The Game OverThinker - Episode 70: "Fall of Duty"
I know I'm late to the party on this, but... looking at the comments, I have to say... MY GOD PEOPLE. Just because he brings up points as maturity vs. immaturity doesn't mean he's mocking anything. I'm a Republican in the eyes of the US government. I voted for Bush. I voted for McCain, and not because I'm a racist who thinks Obama is the anti-christ. I genuinely disagree with his policies - the most prominent of which being the healthcare reform. That said, Oliver North is a despicable person and by all rights should have spent the rest of his days in jail. I'm a conservative through and through. However, this is NOT the image gaming needs or wants. And especially mister Smkitdown, grow up. You're only making yourself look like an idiot and douche.
I was walking through a bookstore when I saw a book written by Oliver North. When I asked one of my parents about it (I'm a dumb-shit 14 year old, deal with it) they described him as a "Good, God fearing man". THAT was disconcerting.
It's called being a libertarian, people. Look it up.
This is why I prefer Ratchet and Clank... I prefer it to Call of Duty
This whole episode is just a liberal rant unfortunately. I like how you go in slamming CoD on being conservative and that that is making the medium more immature, but you fail to see all the large liberal presence in TV, the news, and movies. As a conservative I can argue that those mediums are 'childish' and that they're an immature medium, but just because there are ideas you perhaps do not agree with doesn't permit you to label the whole medium. Your acting like Activision hired Hitler to be their spokesperson. Also, I don't see there being this so-called blow back to the medium by having a commercial with Oliver North. In my opinion they chose Oliver North for the commercial because he is a known person who used to have a show about war stories. It makes sense to choose him to talk about, well technically a 'war story'. Also, sure Fox News leans to the right, but what about all the other left wing media outlets such as MSNBC and The Washington Post. The left far out weighs the right when it comes to the media and it's an unfortunate fact that they can't be nonpartisan and the same goes for you. Also, mocking ones political beliefs as being immature is immature.
Bob is such a Boston liberal which is ironic since it was a Boston liberal who made the Boland Amendment . The CIA is notoriously known for siding with the lesser of 2 evils. They just tried to figure out a way around the then liberal elected amendment (secretly attached to a defense bill) to try and continue the mission. The irony of all this is that the liberals elected a president that to this day has still not undone Guantanamo bay as he promised which is just as abominate as the contras were against human rights.
The life cycle of the video game medium seems to be going through its "teenage phase", as if it ages at a rate of 3 or 4 "years" per decade (starting in 1970 or maybe the late 1960s). There are indeed games that bring up big questions, like Heavy Rain and its spiritual sequel Beyond, however. It's hard to explain, and the medium could be in some chaotic balance now. The future could not be more uncertain.
I do feel insulted that TGOT views my political views as not only wrong but stupid, idiotic, fill in the blank. Thinking and stating those opinions is one thing but saying that the video game industry could be heading the same way as the political right wing, ie: into the ground, is just not professional at all and I wouldn't expect to see such blatant disregard and insults like that even coming from a show like Zero Punctuation, where its disregard and insults are the aspects that make it successful.
While I don't think less of you for your views you shouldn't express them so harshly and passively. I understand that is what this show is about, getting down to the nitty gritty stuff about games and how they relate to the modern world, but to be frank you could have made the exact same episode with the exact same message about games without so many political attacks on the conservative right wing.
Now when it comes down to activision using this dude for their ad campaigns, I honestly don't see a point in comparing the ad's supposed right wing undertone to an undertone that doesn't even exist in the call of duty series, I would be the first one to shout if a company started to use it's franchise to impose political views (especially if it was a great franchise) but trying to state that one is there based off of the logic that progressiveness = maturity and conservatism = immaturity, while simultaneously stating that games are mature/immature for the same reason that movies are, ie: shades of gray, is just plain silly. I know you view video games as a form of art, as well as I, but comparing a medium that is there first for gameplay and second for story to a medium that is composed entirely of story that doesn't interact with the viewer at all is just not a valid comparison. People don't play call of duty to think about the controversies, they play it for the FPSing action, and while I am sure that suggestions could be made that might cause the game to be viewed as leaning towards a certain political side, it's unnecessary and doesn't matter. Tons of games (and movies) have environmental undertones yet it doesn't and shouldn't stop anyone from playing them, nor should it encourage anyone to play them.
