Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Day 5 - Bloodsport

So it has been a few days, but work has been busy.  Finally got some time to post some thoughts.  Anyway, today's topic will be that of video games.  So let's cut right to the chase...

This past weekend I went a little crazy downloading game demos and such.  I found that the various demos accomplish two things:

1) The obvious is that I get to try a wide array of games in a short amount of time.  Thus, when we travel off to Gamestop or Target or whatever, I have a better idea of what I am interested in.  This prevents the 20minutes of staring at the xbox360 game wall... shuffle over to the wii game wall... repeat and leave store with nothing, feeling inadequate and unsatisfied...

2) I get to feed my multi-genre fix at my will.  Sometimes I just want to play a racing game.  I generally steer away from this genre because I get  bored of it quickly, but here comes the demo to the rescue!  So, it's a good way to avoid a "genre splurge" that will, in the end, leave me unsatisfied.

Moving on, this lead me to an interesting download this weekend: Bulletstorm.  Now, there is all sorts of media buzz about this game.  To be brief, the game is gory.  It says "Mature" rating and it certainly means it.  Parents, do not let your teenager, under 17 (16 if you're a "crazy liberal") play this game.  It is just flat out inappropriate for children and will only later serve to prove your shortcomings as a parent.

That being said, there was something disturbingly raw and primal about this game...  I am not a fan of gratuitous "blood and guts", movies like Saw and Friday the 13th, do not excite me, in fact I will explicitly not watch these shows.  However, I do enjoy movies like 300, Gladiator, Gamer, even the show Spartacus on premium tv peaked my interest for some time.  Of course, these movies are "over the top" in violence and gore, but there is something different.  To me, it seems, that getting your arm cutoff with a sword shouldn't be very "clean".  That when a javelin, hurled at your oppenents head at 30mph delivers a direct blow, the result is going to be "less than friendly" looking.  So for me, movies like this, although gory, present a certain "realism" to them.  It may insensitize humans, but I suppose no more than allowing your child to watch his father battle in war 2500 years ago.  Or, in the case of the Spartans, sending your child off to "Spartan Boot Camp" at 7 years old...

Anyway, Bulletstorm was not my cup of tea, but I think games like these allow us to live out our inner "Gladiator Games Desire".  They allow us to witness intense violence and embody a persona that is built into the human condition.  The persona that has allowed us to survive for so many millions of years.  It only seems "f*cked up" because we have become a complacent society.  A society that "takes it to court" whenever your kid gets picked on in school.  Or perhaps the teacher used "harsh language" so now we hold a press conferences about it and demand "Anger Management" classes and blah, blah, blah... 

I don't know, maybe it's me, but playing Bulletstorm demo this weekend made me realize that life could be worse, and in fact, was a whole lot worse and the fact that I can play a video game and feel/see what the world use to be like, makes me love video games that much more...


  1. Are you suggesting that we solve our differences like the Romans once did? With a sword in one hand and a shield in the other?

  2. Actually, I suggest quite the opposite. I enjoyed Bulletstorm for the feeling that it gave me. The ability to act in a savage, primal, "dog eat dog" kind of way.

    If we lived in Roman times, life would suck. Simply put. They glorify it in movies, all the women are hot, everyone is ripped with perfect hair, battles kick ass and you take out like 900 people with a sword and a rock, and people can walk 50 miles at a time.

    This of course is grossly far from the truth. I don't need to go into the details about how people probably smelt to high hell, women were mostly brutish looking, and battles would suck. Getting cut with a sword? Or a spear? Definitely not awesome.

    I tried to present the idea that I love video games because I get the thrill that movies attempt to provide, in emotion, without having to deal with the realistic consequences of that kind of life style.