Why Gears of War is art.

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#1 Posted by Icemael (6339 posts) -

Some people say Gears of War is not Art. Some people say it is juvenile and brainless, and that we should play games like Passage, Braid, Limbo and Silent Hill 2 -- games full of symbolism -- games open to interpretation -- games with deeper meaning and important messages. However, these people are wrong! Gears of War is neither juvenile nor brainless! It is just as full, if not fuller, of symbolism, meaning, messages and layers, as any of the games mentioned above! Without further ado, let us investigate, and uncover one of the most profound, thought-provoking stories in video game history -- nay, art history!
 
Some people think the Gears of War series is a story about beefy dudes shooting humanoid monsters with chainsaw-endowed guns. These people are shallow and superficial -- they are incapable of seeing beyond the surface. The Gears of War series is, in reality, a moving tale of a traumatized person recovering from depression. The Emergence Day, you see, represents a trauma, after which the entire world, to the traumatized, seems broken, gray and depressing. The weapons represent medication used to overcome the Locust, the negative thoughts that relentlessly attack the traumatized's mind, while the boss fights represent therapy sessions, and the squad represents his loved ones, who support him throughout his recovery and pull him back to life at points where he gets dangerously close to committing suicide. Dom is, in reality, Marcus' brother, and his wife suffered from a similar depression, which eventually lead to her death (represented in the game by her dying because of the Locust -- Dom finishing her off shows how part of him blames himself for her death) -- this makes Dom's resolve to help Marcus fight his demons even stronger, as he couldn't bear to lose another family member to the "Locust". The change in environments throughout the series, from completely gray in the first game, to slightly more colourful in the second, and green and bright in the third, represents Marcus' gradual healing. The triumphs at the end of the first and second game (the blowing up of large parts of the Locust army, and the flooding of their caves) represent major breakthroughs at therapy sessions. The mutating Lambent represent the imperfections of modern psychotherapy and medication -- though it does help, it can also cause psychological issues to morph and take on new forms.

As for the combat system, that part of the game is pregnant with meaning as well: cover represents things Marcus does to temporarily escape from reality -- listen to music, meditate and so on -- so as to move away from thoughts of suicide, represented by damage. Active reloading represent the ingestion of medication: when he takes the right amount of pills, the fight against depression gets easier, and when he takes too few or too many, things only get worse. The little meter in the upper right corner showing the proper timing for active reloading is the doctor's prescription.

That is all I have realized so far, though I am certain there are many important details I have yet to decode. All in due time, I suppose. But do you see now, that Gears of War is a masterpiece of interactive storytelling? Do you see now, that the "Yeah bro let's smoke some dudes WHOOO!" attitude is just a thin coat of paint added to let the most emotionally powerful story in decades make enough money to keep it running till the end, and to separate the wheat from the chaff -- to allow only those willing and able to see beyond appearances to gain access to its wonders? Do you still see the series, not as an important, groundbreaking landmark in video game storytelling, but as a childish and stupid waste of time?

I thought not.

#2 Posted by HandsomeDead (11863 posts) -

Someone, somewhere, will find this funny.

#3 Posted by FancySoapsMan (5841 posts) -

Cool.

#4 Posted by captain_clayman (3325 posts) -

i laughed.

#5 Posted by HandsomeDead (11863 posts) -
@captain_clayman said:
" i laughed. "
I found that someone.
#6 Posted by SuperSambo (2879 posts) -
@HandsomeDead
Someone, somewhere, will find this funny.
I really doubt that.
#7 Posted by GunslingerPanda (4827 posts) -

I was gonna troll you, but I kinda see what you're going for, and I can dig the sentiment.

#8 Posted by OmegaPirate (5522 posts) -
@SuperSambo said:
" @HandsomeDead
Someone, somewhere, will find this funny.
I really doubt that. "
Then you are wrong
#9 Edited by blueduck (964 posts) -

So you're saying that in order for something to be art it has to contain symbolism and thus a game that is just about dudes shooting monsters can not be art? The minute you try to define art and say something is or isn't art is the minute you show you have no idea what art is.

#10 Posted by SuperSambo (2879 posts) -
@GunslingerPanda
I was gonna troll you, but I kinda see what you're going for, and I can dig the sentiment.
Really?
#11 Posted by imsh_pl (3298 posts) -

#12 Posted by Tuggah (1072 posts) -

Locust backwards is Tsucol, which means absolutely nothing. I just  blew your mind.

