Someday, maybe the world will understand. Someday, people might just, maybe, get what video gaming is all about. Someday, people will realize that video games are NOT “murder simulators” or whatever you want to call them. Yes, in games like Call of Duty and Medal of Honor I can kill hundreds of humans, and in Modern Warfare II there is a level where you cut down dozens of civilians while masquerading as a Russian Terrorist. As a “normal” “average” gamer, I was disgusted by this little sequence. Yes, I played through it, yes, I shot at civilians (and made a point to kill a few who were crawling away) but… that’s disgusting.
I think this is the key thing that far too many non-gamers don’t get: Fantasy and reality are two independent things. In the real world, soldiers don’t regenerate health, they aren’t skilled in dozens of different guns, they don’t reload after every third shot. In the real world war is brutal, hellish and well… not fun. In fantasy war is awesome. War is made of win and nothing is greater than a good battle with EXTRA violence. (Okay, maybe not extra, but you get the point: violence sells). But the thing is… we all know that its fake. Honestly, how is it realistic for there to be something like 500 “militia” armed with SMGs, Shotguns and Rifles in the slums of Rio, Brazil? How is it possible for Russia to invade the EAST COAST just as British and America forces attack the Russian West Coast with commandos? It. Doesn’t. Happen. But its darn cool. I mean, let’s face it, fighting through the White House and flying a helicopter around the DC is darn cool. Seeing the Washington Monument in flames and the White House reduced to Ashes is neat, in a sort of depressing way.
Another thing that I find funny, is how much people criticize games like Modern Warfare II, GTA: San Andreas (Hot Coffee, people?), but then games like Dragon Age: Origins and Fallout 3 haven’t really received much (well known) criticism. Dragon Age: Origins is violent, grim, gritty and well… very Mature. Fallout 3 is the same, if not worse: Sex, Language, Drug Use, and humans exploding into gore. So… why exactly do these games not receive critism? Because they’re not “real”? Come on, Russia invading the East Coast is hardly “real”. SAS forces running amok in Rio being chased by “200 militia” and killing DOZENS of said militia hardly strikes me as an everyday, run-of-the-mill SAS operation. Modern Warfare II is a fantasy game. Now, if this was Iraq or Afghanistan, and they did their best to really remain realistic, then I wouldn’t mind the criticism, but this game IS NOT realistic. So why the criticism?
And while I’m talking about video games, what is up with singleplayer FPS games these days? CoD 4 has a 10 hour campaign, and it appears Modern Warfare II has a shorter one! I won Crysis in like a week (during school!). It appears that the traditional linear FPS game is just… dead in singleplayer. Actually, this appears to be a cause of a very deadly disease that Video Gaming has recently received: graphics.
See, ten years ago, good graphics were… Half-Life. And I’ll be honest say that game had BAD graphics compared to modern times. But the truth is, I played that game, and once you start playing, it doesn’t matter! The game is still AMAZING. It has GOOD gameplay and FUN levels, once you start playing, you won’t care that the game really shows its age, graphically.
But then you have games like Prototype, which, despite me having a good computer that meets the minium requirements, doesn’t run very well on my computer. The same can be said with Assassin’s Creed. Now, the really funny thing about this is that both of these games, as far as I can tell, are games that do not appeal to me at all. I’ve never been a fan of the “run around the city” “freeform” games like that. I prefer the more RPG freeform games. But, the point is, these games were huge. People love graphics. They’re obessesed with graphics to what I consider an unhealthy level. I didn’t realize this until someone else told me, but this overreliance on graphical power has detracted from video games on the whole, in my opinion. Actually, I just remembered something I heard a long time ago when the PS3’s graphical power was unveiled. This Japanese guy said, “the PS3 is great. Those graphics are great, but to develop that level of graphical realism will cost lots of money and take lots of time.” He didn’t sound very exicited when he said this and I kinda agree with him. I’d rather have Half-Life Gameplay and Half-Life Graphics instead of Call of Duty 4 Gameplay (fun, but SHORT) and Call of Duty Graphics.
It would seem, sadly, that I am the exception to the rule. I prefer long singleplayer games. RTS, RPG, Long, Linear FPS games (Far Cry 2 was okay, but I prefer CoD4, honestly. CoD4 was cooler). *sigh* such is life.