What more do you need to know? I like playing video games and some might consider me a prententious douche then a weird nerd because I'm big on the whole idea of 'some video games are of artistic quality'..........please like me oh god please like me. I'm so desperate from the attention of the anonymous communiity of the Internet <insert smiley troll face>
Famously satirised in the Simpsons, the idea that the ‘children’ need to be protected from the big bad wolf of adult material and entertainment whether this be violence or sex, has been repeated by many anti gaming groups for decades now. However what these same people seem to forget is that they aren’t thinking of the children themselves. They always point the finger at someone else for their own inadequacy as parents. We need to ask the parents’ questions such as how they were able to buy this, were it done under your credit card and why did you not know they were playing it?
Apathy amongst retailers is a major contributing factor to kids gaining access to these products but in these modern day and age, kids are now so fat they can barely walk. So instead they find solace at home on the computer and shock, wouldn’t you know they came across online retailers. Amazon and Play.com don’t vet whose buying their stuff. All they care about, and rightly so, is if your credit card works. So if a child buys a product online with your credit card, and you’re complaining that violent video games are too easy to access by underage kids, then you sir are a colossal dipshit.
Many point to games being the primary cause of gun violence. Whilst this is yet to be proven (spoiler alert, it never will) many seem to forget that the recurring theme across gun massacres is that they all used guns. It’s in the name. In this day and age, we seem to think it’s okay to shift blame and point the finger at someone else to protect ourselves and think we’re good people as a result. A survey of people who are involved with the ESRB found that 14% understood the guidelines, 38% had no clue about the video game rating system and yet 68% believed the ESRB was poor in its goal of preventing children from access to products that were not appropriate to their age. It’s pathetic to think I actually like the idea of the ESRB but the taint of idiocracy and moronic people working for it just pisses me off.
Violence and entertainment will always exist. Contrary to popular belief, we won’t end like Alex from Clockwork Orange or the numerous gun murders who happen to play video games. Parents and anti-gaming advocates need to remember that games can contribute to the behaviour of a child. However neglect, abuse and even actual violence can be so much more influential on how fucked up a child can be. Videogames have, at least to me, been a place in which I can find solace and intellectual stimulation. I don’t play videogames to inspire me to commit murder in real life. If parents understood this then maybe we won’t have video games being blamed for loners whose problems are caused by other factors. Maybe those problems will be dealt with and maybe, we won’t have to fear a game burning like in the USA.
Yes we do think about the children…as people who should be respected, not foundations for a poorly based and thought out argument. I wonder how someone keeps them entertained knowing they’re the only sane person left on the planet.
The dissonance we as consumers experience between what we expect not just from games, but products in general and the reality of those products has been in recent years, become vast. Our horror at the monstrosities at that were DNF, ACM, Diablo 3 and Sim City have become events that will be considered the early stages of the fall of some publishers. However, just because we expect a game to be to our level of standard, that doesn’t mean anything less than that standard, should be considered a great sin.
I was excited for Call of Juarez the Cartel. I really was, if you’ll find that hard to believe. I didn’t pre order because with the collapse of Brick and mortar gaming shops I didn’t need to worry about copies running out. When I bought it, I found I made a terrible mistake. I won’t bore you with the details but what I got was a buggy, racist, xenophobic and intellectually harmful piece of **** for which I regret even thinking about buying. I ‘expected’ a game to at least be decent considering this was new ground that Techland was exploring. I was right in that new ground new depths were being plundered, just not in the way I imagined. I respect Techland just as much I respect The Westboro Baptist Church, an organisation I doubt Elton John is member of.
Aliens-Colonial marine similarly is another example for which I am glad I was warned prior to buying by the unfortunate souls who did buy it. It seems funny that our expectations for some games are so high yet we’re satisfied with functional games such as Call of Duty or Battlefield. So who do we blame in this instance? Should we as consumers understand that we shouldn’t be so quick to assume the quality is assured in spite of no evidence pointing to that? Or should we point the finger at the publishers who constantly assured us that the game was amazing and would work and that we’d have a wonderful time? See Sim city, Diablo 3, Duke Nukem Forever, Amy etc
My expectations were not met for Bioshock infinite, Spec ops the line, Saints row the Third but I was happy because they were good. Conversely, my expectations for games like Hotline Miami, Rayman Origins and FTL: Faster than light were met and I still felt dissatisfied in spite of being thrilled and happy with the final products. I think it’s fair to say that expectations should not be thought of as level of which we….expect the game to be at but a range of which we expect the game to be in. Call of Duty 6, 7, 8 and 9 all looked promising but it fell within our expectations. Compare that with Diablo 3 for which we all assumed would be God’s gift to man in the form of an Isometric RPG, let alone playable but nay we asked too much.
It’s not fair to developers to assume the narrative should always be on the level on the Silent Hill 2, the gameplay as polished as Call of Duty or the aesthetic and graphics to integrate us with the experiences such as Bioshock, Borderlands, Fallout, Skyrim etc etc. However the developers and publishers need to understand that it’s not fair to us to simply release a game where any of earlier features mentioned or even the bugs are so extremely damaging to the final product that it’s not only to the game’s detriment, it makes it unplayable; metaphorically or literally.