Monday, August 16, 2010

Manly lessons

It is a petty, meaningless victory.

But it is a victory for men everywhere, regardless.

I am not going to go as far as to say that The Expendables was a good movie. Far from it. Objectively, it really wasn't of the highest quality, but it was fun. It was fun to watch and it was fun to be with others watching it, hurling comments at the screen as if they were sitting safely at home in their underwear. Of course, the theater was dark, so this may have happened anyway. Enjoying a bad action movie did provide some explanation for my questions from last week. Some genres simply lend themselves to pleasant mediocrity than others. The list of good/bad action movies is long (and filled with many, many of the "actors" that I saw on Saturday) as is the list of good/bad action games. To be blunt, as long as things explode and people die, men are entertained.

This acceptance of so so entertainment is not universal. Take Eat, Pray, Love, the boring girly movie that had the poor fortune of opening against Stallone's best movie in not so recent history. It, like The Expendables, was really not that good, but a bad romantic comedy is just embarrassing for everyone involved, including the audience. When an action movie is bad, you can at least laugh at it, but when a comedy is bad, what are you supposed to do, hit people? This parallels very well with bad RPG's: they are simply intolerable. Most RPG's have very little to fall back on when the core game is no fun, leading to disinterest and hostility.

You want proof?

You are locked in a house with a DVD player and two movies: House of the Dead and Gigli. Which one are going to watch?

Conversely, you are locked in the same house with a TV and two games: Contra: Legacy of War and Beyond the Beyond (going old school PSX here). Which do you use to pass the time?

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