So, you want to raise a psychopathic killer and you’re wondering how to do it. I’m impressed you thought to come to me with this. Gather ’round ole Stonewall, everyone, and let him tell you how to fuck your kid up. I know of nobody who is better suited to lecture on this subject.
Now, some of you are already fighting for that A in this class. Some of you are already raising your hands, squirming in your chairs, saying “Ooh, ooh, I know! You drown the little fuckers in violence, right?! If they grow up on extreme violence, they’re sure to become a serial killer!” Shut the fuck up, overachievers, you’re just embarrassing yourselves here.
Yeah, geniuses, have them play realistic war games. You know what the the problem is? Here, take a good look at this.
Anyone getting butterflies looking at this? Anyone seeing the problem yet? The issue is that real violence is fucking disgusting. You do not, I repeat, you do not fuck your kid up by having him play Manhunt. Every person in that game is dirty and ignorant and contemptible and little Timmy may like playing the game, but he will not want to be James Earl Cash when he grows up. A realistic portrayal of violence will never actually teach violence because, you see, violence, when realistically portrayed, is not a good thing, and if you don’t already know this in your core then you, my friend, are a psychopath.
I’m not judging, I’m just letting you know in case you ever wondered why you were the only one laughing when your dog got run over. I’m here to educate.
What your little Dexter really needs is a game that retains all the destruction, all the domination, all the death, but stripped of all that so it justly repulses your human heart. You want the war, you want your kid to revel in it, but you must carefully strip out all the blood and suffering; you have to make sure you don’t have a scene where your white phosphorous deep fries a mother and child. You need war to be fun. You don’t want consequences, you want Nintendo. You want Advance Wars.
In the picture to the left we see one of our heroes, Andy, just polished off an enemy unit. Note the cartoony graphics rather than any gritty, dirty realism. Note how the enemy disappears into a puff of smoke rather than, say, lying on the ground moaning as he tries to hold his guts in. Most of all, note that Andy is flashing the peace sign (and yes, in Japan it’s the peace sign, not the victory sign).
And don’t any of you try to tell me he was doing it ironically. Andy is not smart enough to do anything ironically. In fact, Advance Wars is not a smart enough game to do anything ironically.
Nintendo knows how to do it. You want the kid so disconnected from his actions that he will flash the peace sign as he mows down the enemy. This is the sort of thing one would expect the Joker to do, like saluting a sinking ship of soldiers after you just blew a hole in it or using jazz hands to applaud throwing people to lions so as not to trigger any of them with your clapping. This gives the finger to amorality as it speeds by on its way to immorality.
And let’s chat for a moment about character motivation. Here we have some nuanced characters, right? I mean, from the very beginning of the game Grit was showing signs of discontent.
What drives a man to side with the enemy? What could be so important to a man of clear moral compunction like Grit that he would turn on former friends and turn them into hamburger on command?
Well, his friend (Max) liked this girl, see, and he didn’t want to be in the way so he joined the evil empire. You know, like any friend would do. He couldn’t stick around; he’s not a monster, jeez.
And speaking of Grit, what just desserts await these warmongers who pillage and burn our cities?
Nothing. He walks away after every loss as if he were just in a losing streak at checkers. “Good game, guys. Same time tomorrow?”
“Hells yeah!” cries Andy. He’s always ready to make some dead bodies wherever and whenever.
Nell is a little quieter. Don’t get me wrong, she’s not concerned with the people under her command who would be shot or the civilians who would lose their livelihoods if they’re lucky, their lives if they’re not. No, she’s thinking of all the times she bumped hips with Grit and how it might be a little awkward for her and Max if Grit’s around.
But, you know, it’s really mostly out of consideration for Max’s feelings. I mean, come on! She’s not a monster, jeez.
We still haven’t touched on the final stupidity, though. It’s most of the way through the game that we suddenly realize that we’ve been having so much fun killing and pillaging that we never really bothered to ask what the point of all this destruction was.
According to Drake, nobody knew who was responsible for the initial battles, so he and some other morally minded COs decided to engage in battles to distract the person who started the battles so we can find out who the real bad guy is. And do battle with him.
Twenty years before Mass Effect 3, we see the “kill people to prevent people from being killed” master plan in full force. Nintendo was truly ahead of its time.
And let that be the nail in the coffin. I’m so sick of the very idea of this game and the time I’ve spent with it that I have a knot in my stomach.
