So sure, the technology is important, and the leaps forward in technology have made more types of games possible. But the fine detail? The "sweet graphics?" We all stopped noticing them five minutes after we picked up the shotgun.
We Want The Devs To Not Be Involved In The Games
There were two recent gaming stories that, though they might seem totally different, are actually examples of the exact same attitude that gamers have developed.
First, let's talk about No Man's Sky again. Putting everything else aside, the idea of a procedurally generated universe is ... pretty damn rad, right? The developers basically made an algorithm for animal and terrain design, and then the game -- at least, the parts that we see and play -- designed itself. It's a mystery to both them and us that we got to discover together. Neat ... right?
Then there was an interview about Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, a game that is set in a world with apartheid, but instead of between whites and blacks, it's between humans and "augs" -- technologically augmented humans. When asked how the game approaches this racism parable, the designer said, "We never say in the game if we're on one side of the debate or another .. If you think they deserve it, that's perfect. If you don't think they deserve it, that's perfect." That's ... pretty cold. But it's at least true to the spirit of gaming, right? Everything's in our hands. The gamers have the power to decide.
The weird thing is that in both those cases, we're excited that the game developers aren't involved in their own goddamn game.
I'm not going to get into whether or not Deus Ex is racist for giving us the opportunity to support apartheid. Instead, I want to ask a simpler question: Why would I, or anyone, want that? Why would I want a game to just stick a parable for racism up on my TV screen, then pull back and say, "Hey, I'm not saying if it's good or bad. That's for you to decide." What? Why the fuck did you bring up Black Lives Matter if you don't have anything to say about it? Imagine how weird that would be if, at a party, your buddy Chaz was like, "Hey, Black Lives Matter, huh? I mean, I'm not gonna tell you my opinion. Just 'Black Lives Matter.' It exists." That'd be weird. Stop being weird, Chaz. Stop being weird, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided.
I'll believe that this banner is just a "coincidence" right after I believe the next thing Peter Molyneux says.
It's the same with No Man's Sky. Why were we so excited to hear that a computer designed every planet and every spaceship that we'd see in the game? Design is hard, man. I can't do it. That's what I'm paying the game developers for: Something they made. Something that has the marks of human effort on it. If I'm going to spend my gaming time exploring a planet, I want someone to have spent the time and effort to make that planet cool and fun to explore. And if I'm going to play a video game about freaking racism, I want the game to say something about it instead of just stating that it exists. Because otherwise, man, this is all just a bunch of malarkey.
JF Sargent is a senior editor and columnist for Cracked. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.
For more things that probably never dawned on you, check out 4 People Who Are Only Famous Because We All Despise Them and 5 Mistakes You Will Make When You Try To Eat Healthy.
Subscribe to our YouTube channel, and check out What Your Favorite Video Game Says About You, and other videos you won't see on the site!
Also, follow us on Facebook, and be the Luigi to our Mario.
Every year we're inundated with movies that are based on true stories. We're about to get a Deepwater Horizon movie where Mark Wahlberg will plug an oil spill with his muscles, and a Sully Sullenberger movie where Tom Hanks will land a plane on the Hudson with acting. But we think Hollywood could do better than this. That's why Jack O'Brien, the Cracked staff and comedians Lindsay Adams, Sunah Bilsted, Eli Olsberg, and Steven Wilber will pitch their ideas of incredible true stories that should be made into movies. Get your tickets for this LIVE podcast here!