E3 Answers: What Is A Video Game?
Still confused about just what the heck a video game is? Not sure what to say when a family member asks what you do with all your free time? E3 has you covered. According to the press events that I watched this week, video games are:
- Being told to "Move!" or "Run!" or "Hurry!" down a narrow path which must not be veered from. While all sorts of things happen around you. Things that look like they would be really fun to interact with, if you weren't so busy running and being yelled at.
- Bold new directions that involve series of games with more than three sequels.
- Getting to watch ESPN on your TV with a console! As long as you're already paying a satellite or cable provider to watch ESPN. On your TV.
- Watching a nice woman smiling as she tries to ignore the game telling her "Good job, lad!" during an on stage demonstration.
- Using your voice to search Bing, use Internet Explorer, and watch exciting trailers for very specific television shows and movies that paid for advertising, just before thinking about how great Nike is and how thrilled you are that they made the millionth Kinect fitness game.
- Killing foreign people. Being teased with the prospect of getting to torture them.
- Dubstep, LMFAO, Usher, Linkin Park.
- Holding a controller in one hand, your cell phone in another, yelling at the tv. Swiping video game elements on the cell phone while all sorts of cool futuristic sounds play, like a Hollywood version of an operating system.
- Shooting, punctuated by non-interactive CINEMATIC MOMENTS. Oh crap, my guy just looked at his future watch! Woah, my guy lost his footing when he jumped from a falling turnpike overpass to a dangling jeep, and he looked down at his legs to the street below! A building fell over! Lara opened a parachute and it didn't work and she opened another! The universe exploded while my guy covered his face and yelled, this is the best game ever!
- More Halo horseshit. Cortana just announced that AIs deteriorate after seven years and she has existed for eight! Sure, it doesn't make sense, but that will result in amazing tension and character development if you are a toddler and you have no taste and you don't understand the language you're playing the game in. How about that big Metroid ball and the new lava Chozo enemies?
- People cheering for DLC. Not because it looks interesting or they know anything about it, but because it is announced.
- People cheering even louder for someone begging for their life then having their face blown off with a shotgun at point blank range.
- Slowly moving your gun's sights around while BIG scripted things happen. Not shooting at any enemies until a fabricated moment that seems tense. Letting bad guys get close so they can grab you, making you lose control for a few moments while they snarl in your face then throw you or prompt you to press X repeatedly.
- Horror games. You know, games where you shoot a million dudes and jump behind cover? Dead Space 3? Resident Evil 6? Pretty sure those are horror games.
- The least important part of an interconnected entertainment platform featuring social communication, rich experiences, and a dozen outside devices.
- So much ultraviolence that even people like me, who find it funny by default, are sort of grossed out and hoping that we can focus a little bit more on creativity and interaction.