In the end you can make a point for almost all games to lean towards one political side or the other, and you shouldn't be looking harder for those undertones because of who the game company decided to put into a commercial for that game. Games are games and while deep thinking about games is great, politics is just an area that shouldn't ever be intertwined with games at all. If the game companies ever do that to such a point that we can't avoid it, that it is forced down our throats, then we have a problem. But relating a completely foreign assumption of motives to the actual game itself being an immature right wing mess just shouldn't be done in the slightest.
This episode was more about politics than it was about video games, I usually walk away from watching this show learning something new and cool that I never knew before about video games on top of an insightful glance into the deeper inner workings of those games, however this time I find myself walking away with not much more than a history lesson, one person's opinions on politics and a bitter taste in my mouth.
Thought provoking. Thank you.
Hey, it's Mighty Switch Force at the end... good choice
hope it yet bob hope for it yet
oh btw bob , in case you haven't already figured it out from all the positive feedback you're getting in the comments here , this is the kind of overthinking we all subscribed for in the first place and still want
i was actually starting to really feel the seriousness of the matter near the end , it looks like you got lucky with this story to add that extra level of what's on the line to build up the tension for the (im sure) soon coming climactic act with this new narrative
i liked this concept form the start just as much if not more than i did the anti thinker narrative , but then you went and blew the build up with a forgetful fight sequence that utilized nothing of the characters or narrative that you were building on half a dozen episodes prior to add any sort of emotional tie to the climax (poor power up effects and exchanging 1 piece of dialog of a shared interest doesn't count)
im hoping you've learned from that though and will deliver us a satisfying conclusion to this sub story , take an extra month to make the next episode to get the concept right if you have to , i just wanna see this story end in a meaningful way.......
aaahh good , good , i knew i'd see you write up a full on blog on this video , im even more glad that your comment is still on the first page here for easy access
>complains that politics will only divide the gaming community
>then suggests that game development be split into 2 factions for people to take sides on
this won't be all downer though , i just wanted to poke at a few things , like i always do....
"If you're gonna make a game based on war, have it be fictional characters on a fictional planet, etc. This is the MUCH bigger issue that this video fails in every way to focus on."
but , didn't he already do several episodes discussing that kind of stuff already?.....
"I also find it laughable that TGOT considers Hollywood to have matured while gaming hasn't. Given the context of all his statements, he's pretty much saying that the liberal perspective is mature while the conservative perspective is that of a simple-minded person,"
no-no that isn't what he said at all ugh -.- , do you listen to anyone besides yourself?....
"Like I said, it bothers me because the games that do this capitalize on real war that in real life has casualties, which to me is disgusting"
hey hey whoa there cowboy , i thought you were for the 'free' market capitalist system?.....
it looks like some broad education is in order (this also applies to anyone who so happens to read this just because) , so i'll just leave this here for now then....
First, I'll make this clear. North American conservatism (Especially extremes such as the Tea Party or Stephen Harper's bullshit) is something I don't, would never, and will never want to understand. If I took a conservative (Or rather, ultraconservative) from North America and placed him into discussion with his counterpart in, say, Asia, Africa, or Latin America, I honestly see them berating each other to no end, lobbing insults, and only agreeing on 1 or 2 things with regards to economic policy. Granted, not every Conservative or Republican reflects the nature and ideologies of some of the more notorious right-wing politicians and figures (With a larger chunk actually being against some of these things). I just see that extreme right-wing conservatism hinges way too much on paranoia, conspiracy, and sucking up to corporations (and that's not including the attacks on decency, sanity, and logic).
My rant against Conservative-Absurdism aside, I have to state that, in essence, one thing I have noted with the Overthinker's videos in some cases is that they tend to be filled with the same negative (And at numerous times, exaggerated) tone as is commonly practiced in media and activist movements. While it helps make people concerned, it also helps people start their raves about how the end is nigh, or how we've already lost, or we'll never win. Things that blind people to the successes and progress being made and continuously being made each day.
