People Want to Take Violence Out of Games, Why Don't We Let Them?

Let me, first off, start this entry with a little clarification before I get slaughtered by you insane internet frown posse, or whatever you call yourselves nowadays.

[I do not advocate the removal of violence from video games, or any other "feature" such as sexual content, drugs, and language, I simply am trying to convey an idea that I had about the future of video games without them.]

You've all heard about it, the violence from video games that is corrupting our children's youth. For years, parents, activists, and many others who just couldn't leave well enough alone, have fought to rid content from our entertainment. Massive backlash always follows and most of the time it's non-violent, which helps out tremendously in not propelling the crass stereotype that gamers are aggressive people, but recently it occurred to me that something big would have to change in this industry if the support for violence was never there.

Now, the first thing that came to my mind was the influx of puzzle/thinking games; however, then I realized that this isn't a world in which we outlawed violence when games were first created, it's a world where, very recently, we were told that violence can't be a part of our entertainment anymore. This changes how we think about games drastically. We would still have all the knowledge from previous games, so first/third person games are fine, racing games are fine, adventure, action, strategy, all fine. The difference is there is no killing, no combat.

We rely on combat extensively. A little too much perhaps. A game like Call of Duty depends solely on it's shooting mechanics being tight and huge set-piece, explosive moments to keep the player engaged, so when you really boil the game down to these basic points you can't help but realize how dull it actually is. And, yes, there is something to be said about the competitive aspect of the game, but we need to start moving away from wanting to be the best at holding down a button while keeping our cursor on someone until they lose. I know that condensing shooters to just that base mechanic is a bit unfair, but it was the best way for me to get my point across.

I'm not here to present a solution because there isn't a one, there are many. In fact, there are as many solutions to this problem as there are creative minds still out there. And I know they are out there because you see them every day making unique indie games that focus on an idea before gameplay. I don't even really feel right calling them "indie" because people generally think that that means they will only appeal to a very small, specific audience when in reality we are all looking for something fresh and exciting to come along. I want to see the day where I can talk to my friends and say, "Hey, I found this new game called ****** and it's doing this really original thing where you *********," rather than continue going along saying, "Hey did you see that new game called ********? It's got, like, 22 new guns, so it justifies me paying $60 for it."

Again, I'm being kind of unfair to a lot of games out there, but it's all in light of me trying to prove my point. I also know I got off track a lot, but I hope you were able to bear with me and understand what I'm trying to get at here. I want things in this industry to change in a big way and detach itself from violence being a very up-front mechanic, but taking it away completely just isn't the solution. It's too powerful an emotional reception to see something violent, and it's ridiculous to remove it as a possible action in a story. All I'm asking for is to stop continuously using it as your crutch of a gameplay mechanic which, judging by the majority of games to come out in the past 30 years, is apparently asking for too much.

Thank you for reading.

67 Comments

Anyone popped this in recently?

Because this game is still amazing! Probably even more than before...and why? I'll tell you why!

I got used to modern military shooters like CoD and completely forgot about how great a game can be when it doesn't take itself so seriously. I imagine the feeling I got from playing Halo is comparable, at least, to Saints Row: The Third because this game isn't about camping and getting kill streaks, and staying alive isn't such a big deal either. Halo wants you to run out there and shoot some guys, and guess what happens when you DO shoot those guys? They go flying! And its awesome! I can't believe how much I've missed taking a rocket launcher and shooting it into a group while the announcer yells "Triple Kill"!

Another thing I forgot I loved so much were all the different vehicles you could drive or hijack, which is super satisfying by the way. I took a banshee and racked up a whole bunch of splatter kills but then I got hijacked. No problem though because my friend had a warthog and was waiting for me to hop in the gunner's seat. This brings me to my next point.

It is so nice to be able to talk to people without them being assholes. I usually stick to the trusty party chat, but while playing Halo I forgot to make a party and realized me and my friend weren't having the private conversation we thought we were having. Instead we were being talked to by a woman on our team. And the funny thing is that this became very normal for us. We were joining games that usually had at least one girl in it, which I found to be extremely uncommon in most of my gaming life. Since near every match had a woman in it I had to ask why that was and most of their responses were that they were tired of the piece of shit community CoD has and that they found that Halo's was much more friendly. Playing all night, I realized she was absolutely right. We only had one group who called me a and my friend faggots but we had trash talked our way into a 2v2 private match, which ended in us all becoming friends.

