Lollipop Chainsaw is bad for the video game industry. It is crass and unhelpful in constructing a more motivated, progressive industry. With a cheap dime store main character to sell through sex, Lollipop Chainsaw proves that everything the video game industry has been working towards has been diminished. Video games are headed towards a dark age.
Everything I just said is wrong.
With the release of Lollipop Chainsaw, I think gamers have started to have an odd sense of self entitlement. The self entitlement has already been prevalent, but I just started thinking about it recently with the release of this game. Gamers have begun to believe that sexuality in gaming must be progressive, anything that isn’t is damaging to everyone involved, from developers to casual onlookers. This puzzles me greatly, for just seven months ago people were praising Saints Row The Third for its craziness. “Look, you can hit people with dildos!” people would exclaim, “Gimps pushing rickshaws, and they explode! This game is amazing!”
Now I am hearing people saying “So, you play as some cheap exploitative whore who kills zombies? That is abhorrent; this is setting us back as an industry and the makers should be ashamed.” What caused this change in thought? Why is one over the top, tongue in cheek game that revels in the absurd being judged differently from another over the top, tongue in cheek game that revels in the absurd? Where and when did gamers suddenly find a pasture of high horses to get upon? Is it that E3 was just around the corner, putting gamers in the public eye, making them feel judged by outsiders? I sincerely want to know, this breakneck change of taste is utterly fascinating.
Last year, I thought Saints Row The Third was hilarious and fun, not just to play but to experience. The audio, the visuals, it was a polished piece of crazy. I wasn’t the only one who thought so; Saints Row The Third was on many Game of the Year lists.
This year, I still love Saints Row. Whilst not yet having played Lollipop Chainsaw, I have seen a couple hours of gameplay. Lollipop Chainsaw and Saints Row are both incredibly cheeky games with the creators in on the joke. But now gamers think they are better than that. The thought of Lollipop Chainsaw being demoralizing to anyone is just ludicrous. It’s like a friend asking you if you want to go to a party so you kick him in the nuts. The friend was looking for a fun time and you responded by insulting the friend until he was left hurt. The act of refusal is incredibly disproportionate to the tone suggested at entry.
Naysayers of such games need to think of other mediums and how these situations are thought of. Caligula doesn’t make Citizen Kane look bad. Nobody thinks less of Watchman because they decided to read Tijuana Bibles. The sheer existence of fun smut makes other works feel balanced. If all I saw was acclaimed art, art would be dull. I feel I am a better person for having read Twilight, without reading it I would be jaded by Harry Potter into a distilled idea of the written work of young adult literature. If I only played Heavy Rain, I would have a boring outlook on video games. Sometimes a man wants to play a Deadly Premonition or an Earth Defense Force to weigh out the Assassin’s Creeds. The ability for a game like Lollipop Chainsaw to come out is fantastic because in the midst of serious first person shooters it’s nice to just be a cheerleader fighting zombies.
At the end of the day, Lollipop Chainsaw is meant to entertain, and if you are using it as a topic of highbrow, sociopolitical commentary on the state of the games industry, then you need to calm down and just have some fun. This game is not meant to be a sophisticated piece of art, it’s a game where your power up song is “Hey Mickey”.
I'm hoping for a discussion to proceed, I legitimately want opinions.