Friday, August 13, 2010

Living is its own massacre...

There are two pieces of information that I have been recurrently stumbling into online:

1)Super Columbine Massacre RPG

2)An interview with Jeff Vogel about his disdain and loathing of RPGs

What these two things have in common (besides ending both with "RPGs") is somewhat idiosyncratic on my part, but I think it is telling of an aspect of video gaming culture.

Concerning #1, it's more about the reaction to it than the game itself. For some reason, I peruse the same archived comments about the game once every blue moon, and I always think of the same thing: that people do not understand what games are ideally supposed to be. #2 drives me to this very same conclusion.

It's ironic to me that an interview with someone who created (I think) the first independent PC-RPGs of decent production value, and yet does not appreciate the medium in a poetic sense. His words seem to always come down to the fiscality of creating RPGs; hence the irony.

Indie game development has always seemed to me to be like indie music. It's not a commercialized endeavor, and it isn't a focus-group alchemy project. That is, I have never associated independent games with being about trying to be catchy or kitsch. They were always about the joy of creating a game, or the personality that can be infused into sometimes very simple engines. And the idealist in me thinks that indie games should be about nothing more than artistic expression in that way.

But back to the Columbine game. 90% or more of the comments berate the maker, and talk about how it's a horrible capitalizing on violence, how it is exploiting a violent event. But these are all from people who don't know anything about the game or its creator, because it's blatantly obvious if anyone took a second to look into it that it is not about that at all. The guy made the game as a personal study of the event, to put it into some kind of context, and to delve into the motivations and horror of it all. It was an exploitation of Columbine as much as American History X was an exploitation of racism. It's just a completely ignorant and retarded point of view.

So, on the one hand is a game that was made soulfully (albeit crappily) to raise consciousness about a school shooting, and on the other is the disappointingly pragmatic view of someone who views the indie game industry in the same light as corporate game makers. It's all about the violence, and it's all about the money.

No matter how erudite people try to be, the mass majority of them are, at their base, so pathetic in their ignorance.

The funniest parts of these two different examples sparks the same kind of disappointment in me. While people always think they are so fully versed in the ways of the world, and in the ways of gaming, they always fail to see what games are really about. But it's more than that. It isn't that people don't respect or fully understand games; they do not fully understand or appreciate the value of expression. People are just stupid, plain and simple. They lack the instruments to think about subjects in an artistic way.

So, I guess it all comes down to the masses being mindless wastes of humanity.

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