So take what you will from all this. All I know is that I can't wait to play some more Halo tomorrow, and maybe some fellow Giantbombers will give it another shot. Especially if you are tired with everything being so serious in our gosh darn vidya gaymes, and want some good old fashioned multiplayer sillyness.

6 Comments

I Fought The Mad God... {11-06-11} *The Basics*

...and the Mad God won.

So, today I found this game called Realm of the Mad God on Kongregate. I was bored and looking for a simple game to pass some time while I listened to the Bombcast, but what I found was not simple at all, not in the slightest.

**The Beginnining of The Endening**

Upon first starting up the game, I was thrown into a tutorial that taught me all the basics: WASD to move, click to attack, loot enemies, etc. I was beginning to think this was just your average sort of run-and-gun shooter, but then it gave me the ability to talk. I thought, "That's weird. Why would they let me type whatever I want in this speech bubble to talk? Who would I need to talk to?" Moments later I realized why. I was teleported to a new area that was sandy with patches of grass. I walked around a bit and saw there were hundreds of green dots spread around the minimap. As I walked toward them I realized they were other players and that this seemingly plain shooter was actually much more expansive than I'd thought. I followed one out into the wilderness and and was ambushed by a bunch of gelatinous cubes, I guess you could call them slimes, and was quickly slain. "Well, that was quick," I said. The game backed me out to a screen displaying some information on my character's life, such as how long I played, my class, and my fame earned. I clicked play again and here's where things got crazy.

I thought I would be placed in the same general area as where I died. Making the assumption of checkpoints was my first mistake because when I began the game again, I literally began the entire game again, with the exception of skipping the tutorial. I was not expecting this game to be a rogue-like at all, but since the recent increase of rogue-likes over the years I have become increasingly more interested in them and decided to give it another go.

**The Nexus/ The Artist Formerly Known as Eati**

This time I started the game, not in the wilds as I had before, but in a separate area called, The Nexus. The Nexus, being the safe haven that it is, is where you purchase items, change accessories, travel to worlds and meet with friendlies. You can try to ask people for help, but everyone else has played the game long enough to completely ignore you because you're level one and asking the question everyone (including me) seems to ask: How do you sell/buy stuff? Let me be the first to informulate you guys. As of the current build of the game, you cannot sell items, but you can buy certain ones. Buying items requires FAME, but I will get to that in a bit.

Other than be ignored, there are a few other things you can do in The Nexus. You can, and probably should, change your name with the guard at the spawning entrance of The Nexus. Upon creating a character you are given a name, generated by the game. If you want to be able to teleport, and have people teleport to you, and trade, and basically play the game for realios, MAKE A NAME. Unfortunately, this requires making a Kongregate account (if you are playing on their website), but fortunately, its quite painless and quick. You don't even have to leave the page! But, anyways after all that is done you can start playing.

Another little tip that I didn't realize at first is near the entrance where you change your name, you can also change your character and go into the vault. I'll discuss characters later as well, but the vault is pretty self explanatory. It's simply a place to hold all of your gear. Now, this does not mean you can just go out questing and dump your lootz in a chest, rinse and repeat. No, way, Joseph. It only holds 8 slots, which is the same amount as your inventory. There are a bunch of other chests in that room, but they are only accessible through micro-transactions, I think, as well are some of the items in The Nexus.

**Fishing, Paintball, and Water Aerobics Build Character**

Now, before you get too excited, water aerobics are not in the current build of this game, BUT what is included are 13 different classes to choose from. Each class has its own stats and abilities, but you can't just pick and choose whatever class you want at the beginning, you have to earn them! At the start you must play as a Wizard, but as you play and reach milestones you get the option to chose from a list of more and more characters. Each have their own advantages and disadvantages and all, so far, seem pretty balanced. You'll be playing as your character A LOT so I'd recommend not despising whichever class you choose. Find one you enjoy, and stick with it.

