The Walking Dead Episode 3
was crazy depressing. I mean, like horrifically miserably and soul-crushingly sad. Seriously, I've never seen such a low point reached, and honestly, if anything good came out of that episode, it was the fact that Lee made Clementine safer and more worldly, and not everyone died
, but seriously, that was it.
I usually write these blogs when I reach a low point in my mindset, like after a particularly shitty day, or after something embarrassing happening to me or being lonely. It's not that I only want to blog when I'm miserable, it's just chances are if I'm happy, I'm usually in no position to be pensive and thoughtful, and just spam the blogs with 1 Million/10 Reviews over games (OH MY GOD FTL: Faster Than Light
See, the thing is, I don't like being sad, it's just a horrible mindset. And playing sad games doesn't exactly boost spirit levels.
See, as Jim Sterling put it in the latest Jimquistion (paraphrasing) "Everybody is fucking miserable, and players don't like miserable protagonists, because they are miserable."
It seems strange that Maturity and Tragedy go hand in hand, where adult themes come tacked on with "epic sadness set pieces attached" (did Jackie really need to die in Sleeping Dogs
? It's not like it advanced the plot in anyway, or how about Dead Space 2
? I swear if I was Issac, I would've put a Javelin between my eyes, because honestly, his life is so soul-suckingly awful that everybody would understand if he let himself fly out of the airlock.)
But then again, don't mature themes need to be dealt with if video games are ever to be taken seriously, you ask? Well, first, video games are already taken seriously, but like all art forms, they have their critics, their protestors, and their downright ignorant. I mean, did you see the "Modern Art" exhibition that was just white walls? What the fuck?)
But the argument does have a fair point. Honestly, if all games had the plot depth of Trine
or BIT.TRIP RUNNER
, then gaming itself could never be used as a medium for storytelling.
No not art, I honestly believe gaming's function now is to tell stories, because no matter how many multiplayer-only and F2P games come out, people will always buy games with great stories, because simply put, a game is the best way to tell a story. It combines the visuals of movie, and the length of a book, and can contain the metaphorical depth far outclassing any piece of artwork. But that's for another time.)
See the thing about leaving the innocence intact, and removing the mature themes is that gaming no longer caters to an child-like audience. Many people who grew up with this innocence of gaming, with nothing more than to jump over the blocks, or 8-bit violence which was so blocky you couldn't tell whether it was blood or the screen had broken, they are exactly that. Grown-ups.
It's easy for nostalgia to cloud your view. It's easy to say "Games are too violent, kids playing games now are playing games too mature, "back in the day, when we used to burn our socks for fire..." but honestly, it's hard not to imagine anything else.
Honestly, the market has changed. It's not kids who are the main buyers now, it's teenagers and adults. So the game industry has adapted, and it's provided us with nail-biting, intense, even sorrowful stories which some of us can remember for the rest of our lives.
But in turn, it has had to sacrifice some of the traits that made it boom in the first place. No longer could we have one dimensional storylines, running from exactly A to B, without a criticism on how linear and boring it is. They couldn't get away with making Tetris
today, it would flop both commercially and critically. Why? Because it wasn't designed for this market, it was designed for the coin guzzling arcade and basic console market back then, when things were different. Honestly, when was the last game Destructoid
gave a good review to of a basic puzzle game? Never, because they haven't reviewed one in forever.
One of the few good things to have come out of the Soviet Union
Why? Because we opened ourselves up to 3 dimensional game making, and 3 dimensional storytelling. But most importantly, we opened ourselves up to realism. To stop holding our heads above the clouds, and to drag us down to earth, to pummel us with tales of misery and depression. Or did it? After all, gaming is about immersion...right? And what's more immersive than something already familiar to us?
Man I don't know, I never really had a point to make with this blog post, it was just some random thoughts snowballling into this. What do you guys think? Do more innocent and simplistic games lay in your favour? Or are you the one who craves emotional power from these games?
Also, if you don't know what the fuck I'm going on about...it's okay, neither do I. Also, the Tetris
theme is the best.