By Stephen Totilo
I didn't think that the first time I'd be quoted in USA Today would be for a conversation about racism, but it's racism as it relates to video games — that kind of fits. For years, I've been MTV News' video game guy.
So on Sunday night, after wrapping up a mini-marathon with a pre-release version of "Resident Evil 5," and right before I got started with the "Prince of Persia" expansion (thank goodness for my patient wife!), I got on the phone with Mike Snider, a reporter for USA Today. He was writing a piece that would be published in today's paper.
For well over a year, there has been passionate conversation across the Internet about the imagery first used to hype the coming of "Resident Evil 5." At our gaming blog, MTV Multiplayer, we published articles and interviews about it, exploring the issue and triggering hundreds of comments. The trigger for all this was the game's first trailer, which showed an impoverished Africa where white hero Chris Redfield would be sent to fend off a virus infestation that was turning regular Africans into zombified mutants. Read More...
Over at Multiplayer, a pretty good point was just raised: How did gaming get so hardcore? We don't just mean the violence, but the fanaticism as well. How did gaming become such an intense, insular culture anway? Can you even imagine a "casual" gamer anymore?
Anyway, this is the problem Nolan Bushnell, the founder of Atari, has with the direction the industry's gone in since his heyday. He says it all turned around 1983, with the introduction of more blood, gore, and sex, and the rise of long-form role-playing. The violence turned off the women, and the long form created a culture that was alienating to potential casual gamers.
For any hope of expanding the demo for gaming, Bushnell's placing his bets on the Wii and its "return to fun games." (Like, as opposed to the ones that are intensely, awkwardly obsessive and unattractive to your girlfriend?) But there's also been talk of building more narrative possibility into gaming to attract women.
What do you think? Are there unexpected ways in which gaming might continue to expand...?
You know, sometimes we've got our minds on some indie-cred-type stuff, like Interpol and Vampire Weekend. But this week, just forget that ish. Because this week is owned by the Crue.
First came the announcement of their new single via Rock Band, then they upped the consumer ante by telling us they'd be bringing the game on tour with them. And now the boys who brought us "The Dirt" -- not to mention the greatest "Behind the Music" of all time, hands-down -- have unleashed Crue Fest, with Buckcherry, Papa Roach, Trapt, and Sixx:A.M. Grrrrrrr, mainstream metal!
And, you know, since it isn't technically 1989, you probably won't see Tommy Lee what he does here at 0:21. But it's going to be a balls-out time.
If the word "balls-out" appeals.
And, I guess, if the word "balls-out" involves a video game.
Went outside for a few minutes this afternoon and heard Metallica blasting really loud. They're playing "Rock Band" the video game out in Times Square. Some sort of promotion for the mothership (i.e., MTV). It's actually pretty cool, considering the circus that is usually Times Square. I thought, "Hey, I should take some pictures" but realized I didn't bring my camera today.
Luckily, Multiplayer's Stephen Totilo did it for me.
Ok, it's like the silliest name for a video game ever. Like, if you were to create a parody of a bloody, street-tough game, and one of your friends said, 'Blood on the Sand,' all dramatic-like, that would pretty much take it, right?
But no, it's the ACTUAL name of 50 Cent's new joint, described by the maker as a cross between "Three Kings" and "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels". With 50 Cent. And it's a game, not a movie.
But given how much his last game, "Bulletproof," sold in 2005, who are we to argue. Fiddy's gonna get richer. (And on the other end of the make-money spectrum is the Gangsta Grillz mixtape 50 is doing with DJ Drama which will be, you know, free).
More exclusive photos from the game can be found here.
Total nerd alert (but in a good way):
Our friends at the MTV Multiplayer blog - for all your video game needs - have a chart given to Activision by Gibson Guitars showing how Activision's "Guitar Hero" game supposedly infringes on technology patented by Gibson. Oddly enough, the charts are part of Activision's portion of the suit. They're basically taunting the guitar-maker, "See how silly Gibson is for thinking that our game could infringe on their silly patent." See for yourself.
Our friends at the MTV Multiplayer blog embark on some silly quests sometimes, and well this is one of them. They're debating The Greatest Animal In Video Game History, and today it's the dog's turn to have its day.
Seriously. Check it out and weigh in.
(And No, Phife Dog, in this A Tribe Called Quest video for "Scenario" doesn't count. Does he?)