Ben's Week In Review: November 23
Well, looks like the last of the huge games are out. Finally. Of course, I still have more reviews to deliver but still, relief is in sight! :)
Maybe we need to stop trying to prove that games are art
I've been one of the biggest proponents of the "video games are art" movement. But I'm starting to rethink the strategy.
It sort of hit me after seeing Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick once again refer to the gritty Grand Theft Auto V as "beautiful art." At first, my response was simple: "Damn straight." But then I started to think about it: What good is this argument doing us? I mean, really? Firstly, we live in a society that hardly puts a premium on artistic talent; that's why even musical geniuses live in studio apartments and struggle to pay rent while we heap fame and fortune on someone who can skillfully play with a ball. Secondly, because of this lack of prioritizing something that I deem critically important, the word "art" just doesn't matter anymore.
We like to call everything "art" so what difference does it make if video games are art or not? The word has lost all meaning, as far as I'm concerned, so continually trying to elevate the industry by labeling video games as art won't get us anywhere.
Is virtual reality only for the young?
When Electronic Arts said VR creators need to find ways to circumvent the motion sickness problem, it got me to thinking. Nobody I know likes the idea of VR and it's not because they think it doesn't work for gaming; it's simply because it'll hurt them.
Most people I know get headaches from 3D viewing; some get such severe headaches that they really can't even watch 3D. Reports have been released that recommend keeping children away from 3D during the development stage (up to about 7 years of age). It's strongly suggested by experts that our eyes and minds were never supposed to function this way. Many people over the age of 30 or 35 say, "3D gives me a headache; I don't even want to guess want VR is going to do." But as the world becomes more and more obsessed with artificiality and video screens, future generations who grow up staring at the damn things will probably be more accustomed to the strain. So, maybe it won't matter in the future.
Personal gaming update
If you haven't tried it already and you've got fond memories of the '90s, you need to check out Shadow Warrior. It's just an unadulterated blast from the past and it's super fun. It doesn't last very long but that's okay, because it lets me get back to Assassin's Creed Unity. Yes, it has its fair share of problems (I've gotten stuck when climbing, for instance, which never happened in any of the previous games), but I still love it. I will also add that I've heard about all the glitches and issues and frankly, I've experienced all but one, and it wasn't that big of a deal. As usual, I think gamers are blowing minor stuff out of proportion, but whatever.
Of course, I also have to find a way to play through Grand Theft Auto V on PlayStation 4. I specifically held off on finishing it on the PS3 so I could play on the new system. I didn't think I'd have three giant open-world games to play all at once; Unity, GTAV and Dragon Age: Inquisition. And it's not like Far Cry 4 is small, either. Geez.
11/22/2014 Ben Dutka