**I Want to Live Forever and I'm Also Gonna Learn How to Fly**

FAME. This concept is important to grasp, if you want this game to have a point. Oryx has created monsters and you wanna kill them. Why? Because you wanna be noticed. That's why you bought a kitty and are pressing the space bar in The Nexus, right? After killing specific types of demons, gods, etc you accrue fame. With fame, comes character unlocks and also spending. It doesn't cost fame to get classes, but to buy items in the shop it does, so spend your fame wisely. It's very difficult to get fame, because it involves you living, which can be tricky in this game since everything wants to kill you. If you do happen to get killed, you do not lose fame and it gets added to your "fame bank" I guess you could call it. But, the higher level you are, the more enemies you get to kill, which means the more famous you will get!

**One is the Loneliest Number, but Twos can be Ones if You Make Them Fancy Enough**

I kind of forgot to mention this game greatly focuses on co-op. You earn so much more experience and kill way harder, with buddies. Just like real life. I don't even know if its possible to kill Oryx, The Mad God, on your own, but the point is you are going to want friends. Luckily, everyone else is very eager to join up and fight so you shouldn't have any trouble creating a posse to ravage the wilderness with.

**Leave Your Glasses in the Tray**

Thank you all for listening to the first installment of "I Fought the Mad God". I hope to post this with all my latest plays, until I don't want to play this game anymore! Today I have another one that should go up a bit later, its getting kind of late now. Anyways, I understand that this blog post was sort of a crappy guide of what I know about the game, but that's just because I want to get GB more interested if I can, and go a bit more in detail with what I find makes this game so incredible. So, thanks again if you even saw this. I hope we can all play together soon!

Here's the Kongregate link:

http://www.kongregate.com/games/Wild_Shadow/realm-of-the-mad-god

And the actual link to the dev's site:

http://www.realmofthemadgod.com/

2 Comments

Giantbomb is the bomb. Now, please don't hit me.

I get a lot of shit these days for using out of date words or phrases that nobody really use anymore. I try and salvage them because I think its interesting the way a word or phrase can gain hype throughout the world and seemingly catch on over night. I don't want these words to go away forever. I know they won't, obviously, but you get what I mean, right? I partially want to thank urbandictionary for allowing a sort of "slang database" to exist, however, that website is overpopulated with asinine garbage that middle schoolers come up with in the library. Getting back to the point, I like using "bomb" or "the bomb" or even "the bomb.com", for special occasions,  (thanks Queen Latifa) as an adjective.  
  
  Its more fun, in my opinion, and helps keep a conversation from getting stale; yet, the best part about using a unique word or phrase like that, is watching the reaction of whomever you told it to. Sometimes you'll get a "haven't heard that one in a long time" reaction. Other times it'll be "Jesus, dude. Shut up with that shit." But, maybe you'll be talking to someone and introduce a whole new term for them to use next time they talk to someone. And that's really the magic of the whole concept that I'm so interested in, so it really hurts to see a word being criticized. 
 
Around the age of 10, I actually stopped saying "dude" because more and more people were getting tired of it. But later on, I began saying it again and haven't stopped. This site actually showed me "duder" for the first time, and now I have accepted it into my own vocabulary. Not all words are that pleasant, however. Of course all this is opinion based, but I hate a lot of words too and I can understand someone being bothered by "the bomb" or another word. 
 
Anyways, I hope you will all allow me to continue saying, "Giantbomb is the bomb", without me getting virtually clocked in the face. Thanks for being an endless stream of fun and creative words, memes, and phrases for me to use with people I interact with. And I also hope my fellow bombers can teach me some new stuff as well! 
5 Comments

Yet another excuse for why I'm not a PC gamer

Don't get me wrong. If I could I would, I just can't for lots of reasons that I'm too lazy to address. Anyways, guess I'll talk about em. 
 
My computer is pretty bad when it comes to gaming, especially if I want objects to be distinguishable as actual things. I can't really play any of the new games from this generation. Recently, I played the Half-Life games.  
 
HL1: Ran perfectly. No issues at all. :) 
HL2: Had to turn literally everything down but the volume for it to run well. On medium quality it ran at like 17FPS, which isn't very fun.  
 
So, there, my first reason is I have a bad computer for playing games on. So, why don't I just buy a new computer? Because I don't have sufficient funds to spend on something that is going to be outdated in a year, and upgrading certain aspects of a computer can be tedious and quite frankly confusing. 
 
Also, and probably my main point for writing all this, I don't think I can handle the power a PC gives you in gaming. This is mainly things like the console and modding. 
 
