Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Modern Warfare 3: The Whining

So, it seems like people fall into mostly two camps on this topic: ones who want to continue doing the same thing over and over again with slight variations. And others, who prefer to do something else over and over again with slight variations. People get upset or annoyed when you point out how derivative and empty their entertainment interests are. But video games hold a special place in my heart; I used to be an addict. My poison was role playing games and the Quake series. Basically, the same types of games that still have a stranglehold over millions. I think I slept, on average, two hours a day for nearly a year in, 1999.

Anytime you can accurately describe a video game series as a franchise, you've crossed the point of no return for unique content and experiences. In the years video games have existed, there have been lots of innovative and interesting titles. But they're always few and far between a vanilla sea of graphic violence and cosmetically updated, repackaged "re-releases." And like religion, it seems people are actually capable of recognizing these massive flaws in games played outside the periphery of their social circles.

Whether the newest Call of Duty evokes lamentation or excitement, it's clear that it has become a public obsession with each new release. And there seems to be no end in sight — made evident by the long lines of addicts, outside video game retailers, waiting for their next fix, last night.

When I shared this sentiment on my Facebook, to no surprise, most people either assumed I was saying it "sucked" as a video game, or that I just just sucked at it. Video game apologetics are always going to be low brow. But the general message was lost. My entire point was this blog's — just shortened. I was basically saying: While Modern Warfare 3 is unoriginal, so are most video games. I was actually criticizing video game culture in general and the people whining about how "it's the same thing" while proclaiming their love for other "franchises."

Much like Rebecca Black's "Friday," people are so zoomed into pop culture minutiae, they can't see it for what it is: A fairly standard, Disneyesque, contemporary pop song with only slightly worse lyrics than the rest of the crap they're listening to. On a related note: A while back, I made a joke on a friend's status about being South Park's Stan in the episode Growing up is Hard to Do. My comment wasn't received as it was intended, and I quickly realized that it was a shared sentiment, before I said anything.

I'm not hedonistic. I just want to take something of actual value away from an experience, which always requires some mental effort. Some video games can put the player into a fantastic world to explore and give them an epic adventure from their couch: I'm on board with that. I'm just not on board with the devolution of humanity and culture.

No comments:

Post a Comment