Thoughts for Thursday – Shooters, Zombies, and the Internet

Thoughts for Thursday – the article where I can’t stick to one single topic for too long.

1.) Military Shooters. This past week saw the release of Call of Duty: Black Ops.  One mission in the game caused a little controversy, as the player supposedly assassinates Fidel Castro.  Naturally, Cuba expressed its disdain over the depiction.  As this article at Techland points out, it’s not the first time a military-based shooter has ticked off members of the international community, but it’s a more recent phenomenon.  I find it curious – shooters are attempting to become more “realistic” and “modern,” but to do so, they depict modern American wars, many of which were/are unpopular.  Considering the fact that gaming is a worldwide industry, that’s pretty interesting.  Games either depict a real war in American history (such as in Medal of Honor), or they depict a fictionalized American war (such as in Modern Warfare 2).  Either way, someone in the international community isn’t going to like the idea of shooting at people of his own nationality, or seeing people of his nationality depicted as the bad guys.  Maybe it’s just the fact that gaming is biggest in America (both in terms of developers and audience) that these games pull only from American wars, despite a national audience.  Considering that the last war America was in that the world unanimously approved of was World War II, however, it’s no wonder many shooters stick to that setting.

2.) Animated Blu-rays.  Thanks to my awesome girlfriend, I now have the Toy Story movies on Blu-ray, and, holy crap, they look phenomenal.  I have to admit that, at one point, I used to be skeptical about owning animated movies on blu-ray.  Live-action movies made sense because there’s so much detail, but animated movies’ detail is limited (so I reasoned), so why worry about whether it’s DVD or Blu-ray?  Boy, was I wrong.  I’m now convinced that some animated movies actually far exceed live-action movies in terms of HD detail.  The colors are incredibly vibrant, the lines are smooth, and the image just stands out to an awesome degree.  I knew Pixar movies were good, but, man, even the old ones look phenomenal.

3.) Zombies.  Seriously, does every videogame have zombies in them?  It seems like, if your game has guns, then you will naturally have some form of zombies in them.  I realize that they’re all the rage right now, but that just seems like lazy game creation to me.  For one, zombies are probably dirt-easy to program because they’re stupid.  They just hobble at you and start swiping.  You don’t have to worry about coding intelligent enemies because, hey, they’re only stupid zombies.  Is this really necessary?  Can we get some intelligent, creative enemies in our games?  I still remember the first level where The Flood is introduced in Halo.  After getting over the initial, “holy crap” shock factor, I hated it.  It stripped away a fun, intelligent, sci-fi shooter and turned it into zombie, survival horror.  It worked all right in terms of execution of the story, but it was still obnoxious.  Aside from FPS games that are military-based (and, therefore, don’t usually include zombies), can we please move beyond the current zombie obsession?  It’s getting old.

4.)  Google TV.  So it looks like Google TV is still having trouble.  Most of the major networks have now blocked the service from streaming TV episodes.  The stupid part is that there’s not much reason behind it – aside from the networks being against having access to the web on a TV set.  They may not be aware of it, but this ability has been possible for a long while now.  With the appropriate cables, you can connect any laptop or desktop computer to any TV set, old or new (I did this during my last year of college).  This issue, of course, underscores TV networks’ misgivings (and misunderstandings) of the internet as a whole.  For a long while, TV networks were against providing online content until it became obvious that they were losing money to less-than-legal means of watching TV shows.  The system is far from perfect, but most TV networks finally offer some form of legal TV show viewing.  Nevertheless, by regulating Google TV (and other services like it), networks are still trying to control how and when you can see their content.  It seems counterproductive to me, as blocking the ability to stream shows legally means consumers will (once again) turn to other methods.  The issue comes down to money.  Networks make far more money from advertising during regular TV broadcast than from web streaming.  It’s obvious, then, why networks want you to use your TV instead of the internet.  Unfortunately for them, the audience doesn’t always behave this way, as more and more people are viewing programs on the internet, on their own time.  The networks are taking a long time to adjust to this new behavior (and the Google TV fiasco is proof of this), but it’s obvious that they will need to come up with a new strategy before too much money is lost.

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~ by digitallysmitten on November 11, 2010.

One Response to “Thoughts for Thursday – Shooters, Zombies, and the Internet”

  1. Eh zombies never get old. I agree that some games just shouldn’t have them as they make the zombies all about a rampage of shooting rather than survival which is what a zombie apocalypse is all about.

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