For today’s post, you get a special treat: A guest blog thingamabob from…
AJ Freemont, an androgynous android, writer, and graphic designer with an extraordinary fondness for casual games, of which it scours the Internet to find the best ones and review one or two of them a week on its blog.
Inspired by the theme of insanity I have observed over time on this blog, I will endeavor to contribute my own bit of insanity, despite La Grande Stranezza’s protestations that there is absolutely no purpose to his posts. Upon personally assuring me of his great fondness for clowns*, I instantly realized what I needed to talk about in my guest post today.
I present to you, for your horrified amusement, the “clowns” of video games. People who are already hardcore gamers know ten times more about these clowns than I can educate you on, but if you have ever considered being a regular gamer, or want to buy a game for yourself or someone else (’tis the season), then please refer yourself to the following guide to the clowns, jesters, and pure idiotic fools that come with the gaming world.
The Games. No, I’m not mocking anyone who wants to play genuinely silly games like Final Fantasy X-2. Even the line of ZyngaVille products are exempt from the realm of real “clown games” (obviously they’re doing something right, so although you complain about your Facebook news feed getting spammed up, they’re making some pretty fine cash). No, I’m talking about those Zeus-awful titles like, oh I don’t know, just about the sad majority of games made for the Wii that give you at maximumsixty percent control (e.g. the first Just Dance… *shudder*). I’m talking about any time someone puts in an in-game movie or cinematic clip that won’t. let. you. skip. it. even. though. you’ve. seen. it. fifty. times. before. My personal favorite item of ridiculousness happens in Spider-Man 2: The Game; whenever you’re at full health and you try collecting a health boost pack, Petey Parker snaps “I’m already at full health!” This is kind of cute the first time, maybe… but not after the fifth, or tenth, or twentieth instance later. By making your game act like a fool, you’re making us players feel at least dumb and at worst never wanting to play it again.
The Characters. If ever there was a clown character of video games, it’s gotta be Birdo from the land of plumbers and princesses. In much the same way that we all grew up thinking that the puppy of clues named Blue was a boy, we’re instinctively inclined to believe that Birdo is a girl because… it’s wearing pink. And a hair bow. And mascara. And talks in bubbly, incoherent clicks and buzzes like *insert names of teenage girls I know*. But of course, oh my goshers, it’s totally, like, a boy. Duh. It’s a freaking dinosaur, and of course boys like dinosaurs! Especially pink ones! Right?…
(Of course, if he really wants to be like that, that’s the end of this topic and the start of a new one about how Nintendo needs to review its discrimination policy for its cartoon employees… what kind of politically-incorrect statement are they making about the LGBTQAA community if Birdo’s a “bad guy”? Oh, but they have no trouble making a blonde white straight female the love interest of the straight white American-obese European male. I see how it is.)
There’s also Arkham City’s charismatic mascot who’s a clown of sorts too…
The People. People are funny. Real funny sometimes. This goes not only for players (if you don’t have Xbox Live, then you’re majorly missing out on all the big(ot)-headed insults that make toilet water look appealing), but also for the people watching us, the gamers, play games. Despite all the research that’s been done on a thousand ways why video games are overall good things to have, misguided family, friends, and Fox News may plague our existence from time to time. Especially Fox News. But unlike the other kinds of clowns described above, we the people can actually do something about the pestering jesters walking in our midst. It’s as simple as following the golden rule. Play with others as you would have them play with you. Come on guys. We all like video games, can’t we just get along? Pretty please? With a maraschino cherry on top? Does it really matter whether or not you think Zelda should have stayed off the Wii platform (or at least, does it matter enough that you’re willing to wail about it to every other gamer’s face, online or offline)? Embracing your hobby means accepting its joys as well as its idiosyncratic quirks and bugs. Maybe that’s the ironic lesson right there that’s meant for me writing this article.
Any genuinely idiotic encounters you’ve experienced that you’d like to share with your fellow audience?
-Alex J. Freemont
No offense at all intended to Amnesia: The Dark Descent from which the post title is derived. It’s only an idiotic game if a small part of you doesn’t enjoy being completely terrified out of your living daylights. Or wetting your pants.
*In his own words: “As long as there are no clowns. I really don’t like clowns.”