If I had a decent gaming PC, I would definitely be cheating ALL THE TIME. Its too easy to pull up the console and type "god" and have unlimited health, or ammo, or whatever. I know it would ruin the experience for me, but I can't help it if its there the whole time ready for me to cheat with. I played through most of HL1 without cheats, until I realized I could cheat and then proceeded to noclip to beat the last boss. Luckilly, HL2 doesn't have a console, or at least one that comes up when I push the ~ button. But Oblivion did and I played it for maybe 30 minutes before giving myself every spell in the game and trying to murder the shit out of Uriel Septim in the sewer. Then I stopped playing altogether and got it on console later to play through without cheating. 
 
So that's basically  why I'm not a PC gamer. 
 
The tilde key is bad news bears for me, but what about you guys? Do you fight the urge, or cheat your way through games like me?

57 Comments

Ever feel Truman-ed?


(*Standard Blog Disclaimer: These are opinions. You don't have to read it. Especially if you hate hearing stupid shit.) 
 
So, no doubt everyone here has watched The Truman Show, right? Yea, sure. Okay then let's get started:

Sometimes I feel like my life is The Truman Show. I mean, except my name's Kevin, so The Kevin Show really. I can't be the only one though. Everybody has had to have experienced this feeling at one point. We agree. Okay, but here's my problem. You gotta stop. How do I know everyone isn't watching me, as I type, and just agreeing with anything that will get me feeling as though EVERYTHING IS ONLY A COINCIDENCE. Sounds crazy, huh? Yep. But that only means what everyone else is saying to me is working. They get me to believe my every move is not being monitored. But there's a chance that they are. All of them! Every move. Hold on...  

(Enter. New paragrapgh, same topic.)  

I don't think of this all the time. Just when you provoke me. Who's "you"? Everyone that's who. Let's say I'm listening to this song I haven't heard in a while on my computer. Let's say this song is Come On Eileen. Sure, its a good song-great song-great song, but most kids my age wouldn't be too into it. Or at least not admit it. Yet, as I walk across the amphitheater at my school during lunch I hear it being played on the speakers. The DJ may just like the song, but really is he just hinting at me? Practically teasing me because he knows its bugging me. He knows its forcing these thoughts into my head and getting me thinking. He knows, she knows, they all know! Every goddamn asshole sitting on the grass knows. You don't think they're assholes. No, you're right. But it helps me to make this seem like it might be an obscure rant in a kinky, European, torture-porn movie someday. Anyways, getting back to the point, everyone is in on this fucking joke. Well, let me tell you! I'm in on the joke! But this means NOTHING because you all know two seconds later I will second guess myself. There! Right now. Just did it. And then again. And again. But you probably don't believe me huh? Or you do but can't say you can. I don't know anymore. Let's press "Enter". 
 
I like to dance when nobody's watching. Simple fact. A bit misconstrued, however, because people ARE watching. Sometimes I'll dance anyways. Sometimes. But it will almost always be followed by me giving the finger to every corner of the room while saying "Yeah. I know you're watching." I act like I know and maybe I do. I don't think you know what the hell you're talking about. Maybe not...Maybe not. Once again, "Enter." 
 
So, maybe you're wondering what me writing this means. No, not really. Nothing I suppose, since the second guess will come soon. Now! But it helps me to let myself interact with the viewers. Maybe me doing this will act the same as you trying to make me think something is coincidence. You thinking about it? Kinda, but defintiely not as hard as you, apparently. Oh well. Anyways, that tuckered me out a bit, so I'll stop for now. Stopping writing that is. Stopping the thoughts, well that's... that's impossible. 
 
I'm not crazy. Just camera shy. :)
   
21 Comments

So I Kinda Want Black Ops But Not Really...

Pre-P.S. Do Not Read If You Hate Hearing Dumb Shit, and Opinions, and Stuff. 
 
Alright! Blog time again! The best way for me to formulate my various ideas and opinions in a non-illustrated format! For this blog I wanna talk about my mixed feelings on COD Black Ops, and maybe, just maybe, I'll be able to show myself what I really want. Let's get started! 
 
