Games, are, in fact, crap.

So, I’ve been in philosophy mode for a while, and thought I might switch to gaming, but I can’t fully switch quickly enough to pump out a proper post. So this is a Devil’s Advocate style peice (which on a side note, is my favourite part of my monthly PCG).

So, the topic of today’s post is the decreasing intellectual quality of modern games. I’ve posted about this on forums, but most people take the easy way out by saying “well, they’re still fun so it doesn’t matter.”

It does matter. If I think of all the games I own, and those that contain a proper political/philosophical/intellectual message, I can think of 2. Two. All the games’ industry could come up with is 2 games. Out of thousands. In case you’re wondering, these two are Deus Ex and Bioshock. That’s it. It’s frustrating and annoying that my favourite pastime is generally so moronic.

Let’s have a look at some of the latest games, for example;

  • Halo 3
  • Call of Duty
  • Grand Theft Auto
  • Mercenaries 2
  • Mirror’s Edge
  • Far Cry 2

Notice these are all (excluding Mirror’s) sequels, which I’ll talk about later. Not only that, they are all dumb as hell. Here’s the plot of  Halo: shoot aliens. COD? Shoot nazis. GTA? Shoot people. Mercs 2? Shoot South Americans. Mirror’s Edge? The phrase “run around shooting people” has never been so literal. FC2? Shoot tons of black people.

Face it, the state of gaming is going into the “American frat-boy” mindset; the idea that explosions and gore are cool, politics and philosophy are boring. Deus Ex was brilliant for mixing future politics while highlighting the problems with the ways our society functions, Bioshock was about the idea of an elitist society, secluded from all others, and the horrific effects of such an isolation.

What’s Halo 3 about? Comedy aliens invade Earth, and you’re a big green guy who has to fight them. See the contrast? Why can’t games just be more intellectual, I don’t know. I’m not asking for anything special, just a serve of brains with our daily portion of gaming gruel.

Moving on, what happened to original ideas? Nearly all the games I see or hear about today are sequels, re-runs of already over-used ideas. Why can’t someone think of a new idea? Mirror’s Edge can at least receive credit for having an original central idea, but the latest COD has the most reused ideas I’ve ever seen in a game. Perks have just been renamed, the graphics engine is the same as COD4’s and the entire American side of the campaign felt like an updated version of Medal of Honour: Pacifc Assault.

One of the things that saddens me most about gaming is the Deus Ex legacy. The series has been abused, lost, had its name dragged through the mud, and DX3 looks like it isn’t going to change this, as it’s opted for a more run-and-gun approach, removing the great idea of the original that your accuracy is shit, and you can be killed easier than a weasel on weasel-stomping day.

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4 Responses to “Games, are, in fact, crap.”

  1. Hmm what about Defcon, with the central message that you can’t win, but you can lose the least, and had a lot of originality. Spore has these qualities too.

    Though we are pretty thin on games that you really have to think about.

  2. Yeah, uhh,
    all I got out of this post was
    “hip-hip-hooray it’s weasel stomping dayy!”
    funny vid, that.

    But yeah I’m also glad you mentioned that gaming stuff, at least someone agrees that games these days are just violent and annoying. I have to put up with my bro playing CoD, and then all his rage between breaks.

    *shrugs* ahdunno.

  3. I find games like COD fun, but in the long term the level of intelligence in gaming will deteriorate to a point where it is once again demonised for violence, sexualisation and the like.

    Defcon and spore had great ideas, but the reason I focused on the ones I mentioned is because out of all the game genres, FPS is the one that will be the dumbest soonest.

  4. I cans ee what you mean as to the intellectual quality of some games, i miss things like dues ex and half life because they werent just “kill him, kill htme, and kill that guy”, they had puzzles, challenges, a plot,
    Tho no offense to Far cry, FC2 wontr work on my crappy graphics card but Far Cry one was gd despite lack of story, the sheer diffculty of it made completing it on medium mode one of my proud acheivments 😛

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