Monday, 2 June 2014

One-dimensional video gaming

Video gaming software and the creations arising from it are more advanced than ever; imaging them would seem fanciful to young minds of generations used to them. Titles such as Grand Theft Auto V dazzle us with their expansive, realistically-textured and epic (forgive the term) inventiveness. A title enjoying a major marketing campaign is Ubisoft's Watch Dogs, one of the first products in general for the new Playstation 4 platform.

I will get straight to the point about my source of contention. I predicted before Watch Dogs was released that its protagonist would be a probably heterosexual white Caucasian male in his twenties or thirties with a very uninspiring personality type, with the main interest for the player derived from his convenient, almost superhuman ability to easily interact with the preexisting gameplay mechanics. I was right!

To be fair, a lot of major game developers will be more daring than Ubisoft in this case. They may write a protagonist who is a probably heterosexual white Caucasian male in his twenties or thirties...with some five o'clock shadow.

I am obviously not implying that this problem is uniform among all major developing studios. I'm sure that there are plenty of games with dynamic and creative storylines and mechanics which delve into the complexity and diversity of the human condition. So maybe given the advent of new generation tools at their disposal, more studios could take upon themselves to aspire to the same rather than focusing on the white dude shoots at and messes with stuff formula?