and there is no excuse for the stupidity displayed by not remedying the problem. However, I won't deny these games aren't fun to play or even great experiences. They just have serious problems that could have been fixed with a little basic reasoning applied.
This is the third of my We Should Expect Better series.
Now I want to get this out of the way immediately. There is nothing wrong with either music OR sports games. They are designed to do exactly what they do, and I perfectly respect their relatively stable design. There is also nothing wrong with playing them and liking them. The skill of rhythm and understanding the rules of football is quite impressive. There is nothing wrong with them. I even argue that some of them are quite good (rock band, etc).
What I argue is the reason for their existence. As good as these games are, I just cannot support them. Their very is existence are acts in futility and pointlessness. The problem is that while these games may give people an experience they would never have (doing a song in front of a roaring crowd can feel quite good). In fact, as good as these games are, I believe them to be the lowest forms of entertainment and dangerous too.
They arenít real. In truth, they are sub real. Theyíre vicarious alternatives to something you can really do if you put the effort into it. They donít teach you anything about real music and reward as if you did for just being able to keep in rhythm and have fast reflexes. The games show no effort in trying to teach any real fundamentals about playing a guitar, singing, drums, football, basketball. They just turn easy to learn, hard to master real world activities and substitute them for easier digital packages. This is like going to the store and buying frozen desert instead of real ice cream. Itís the nutritional equivalent to the nutritional equivalent of a real active or creative experience.
In fact, games such as Rock Band and Madden are beginning to subvert real sports and music. People donít go out and play football or street hockey on weekends anymore if they can just do Dallas versus Cleveland in the latest Madden games. Garage Bandís have dwindled to nothingness since Guitar Hero allowed people to master Freebird with five buttons and a dongle. Itís a crime for the simple reason that its nature removes the volition to try to succeed for real, turning everyone from potential artists and athletes into armchair wannabes.
Best example I can think of comes straight from Destructoid itself. If you ever listen to podtoid, you hear Samit drone on forever about sports games to the point in which you actually want reach into the mike and strangle his gab hole shut. He knows every single aspect and nuance of these games, the rules, the teams, the plays and the strategies. And yet, for all his constant droning, I have never heard a single mention of him getting off his ass and actually going out and playing football or street hockey with some friends. Whatís the point when he could he could be a virtual superstar on his PS3.
And the strange thing is, it tends to really delude people into thinking that they can really be a successful musician or play a sport well if they just tried. Yet the ease of the game and itís instant gratification never instills a single ounce of real motivation to actually try for excellence. These games and the rise of rags to riches media (high school musical, Fame, American Idol, etc) give rise to the strange anti Barbie of the new millennium. These games and movies strut around giving vapid praise for minimal talent and effort, raising peopleís self esteem when itís not real and not deserved.
And you know what the really sad, ironic thing is. Itís now actually cheaper to buy a real guitar (admittedly a starter instrument) or football as opposed to rock band or Madden. The fact that music and rhythm games are continuously growing and edging out real music when itís actually cheaper to learn how to play an actual instrument makes me cry and want to tear out my hair.
Oh! And it makes me lose faith in humanity too.
If youíre interested in previous iterations of we should expect better, check out my blog for more.