Video games matter?

I would like to rant for a moment about Extra Credits, a video series on that website that hosts Zero Punctuation. Man, what a bunch of windbags. I get that it’s interesting to talk about philosophies of video game design and so on, but it was about the point where they decided they were going to speak for all video game players and be the self-appointed lone voice of reason in an industry of morons that I started finding them less “interesting” and more “excruciating”, as they gently explainined to the unwashed masses what a “true female character” is, why we should care about video game piracy, and how Missile Command had one the most meaningful storylines of any game ever. It’s all very…. pseudo intellectual. [You have to imagine the venom with which I speak that term.]

Recently they’ve come up with a new tagline; “Because video games matter”. This to me perfectly defines what I dislike about this series. Sure, in terms of the millions of people producing, purchasing and playing them, video games “matter”, but by the same definition, so does pornography.

These people are video game connoisseurs. Yes, sometimes games are made with strong characters, compelling story, “meaningful choices” and other peripheral features, and as long as it’s built on top of a fun experience those things are a fantastic addition, but the games that actually do this well are a serious minority. Video games are a pasttime, just pure entertainment, and no amount of pretension is going to convince me they “matter” in the real world.

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