Hello to all,
This is my first post in this community. I claim to be no expert on anything. You have been warned.
Listening to podcasts from multiple industry websites, including Joystiq's and Idle Thumbs, as well as reading articles from Polygon I have noticed a trend that made its way to the forefront.
I grew up with E3. It was always an exciting time to get new about games. This was the chance to see the future of games for the next year or two. There was hype to be sure and a lot of advertising. There was sizzle reels and a G4tv days and all kinds of magazine special issues. As time went on the show changed and the commentary became largely digital. However, it always seemed like it was games or game consoles. This year this seems to have changed.
In listening to podcasts, videos, and other commentary, most of the talk seems to be focused on other elements. I actually read articles in which they talk about E3 being violent. Well, E3 has video games. Video games have commonly been violent. Someone was complaining about Mortal Kombat being violent. Really? I had Mortal Kombat on Game Gear. And parents and politicians were FREAKING the F--- out about that game being to violent. And that was gratuitous pixelated violence. But that was what the technology was capable of at the time. And now we have 3D OMFG violence. And most people are not freaking out. We have seen this before. Its business as usual. I love games and they are capable of many things, but guess what? They are often violent. They often tell stories of being violent. You often do violent things. Call it escapism, call it what you will. People are fascinated by violence. Gaming media apparently JUST realized that games are violent. My biggest complaint with violent games is that many times that's all there is to them. And that is just boring. Like SAW 14. Who cares? The reality is they have do something new for people to KEEP caring. It cannot be just violence or they will only have the hardcore or the unexposed to appeal to.
Now to the many "scandals". Namely the Ubisoft "too much work" defense and the Far Cry "Evil Aryan" cover art. I have also heard complaints about games not making me "care" enough about the characters in a game. It does not make me feel like I should care about the protagonist or about the other characters. The reality is, not every game can appeal to anyone. Just like every movie, book, or painting can not touch everyone in a DEEP way, nor can every game.
Also why is there not more transgender, gay, one legged, unicycle riding, dwarves, who hail from Uganda, and practice Kabala characters in games? I would consider myself a feminist in that I believe in equality for the genders. And I do think its funny that every male character looks like a 30 something white guy. That said, why do we need to have a protagonist from every walk of life. Especially with the boom of independent gaming, games are being made. If you want to make a game about whatever gender, creed, religion, whatever then more power to you. But people want all of the big Dev's to serve everyone and be politically correct. Please don't do that. Let us have interesting stories that may not be PC.
I am all for social commentary and analyzing our culture. This includes games. But why is E 3 suddenly about racism, sexism, the evil of violence, the lack of personal journeys of (insert uninteresting thing here), or whatever scandal we create? I want to here about the games. Not what ridiculous scandal we can create out of them.
Anyway I have ranted enough. Just something I noticed. Feel free to disagree with me. Just read through Polygon and listen to Joystiq.