Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Does swearing make a better game?

After playing a lot of recent titles, I’ve noticed a lot of heavy hitters will either have a lot of swearing, or none at all. It might be something that has never crossed your mind before, but for me it has, and sometimes too much swearing can be a bit overbearing.

First, let’s compare two games

Bioshock Infinite, a remarkable game that even got perfect scores on some gaming sites. With such a mind-blowing ending and terrific writing, his game has potential to win game of the year. So with that said, let’s look at last year’s game of the year juggernaut.

The Walking Dead
, (Telltale) TWD really brought a true point-and-click adventure like experience and didn’t rely on crazy special effects, action, or skill in order to enjoy it. What it had was a brilliant script, amazing voice acting, and a comic book aesthetic that really came to life.

Bioshock Infinite has absolutely no REAL swearing like you see in a lot of games today. Look at a lot of big titles in the past few years like your Call of Dutys, Gears of Wars, your Battlefields, your Assassins Creeds, your Far Crys, your Tomb Raiders, need I go on? Sure, what these games have in common is they’re all shooters besides Assassins Creed, but these games all swear enough to make your mother’s cry themselves to sleep at night. These games do somewhat well, but in the long run, they’re all just the same mediocre titles that shout at you and have awful writing that needs swearing to get their point across.

There is a lot of swearing and big bad cuss words in The Walking Dead. Hell, almost every sentence Kenny says has the word fuck in it. However, look at the situation, it’s the apocalypse, everyone is dead or is dying in front of them. People are losing their families and a lot of them are having to put down the people they love themselves so they don’t become some sort of monster they’re trying to avoid. I think in a situation such as this, cursing and swearing the worst of words is kind of a waste to get upset over. The writing in TWD is done so well that when they do swear, you can get a real sense of emotion that the characters are trying to convey. In most games today like the Call of Duty games, the F bomb is dropped all over the place in the writing, because the script is just bad. The need to overpopulate a game with swearing only proves that you can’t come up with anything better to say.
We are in a day and age where people have become so desensitized to swearing that you even hear your fucks and shits and even nudity on prime time television. Does this mean that they are slowly becoming not much of a big deal anymore? Or are we just getting stupider? I for one don’t appreciate something as much when it swears so much that it starts to become all you hear. The Walking Dead did a decent job in giving each of the characters their own personalities, so some characters swore more than others. The swearing in TWD didn’t bother me one bit, because of how well the entire game as a whole was written.

Bioshock Infinite does take place in the early 1900′s, when cursing and swearing was some real serious taboo. Could that be the reason why it wasn’t present? I don’t remember off the top of my head, but I would have to play Bioshock again to see if they swear a lot in that one which takes place about 30 years later. This could be said for almost any game.

Take notice in the games you play, pay attention to what you hear.

If you have more than 2 fucks per minute in a video game, I feel like the writer’s had nothing else to rely on to make their story more entertaining.

“For every ‘fuck’ you write in your script, I give one less.” I like to think I’m pretty clever sometimes.