I’m not entirely sure when the wretched tentacles of the real world’s troubles began to wriggle their way in to my preferred form of escapism, but I would really love it if they would stay the fuck out of it. You see, due to a recent surge in pseudo-intellectualism, it would seem that many gaming “journalists” are desperately attempting to force real-world problems in to the minds of gamers everywhere by drawing parallels between fictional plot-lines and cultural topics that the majority of people do not give two shits about.
That last point sounds harsh, but it’s true. There are just some things in this world that people do not and will not give a damn about, and there are some people out there who are just going to have to come to terms with that reality. So, I bet whoever is reading this is wondering why I’ve just spent the last one-hundred plus words talking about something entirely vague. Well, this is the part where I direct you over to this article right here that inspired me to type something up. The author of this particular article apparently, and with such seriousness, decided to make a call-to-action that “fans” of the developer Atlus need to “hold their feet to the fire” about certain cultural issues that the author felt were important. That, in and of itself, is a noble idea, but the author fails on numerous occasions to properly make their point because, to them, everything they have written is fact. The problem, you see, is that they don’t believe what they’re telling their audience is an opinion. They are assured in their own haughtiness that they actually believe that everyone else who would possibly read their ramblings must agree with them one hundred percent.
Don’t believe me? Just read the comments. The first dissenting opinion to the article immediately provokes the author to confront the commentator, but the author doesn’t approach the opposing view sensibly or with any sense of maturity. No, They responded with an accusation that the dissenter was “transphobic” and that, for some reason, they should take an economics class on boycotts or something. When the dissenter responded back with a perfectly reasonable point about how the author completely ignored all logical discussion and went straight to name calling and insults, the author then responded with this totally mature response:
Congratulations. You’re now a five year old.
The author didn’t screw up by writing an article about something they felt was important. No, they screwed up because they wrote an article and then verbally attacked anyone who didn’t agree with their opinion. They forgot that their several hundred word thesis on “transphobia” in a select number of games was just an opinion and not some widely accepted viewpoint. When reality came-a-callin’ and someone didn’t completely subscribe to their own personal newsletter they became hostile, juvenile, and bigoted. Remember folks, bigotry just means that you’re “obstinately or intolerantly devoted to your own opinions and prejudices”, and the author defeated themselves by turning in to the very same kind of bigot they were speaking out against. Once the author realizes this truth they can move on with their lives and hopefully be a better person.
This brings me to my next point and the next article that sought out to reach the hearts of readers.
Well, I’d like to say that this Kotaku article sought to reach the hearts of readers, but that’s not true at all. No, the article intended to shame everyone who came in contact with it, and that’s pretty evident by the first three words of the article. You see, the author felt tremendous guilt about an incendiary comment they made during a very competitive match of Gears of War 3, and after beating the odds the author gloated in to her microphone that she “raped” her competition. The author is a rape-survivor herself, and it wasn’t until after she screamed the horrid comment through her mic, and only then in front of another rape-survivor, that she realized she had said something terrible. She then spent the next few hundred words elaborately detailing exactly how her realization made her feel, but, instead of just saying “I said a terrible thing and I am a horrible person for it”, she wanted to remind everyone out there that they are just as shitty as she had been.
She implies that the intense competition between gamers has a way to bring out the worst in them. She then goes on to say that “playing games can bring out the Hyde in all of us” while discounting the possibility that playing games only brought out the Hyde in her. She’s trying really hard to tell her readers that she isn’t part of the same flock of assholes that plague my headset in multi-player matches, but I’m not convinced. I’m a very competitive person, but I’m also not the type of person who gets off verbally berating the people I’m playing against. I really don’t mean to sound unnecessarily harsh towards the author of the Kotaku article, but I really wish people would just own up to their own mistakes without blaming it on culture, gaming, or anything other than themselves.
What comes from the mouth is just the overflow of the heart and all that stuff, right?
Well, I’d like to move on to my last discussion about a mini-troversy that popped up the other day. Hitman: Absolution is an upcoming 3rd-person shooter.stealth title that puts the player in the shoes of a contract killer who is notoriously good at what he does. Considering that this is a game where the player runs about and commits murder for money in the shoes of a hitman its surprising that people would get upset at this trailer:
Did you see that at the 1:04 marker? Those are ass-cheeks. Not just any ass-cheeks either, but the kind of leather-clad cheeks on hot assassin nuns.
The trailer was immediately labeled as tasteless and accused of dabbling in cheap pandering all because it involved a gang of hot women in nun outfits showing some skin and looking deadly sexy. But why? Well, in my opinion (and probably not yours), it seems that many people in the gaming media are just plain uncomfortable at looking at something and enjoying it. The Hitman trailer is just one of many instances where something that is meant to be experienced and enjoyed is completely torn to shreds by faux-intellectualism. You see, the people who get outraged at this sort of thing really want to appear as if they’re the smartest person in the room. It’s easy to spot this because they’ve already gone out of their way to make others feel stupid for enjoying something so…beneath them.
Just go look at any of the comment section of any of the numerous re-posts of the Hitman trailer and you’ll find gems like these:
YOUR GAME IS CASUAL PANDERING GARBAGE
what a hateful piece of shit of a trailer
This is just insulting to consumers’ intelligence. Plenty of people seem to be defending it though…unfortunate
Did i just see a white man punch a black slutty nun in the face and then shoot her?
That last one is my favorite because the commentator inferred racism from the video even though there was no logical reason to come to that conclusion. That final comment is a succinct example of what this entire opinion piece was about. Comments like that are loaded and designed to draw attention, or grandstand, to a subject that really had nothing to do with the trailer or game at all; Whether it be rape-culture, sexism, transgenders, racism, or any other hot-button issue of the times. I have a hard to believing that a majority of people actually sit around, playing their games, and then get their feelings hurt so bad they have to try and diminish the developers work through accusations of intolerance or accusing them of condoning negative aspects of human culture. I’d like to believe that most people play their games and don’t get their undies in a wad over them, but with the more commonly occurring habit of industry journalists and commentators psychoanalyzing every gaming ad campaign or title that attempts to nudge (not even push) the envelope further, it’s looking as if we have an outrageously outraged future in store.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, this is entirely my opinion and I am very much aware that there will be at least one person out there who absolutely disagrees with me.
You know what? That’s okay.