Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Hit The Mute Button: 10 Topics To Kill For 2009

Just... shut up, all of you.

I've had fun with the internet this year, more or less. Actually, let's rephrase that as a question. I've had fun with the internet this year: more... or less?

I ask because it seems I can't load a single freaking web page without seeing the same ten topics run into the ground again and again. I'm tired of them. They've been thoroughly canvassed in 2008 and now with a new year looming it's time to move on. I'm going to list them here for your convenience, so that we can never, ever hear about them again.

1) Digital Rights Management (DRM)
Yes, it's terrible. Yes, it doesn't make sense. Yes, it doesn't even work properly. Spore, the most notorious DRM offender of the year, is also the most pirated game of the year. Stardock, a publisher known for an eminently sensible approach to DRM, are selling games hand-over-fist from what's practically their backyard and will soon need giant new silos constructed in which to store their piles of money. If you're concerned about DRM, here's a tip - stop buying it. Abandon the PC as the gaming wasteland that it is. Don't get your music from iTunes and don't buy your software from Electronic Arts.

2) Violent Crime And Videogames
Actually this is more of an appeal to the mainstream media. Gaming and violence has become a sort of reductio ad Hitlerum. "Violent criminal used to play videogames" is no more newsworthy than "Violent criminal used to eat cabbage". In the absence of a causative link, two unconnected facts do not become more connected just because you use them in the same headline.

3) Mirror's Edge
I am shortly to deliver an elegant thesis on why Mirror's Edge is awesome and you all blow goats. In the mean time, it is probably an overreaction to say that this game made you (a) develop bowel cancer, (b) feed small puppies to other small puppies, or (c) believe in the literal truth of Satan. Your concerns have been noted and will be refuted in due course.

4) New Music Games
Rock Band and Guitar Hero have the market sufficiently covered, thank you. I do not require any more rhythm-related shenannigans from Konami, Disney Interactive, or anyone else for that matter. I highly doubt that you know "where the rock is at", I am unenthused by your shoddy peripherals, and I do not need any more half-arsed covers of Blitzkrieg Bop. I also do not want to strum my Nintendo DS like any sort of instrument, unless it is maybe a sitar or theremin.

5) LittleBigPlanet Levels
Stop telling me about classic 8-bit games you have recreated in LittleBigPlanet. Seriously, just stop. I'm not interested. My enthusiasm has reached its ultimate ebb. Its nadir, if you will.

6) Rockstar Games
I am numb. Grand Theft Auto developer Rockstar Games can no longer move me to either laughter or outrage. Even if their next game is entitled Ultimate Baby Raper 5000 I will merely nod in an unsurprised way and instantly forget that it exists.
... I tell a lie. I'm sorry, Ultimate Baby Raper 5000 would be a story. There's six months worth of news cycle in that thing. But that's, like, the threshold. Seriously, Rockstar is just doing it for the shock now. They're like some attention-deficit toddler.

7) Modded Retro Consoles
I have seen enough NES toasters, C64 fish tanks and Megadrive dog collars. I am not particularly interested in your ability to play Mega Man using a pair of cleverly-wired underpants. Either (a) someone has already done it, (b) someone did something similar, or (c) I imagined that someone did something similar, and had a pretty good imagination. Retro is mainstream now; you'll need to wait a decade or so for it to be retro again.

8) The Cake Is A Lie
We played Portal last year. We enjoyed it and we welcomed it into our pop culture. Months passed. The intricate ballet of time played out across reality's stage. In short, we have moved on. You are like that person that is still laughing at the joke after everyone else has stopped, cackling in a demented fashion while occasionally shouting, "It's funny because it's cake!" We are slowly backing away from you and reaching behind us for blunt objects.

9) Sephiroth
1997 is eleven years ago. Let it go, people.

10) "The Difficulty In Reviewing Games"
The difficulty in reviewing games is that there are more hours of gameplay released in any given week than there are hours in that week. Even if I don't sleep. Being a gamer does not make it difficult to review games. Not even if you raise one eyebrow like that. It's wonderful that the market is shifting towards casual games and plebians who've never played Phantasy Star but that doesn't mean that every Joe Lunchpail on the street is suddenly thinking hard about exactly what makes a successful game work. If you want to see why non-gamers don't review games you need look no further than the train wreck that is Soulja Boy Tell Em.

Thank you for your time. I trust your personal blog will soon be cleaned up accordingly. Stand by for next post, in which I bag out elitist gamers and arrogant big-mouths.


Grant said...

I want to get over Rockstar, but I can't deny that GTA4 is the hands-down best gaming experience I've had all year.

Greg Tannahill said...

I haven't played GTA4 yet. I'm waiting till I'm in a GTA mood again.

Actually all the best games I played this year technically came out before 2008.

Grant said...

When you do get to it, it's a treat. It's like the GTA format was created and then had to wait 10 years for the technology to be good enough to make the game properly.

Greg Tannahill said...

I suspect there'll be copies in bargain bins in January. I shall obtain one.

SPLastic said...

If you do find copies of GTA4 in bargain bins, let me know... I swapped it in for another title once I finished it... and now I want to play it again.

Out of curiosity, what were these best games that were released pre-08?

The Portal jokes seem to have moved onto the idiot community... well, I only experience them when someone of a particularily low I.Q. has run out of things to orally ejaculate.

Greg Tannahill said...

Actually I played plenty of good games from this year. The ones from previous years I was thinking of were Mass Effect, Condemned and Rock Band.

But for this year I also loved The World Ends With You, Braid, Castle Crashers, and Mirror's Edge.

Actually I love Portal and I love the references and I heart my Companion Cube but it gets old continually bumping into people who've only just discovered it. The sooner we get a sequel to fixate on the better.

Chris said...

Damn it! I have a piece on DRM on Tuesday... Please grant me a one week stay of execution! ;) I promise to have a more interesting perspective than most bloggers...

Greg Tannahill said...

Well, okay... but only if you promise. It's a pretty good sign that the topic is played out when XKCD does a comic about how played-out it is.