fredag 20 juli 2012

Sleepless on the Citadel and other Garrus-Vakarian-related pornos I would pay good money to see

So I just finished playing Mass Effect 3 extended cut. It was amazing. Absolutely fucking amazing. That's as far as I can go without revealing any spoilers and upsetting my 5 readers to the core, but no one can keep me from praising this absolutely astonishing game. The story, the multi-choices, the RPG, the characters - there's just so much love put into the games by the creators - I cried like a baby, and there are few games that affect me in that fashion. Most of them include me being beaten to pulp in Yahtzee. However, there has been a lot of whining from the armada of overly-protective moms and freudeliciously eccentric child psychologists that the games contain too much violence, and I still can't grasp how these people reason: how can it be logical to claim that it is harmful for 15-year-old children to shoot monsters in a video-game, but completely sensible to send them to Iraq or Afghanistan but three years later to shoot actual human beings? And if you're going to bash games for having a disturbing impact on children, there are games without the M-rating that are A LOT worse, which is why I now present my list of games with disturbing moral messages, and rate them according to their level of possible cruelty.

1. Roller Coaster Tycoon
I can't even begin to describe how many little amusement park-goers I have brutally assassinated during the years I played Roller coaster Tycoon: I presume that the creators intended that the possibility to kill people with faulty roller coasters would suffice as a moral aspect of the game, to teach the players some responsibility, but giving kids the possibility to build a roller coaster that ends abruptly in mid air, turn the speed to a maximum and then watch wagon after wagon tumble down towards the ground is just pure madness - and pure entertainment for anyone with an inner sadistic child. The fact that you are also given the possibility to use your divine intervention as the maker of the amusement park for evil is absurdly disturbing: you can actually pick up visitors and drop them into the water, only to watch them scream and cry for help before they drown. Thus, Roller Coaster Tycoon is the perfect game if you like to play God and don't mind the smell of death and cotton candy - because even the kindest little innocent child will sit in front of the computer and yell "THIS IS FOR YOUR NEGATIVE RATING ON MY WATER SPLASH MOUNTAIN ADVENTURE, YOU BASTARD" whilst watching 75 amusement park visitors plummet to their death. Talk to your kids about amusement parks, or someone else will.
Level of cruelty: 8/10

2. The Sims:
I can't even express how realistic and messed up this game is: the game is the wet dream of every serial killer who is too fat to bother walking outside in order to kill people. You can set people on fire (narrow room, Persian mat, the lousy stove or fireplace and boom), drown people in the pool by removing the ladder, starve them, make them pee themselves so much they actually die of shame, electrocute them, scare them to death with the ghosts you have created, let your Sim be devoured by bugs - according to this video, you can actually barbeque your baby: Apart from killing people, you can commit adultery in front of your spouse, abuse your child enough for the social worker to come and take custody of the child (however, if you are quick, you can kill the social worker before she leaves with your baby. Because you care.) and any other whitetrash element of your choosing -there is room for every possible disturbing family you can imagine. However, sexual relations between family members or between minors are not yet possible. You know, because that would just be sick.
Level of cruelty 10/10

3. Mario Kart:
Because nothing says Road Safety like bombing your friends off of the road, intentionally leaving banana peels for them to slip on and crash into a wall or ingesting mushrooms in order to drive faster. The Fast and the Furious looks like a driving instructor's tutorial by comparison.
Level of cruelty 6/10 

4. Pokemon
This is by far my favourite game ever since I was a kid:  but I can't deny the fact that if you actually deconstruct the game, you realize it is as disturbing as any other game.  This article describes perfectly the absurdity of the Pokemon games: "Considering that this is a world where ten year-olds are sent out to wander from town to town getting into super-powered cockfights and busting up international criminal organizations". One often finds oneself asking where the hell the social services are held up. However, the most disturbing theme in the games are the animal abuse - one needs not even bother mentioning the fact that the animals are being shrunk and enclosed in Pokeballs and forced to fight until they "faint" (which is, as we know, the only possible risk of being thrashed, drowned, set on fire or torn to pieces in an explosion). The true weirdness are more subtle, but once you realize it, you will never stop thinking about it. For instance, why the hell does Pokemon become pregnant when you enter them into daycare? And since it doesn't seem to exist any other animals, what the hell does people eat? I hardly believe they have all become vegetarians, since they don't seem to treat their pets all that well from the start. But, what do I know - Pokemon appears to be more loyal than regular animals - I for one know that if I asked my cat to follow me around the world fighting other animals for little scraps of metal, he would puke in my shoes for a year.
Level of cruelty 5/10

5. SimCity
If The Sims is the equivalent of a serial killer, SimCity is the equivalent of Pol Pot, Hitler and Stalin in one game. You can easily eradicate an entire city with just a few clicks and make it look like a natural disaster. Because you are fucking God now. I await the expansion SimHolocaust.
Level of cruelty 10/10

6. Tomb Raider
For giving archeology/history students hope of coolness and hot chicks for years. FOR SHAME.

Level of cruelty 3/10

I rest my case. Leave completely norming running-over-hooker-games-and-having-sex-with-aliens-games alone!

onsdag 4 juli 2012

Why I absolutely hate the saying "Carpe Diem"

I have been a quite paranoid person ever since I was a small child: being a hypochondriac I am constantly convinced that either my family/friends or I have different types of cancer, I worry that people I love will die in car/plane/hipster bike-crashes, I worry that my apartment will catch fire when I'm not home, I worry that my cats will somehow hang themselves in my dirty laundry - to keep it short, I worry. I've spoken of my worries to a lot of different people, friends as well as professionals, and they all say the same thing: Carpe Diem - capture the day. However, this has never been a comforting help; on the contrary, it just pisses me off. Saying things like "Live like it's your last day" doesn't really help my fear of death - it fucking exacerbates it! Telling me "So, I heard you're afraid of death, so I want you to believe that you're going to die within 24 hours" IS NOT A GOOD IDEA. It's like the worst episode of 24 ever - If I would live each day as if it was my last, I would spend it all crying, rocking back and forth in my shower, eating everything in sight. I would be a complete mess, not in any way liberated. I wouldn't only capture the day; I would capture it, keep it locked up in a well and go all "It puts the lotion in the basket or it gets the hose again" on it. And regarding Carpe Diem - there are things you really shouldn't do, capturing the day or not: people use it as an excuse to do all sorts of stupid things, as if it would be some sort of an enlightened path to inner peace.

- "What? You don't want to use mescaline while babysitting because you might accidentally but the baby in the oven? Come on, live a little! Carpe Diem!"
- "What? You don't feel like trying that new choking-yourself-whilst-touching-yourself-with-mayonaise-game?  Dude, Carpe Diem!"
-"What? You're not into human extermination using a combination of Cyklon B and contained spaces? Mein freude, Carpe Diem!"

OK, I might be exaggerating just a teeny tiny bit, but I just can't stand some of the things people call "living life to the fullest". I know I won't be happier by staying indoors, stay away from all sharp objects and only eat veggies, but I really don't - anyone who's seen me eat half a kilo of marzipan in an hour knows I won't have a very long life, but taking giant risks is not part of living - it's part of dying prematurely for absolutely nothing. I live everyday to the fullest by spending time with my best friends, doing stupid things that won't lead to me lying dead in a gutter and I'm happy - I know I could die tomorrow, and I fucking hate it, but I can still be happy today. I don't need to be told to go skydiving, bungee-jumping or try food that might kill you or at least insult your mother: today, I'll buy a different brand of pasta. Watch me live on the edge.