Brooker: Games must ‘exploit our humblest fantasies’

British satirist and columnist Charlie Brooker has written a typically eloquent and reasonable piece about videogames for The Guardian, where he discusses the popularity of gaming when compared to television and movies, and claims that interactive entertainment needs to “exploit our humblest fantasies” if it wants to capture the imagination of the average Heat reader.

“The resulting lack of mainstream coverage means that, despite being about 10,000 times more successful than the British film and TV industries combined, the British videogames industry continually balances a pathological inferiority complex with a wounded sense of pride,” explains Brooker. “Quite why it still wants validation from these older, fading forms of media is a mystery. It’s like a powerful young warrior disgruntled at being ignored by an elderly and irrelevant dying king.”

The writer points toward the so-called “casual games” market, and how this wave of humble and grounded titles are what the mediocre masses want. Stuff that any mong can relate to, such as The Sims, which is basically just about living in a house. He suggested his own ideas for the types of games that might ride this wave of humility, such as “Magic Agreement Party,” where you sit at a dinner party table discussing your viewpoints on any subject, and the other people slowly all agree with you. His suggestion for “Peter Sissons’ Tetris” is absolutely bloody hilarious, although only our UK readers will get the brilliance of that.

As usual, Charlie Brooker makes a fair point, both about how we get the masses to like games and about how videogames don’t need the approval of ancient and arcane forms of entertainment. I fully expect Activison to capitalize on this idea by releasing Going To The Shops Hero and Going To The Shops Hero: Metallica before Christmas.

[Thanks Matte G]

About The Author
James Stephanie Sterling
More Stories by James Stephanie Sterling