“Video gaming.” It’s a phrase that’s tripped over the murky precipice of obscurity and into the neon-lit chasm of mainstream culture, but quite in spite of its new-found distinction – or perhaps by way of its downward vector – it’s not quite managed to discard some of its more contemptible hangers-on.
More simply (or more obviously, perhaps, because it’s what I was really getting at), if that precipice were a sphincter, and the chasm a toilet bowl, video gaming would be the clotted skidmark all the way down, before slithering – behemoth-like, and smelling of murder – into the waters below*.
It’s the console wars. It’s the PC Gaming Defence Force. It’s the cheating. It’s the racism, the misogyny, and the homophobia. It’s piracy, and the vapid proselytising and self-entitlement that comes with it. It’s the entire MOBA community. It’s the apocalyptic pronouncements about the advent of so-called “casual” gaming, like the whole industry didn’t actually start with games about dots blasting dots with dots or something.
But mostly, just now, it’s the incessant and terminally dumb arguing about Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Battlefield 3, and how much these as yet unreleased, as yet unplayed games are going to suck/rule, depending on which side you’re on, at the jeering expense of the other.
You know why society still doesn’t quite take gaming seriously? Because it has all the collective maturity of a bunch of snot-crusted six-year old brats in the schoolyard, squabbling about whose daddy has the most important job. You know, when they’re still just a bunch of snot-crusted six-year old brats with no real understanding of what exactly a job even is.
Why is it that gamers can’t just play the games they want to play, and forget about everything else? I wonder where some of these people even find the time to play anything at all, considering they seem to spend the overwhelming majority of their time indundating news site comment boxes with predictably insipid and dismally limited variations of “U SUK ROFL’, like some kind of YouTube reserve army.
It might be nothing much more than a tragically vocal minority, but it’s no less a damning indictment of everybody else who plays games that we put up this stuff. Conventional thinking suggests we don’t “feed the trolls”, but that doesn’t mean they won’t grow fat on their own stupidity, and eventually push everything else out of the way. Basic physics, even in metaphorical space.
Some guy once said something relevant about tolerance being “the virtue of the man without convictions”. Well, I’ve got a few convictions of my own, and they’re much better than those touted by the Call of Duty-versus-Battlefield mob.
Gaming needs to grow up, and that means gamers need to grow up. Statistically, the average gamer is something like 30, but you’d never think it with the over-abundance of conflicting evidence at hand. I’m sick of gaming being the shit stain on the U-bend of 21st century culture. Next stop, choking dolphins.
* That’s it. My writing career just peaked with that sentence. Or crowned, as it were.