Extra Punctuation

Extra Punctuation
Black Ops 2 Is Like A Rich Jerk

Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw | 4 Dec 2012 12:00
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Believe it or not, I don't really like talking about politics, because it's all such a massively complicated business and I'm just a late-twenties high school dropout who works from home and doesn't vote, so where the hell do I get off thinking I know how to fix everything. Being one of the privileged white dudes doesn't help, either. Although being British might, a little bit. Because say what you like about us Brits, we might've committed a few atrocities over the years but at least we were tidy and charming, and at least we apologized about most of it.

Actually, thinking about it, that may be what I found so aggravating about Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. Because I was raised to spend my whole life walking around under a faint background hum of cultural guilt and embarrassment for having once been the biggest twats on Earth who got up to a whole lot of shady shit in other people's countries, and then comes Coddling Ploppy Plops wanting to fucking crow about it.

Whoops, almost tricked myself into talking about politics there, didn't I, despite my initial intentions. Let's very determinedly draw a line under it. I don't know about what to do about people being shit but I do know about videogames, so let's talk about that.

Funnily enough, though, one of the things that annoys me the most about Cod: Blops 2 is its privilege. And I'm not talking about all the privilege all the middle-class white Americans have (incidentally I love how one of the things you had to do during the invasion of the city for rich assholes was rescue a blonde white woman from being captured by the greasy foreigners NO STOP TALKING ABOUT THE POLITICS YOU TWAT), but the privilege of being in a position to make a triple-A game with cutting edge technology, some of the greatest talent in the world, and under one of the highest-profile titles in the industry. A privilege which is utterly squandered.

This is what put me in mind of the analogy I used in the video of someone buying an entire roast chicken to take one tiny bite and throw the rest away. It's the nouveau riche of videogames, wanting to show off its massive wealth but without the slightest understanding of how to do it with any kind of class. If it were a man, it would be a lottery winner who buys a fucking castle in the European mountains and proceeds to only ever use one room. And pump champagne through the fountain in the front garden until it turns into fizzy vinegar.

And when you've got the kind of money to have a different pair of brightly-colored silk trousers every day and a different courtesan to remove them from you every evening, you will lose the ability to appreciate either the trousers or the courtesans. You become bored and jaded through the sensory overload, and that's precisely the problem with Black Ops, and most other games of the same spunkgargleweewee mold. It's so privileged it can't focus on shit. It constantly hops from location to location, making massive jumps back and forward in linear time so you're only subjected to the exciting moments, and whenever it gets bored it throws another vehicle or gadget at you to use for the next minute or so and never again.

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