(Note: I posted this on my Tumblr as well.)
In terms of timeliness and relevancy, this article is far overdue by, roughly, three months. That’s really give or take, and is neither here nor there, nor can I be accounted for the relative timelessness of my choices of opinion. Or for my choice in cliched language, apparently; but what I’ve always been interested in is the booms of certain kinds of content. For instance, I’ve started this blog on Tumblr because I wanted to keep my article and essay writing abilities firm, but this is a timely choice of mine as it also seems that Tumblr is a popular, and good way to blog. It’s easy, and is social as all get out so that assisted my choice. With that said, I again must reiterate that my opinion on this subject is late as hell.
“Fantasy in your face, bitches!”
I’ve always been a fantasy guy over a science fiction guy. To me, the idea of being this warrior slaying monsters in a dungeon, all to save steal back the Eye of Democritus from an evil, red dragon has always appealed to me over flying space ships and laser-blasting space-dragons to steal back the Eye of Democritus. Of course, science fiction and fantasy can be interchangeable, and more often than naught the two will intermingle to create classic stories. Because of this, one of the questions I’ve asked myself is whether or not this is even worth talking about. Months ago, I’d say yes, but now: probably not, but we’re still doing this anyway.
Recently I’ve fallen victim to a mental problem I like to refer to as, Acute Fantasy Burnout, or AFB. This problem occurs when you’ve been ingrained in a fantastical world for so long that you’ve just stopped caring about it, and can pinpoint the exact moment you’ve fallen out of love with, what you thought, was one of your favourite things, though you can replace Fantasy with any other style or setting.
The general Fantasy setting has always been one of my favourite settings, and this has been to the point where I’ve preferred magic to science in terms of explanations for fictional occurrences. However, as I sit here and type this article, I can fully say that right now I can not even stand to look at another game set in a Fantasy world, nor do I wish to play another RP where I bash the skull in of some fast-talking wizard who didn’t know how to duck (or simply failed to have a high Reflexes score). With that said, a friend of mine is planning on running a DnD game, though I believe it is also his first game, for the first time in his Role Playing career, and I plan on playing this game. Despite that, after I finished my 180 hour stint in Skyrim, played a few more sessions of Dungeons and Dragons, and did my time of fifteen hours in Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, I immediately started looking in the exact opposite of direction of those games in terms of entertainment.
Now I must state that my tastes did not change. I do still like Fantasy stuff, and as I stated before I’m still joining my friend’s game, and on top of that, I’ve re-watched the first season of Game of Thrones to get ready for season two. As I said, AFB hit me hard. As of February 15, 2012, I have had enough of glowing caves, orcs, swords, fire spewing from my hands, flaming chakrams, magic shields, giants, bandits, and Fantasy storylines in which I am the chosen-one.
This is why we can’t have nice things.
With this said, my AFB may just be Anti Chosen-one Symdrom, or ACS. I typically do not enjoy plot lines in which there is a chosen-one, and that chosen-one is oh so perfect. However, I’ve already had ACS, it’s AFB I’m more concerned about right now. After Skyrim and Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning were released to the gaming population, there seems to have been very little that has been released into the general Fantasy setting for games. Granted, there haven’t been that many games released lately, but I digress. After Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning was released, the boom of Fantasy games did not just slow down, it screeched to halt for the next few months. Blame this on release dates, and the timing of projects – and that is entirely viable – but I find it interesting that just as the gaming industry stopped releasing Fantasy games for a time, the general opinion of the Fantasy setting was a resounding “ugh.”
As a writer who has started writing a series of fantasy novels, I found myself concerned that Fantasy was taking a turn for the zombie-worst in terms of relevancy. Even worse was that I found myself disgusted with the taste of Fantasy, and the way it looked. Fantasy used to have a timeless quality; a certain epic distinction with huge battles, and giant monsters breathing down your back. You could look at anything Fantasy and say “I wish I had that huge fucking sword.” You can even trace the disinterest in Fantasy to the general opinions on any Fantasy-war movie that came out after the Lord of The Rings movies; however, current evidence shows that Fantasy movies came back strong with the recent interest in Clash of The Titans and the War of The Titans movies. The first movie sold well, and although I did not watch either movie, there seems to be a good run of Fantasy-based movies.
So this brings me back to my relevancy issue, as I’m sure Fantasy will bounce back in video games and in general interest. The timing of me talking about this problem three months after I’ve noticed the problem, is entirely off. Can I even really call it a problem when I’m so damn sure that Fantasy games will bounce back? I wish I had a better outlook on this issue. But for the time being I’m going to continue watching, playing, and reading anything set in the far-flung future until I’m suffering from ASFB and feel the need to return to the Fantasy setting to escape from Science-Fiction.