Thursday, March 1, 2012

Form and Content

Would you play a game where you were a chubby person with acne and crooked teeth working all day flipping burgers at a fast food chain? And no, that is no more to it. No twist of fate or incredible series of events. Just waking up, going to work, work, than coming back home and watch some TV. Would you pay (or even play it for free) such a game?

Probably not. Games, movies and books all rely on uncommon people or common people having uncommon lives. Very few of them deal with day to day problems and even them have problems who are not exactly common. The feel that deal with it usually are not just a 'report' on day to day lives, but deal with deep matters using the common setting as a way to relate the spectator to the problem.

That is why every time I see people demanding that game characters to be more 'realistic' instead of 'idealized' I feel like they are forgetting something. We like to see pretty things and pretty people. When a game let me to create a character, I usually try to make it the more beautiful and idealized I can. I deal with 'common' people all day. When I get home and play a game sometimes I just want to forgot the real world. I deal with real life everyday almost all day. Why should I be forced to deal with it at my free time?

I do this myself everyday, several times a day. I don't want to do it at games.
I can understand some people seeing a problem with how certain things are portrayed at games, like women. It is bad that most women in games are created as hot chicks with almost no content beside their hot bodies in tiny dresses. But I believe there is space for this kind of thing. Men like to see those kind of women, after all. The problem is that games usually have only form without content.

Take the DoA series. It hardly have any kind of story and character development in them. Sure, the girls there are kickass fighters, but they have skin deep background and personalities. Damn, if they were a parody of the idealized female form, since no breasts, even that big, juggle like that, I would in fact think of it as a clever idea. But I hardly think it is the case.

Yeah, they are possible...

But even sensible dressed and bodied females don't are exactly not idealized. Faith from Mirror's Edge is very beautiful and have a hardly to find face. Jade from Beyond Good & Evil is also pretty beautiful herself. I can go on and on with it. Male characters could be more sensible dressed and have more variety in portrayal, but even them are hardly common people. They are usually muscular, badass characters.

What I want from games is that they give us variety of form and content. I want the game with pretty people and empty minds, but also games with more content and diversity. All in all, what games lack that older media have is that. Variety. Infinity diversity in infinity combination. Once we have reached a state where everyone can find something to their tastes, I think all those 'problems' would be solved. 

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