I did not anticipate, dear LusiCakes, that I would become the cynic that I have been over the past few years. This may surprise even the most loyal readers, considering my specific and occasionally outdated reputation here at Lusipurr.com as the fruity optimist from Canada who loves everything and does nothing but spew flowers and rainbows over everything without a discerning thought in my head. Because I certainly do not show a particularly critical side in my articles on this website, but perhaps that is because I feel that role is already adequately filled.
Because while I am not filled with hate and venom for games and the games industry, I certainly have become a cynic of all art and what I have found to be its exhaustive mediocrity. I find it hard to play or watch or read something and feel like it says anything of interest or value. One might be reminded of that excellent South Park episode in which Stan begins to see everything as literal shit.
There is another layer to this when playing games as well. Not only because I have been slowly but surely making a game of my own, but because it is my entertainment medium of choice, it has become the case that I started to see video games as code and graphics. I would see environments as polygons and textures instead of forests and cities. I would see plot points as a discussion between writers and executives instead of any character’s journey. Level design seemed obvious to me and my typically inspiring motto of “there is nothing new under the sun” started to slowly flip back to being a nihilist anthem.
It may sound like I am being dramatic – and I am – but art, and particularly games, are important to me. They are my language and my philosophies, and as somebody who considers himself an artist I am wont to wax dramatic.
But besides my drama, a keen reader will notice my use of the past tense to describe my disenchantment with video games. It is because I did not even notice it was happening and it was not until the magic returned that I realized how negative and blasé I had been.
I wish I could point to something specific that made appreciation replace apathy, but I cannot. Perhaps it really was as simple as taking my console out of my bedroom when I moved a month ago. Now gaming is a separate activity that is largely unimpeded by guilt that I should be working or sleeping. Or maybe it was the magic of seeing my own game come together to a point in which I could actually walk around, talk to people, walk into houses, and start a battle all with appropriate music playing in the background (expect a trailer in the coming weeks).
In any case, it was almost like remembering what it was like to be a child when suddenly the video games I played turned into their own worlds again. Shepard was actually building relationships and exploring the vast galaxy. Marle’s frustration at a restricted lifestyle was not a cliché, but a valid frustration with being born into a position she did not ask for. Even Dragon Quest VI‘s old-school style started to give me an irreplaceable sense of adventure and an optimistic world of swords and sorcery.
I expect my cynicism to return. Just like my insomnia, these things come in waves. Plus, even with my resurgence of appreciation for the magic of video games, I still feel like the medium has a lot of room to grow and that gamers tend to be more easily satisfied with lower art, but that is the state of Hollywood as well, so I imagine that will be a perpetual frustration for a man as pretentious as myself.
So there it is, LusiDwellers. Yet another article that does nothing to disprove my place as the Weepy Tart of this website. But I like it that way. It helps me not spiral during the times when it becomes hard for me to remember why I ever liked video games. And laughing at my own many, many ridiculous and exaggerated personality traits is of the utmost importance to me.
Anyway, how about you guys? Do you go through periods when games lose their magic and feel like predictable chores? What is your permanent state? Am I completely insane for enjoying Dragon Quest VI more than Chrono Trigger? Because I feel insane for it. Let me know in the comments below!