Part 2 can be read here: http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/Zuckerhund/vgx-an-in-depth-analysis-part-2--267341.phtml And on the Second Hour...
The Lutece Twins were one of the nominees for character of the year, which boggled my mind so much I entered a trance-like state where logic disappeared and society became a reliable thermometer on how far humanity has advanced. Yes, Bioshock Infinite was a great game and I enjoyed it. Whenever the Lutece twins popped up and engorged the setting with some much needed humor, I appreciated the input. However, to call them one of the best of 2013 is about as far-fetched as finding a pineapple in a cigar tin. Outside of a few voxaphone entries and an occasional presence, the Lutece�s aren't around long enough to justify a consideration.
Perhaps I'm indulging too much in my disbelief. I didn't play every single game that was nominated yet. Maybe Lara Croft was just a tress-FX clumsy oaf that kept ramming her stomach into spikes and accidentally killing people when all she wanted to do was shake their hands while showing them an awesome assault rifle. Perhaps Ellie was just a whiny brat that wanted to find a working outlet to charge her smartphone while Troy Baker paycheck number 78 just needed a cold beer and some clean underwear. Perhaps the only thing all the characters did in GTAV was murder people in cold blood, looking for those stars in the sky to align into a spread of heavenly six, for the prophecy foretold that was the only way to still the barking dog in their heads.
When the camera returned to the living room inspired by last gen's go-to color scheme, everyone was completely caught off guard. They stared at each other for a moment, and then gawked at the staff filming them. Was I watching a double-blind lab experiment? Were these individuals told that yes, this was a Spike TV production, yes, this horse pill is something everyone has to take before the lights go on, no, this shot won't hurt a bit. Did men in white coats come out to look inside their mouths and check for signs of symptoms whenever a video played?
Geoff spoke, stating that "Things were moving quickly here at our loft...", which is funny because I don't consider a three hour show with bare minimal substance to move at anything other than a glacial pace. VGX makes James Cameron's movies look like a Vine clip. What followed was another reminder that if you weren't bleeding yet, you weren't binging the right way. I think they were just putting in a disclaimer in case a person started suffering from stigmata.
Joel welcomed us to hour two of VGX and began having a confused, aimless series of words that the experiment leaders jotted down as a potential sign of discussion. Joel McHale was thoroughly sick of undergoing any amount of feeling while doing this gig, so he started allowing the viewer to peek through the curtain of industry nonsense, boiling down VGX to "many phrases that basically mean video game commercials." It's clear that Joel isn't a gamer and prefers to spend his time elsewhere. A lot of folks gave him flak for stereotypical jokes and his degrading approach. Think about it. Doesn't his reaction make perfect sense? If you introduce a panda to the joys of eating pizza by stuffing its yap and slapping it across the face with pepperoni, will it not growl and turn away? Joel was simply immersed in a new world without any chance to decompress.
Lord Mountain Dew was attempting to mitigate the meltdown but at this point his false laughs and gritted smiles had become full blown eye rolls, disappointed expressions, and sideways glances. As stated earlier, Joel's indifference was so imbedded, it had become magical. When Geoff found some desperate exhilaration and announced he was really looking forward to hearing more about Titanfall, Joel let loose a Final Fantasy style summon with his words by stating, "Yes, he told me how excited he was in the bathroom." This rocked Mr. Keighley so hard that his face underwent several stages of pained frustration and sadness, though he masked it with a smile wider than a T-Rex after it's found a skateboard to shred on.
...The Revelation Had Come
The next world premiere was something the gaming community has known since THQ started doing sick kick flips on its financial reports, but South Park: The Stick of Truth still got the same treatment as any other brand new announcement. Yet another South Park trailer farted away a few minutes of time, ending in a cut back to Joel in front of that lovely monitor with its screensaver enabled. He introduced Trey Parker and Matt Stone who lurched forward into the shot and looked at the room they had been led into. Trey glanced back at the pitiful state of VGX and said "Welcome to the future of award shows." If you look closely at Joel as he slinks away, this elicits a genuine smirk from him, as well as apologetic laughs from the crew that weren't able to break their arms in order to avoid further service in the name of VGX.
The creators of South Park were on-screen for a total of one minute or so. I believe this was Spike TV's statement on the ephemeral nature of fame, the sacrifice one must make to achieve greatness, and the inability to keep them around longer. Trey and Matt didn't even declare the nominees to game of the year; they stopped just short so a video could take over. This too, I felt had been a statement. Eventually, technology will take over, and we shall remain silent as the Earth is remade in the image of cold, unfeeling i-quipment.
Once the ultra-violent clip show had ended, the South Park bros let everyone know that Grand Theft Auto V had won, and in Trey's hand was an actual trophy. It was pure black and held a sinister shine. Was this a piece of the Monolith? Had this come from the darkest junctions of the universe to impede our progress? Three of the staff from Rockstar that drew the shortest straws came onstage to grab the award: two men on either side of a woman.
She clutched the microphone while looking from place to place, unsure of herself. The man on the left took the trophy and had an expression that screamed "What the fuck did I just take?" The woman gave out two "umms" before staring down the camera as Matt and Trey leered at her. Understanding flooded my very sense of being. Knowledge washed over me with such force that I had to pause the stream and stare at the wall.
At that infinitesimal moment, I put everything together. This was VGX. This was all of it. There would be no jump cut to a huge convention center. There would be no surprise host greeting a legion of screaming fans while laser lights and imposing displays flickered to life and truly kicked off the festivities. VGX was three hours of staring into the abyss. However, not only did this abyss stare back, but it wept.
It wept for what it once was, and what I could have been. It wept at every single pair of eyes gazing into its obsidian swirls and seemed to ask the question, "Why?" And I'll be honest; I did not know the answer. I daresay no one does. VGX had become an object of lament and sorrow.
I couldn't stop watching.
(End of Part 3)
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