NinjaBeaver loves the Sarcastic Gamer podcasts. Their attitude and opinions on gaming tend to be similar to NinjaBeavers own, whether it be on the control system on RE5 (crap. You still can’t run and kill?!), the rip-off that is DLC (hold on, this download is nothing but a patch masquerading as content and you want me to pay for it?!) and X-box Live (Microsoft are still using this gold and silver bullshit?! NinjaBeaver spends upwards of £200 for the console and they still expect NinjaBeaver to pay extra for the online content, that will become available for free a couple of days later?! NinjaBeaver believes Microsoft must have seen some of us coming).
NinjaBeaver even finds himself disagreeing at times. Sorry guys, but Halo is still nothing more than a generic sci-fi FPS, with a lame storyline that even Brian Bendis couldn’t do anything with (trying to control the Warthog is not fun. In fact driving a vehicle in any FPS is not fun, it’s mostly frustrating).
But of late, NinjaBeaver has noticed a certain attitude creeping in. Both on the podcasts and on other forum sites, mostly the ones that come from America and pertain to a certain game- GTA IV and its new add-on, The Lost and the Damned.
GTA IV when all is said and done is a good game. It deserves the accolades it has received and whilst NinjaBeaver feels that it is an amoral game, the whole driving mechanic could do with a massive do-over(you still can’t lay in a pre-determined path?) and any parent who buys it for their twelve year old to play should be sterilised, it is still any gamer worth their salt giving attention to.
But it is the attitude to the main protagonist Niko Bellic that has made NinjaBeaver uneasy. In a nutshell, most American players find that they cannot relate to Bellic and that’s worrying.
The background to Bellic is that he is a war veteran who comes to America from East Europe(Russia or the Balkans) escaping his past from an un-named war (probably Chechnya) and falls in with his cousin and the various criminal factions in Liberty City (in fact, think Eastern Promises translocated to America). So far, so usual story of immigrant arrives in America to make good. The American Tale.
And a number of players cannot relate.
And that’s ok, NinjaBeaver cannot relate to The Sims (which is nothing but a giant Tamagotchi) but NinjaBeaver can see its appeal.
But then Rockstar released the download only add-on The Lost and the Damned and suddenly it’s better than the main game and the reason why NinjaBeaver feels a lot of American gamers think so? Its characters are exclusively American. Even better, its main protagonists are American Hells Angels, that ride American Choppers, swear like American troopers and probably drink that American piss Americans call beer. In fact NinjaBeaver could just see the reaction when it arrived:-WHOOOOOAHHH.UGH!UGH!UGH!USA!USA!USA! (with lots of fist-punching the air). It’s the story of a good, all-round American boy and of course is soooo much better than that main storyline about some nobody from a country with a name few in America can pronounce.
And like NinjaBeaver says, this sits uneasy with NinjaBeaver.
So, here’s the thing. This blog is not an anti-American rant. NinjaBeaver loves America and NinjaBeaver loves it’s people and NinjaBeaver understands that the attitudes to Bellic in GTA IV are not racist. What it is though, and it’s starting to creep back into the real life mainstream of American society is America’s love of isolationalism. The one that doesn’t care about what goes on in the rest of the world. The one that feels the world owes America a living and the one that feels of “Hey, if you don’t want us to be the worlds policeman,don’t blame us when we have to pull your fat out of the fire”. The one that cannot relate to a game character unless he or she comes from an English speaking world.
Because that’s the feeling that NinjaBeaver is getting from forums and podcasts from America. And the last time that happened?
So did 9/11.
Bibliophile, gamer, print and ePub designer, moving in a mysterious way. The other half of NinjaBeaver