As a counterpoint (Don't know if this can be considered due to some context), it needs to be noted that one of the most highly rated games for the month of May has so far been Awesomenauts. Selling millions and being quite the buzz for innovative gameplay mechanics, the game is quite opposite to the bland aesthetic of most FPS games in the lieu of COD, as it is a cartoony MOBA game which draws its influences clearly from 80s cartoons. When put side to side with the idea presented by the Overthinker that the values encompassed by some of these FPS games, the fact that a game as colorful and imaginative as Awesomenauts could sell millions in the current setiing should help serve as an indication that, on the contrary, games are making progress and are actually moving in a way that, for the most part, runs counter to the TGOT's assertations that Activision is making these statements for the entire Industry. And Awesomenauts is really just the tip of the Iceberg. How about the return to form of a lot of other 2D Platformers? How about the rise of the Indie Game Industry? How about new, fun, and interesting characters and IPS such as Sly Cooper, or Little Big Planet and Sackboy, or Portal? Shouldn't the fact that these games became the powerhouses and quality content be enough as proof with regards to progress made in Gaming as a medium?
My 2 cents. Dang, talking about way too many things here. I'd be better off making a video addressing these or actually talking with my mouth.
Just like the first opening disclaimer states that the commercial shouldn't have been made in the first place, I could say the same thing about this video. And it's not because of the subject nature of the episode, but because something the 2nd opening disclaimer states---about broad generalities not intended to be an attack. This is an attack on everyone TGOT doesn't politically agree with. If it really wasn't meant to be an attack, then the episode wouldn't have attacked the very ideas, news outlets, and beliefs of such people. So just as the disclaimer says the commercial should have never been made in the first place, I have to say the same about this video in its current form. This is just one-sided propaganda about a figure involved in an incident containing many details that aren't available to the public. So rather than just not commenting due to not having the complete story, instead a controversial subject matter is brought up that further divides the g1 community here.
Personally, I hated the commercial but not because of Oliver North being in it. When I heard the commercial from another room, at first I thought it was a briefing about some intelligence & an imminent attack & had no idea it was a video game commercial. Hell, I didn't even know North was in it. And I also thought it spread ideas among the enemies of the U.S. that the idiots at Activision shouldn't be giving. So I thought it was in poor taste for that regard. I also don't like the reality that is actual war being marketed as FPS games. I didn't like it with the Fallujah game and don't like it here. Actual soldiers die, get maimed, and make other sacrifices in wars that these games mirror, so the very subject matter of the game itself is in bad taste in my opinion. If you're gonna make a game based on war, have it be fictional characters on a fictional planet, etc. This is the MUCH bigger issue that this video fails in every way to focus on.
Even though I am on the opposite political side that TGOT is on, like I've said before, I never bought a Call of Duty game and don't ever plan on doing so. I'm a retro gamer who longs for the games & genres of yesteryear. So with that reminder, I found it ridiculous that TGOT considers games following a right wing trend (which I'd agree with) but how he doesn't think Hollywood hasn't been doing the same thing on the left wing. Just go watch TV shows nowadays & watch all the jabs that are taken at conservatives. Look at who the actors & unions support politically & who they have fundraisers for. It even happens in my favorite show, which bothers me, but thankfully I'm able to overlook it. It's very one-sided. There are some on the opposite side, but they have to remain in the ideological closet to avoid being blacklisted from finding work.
I also find it laughable that TGOT considers Hollywood to have matured while gaming hasn't. Given the context of all his statements, he's pretty much saying that the liberal perspective is mature while the conservative perspective is that of a simple-minded person, which is totally ridiculous. I can talk about how liberals fail to learn from the failure & devastation of the implementation of their ideas in other countries time & time again, but I won't go into that here.
