Saturday, March 04, 2006

Computer Games:
Why Do They Suck?

It is sad, but a fact.
The art-form with the biggest potential is having that potential wasted in large measure.
Most games are shoot this... and then shoot that... and then shoot...etc.
Which can be fun, in and of itself, but when that is almost all there is, it becomes a problem. Okay, then there's games based on sports, but why, really?
Why play a game ABOUT PLAYING A GAME?
You could just go play the real thing! But these games, Shooters/hack-and-slash & sports games seem to be a 90% majority of the market.Which is an awful shame, as computer games could be the ultimate form of art... an interactive one.No wonder that a lot of smart, mature people sneer and jeer at games, when all that seems available are merely colorful tests of hand-eye-coordination with little content.

Of course, there ARE good games, games that try for something more, that delve into studies of character and develop and tell real stories.
They're just few and far between...and when they ARE made, they are usually very niche-oriented.For example, one of THE best written games ever, Planescape: Torment,was not only an Advanced Dungeons & Dragons product, but also setin a sub-genre within THAT, the Planescape setting.
So a niche-within-a-niche.Not that you'd actually have to know anything about the roleplaying gameto play Torment, but it may SEEM that way to the uninitiatedand so may frighten them off, making them miss one hell of a well-wrought story.
The way that your "alignment" in the game (A sort of measure of one's ethics)is dynamic and changes to reflect your actions and statements isvery well done.I could go on for hours about this game, but that will require a post of its ownat some point.

Another great title is "I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream", based on the short-story by Harlan Ellison.You play the characters of the story,prisoners held in a weird subterranean world by the insane supercomputer AM (as in "I Am") who's destroyed therest of the planet, one by one, dealing with torture and mockery dealt out by AM.Plus, the characters all have something dark in their past they must deal withand which AM uses to ridicule and belittle them.The real shock, when you get to the end of the game, is thatthere IS NO WAY TO WIN... at best, there's an honorable way to die.The stories of the characters deal with the Holocaust, rape, murder and jealousy.Not subjects one would normaly associate with something termed a "game".But that is exactly what makes the game such an experienceand help elevate it to the level of actual art.That it deals with heavy issues and does so without apology or pulling punches.Also, Harlan Ellison himself was involved with writing the gameand even "stars" as the voice of AM. A superb experience.
Here's a link to Ellison's reasoning formaking the game:
Other great games I might rant about later:
Fallout 2.The Longest Journey.Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines.KGB (American title: Conspiracy)....................................
So why are so many computer games so imbecilic?
Well, why are so many movies? So much music?
Because people are imbeciles, that's why!
And that includes YOU.


Blogger HairlessMonkeyDK said...


Sorry about the weird punctuation, I'm having computerial difficulties.

Saturday, March 04, 2006 1:24:00 PM  
Blogger HairlessMonkeyDK said...


Yeah, it looks like I'm running words together.
Sorry 'bout the eventual inchorency.

Saturday, March 04, 2006 1:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah. I'm an imbecillic fan of Pac Man and Asteroids. I like my gameboy with Tetris. Don't think I've ever even played a computer game on the computer. Unless you count trying the FSM game at the site. :) When 3 people share a computer, it's hard to get time for that. I'd rather talk to people.

BTW, how many times did you send those songs? I'm receiving them all again and it's taking forever. i can't email you till they're done! :(

Saturday, March 04, 2006 4:37:00 PM  
Blogger HairlessMonkeyDK said...

Karen...sorry sorrry sorrrrrry.
Sorry for flooding you.

Saturday, March 04, 2006 4:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well the first batch stopped, now a new mail is coming in...another song from the size of it. But after it finishes, I have to let hubby on the computer.
Will try to catch you later.

Saturday, March 04, 2006 4:58:00 PM  
Blogger Mesoforte said...

This is why you need RPGs. Those are my favorite games on the market. ^_^ (Especially FF 7. Defeating Sepiroth never grows old.

Sunday, March 05, 2006 8:16:00 PM  
Blogger HairlessMonkeyDK said...

Yes... but Final Fantasy?
Ugh... no thanks. Played FFX and felt more than a bit cheated.
It was nothing but:
Random combat, cut-scene, random combat, random combat, random combat, cut-scene, random combatX10, boss-fight, cut-scene, random combat ad nauseam, end-game.
It was pretty much as on-rails as a shooter.

Monday, March 06, 2006 4:59:00 PM  
Blogger Mesoforte said...

FFX sucked (And FF X-2 even more so), but FF VII, is the ultimate. (Don't listen to me, I'm still proud of beating one of the most powerful bosses in FF history.)

But there are other cool RPGs, like Golden Sun, the Tales series, and som many others.

Monday, March 06, 2006 8:02:00 PM  
Blogger Krystalline Apostate said...

Gahh! Can't abide RPG's. I'm a 1st person shooter fella.
Just saw the movie 'Doom'. Man, was it awful! Never, ever, ever watch a movie made from a game.
Stopped playing games a while ago, actually. Used to do Quake3, and UnReal.
People are imbeciles, & that does include me.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006 7:33:00 AM  
Blogger udonman said...

ra same here cant stand rpgs except gta sanandreas mainly first person shooters and driving games

Tuesday, March 07, 2006 1:00:00 PM  
Blogger HairlessMonkeyDK said...

I'm not much for shooters, as you can tell, but I'm not especially into RPG's either.
It isn't so much the TYPE of game I'm lambasting here, but the telling of stories.
Some of my favourite games ARE shooters:
Like Udonman said, GTA: San Andreas... great game, though
I'm more partial to Vice City.

And the two Max Payne games, wow!
They manage to both poke fun at
Film Noir and to represent it superbly in game format.

So, It's not that I'm dismissing whole genres out of hand, but that I'm tired of the essential sameness that's available.

Friday, March 17, 2006 4:40:00 PM  

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