By YukoAsho 3 Comments
Well, here we are. This Monday, the Supreme Court renders its verdict on California's anti-game law. This is the one moment we've all waited for. If the Court sides with the game industry, it would hand gaming a huge weapon, perhaps even enough to see the end of anti-game legislation nationwide for a long time. But were the Court to side with California, the face of gaming could change forever. Armed with the ability to override the ESRB, California and the myriad states that would surely follow would be free to enforce a "kids only" gaming environment, effectively making the most backward, restrictive states the standard by which the game industry must appease. It would be the Comics Code all over again.
I retain my hope, however. The Supreme Court, while tough on both sides, seemed cynical to the point of being trollish when questioning the California attorney during oral arguments, with Antonin Scalia making the point that nearly none of our most treasured cultural landmarks would be possible without depictions of violence. Not only that, but there were hundreds of documents sent to the courts from the video game, music and movie industies, and by several states who would rather not see the "video game defense" given credibility in the judicial system, while only a few state attorney generals offered support for California. There's plenty to worry about, to be sure, but given the Justices' attitudes, I can't help but think this will turn out in our favor. Have Faith.
And Now, The End of Duke
Having played all four episodes to completion now, I am confident in passing final judgement on Duke Nukem 3D, and also in giving a final comparison to Duke Nukem Forever. Put short, Duke 3D is superior in nearly every way. With a wide variety of weapons and enemies in large, expansive levels, Duke 3D provides a good time far beyond its attitude, the only thing that DNF shares. In trying to replicate DN3D, 3D Realms forgot what makes a game great. All the crass attitude in the world is just window dressing, and the level design is nowhere near as focused nor fun as the original game, on a count of having so many hands in the pot that it's impossible for the game to have been good. Duke 3D was a happy accident, the result of the developers making a good game and occasionally saying "what if...?" while DNF is the result of trying to manufacture that accident. I've mentioned this before, but it's worth saying again: it's impossible to force innovation. It can only come naturally. Forcing it only creates messes like the Wii U and DNF. Oh well, we'll always have Duke 3D.