Saturday, December 5, 2009

Violence and Video Games

Funnily enough, this post started out as a reply to a post in one of the forums I go to. In it, I use many arguments which have only come to me as part of reading up on Malsrom's stuff. Seriously, if you haven't already read this guy's stuff, at least his article on birdmen, you owe it to yourself to do so.

Anyway, here's my (revised and expanded) post:

Video games are getting more violent. There isn't really any way around that fact. Does this mean that everyone who plays these games is going to go on a violent rampage, ala The signal?

Probably not.

It is, however, an indication of something different. There is a 'niche' market that like the gratuitous violence and/or sex in video games. The games need to be "Hardcore" just as they see themselves as "Hardcore" gamers. For those of you who've heard of That Guy with the Glasses or specifically Linkara, you'll know what I mean when I say that this 'niche' market, the "Hardcore" gamer is, essentially, "the 90s kid." You all know who I mean, many of you four reading this are probably that guy. The "Hardcore" gamer, the guy who thinks that an "M" rating automatically makes a game good,(and automatically makes any game without an "M" rating inferior.) These are the people who bought a Playstation because it boasted "Mature content" and hate the Nintendo Wii because it's "ruining gaming."

Games are not for fun to the "90s kid", it is an "art" that should be put against movies or books, after all, many of the games have "Good story" and "Deep characters," (both of which would be laughed out of Hollywood) but at the same time, the game can't bee too 'linear.' Games are "serious business," and should take over 40 hours of time; these people are willing to give up two days of their life to beat this game.

The current gaming market is being overrun with "90s kid"s. This is the 'something different' I mentioned earlier. What's happening is that more and more games are getting catered to the "90s kid" and as a result, most games out there are made for the "90s kid." These are the games that get advertised the most, and thusly get the most attention. The people who don't like these games end up just quitting the whole gaming scene altogether. I am, unfortunately, one of these people.

In other words, Gaming is stuck in the 90s.

This is actually the reason why Nintendo's Wii is so successful. With games getting catered to this 'niche' market, most people were alienated from games. The Wii not only provides these alienated people with the means to easily play games, but provides them with the type of games that they want to play. Miyamoto himself has said that "It is [Nintendo's] duty to produce alternatives to GTA."

The Nintendo 'revolution' was scoffed at, and was set to be a giant flop. Why? because the only people looking at it were "90s kid"s. The gaming market at the time of course would see in the Wii a "weaker" console, full of "kid games" (read: not "M" rated, First Person Shooter, and/or "sandbox" games.) The secret to the success of the Wii is that it didn't cater to the "90s kid," They instead made a console for the people who bought an NES. The people who, like myself, have been ostracized for not being "Hardcore."

I sincerely hope that Nintendo "ruins" the gaming industry in the way it's been doing: providing alternatives to Grand Theft Auto, and making games that can be played without a controller with a ridiculous amount of buttons.

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