Wednesday, July 30, 2014 | 16As most of us grow docile and weak from a culture that doesn't demand that we slaughter our enemies, we're also becoming more whimsical and creative. How many of your grandparents' or parents' classmates in grade-school wanted to pursue a career in art? Probably not many because art can't kill Nazis. In the 'Age of Weird-Ass Cartoons', as we'll be called by future historians, shouldn't some of this neo-renaissance originality persist in the MMO industry?
Not really, it seems...
Sure, some independent games venture outside the orcish path, but games, especially online ones, tend to steer wide of unproven approaches to genre and storytelling. What was the last game you played that didn't borrow heavily from lore, vocabulary or visual style that was established by TV shows and movies? Bungie allegedly had hundreds of millions of dollars to spend on their next big thing since they ripped off generic science fiction, and what did they produce? Even more... generic... science fiction. Destiny is an uninspired pool of pig vomit, but it was made for consoles. Naturally, you must assume the stumbling toddlers buying console games likely haven't ever seen Starship Troopers.
It's okay to be inspired by things you see, but great artists and writers don't simply mash up their favorite things and check out. I can only conclude from this that there are no great creative minds involved in the development of game concepts. I mean this in the most insulting way possible.
Some people crave generic...
And in some cases, I may be as guilty as anyone. There will always be a space for knights slaying dragons and rescuing damsels, but that shouldn't be the only fucking space. I mean, Mario has been doing that since the beginning. A plumber who spits fire and jumps on weird blobs to devastating effect is far more compelling than some dude in armor who is capable of fantastical particle physics. This doesn't mean that World of Warcraft needs a hopping plumber class... That's the opposite of what I mean.
What these games need is a creative director whose genius borders on complete insanity, like Pendleton Ward who borrows heavily from popular inspirations, but remains serially un-generic.
Whether or not you'd play a wacky MMORPG created by a madman is irrelevant, though we may get halfway with SotA, people inside and outside of the industry are starting to notice that the thousands of creative professionals employed by the industry simply aren't... being... creative.
Read in a thick Japanese accent for best effect.
"To some, it might have seemed as though there wasn't a wide variety of software at E3, and as though many people followed the same direction to make their video games. I believe this is a revelation of creative immaturity on our part as creators in the video game industry."
- Shigeru Miyamoto (possibly a samurai?)
How do we 'fix' this? Probably fire.
As a side-note, I'm opening up to allow guest contributors, so if you have something too long for a comment let me know. Unbridled hatred required.