It recently occurred to me that I grew up with video games. I can barely remember a time before I was on a first name basis with Mario, Luigi and Bowzer. I can even remember when I first played Asteroids and fell in love with the hyperspace button.
And in past few years I've noticed at how all of the next gen systems focus on graphic upgrades and how realistic things look. I can't front, I've played The Godfather and there is something to be said for the thrill of watching your avatar pummel someone into submission. But as thrilling as it is, it's not real.
I think that we've got the paradigm twisted; we shouldn't be trying to make video games more realistic, we should be trying to make life more like a video game.
I'm not talking about emulating Grand Theft Auto.
I'm talking more about genetically engineering flying turtles that when jumped on, leave their shells which then become projectiles. I'm talking about creating plant life, specifically mushrooms and flowers, that when eaten grant amazing powers, as long as you don't walk into something.
Why is it that when I knock over a trashcan, rather than fully edible food spilling out onto the sidewalk, it's a school of rats?
And why is it that when I bust open a crate I never find a crowbar or a blade of any sort? It's the year 2009, where are all of the power ups?
That's why I give props to those people who do parkour, because they've decided that even though society hasn't adopted video game aesthetics, they would become the change they wanted to create. And sure, parkour looks strenuous, but just imagine how much more enjoyable it would be if it involved jumping on sentient mushrooms and avoiding plants crossbreed with piranha that shoot fireballs.
And I'm not just saying we should use Super Mario Bros as a template. I think that the Mega Man series showed us how useful single purpose robots can be, and how they can be easily defeated if they go rogue, so long as they have a weakness.
On the other hand Contra illuminates how a nation can't discount the threat of aliens, space aliens. And Castlevania clearly laid down the plan of how to deal with all of those rabid Twilight fans.
As someone who lives in Baltimore, I get a rare glimpse of my dream come to life every year when Otakon hits. It's an awesome sight to behold. Some people think it looks creepy, but I think it looks like the future.
A marvelous future where power-ups are plentiful and society mirrors video games instead of vice versa.