Society and Games, Life and Obsession.
July 14, 2008 § Leave a comment
Woo, we have our own domain name!!
Right okay, my turn to post yes? A few days ago I was made to feel bad by someone I knew for playing too much Grand Theft Auto, which suddenly struck me as a topic to write about. If you want something less broad, wait a few days, I’ve got other stuff lined up. (:
Games and life. It’s rather amusing how the stereotypical view of someone into games is a little nerd living with his mum and has no friends or social life. It’s seen as a rather geeky thing, I dunno maybe it’s because of this stupid Luddite society we live in where everything electronic is seen as “uncool” or whatever. I’m talking now about life and games because I feel I need to encourage it a bit…Okay fine that does sound puzzling, but hear me out. Games have evolved passed the Asteroids and the Pac-mans and what have you that people played in 80’s arcades. Game developers use it as a way of expressing themselves and getting a message across. Hideo Kojima does this wonderfully. Creating a colossal storyline that in a way brings across an interesting message with characters intertwining with the past and future. In a way, I guess we can call gaming a kind of art. However something which appeals to me more is that with the technology available they have made them addictive to the extent of need and obsession. Perhaps not quite as serious as that but you must have been jumping up and down too outside a shop when Grand Theft Auto 4 was about to come out…
I myself admittedly have gotten to the point where people may consider it sad to play games. I actually reached this stage quite a bit back but I managed to contain it slightly to a “non-nerdy” way. Let me show you what I mean. Having played GTA IV to the point of internal combustion of not going to the toilet for several hours, it’s rather obvious I’m going for 100%. For one of the requirements of 100% I needed to get the high score in an arcade mini game called QUB3D. Okay first of all, not knowing how to play severely disabled me and so getting the high score was not as easy as it sounds. It easily took 2 hours, if not more, off my life but eventually I did it. Niko Bellic, the protagonist of GTA IV, having spent over two whole game days on an arcade machine, ignored all his friends and girlfriends’ phone calls. Suddenly I saw parallelism to myself. For a second I saw myself as Niko, spending days on a game, and ignoring his girlfriend(s).
For those who don’t know. I love the whole Final Fantasy franchise and when FF XII came, I was hooked. I won’t go into it (even though right now I would love to…) but basically they got rid of the random battle encounters and they gave it a fantastic new battle element in which you actually controlled the party itself rather than wait for retard turn based events, stationary. This game was huge, there was an unbelievable amount to do and the storyline was beautiful. Each character has been designed with a personality and they discarded the whole “strong and silent” thing for RPG protagonists, (Yes that’s directed at Golden Sun and Final Fantasy VII). Suddenly when I played this game the obsession factor kicked in. It was literally like this game grabbed me by the balls and told me to he would let go once I kicked enough ass. It’s funny how I pretended to be ill to my girlfriend so I could continue playing this game. She actually had me wrapped round her little finger with the false pretence of a mixture of love and nice tits but for two weeks though I was free. Being stuck in a world of gaming is like being trapped in Disneyland at the age of 10. Of course I didn’t think about it at the time but this game made me the neo-saddo stereotypical gamer freak that people make fun of, because for some reason technology is “uncool” and girlfriends are more socially acceptable. So I thought about this now, concerning how I feel now with games. When me and my girlfriend broke up, I was rather devastated. I couldn’t really enjoy games. I stopped playing Call of Duty 4 online, I stopped playing Devil May Cry 4. I didn’t even care that much when GTA IV came out. Depressing times sort of dictate what kind of person you want to be in life and at that time I was stuck in this sickness phase of hating the generalness of life and cycles. If I forced myself to play playstation as much as I did today I really may have topped myself and there’s not even a reason for it really besides being genuinely upset and thinking that games are sad. What’s changed right now then? Nothing. Admittedly, life has gotten better without the pressures of a girlfriend but times when you feel like your balls are in a vice will always hit you. The point I’m slowly dragging myself to is no one has to feel that way when they play games because the “sadness” of it all is all in your head. If you genuinely enjoy doing something (…within boundaries) there shouldn’t be a reason why not to do it, especially if it’s society landing a big fuck off brick wall in front of you and happiness.
Illusions of what’s cool and what isn’t don’t matter. Playstation, Xbox and, tempting fate here, but the Wii are fun. Even better to play with when you’re with your friends and you’re cursing people online for no apparent reason. At the same time if you honestly don’t enjoy them because you have no thumbs or something then that’s fair enough, maybe you like flying kites or something. You don’t have to do what society deems as “cool” so no one should really stereotype those who play games a lot and those who don’t. “But maybe all gaming is pointless, just toying with the gravel on the side of the big road of life, but hey at least there’s violence and tits.” – Quote from Ben “Yahtzee” Croshaw.
Zero Punctuation: Console Rundown – Where I got the Yahtzee quote from.
I’ll post something a lot more specific and less broad in a few days, promise 🙂