Vic B’Stard’s week in review- Power to the player?

Week in Review
Say no to artist freedom!

So there I was just sitting there playing the Titanfall beta when it dawned on me just how under-represented I am in video games.

It’s pretty shocking really. I’ve been playing video games for thirty years and yet the industry seems to have forgotten that I exist.

I can’t recall any video game in recent years where you get to play as a slightly over-weight forty-three year-old man, continuously hassled by his two small children and worried about the size of his prostate.

I’m sure that there are plenty of us out there.

If games are to grow up and be considered art, such blatant exclusion really doesn’t move the industry forward.

Yeah, fucking, right.

As a writer, I consider myself a creative type. I’m also fortunate enough to be able to pretty much write what I want. I’m also a bit of an artist and I draw things that I want to draw.

As an independent writer and artist I create what I want to create and not what others tell me to do. In order to be commercially successful I may have to write what people want to read. But I don’t have to, I can be a precious artist and suffer for my craft if I want to.

The same goes for video game developers. If a developer fantasies about big fuck-off blokes running around with big fuck-off guns, good for him (Serious Sam). I’m probably not interested.

Similarly, if another developer wants to make a game full of scantily-clad women with gravity-defying tits (Dead or Alive), fair play- but again I’m not interested.

If someone wants to write a game full of fellas running about and saving the universe whilst their wives stay at home cooking and cleaning the horrendous skids from underpants, whatever. Even if it’s a game whereby all women are too fucking feeble and/or stupid to pick up a sword and fight, who gives a shit?

Apparently some folks do. Our over-stimulated, dysfunctional, post-cold war, post-AIDs, western society – with nothing tangible to actually worry about – seems to have made it everyone’s moral duty to get mortally offended by the slightest thing.

But art is still art.

And most art is shit.

You wouldn’t buy a picture if it upset you.

You may not like the artist’s choice of subject, and you may want to speak up about it. But would you really tell an artist to change their colour palette? Would you ask an artist to draw something else, something else more pleasing to you?

No, you fucking well wouldn’t, would you!*

(*Gen-Y’s excluded, of course)

The same should go for video games, if they are to be accepted as a form of personal expression, which is what art is.

If you want to play games full of hook-nosed, one legged prostitutes and the developer isn’t playing ball, either let it go or make it yourself. No one should expect game developers to take requests, it’s not a fucking school disco.

Even Mass Effect, where you could play as a man or a woman AND fuck an alien, didn’t escape the public’s wrath when the artists gave them an ending that they didn’t want. The pound of shit dropped on Bioware prompted them to add an extra bit on the end just to pacify their fans, the pussies. Imagine if George Lucas listened to fans in the same way…um…eh.


So if a developer wants to use buff twenty-something fellas in his game and can’t find a place in his (or her) story for a neurotic forty-three year-old fat fucker of a man with screaming kids, that’s just the way it is. We have no right to dictate anything to the artist(s) that would interfere with his or her vision.

Glad I got that off my chest. Got to go now, I have to write an email to Activision asking them why there’s no conscientious objector class in Call of Duty: Ghosts.

Darren Price writes about games. To most people he comes across as pretty mild-mannered. The truth is that he continuously fights to contain a demon inside him. Sometimes the demon gets out; and when it does, it’s name is Vic B’Stard.