Like I said, I love the games of the 70's-mid 90's (2D era), but I'm confused because I know TGOT likes them too. Those same retro games that we both like are of simpler times, yet he wants games to mature, so why doesn't he put those retro games behind him if that's what he wants? Personally, I could care less about games maturing. I want games to remain fun because that's what they were intended to be. And furthermore I'd like them to be simple because those are the ones I always go back to & are the most replayable. I dare TGOT to go ask Nolan Bushnell if he meant gaming to become a serious/art-like medium when he made Pong, which was much more popular than Computer Space or the few games before it. He'd laugh at that question. I never wanted gaming to be taken seriously or even mainstream in the way it has today because the Johnny Come Latelys all fucked it up & take away the pleasure with their annoying bitching & arguments. And that's the problem. Gaming is getting closer & closer to reality as seen by this very commercial and with games that incorporate real life regimes into fictional situations (like Homefront). I'm not sure if this is what TGOT wants, but if he does, then he's getting what he wants but is complaining about it.
As for me, I think it would *perhaps* be best if gamers would split into factions. One faction would be gamers who don't want gaming to become an art form & play games simply for their unrealistic nature to have fun & do things you can't do in real life. The other faction would be gamers who do want plots of games to mirror real life & be full of complexity and have realistic & mature elements. TGOT seems to fit into this latter faction, but on top of realism, he seems to want various issues his ideology supports added in. He doesn't even consider the mature subject matter that modern day conservative films (the few there are) deal with and if such elements appear in games, he would probably do an episode complaining about them. Anyway, if such factions become prevalent, maybe then companies will split up & decide on which faction to cater since money would be made on both.
Finally if one was to take a real look at the FPS genre & not one through rose-colored glasses regarding ideology, they would see that the genre is actually becoming both simple & more complex/mature in the terms described by TGOT. By this I mean the following---the TGOT mentioned that simply killing characters of a particular nationality in FPS games because they're all bundled as "bad guys" is simplistic as he compared the idea to patriotic Hollywood movies. For argument's sake, let's assume that this generality is true. At the same time when you take an unbiased analysis of these games, the same FPS games are incorporating more real life elements into them, not only regarding physics & combat, but regarding regimes that exist in real life within the games as well as scenarios that could happen in the real world. The next step these games will likely take if they haven't already (since I have yet to play a single game in the genre other than the 90's Doom games & Quake) is having people like foreign informants giving info to soldiers. I hate the FPS genre except for those early Doom & Quake games, but I can realize this when I see it. It's happening now and shouldn't be ignored. Like I said, it bothers me because the games that do this capitalize on real war that in real life has casualties, which to me is disgusting. Games incorporating real life regimes are making money off of a concept of those regimes that in real life have killed 1000's or millions of people. Yet this video focuses on one spokesman in a commercial. A shame.
The ironic thing is that TGOT will probably be the biggest complainer if issues like feminism, LGBT, and others he mentioned get incorporated into games in the same way they have been in Hollywood, where they overtake the plots & overshadow TV shows & movies rather than just being 1 element that factors into the overall "fabric" of the shows & movies these issues have been appearing in. I'm not saying having these issues in shows is a bad thing, but the way they're incorporating them is just stupid. I wouldn't be surprised if they are incorporated the same way into gaming. You should really think about what you want before asking for it. I'm sure many who wanted video games to become more like art now regret wanting it after what happened with Mass Effect 3 and various other games & franchises that went from fun/arcade style of play (like the Tony Hawk games) to a realistic style that would be better enjoyed in real life or some other medium than in gaming.
Anyway, I'm pretty sure after being insulted with this video I won't be watching any more episodes of TGOT. Take care my fellow g1s. See you in other non-divisive portions of this site.
Well, thank you for this very informative episode Bob! It was well written, interpreted and you show a genuine concern that I comend. I'm a gamer who, for long, has been "against" Call Of Duty not because of recent controversys (I didn't even know this ad existed) but because of their limited and often tendencial vision of concepts of war and patriotism. It's extremely narrow minded and one sided but defenetly not naive (This games have been made with a porpuse for a long time). As you said in the end though, there are still "good" left in videogames... let's just hope consumers understand what it's worth =)
How about... Angry Birds?
And thus, the reason Worst Person is one of the best episodes that hint of what is to come if shooters define gaming. Time to pull another game type out to the front everyone...and no GTA games please...they aren't helping much either.