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Nothing is sacred: The taking of life

7:00 PM on 10.05.2009 // Y0j1mb0

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In my mind, I try not to over think or justify why certain overused mechanics in videogames are adhered to like a good recipe passed down from some popular chef. I just accept it. I go with the flow because after all, this is videogames we are talking about here. For all intents and purposes this is for fun. We can make parallels to our everyday lives and can even try to find a deeper meaning beyond the surface of games but its almost silly to take videogames seriously when the majority of them, before they even begin to tell a story to you, outfit the protagonist with a lethal weapon of some sort. Whatever narrative that may follow next, however intriguing or touching, immediately loses validity because of what you are carrying in your hand.

You are carrying a sword, an explosive, or a gun that would make Richard Marcinko green with envy. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to conclude that yes, you're going to kill people shortly and most likely with extreme prejudice. It may or may not be gratuitous, perhaps there wont even be that much blood to contend with, but lives will be taken and they will be snuffed out by you.

I find it odd that the majority of game developers stick to this I gotta kill formula for just about all of their games. Can they not tell a story with gameplay to match that doesn't involve killing someone or something? Or are the only stories worth telling the ones filled to the brim with death? What's odder still is not the frequency of theses games, because bottom line they're profitable, but the still ravenous appetite for them from gamers.

If you will permit me an analogy, that's like owning a restaurant that only serves one dish and one dish only, say a pork sandwich. That pork sandwich may be the best pork sandwich in the world, once bitten men drop to their knees weeping with satisfied delight. Yet how many days in a row of eating those sandwiches will be enough before it's time to move on to something else? Would you last a week eating the same thing no matter how delicious?

It's weird that as gamers our palettes are varied only when it comes to food and not games. How many Call of Duty games do you own? Personally I own four. I will pick up the next one too. Why? Because the next one's story will be significantly better? Or because it has snow? Is it because the multiplayer will be vastly different? Truth be told, It will be the same experience as the last one if you really think about it. It's all about the multiplayer and of course killing your fellow online friend.

At least the theme of killing works in CoD but does it have to be that just about every game have to have it? Really? I find that as hard to believe as gamers still not getting enough of killing in games. I wonder if you all took stock of your games, what would be the percentage of them where you are dealing death? Is it more than 40%? 50%? Is it 100%? Are you a psycho? Do game developers think we are?

Does the NRA infiltrate our game developers during their planning stages of games? That sounds comical if it weren't for guns being the cliche accessory that the latest game protagonist needed to sport. If you think about it, there's more thought into getting from "point a" to "point b" in a game then there is shooting thirty people in that same time span. There are no repercussions for shooting or killing no one typically. You'll probably have more of a game reaction to crashing a car than you are killing a pedestrian walking down the street.

The best game I've played all year so far didn't have the main character kill anyone in the game. When I realized that I internally did a double take because of how rare that is nowadays. That game being Batman:Arkham Asylum.Creating a game that's a blast to play and not kill can be accomplished folks. People often ridicule Nintendo but their first party games are crazy fun and don't involve a bloodbath to accomplish great sales nor exemplary gameplay. It's a philosophy they have, one that still they haven't abandoned. Refreshing.

Nothing is indeed sacred in videogames when the most sacred thing in our real lives, that being taking the life of another, is made a mockery and even a requirement in most of our videogames.




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