How to make video games a more legitimate media

Video games have been in the common sphere for some twenty years, and while technological advancements have come a long way (followed by better gameplay), it still has some way to go when it comes to setting itself as a medium for game developers akin to a canvas for a painter. Oh sure it sells great (Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 4 made more money than Avatar) and there’s a lot of fun and immersion to be had from the good ones, but at the end of the day you walk into a video game shop and you’ll find about five really really good game series for a particular system (PS3 notwithstanding) that everyone buys, followed by twenty times that of clingers-on with essentially poorer graphics, story, etc. and maybe one or two actually different games that are either from the really really good category or are nearly a total waste of time. Of course there is the underclass of shit games but that goes without saying.

My point is is that none of them work in the same way a piece of epic writing or art works. Even great RPGs (Oblivion, Dragonage, and erm… WoW) are marred by the fact that the acting is still quite off, the storyline is still quite bizzarre and the gaming world always accomodates for the playing world. Simultaneously, and rather unfortunately, I don’t really think anyone has made video games as a potential great work. Even as a console player (there I said it) my limitations are exactly 14 or so buttons- thats it! Why are we still trudging around with FPS’s and poor acting? There are literally billions of possibilities availiable.

Sure video games are fun and its nice to have an easy game to pick up, but can’t we at least try to have something more? Oh and here’s another thing we need to do.

Get the R in

While this has happened in some parts of the world, Australia is still behind in the times, refusing to organise a classification system that would make underage children unable to access games. This is ludicrous. You can’t say you are a part of the solution to the so-called video game violence issue when you first say that games are good for children, and then refuse to ensure they can’t get their grubby mitts on them. Actually what is the problem anyway? It seems like proponents of the banning video games idea have their cake, eat it then shit it out and expect the rest of us to tuck in. If video games should be banned because the interactive element makes it more impressionable then shouldn’t we have a wholesale ban of paintball? Toy guns? Super soakers? These are games played in real life with occasionally real pain (paintballs hurt if in the wrong place) and accessible to toddlers. What about sticks? Should we ban sticks due to their ability to be played with in a manner befitting a sword wielder? You don’t see every child with a toy gun become a mass muderer in the same way you don’t see every Halo fanatic lob grenades into a cosplay convention. Some people might get an ‘idea’ in their heads from GTAIV about a way to kill someone. Whoop de doo. Check out any movie, book, news event, internet fan fiction or anything else to get an ‘idea’ in your head.

Video game banning affecionados keep, and eat their cake due to the way they talk about consequences. “A video game is wrong because you don’ t see the consequences of your actions” is bandied around almost equally as “A video game is wrong because you see depictions of blood and violence often by the character you control”. Have it one way you bastards. Also both ideas can again by applied to the paintball/toy gun/super soaker et al. problem.


~ by freeze43 on April 29, 2010.

2 Responses to “How to make video games a more legitimate media”

  1. “It seems like proponents of the banning video games idea have their cake, eat it then shit it out and expect the rest of us to tuck in.”

    Worth it just for this line.

    On the subject of banning games, it’s interesting to work through the unspoken implication of ‘banning a video game for being too violent’. So the idea is that somebody who claims authority over people will instruct them not to own a copy of the game; and if they do, the authority will order them to pay a fine; and if they refuse to pay the fine, the authority will send uniformed people with guns to make them pay; and if they defend themselves against the people with guns trying to steal their money…wait, what was this violence we were worried about again?

    • But wilkox, if you play violent videogames it could lead you to disagreeing with that authority figure, leading to a situation where they are forced to fine you.

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