Episode 59: Bat-Slap
Batman: Arkham City is out, Film Crit Hulk pointed out possible unfortunately sexist subtext, gamers bitched, and now Our Great Teacher and Leader the Game Overthinker Moviebob-sensei has to facepalm at the hypocrisy of the gaming community that we say we want to be taken 'seriously' but won't accept serious criticism of the content and underlying themes in our games. He also pointed out how gamers for years wanted more people to be into gaming, but then when it came were horrified by how that wish came true, but that wasn't the main point of this episode.
No, this episode was mostly about the hypocrisy of gamers on this issue. The issue where we want the same serious treatment as the movies get but don't want to be held to any of the standards people look for in movies about sexism, racism, and generally a more thoughtful treatment of sensitive real-world topics than we tend to see in mainstream video games. Topics such as, oh, let's say . Yeah... He went into a discussion on that. How Hollywood hasn't generally made the 'war is badass' movies for the War on Terror, instead choosing to focus on dramas about the human costs and moral gray area that really comes with all armed conflict, and how gaming's representation of the War on Terror treats it like, well, fun, where all the realistic graphics and guns only serve to emphasize that the games are largely a more technologically advanced version of playing with green army men in a sandbox in their story content. Gaming hasn't had its Full Metal Jacket or Apocalypse Now where a serious depiction that war is Hell becomes successful to the point that the whole medium gets PTSD and the glorification of war starts to fade out in favor of more realistic portrayals of the real effects of armed conflict, and he questions whether we ever will have such a game, or whether we'll just pass it up as ruining the fun of playing with all the guns.
Ultimately, he comes to the conclusion that gaming isn't ready to really be taken seriously yet, not until we can properly take criticism about sexism, racism, glorification of war, and whatever else might come up without whining or getting defensive. Not until we can run with his advice from Episode 57, where he suggested that now that the anti-gaming crowd has been (at least in America) rendered forever ineffective as far as getting games banned, it's time for us to at least take seriously the basic idea that there are flaws in gaming, and that we have to answer for those flaws.
Hearing him take it to the war games, I have to wonder when he's gonna take it to a game or genre I like and put me to the test as far as answering criticisms.