For weeks, all I’ve been hearing about is Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III, the third installment in the second generation of these first person shooters. I am, naturally, not all that impressed. For some reason, I don’t get a kick out of blowing up Nazi zombies with mortars or “making a head shot” or “pwning” anyone.
In fact, I can’t even play the game right, since the controls are too complicated. The one game I like to play– Mario. Yeah, that’s right. I’m that guy. I can’t play real video games, so I play Mario. And by far the best Mario game ever released was Mario 64. Oh, it has crappy graphics compared to your hi-tech virtual-reality-reproducers, well, whatever! This is why it is better than all those boring war games.
So, what’s so wrong with war video games? What inspires this hatred in Derek’s heart? First of all, I find them incredibly difficult to play. I mean, what sort of game console has that many buttons? I’m looking at you, XBox. Mario 64, though with considerably lesser graphics and older ideas, is a classic. And it’s fun. It’s not too complicated, either. You jump over blocks and gets stars and throw Bowser into bombs. The best, right?
Really, this is a post about the simple things in life. I apologize if I simply can’t stand video games that require actual school. Not to mention the strange cult following surrounding such games. These games gets played like crazy because of this cult-ish-ness. It’s the same reason good tv shows get cut while Glee stays on air. Not saying that I don’t avidly watch Glee, but that I do so because it’s… well… I’m not sure. Because there’s such an expectation for it to be, and even if it isn’t, who cares? We can wave away accusations of it sucking by saying, “Oh, it’s satire, that’s a joke,” but really what we’re watching is a poorly executed continuous musical.
If you’re wondering who is responsible for allowing such things to exist, it’s me. I support to stupid, the mundane, the pointless, the childish. And I’m not sure what makes me adore trash so much. Maybe because it’s incredibly shiny. But a glossy, sugary veneer on anything and people come running.
Cite my interests: True Blood, Glee, American Horror Story. Shiny trash. Wonderful shiny trash.
That’s not just how those war games sell.
Even my beloved Mario garners some success from public attention. People expect great video games from Mario or Call of Duty. And even when the video games makers miss the mark (cough, cough Dr. Mario), the audience doesn’t really care. They gobble up the crap and the genius alike.
So, is there maybe a formula? Produce awesome material until the audience loves it, then… taper off the awesomeness. Some authors
might do that, but not count out the exponential goodness of the Harry Potter series. But what happens when a writer produces so many books, some are bound to be bad. What about Stephen King?
I don’t read James Patterson, Nora Roberts, or John Grisham (though I did read The Firm and thought it was awesome). But I imagine that not all their books are stunners. Sure, there are quite a few that are really impressive and gripping and the rest? Well, they’re alright, I suppose. I’m not saying all their books are not awesome (as I have not read all of them), but based on the sheer output of these authors, I find it hard that every fan will like every book they write. Just like I may not enjoy every Mario game. (London Olympics, really?) Or why Call of Duty fans love Call of Duty games.
Because authors, much like video game developers, write games as part of a brand. With the trust of consumers, they both are pressured to do their best and allowed a little slack. Though brands should maybe stay awesome. Mario Galaxy 2? Yeah, it was really good. Not as great of Mario 64, but still really good. Or Chuck Palahniuk’s latest book? Not a mind-blowing masterpiece. But will I keep reading him because I believe inside of him are still plenty of great books? Sure.
So, go on, play your games. I’ll play mine and watch my addicting, trashy television (at least I don’t fuel the great Reality TV Beast). Whether you play Mario or Call of Duty, you’ll have your favorites and your not so favorites. That being said, Call of Duty has nothing on Mario. Soldiers have flamethrowers. Mario? He can shoot flame balls from his palms!