Monday, May 29, 2006

On Link and video games

You know that a game still has lasting appeal when, eight years after its initial release (has so much time gone by?), you're still willing to pick it up and play through the whole thing again. I don't usually feel that way about games. Actually, what I feel towards them is akin to what I feel towards ex-boyfriends: you dumped them, they dumped you, end of story, and no, I don't want to have casual sex with you, get out of my face. But it's not that way with the Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. No, Ocarina of Time is the game that keeps on giving. It's like that boy-next-door who's still waiting around for you, even though you've been out dating other guys. When the show's over, you go back to him, and he's still there waiting. Of course, he pisses you off on occasion, just like Peter Parker pissed off Mary Jane, and just like the Water Temple in Ocarina of Time is currently pissing me off. What developer on crack designed that dungeon? This is, like, the eight time I've played and I still get lost.

But playing this eight-year-old Zelda game has got me thinking about the video game industry on the whole. I am one of those people who thinks that the industry right now is both simultaneously sad and pathetic, but I'm not going to start prattling on and on about how awesome the "good ol' days" were. And that's because, looking back ten and fifteen years ago, nothing has changed. It's still the same gawd-awful propaganda designed to get people to buy their plastic boxes that're capable of playing certain games. You know what's even more sad and pathetic? The fact that what also hasn't changed, even after all this time, is the existence of fanboys. The ones that spend their time passionately defending their console because it pwns j00rz, when really, each and every console serves the exact same purpose: to entertain.

The industry isn't stupid though. They know that they've got these ready-made propagandists, who're willing to do the promoting for them, and what's even better is that the industry doesn't have to pay these fanboys a single dime, because they're doing it both willingly and for free. It's not like that Gamestop or EBGames employee, that they're paid to shove the Xbox 360 and a bunch of mediocre games into your face, simply because they can't get rid of the surplus of said games. It's a living, and they've gotta bring food on their tables somehow. Yet the fanboys, who worship their console/company/game as if it were Jesus resurrected himself, are willing to spend their time, and waste their breath and your time, promoting what they think is the best.

Reality check: that Playstation 2 you love? That Halo 2 online campaign you think is fucking rad? That Miyamoto or Kojima you think is smarter than Einstein? First, that PS2 is nothing but a bunch of technological parts screwed together under a cheap plastic cover. That Halo 2 game is nothing but a bunch of code designed to make two armored soldiers pop up and kill each other. And Miyamoto and Kojima, though smart as they might be, are just regular people looking to keep earning their pay checks by designing the games that will continued to be worshipped to no end. In other words, that whole "console war" shit and all those debates between fanboys is meaningless and a waste of time, because in the end, it's all about these companies making money. They care about your feelings to the extent of getting feedback to make their games better (and that only applies to some companies, because others just don't give a rat's ass). They don't care about anything except filling their tubs with more money.

So then, what should gaming be about? Oh, I don't know, how about entertainment? How about having an awesome time shooting your teammates to death on Halo 2 or that sense of pure accomplishment when you finally figure out (again) how to get through the Water Temple in Ocarina of Time? Just buy the console that happens to play the games you like most, and leave it at that. Because, unless someone asks for it, no one cares about what you think about PS3 vs. Xbox 360. Anyway, I'm sure I'll finish the Water Temple sometime tonight. I've been stuck in that godforsaken place for over two days now, and I'm about to break the game.

Anyway, I'd like to apologize to you all, but no fruit pictures today. Right after I get that "brilliant" idea yesterday, all fruit in the house mysteriously disappears. So instead, here's what I had for dinner:

mmm, food

It was quite tasty. Admire the effort put into it to make the finest dinner this side of a fast food restaurant.

And, to make amends for any disappointment caused by lack of fruit, here's some food for thought. Click to see larger image.

Bat and Rob pole dance for our pleasure

Make of this what you will, but it's solid proof that firemen have a thing for pole-dancing superheroes.


Mr Angry said...

And on a related note - Link is apparently regarded as the hottest game character in gay circles:

justmeguy said...

Nice blog! You cover a lot of interesting topics. Look forward to reading future entries!!!!!

Di said...

mr angry: Dear god. Well, I guess...yeah...okay, better than Legolas (even if he was gay in the books).

justmeguy: Why thank you. =)