#13 Posted by Landon (4152 posts) -

Now do one about Bulletstorm.

#14 Posted by Meowayne (6084 posts) -

I just realized you are the dude that couldn't get into Silent Hill 2, so that's funny as well.

#15 Posted by SuperSambo (2879 posts) -
@SuperSambo
@GunslingerPanda
I was gonna troll you, but I kinda see what you're going for, and I can dig the sentiment.
Really?
Wait I misread...

(no edit on mobile site sucks...)
#16 Posted by TheDoorman (534 posts) -

I am a big fan of the gears of war series, but I think your trying to hard to find some deeper meaning out of the story.

#17 Posted by greenygrey (155 posts) -
@Landon said:

"Now do one about Bulletstorm. "


Afterall, despite its crass humor and wang-flinging bravado, it's got some real character and heart to it.    
#18 Posted by Icemael (6339 posts) -
@Landon said:
" Now do one about Bulletstorm. "
I haven't played Bulletstorm, but judging by the Quick Look, it's a game about the true nature of feminism. The part where there's an angry woman who says "I'll kill your dicks" is a decoding of the movement: feminists are incredibly bitter creatures who resent everything male, and wish nothing more than to "kill men's dicks" -- a symbolic statement meaning "kill their manliness" -- effectively turning them into women.
#19 Posted by BulletproofMonk (2725 posts) -
@Icemael: Have you been drinking? You've been drinking. I knew it.
#20 Posted by Sweep (8922 posts) -

Weird. I played Gears Of War many times and yet I never noticed any of this. 
 
Clearly I am not playing it right :D

Moderator Online
#21 Posted by HandsomeDead (11863 posts) -
@SuperSambo said:
" @HandsomeDead
Someone, somewhere, will find this funny.
I really doubt that. "
So close. Right at the moment of discovery. I wish you were right though.
#22 Posted by Mikewrestler5 (601 posts) -

Playing a video game isn't art.

#23 Posted by neozeke (378 posts) -
@Icemael said:
" @Landon said:
" Now do one about Bulletstorm. "
I haven't played Bulletstorm, but judging by the Quick Look, it's a game about the true nature of feminism. The part where there's an angry woman who says "I'll kill your dicks" is a decoding of the movement: feminists are incredibly bitter creatures who resent everything male, and wish nothing more than to "kill men's dicks" -- a symbolic statement meaning "kill their manliness" -- effectively turning them into women. "
Based on this, I demand a full analysis.  
#24 Posted by pwnasaurus (1286 posts) -

art can serve no purpose other than existing, so no gears is not art.

#25 Posted by HandsomeDead (11863 posts) -
@neozeke said:
" @Icemael said:
" @Landon said:
" Now do one about Bulletstorm. "
I haven't played Bulletstorm, but judging by the Quick Look, it's a game about the true nature of feminism. The part where there's an angry woman who says "I'll kill your dicks" is a decoding of the movement: feminists are incredibly bitter creatures who resent everything male, and wish nothing more than to "kill men's dicks" -- a symbolic statement meaning "kill their manliness" -- effectively turning them into women. "
Based on this, I demand a full analysis.   "
This is the antithesis of looking a gift horse in the mouth.
#26 Posted by SeriouslyNow (8534 posts) -

Gears of War is Fine Art.

#27 Edited by Chokobo (1228 posts) -
@Icemael said:

" Some people say Gears of War is not Art. Some people say it is juvenile and brainless, and that we should play games like Passage, Braid, Limbo and Silent Hill 2 -- games full of symbolism -- games open to interpretation -- games with deeper meaning and important messages. However, these people are wrong! Gears of War is neither juvenile nor brainless! It is just as full, if not fuller

Stopped reading there.
#28 Posted by ArbitraryWater (11914 posts) -

Yep. You're really sticking it to the "Games are Art" crowd, aren't you? Not that I disagree, it's just that I find bludgeoning people over the head with sarcasm or facetiousness to be self defeating in its purpose.

