One Game Dad 34: A Surprising Lack of Surprises
We turn to stories, regardless of mediums, to be both surprised and to see our expectations meet. But of late games and even books are doing neither for me.
You'd think that not meeting expectations would be a good thing. It's not in this case, because what I keep coming up against isn't necessarily triteness or tropes, rather a lack of effort in planning out something that says anything. The stories are following along such safe lines that they feel like the creators have been placed in a rut so large the only way out is forward.
This is not for their lack of trying but rather the constraints placed upon them by publishers, the wider audience, or some other force. That's my way of being kind. Far Cry 5 is a prime example of this - the game is so milk toast in its stories that it never lives up to the possibilities presented in the advertising. Which is odd as both the advertising and the game have to be approved by the publisher.
So why should one be allowed to test boundaries and present something that just isn't there when the other isn't? It's an aspect of content creation I don't understand. It's all media, it's all money being spent by the publisher, yet in one case the creators are allowed to court controversy and push limits. In the other they can't risk offending an audience. So why is it that the medium used to sell the other gets to be more daring?
Maybe I need to aim to write for advertising rather than video games. Still, I'm working towards getting work in the game industry. I've joined up with a bunch of other people to try and create something. It's only part time and my job is writing - it's what I'm going at after all. But I've also just signed for my desk at Games Factory so I should be working from there from June 1. Hopefully it'll provide me the networking opportunities I need.
This week I played around in the Far Cry 5 and really did nothing with the story. As usual you can find this episode on Twitch, Youtube, Stitcher, iHeartRadio and iTunes. This podcast is hosted by the Third Culture Kids network.