So I guess Black Ops is close to being released, and its time to decide whether ima get it or not(this reminds me: I should write a blog on getting "ima" to be an actual word). I had one of the best times of my life when MW2 first came out. I must have played it every day for the first few months it came out. Eventually it all died down though. Friends stopped playing and by domino effect, so did I. In fact, I just recently started playing again, only to find one of the main reasons for me leaving in the first place, as rampant as ever! Monster Trucking "Runner Class." You know the thing where the dude goes like, "Hey I'm a cool kid, and I'm akimbo with shotguns, and I always seem to get the las kill-cam kill." Fuck that guy! Fuck him, because even though that class probably is fun to play as, everyone else despises it. So just stop, now.  
 
Getting back to my point, I really enjoyed the game until my friends stopped playing. Luckily, my friends and I will be joining up yet again for the newest installment of the series! Well, if I get it, that is. But... you know what? Ima just list what my deal is: 
 
1. I don't want akimbo ANYTHING, except pistols. 
2. I want more perks. 
3. Less cheap weapons would be nice. 
4. I want to use that bow and arrow thing. 
5. Art direction looks like some crazy ass shit and I luv it that way! 
6. Money/wager system sounds coolios. 
 
There's probably more to say but I'm losing my writing spirit for now so maybe I'll be back later. Anyways read this. Or not. Just had to organize my thoughts. Gotta do that sometimes. And finally, in the words of Ryan Davis, which in turn are the words of someone else, you don't have to go home, but you can't stay here. Good night everybody!

13 Comments

First Time I've Had The Feeling This Year!


Every year it seems, I get this immense feeling of pure joy and excitement for a game. Last year, it was with Fallout 3 and this year it's Red Dead Redemption. When I get this feeling I end up watching endless gameplay vids, checking out every interview possible for hints and what'll be in the game, and searching for leaked gameplay footage. This year, however, I have contained my excitement. I'm quite proud to say that I know absolutly NOTHING about RDR's story. I know enough to have me sweating over the closeness of the release, but otherwise I'm clueless. I'm actually just using this blog to release some of my excitement for the game and maybe to get some feedback about how excited you are for the game. Sorry for jumping ahead but I am very intrigued by the lasso ability. I wonder how strong the rope is because I hear the game is massive, and I want to drag one of my friends from one side of the map to the other. Oh! and I also need to create a big hunting party to go fight a bear bare-handed. Ah, so so so much to do. I guess I just need to wait 2 more days!? This is even better because I thought it was the 15th! Hehehehe ok, bye now :)
11 Comments

The Reach Beta Is Spectacular!

 
The Halo:Reach beta began today! After downloading the beta (which took about 45-60) I immediately started it up. The beginning is an in-game cinematic of a warthog driving through a battle, and from there it puts you at the title screen. I pressed A and, before even playing my first game, got customized to my liking. Although to attain these various armor sets you must purchase them with the points you receive after completing a game. Having completed zero games, I proceeded to the matchmaking menu. At the matchmaking menu, you can set playing preferences to suit your style of gaming environment. Selecting levels of chatter or picking a specific language with effect who you play with. I left everything as is and began the matchmaking process. Within about 30 seconds I joined a lobby and experienced the first thing that blew my mind during my beta experience. Instead of vetoing maps you have the option to vote on which map and game mode you want to play as. If you still don't like any mode presented, you can vote " none of the above." 
 
Finally, I began playing. A lot of the new weapons feel odd at first, but you quickly get used to them. The armor abilities also confused me for a while, but I grew to like a few. My favorite would have to be Stalker (Cloaking) and AirBorne (Jet Pack). Sprinting and the blast shield, most of the time, were pretty useless. Cloaking has really unique special effects that really immersed me and made for a cooler experience. First off, cloaking is way more useful and effective than in previous games because now you are practically invisble and usually unseed. Also the radar gets jammed to counteract the awesomeness of the ability and almost all sound is muted, as if you were just stunned in MW2. 
 
Anyways if you can, you should check out the beta. I've been having a lot of fun with it and can't wait to play again and find out what more Bungie has i store. :)

17 Comments

New Quests Are A Great Idea!

I love this new feature and haven't stopped trying to get all of them. They are pretty challenging too, which is always fun because it'll take longer to complete. Anyways I'm kind of only making this blog for the quest since it doesn't know that you've made previous blogs. Alright then. Ummm.........bye.

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