#29 Edited by bybeach (4898 posts) -

Gears of war is art...well, it requires art in it's graphics ,color palette(yes I mean it, or the lack of 'it') . And yes,I would even say the same for good dicktits Bulletstorm
 
Actually I find Gears of war to be very decent. I really not quite sure what else should make it art, but it is a seemingly, but not always,straightforward actiony story of a desperate fight for survival. There are novelesque like plot twists and  drama, and even examination and some questioning of moral values. It is not high art like a Kafka story or such, but I would not be suprised if there is not some subtlelties like oh..Whats- His- Name loosing his wife to the locusts and having to kill her...bummer! 
 
I tried re-playing through Gears of war 2 but I got bored. It's still a decent story, and really I do like how they approach the dark and often trashed  barren world of Serra. And I kind of get the idea they if tried to do more then that, it would either be a singular stroke of genius, or just really, really very silly. Which might work, but I hope the art stays in the realm it seems comfortable with.
#30 Posted by Brendan (7843 posts) -

Clearly GoW is art, it doesn't have to be highbrow to be classified as such.  This includes Halo, CoD and even pro wrestling (lame last example, I know).

#31 Posted by Icemael (6339 posts) -
@Chokobo said:
" @Icemael said:

" Some people say Gears of War is not Art. Some people say it is juvenile and brainless, and that we should play games like Passage, Braid, Limbo and Silent Hill 2 -- games full of symbolism -- games open to interpretation -- games with deeper meaning and important messages. However, these people are wrong! Gears of War is neither juvenile nor brainless! It is just as full, if not fuller

Stopped reading there. "
What's wrong with it?
#32 Posted by Weltal (2274 posts) -
#33 Posted by Chokobo (1228 posts) -
@Icemael: Fuller is not a word unless it is someone's last name.
#34 Posted by Quacktastic (1066 posts) -

Aw, c'mon.

#35 Posted by Icemael (6339 posts) -
@Chokobo: It is, actually. The comparative form of "full" can be either "more full" or "fuller".
#36 Posted by Gamer_152 (14091 posts) -

Wow, a lot of people really don't seem to have picked up on the true nature of this post.

Moderator
#37 Posted by ImmortalSaiyan (4690 posts) -

If you make up some bullshit anything can have a 'deep' undertone.
#38 Posted by Pibo47 (3166 posts) -
@Icemael: I really like gears, never thought of it as art. But i did notice some of the nice touches they put in there like you are saying. But i do think that you are digging in a little too deep, and finding something that isnt exactly there. But hey, if thats what makes you enjoy the shit outa that game. More power to ya my mane
#39 Posted by beej (1674 posts) -

So if active reloading the weapon represents medicating then why is it that if you don't active reload things still work out?

#40 Posted by Milkman (17028 posts) -

Oh, I get it! Sarcasm. Funny.

#41 Posted by JJWeatherman (14560 posts) -
@Gamer_152 said:
" Wow, a lot of people really don't seem to have picked up on the true nature of this post. "
I don't think many people actually read it.
#42 Posted by Icemael (6339 posts) -
@beej said:
" So if active reloading the weapon represents medicating then why is it that if you don't active reload things still work out? "
Even if you don't active reload, you still reload. You're just taking neither the optimal nor the poorest dose.
#43 Posted by beej (1674 posts) -
@Icemael: But if reloading is medication how come you can't die from reloading too often? I understand that this is all sarcasm, but in order to be a valid critique it has to be internally consistent. 
#44 Posted by pornstorestiffi (4936 posts) -

I read the headline and i instantly shat my pants.

#45 Posted by Icemael (6339 posts) -
@beej: Because the medicine isn't made of potentially fatal material. Reloading too often will make recovery harder though, as you'll end up spending time reloading that you would ideally be spending on something else (just as when you take the wrong dose -- in fact, you are taking the wrong dose when you reload too often -- mistiming an active reload and reloading when it isn't necessary are essentially the same thing).
#46 Posted by Underachiever007 (2468 posts) -

I wonder how many of the people who commented in this thread actually bothered to read the post.

#47 Edited by supermike6 (3586 posts) -
#48 Posted by AhmadMetallic (18954 posts) -

this must be the best sarcastic post i have read all month 
 
this guy is fucking awesome!  +1

#49 Posted by Kyreo (4600 posts) -
@HandsomeDead said:
" @captain_clayman said:
" i laughed. "
I found that someone. "
We're all looking for that special someone.
#50 Posted by OmegaPirate (5522 posts) -

Explain horde mode

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