In the multi-billion dollar gaming industry, fierce competition and impressive innovation often times raise the metaphorical bar on what the general public calls excellence. Whether it be new gameplay features or a unique plot line, developers and publishers must continue to find that stand out concept to win the day. Yet the video game industry is inundated with clichés that makes the consumer wonder just how the onslaught of annualized releases, rehashed mechanics, and redundant plots have not gotten stale. Without further ado, BitCultures presents the top 10 gaming clichés.
10. Designated Villains
Why is it that developers must refer back to what I like to call the designated bad guy (the DBG for short)? What Call of Duty game doesn’t center around the Nazis, Koreans, or Russians (excluding, of course, the titles portraying World War II)? Heck, any given FPS generally draws from a list of worldwide villains. I understand that it is easy for the consumer to visualize a Nazi as the enemy, but give us some credit. We’re not as dumb as we sometimes appear to be. With a little creativity or thought, a fresh wave of villainy could do the industry wonders.
9. The Post-Apocalypse Setting
The apocalypse is a frightening concept. It signifies the end of everything we know, everything we love. The routine becomes a bittersweet memory. It is not a welcome scene, yet in the video game industry, it is a commonplace setting for some of the largest title releases in recent memory. Like most of the clichés that top this list, the post-apocalyptic setting takes the idea of living in devastation and trivializes it through overuse. Can a post-apocalyptic game thrive and touch upon the important thematic concepts the creators intended? Sure. But so much is lost when the consumer becomes desensitized to tragedy.
8. Time Travel Fixes Nothing
Whenever I start playing a game and time travel is involved I can’t help but sigh. Time travel is a mechanic that will always inevitably lead to disappointment. It sounds like a really good idea for introducing interesting game mechanics and plot development, but rarely (if ever) does it end up with a happy outcome. Either your actions while time traveling end up changing nothing, or the very act of time traveling itself leads to a much worse problem than what you started off with. Games seem to be entirely unoriginal with how they go about handling the concept, yet so many turn to it for content creation. World of Warcraft serves as a great example given how often they’ve used the time travel card, and how many plot holes it has created as a result. Note to future game designers: Say no to time travel. Your writers will thank you for it.
7. Zombies, the Living Undead
As ever present in gaming as it is in the mainstream entertainment world, zombies just can’t seem to stay dead. When George A. Romero introduced his take on the zombie, it was to create a commentary on American culture (our dependency on racism, materialism, etc.). This is why the ending of Night of the Living Dead and the setting of Dawn of the Dead were created the way they were (the first dealing with racism and the latter taking place in a mall, where we ‘zombies’ flock). The present day zombie carries nearly none of the observations that Romero pondered in his films, serving only to feast upon what the consumer hungers for.
6. Exploitation of Female Characters
Female characters are often presented unrealistically and unnecessarily provocatively. For example, in the article the source states that men’s outfits were designed first and then stretched to fit over the female bodies.Popular games like The Witcher 3 and the Batman Arkham games are also fantastic examples of this. Every female character’s outfit is created in a way to highlight the character’s breasts. You can even download a different and more provocative costume for one character. In Batman Arkham games, Catwoman’s costume is laughable. She wears a body suit, but the zipper is zipped halfway down to show a lot of sideboob.