I wouldn’t mind if there were a training video for how to make your kid a sociopath. That video would at least have something that Advance Wars lacks. It would have honesty.
If you’re someone who has ever bitched about violence in video games or if you’re some housewife who signed a petition to remove GTA V from Target and you buy shit like this for your offspring, I just want you to know that you’re a parasite and a hypocrite, that a brain is wasted on you as a stem would have sufficed. And if the day ever comes that you die violently, as the darkness closes in I hope the last thing you see is your little spawn smiling while flashing you the peace sign.
You are the monster.
And fuck this game.
Thanks for reading. Hugs and kisses to you all.
I assume this is a response to my previous post on Advance Wars. Stonewall has a knack for taking all my favorite childhood games and telling me all the reasons why they support the military industrial complex. You should have heard him go on and on about the U.S. imperial propaganda inherent in the Oregon Trail series. He was all flustered going on about “Manifest Destiny” and “The Trail of Tears”. Yawn.
OK I lied about Oregon trail. But it leads me to my greater point.
Essentially I agree with you Stonewall, but you’re coming across a little strong. If you saw a small child playing Advance Wars in public you would probably be tempted to grab him and shake him by the shoulders, all the while screaming “War is no game, child! I’ve seen the terror it brings!”. I imagine that as his mother pulled him away you would run after them screaming “Look what you’re creating, you filthy warmonger!”
In fact I didn’t realize Advance Wars was such a sore subject for you, Stonewall. It’s OK, we all have those things that we avoid bringing up. In this case it’s a bit like how I avoid talking about the FDA at Thanksgiving dinner because it launches my Uncle into an hour long tirade about how the feds are poisoning the water supply with mind controlling fluoride.
Essentially I agree that the storyline for Advance Wars is completely idiotic, but I’d argue that the gameplay is still fun. Maybe I’m less discerning but this doesn’t really bother me, especially since it’s a game for kids. However, If I ever need to educate a child on the horrors of war I’ll be sure to have him ask you about Advance Wars.
First of all, there are no circumstances in which I’d speak to a child. That was slanderous and I’d appreciate it if we could keep this above the belt.
Second, I believe you’re confused as to my point of view. I would never suggest anyone not be allowed to consume any kind of media, whether you be a child or a human. People are capable of understanding the difference between reality and fantasy. Games are fantasy, whatever their content, and therefore there should be no restrictions on access. Those people you are killing in games? Just pixels. And pixels have no rights. Fuck ’em.
I was commenting, Pugsly, on the parents who do restrict access to certain games and questioning their choices. I was accepting the false premise that games can have a deleterious effect on the psyche of the child for the sake of this post, and argued that games that make war fun are not necessarily better for the little tot than games that show war for what it is. Take, for a moment, Spec Ops: The Line, a third person shooter that forces you to question the purpose of what you’re doing, that puts the consequences of your actions on gruesome display, and makes you feel like a piece of shit for the things you had to do to complete a mission you don’t even fully believe in. Now, let’s imagine mommy taking this away because it has blood in it and replacing it with Advance Wars, a game that presents war as a good time that can be had by all, where the only people who have names are the commanders, the soldiers are just there as cannon fodder, and civilians are so worthless they’re not shown at all. I was saying that maybe, just maybe, if we had to choose one, that the game that portrays war as fun is worse than the game that portrays war as not fun.
Well, that’s what I was saying. But I’ve seen the light now, I really have. And to prove it I suggest we make a spiritual successor to Advance Wars. Since we develop for PC, we’ll call it PC Rape (the fact that people will think the full title of the game is Politically Correct Rape is just a happy coincidence). Of course we want this to be kid friendly, so we’ll be sure to sanitize it. There will be no nudity and while the women will initially struggle, by the end of it they’ll admit that it was fun and thank the player; we don’t want children traumatized with consequences, of course. Naturally, as the good guys it will be revealed late in the game that there’s an actual rapist (the bad kind, that is) out there and we’ve been raping to reveal his identity, which is just the kind of morality that proponents of Advance Wars will be able to get behind. In the climactic last scene, all of our heroes will rape the bad rapist to show him once and for all that rape is bad.
What do you think, Pugs? Personally, I think it has a real shot, I think we’re really onto something here. Just say the word and I can have a script that easily rivals the quality of Advance Wars in about half an hour.