Saturday, January 7, 2012

Rated E for everyone.. with parents

Nothing quite cracks me up yet kills me inside more than when a news station covers a story that has absolutely anything to do with videogames. If you happen to come across such a happening, you can be absolutely certain of one thing: the news station will not be saying anything flattering about the game. As a matter of fact, they will usually try to blame the videogame for causing some sort of problem.

Today's great and honest story comes from a more local yet completely professional and capable news station, North Carolina's WBTV. While this station is not very well known, it attracted massive internet attention after it aired a very interesting story.. < /sarcasm>

In the news clip, a father voices that he was very upset when he was playing Portal 2 with his adopted daughter because one of the game's characters (Wheatley) began to mock the main character (Chell) for being adopted. He taunts her for being "fat" and for having a lack of parents. How insensitive! Well, it certainly appears that way from an outside glance, or, the glance WBTV allowed you to get. Too bad they never actually played the entire clip from this so-called "offensive" scene. While it doesn't explain everything, it does show that this certain part of the game isn't as bad as it seems. If only the entire clip was shown.. then maybe WBTV's audience would have been much better informed. But that doesn't exactly contribute to ratings, now does it?

In the FULL clip from the game, it is much easier to tell what's really going on here. We can clearly see that Chell was immediately defended after Wheatley's remark by another character from the game, GLaDOS. Yet again, from the view of someone who's never played Portal, this may seem a bit better, but why would that mean little robot ever say something so horrible and insensitive? Why is Valve making such mean characters in their games! After all, isn't Portal supposed to be educational?

Well, I'm going to make a few points, and first off, Portal is not an educational game, however, that's what WBTV would like you to believe. In no commercial, magazine, flyer, poster, or any other advertisement by Valve will you ever see Portal being sold as an educational game. It's just a bunch of science fiction puzzles with a nonexistent gun. I suppose they teach you how to use fictional physics to solve puzzles? Portal is essentially as educational as Tetris: they're just problem solving games. I guess it COULD be claimed as educational in the sense that it makes you think about things for half a second unlike games like Call of Duty where you run and gun. Either way, the claim that it was marketed as educational is completely false and made up on the spot. Awesome reporting WBTV!!

The next point I'd like to make is, well, doesn't EVERY game, movie, tv show have a villain? Isn't the whole point of a villain supposed to be someone you don't agree with or someone who is wrong and needs to be stopped? Of course they're going to say things that are mean, that way you feel the need to act against them. If not, aren't they just normal people? Should we get angry at Disney for letting Jafar call Aladin a street rat? After all, there may be someone who'd take offense to that! No.. We shouldn't, because the villain is ALWAYS going to do and say things we don't like, that's the point of them being a villain! In this part of the game Wheatley is now considered the main villain, so he is SUPPOSED to be against the main character, therefore, he will say things that go against the main struggle. And for those who don't know, his role in the entirety of the game was that he was a computer core DESIGNED to be stupid and to make bad decisions. This was Valve's way of making it humorous. The main villain was supposed to be evil and intelligent, but instead is a dumb robot that degrades itself to childish banter. Not only that, but within 30 seconds of his mean comments, GLaDOS interferes and shows just how shallow and childish they actually were. When I was back in school, I got teased MUCH worse than anything in this videogame, I think WBTV needs to make a story on that too. While they're at it, the government should ban children from talking in school because they're going to say mean things and someone's probably going to get offended. WBTV's and almost every other news stations' problem is that they don't UNDERSTAND what they're reporting, and neither do ANY of the parents watching. I bet if we did do that story on Jafar, everyone would think it's pointless. Well, how come? It's the SAME situation. Reason is because no one condones the actions of the villain. They're supposed to be there to advance the plot.

Finally, the last point I'd like to make is, why was there no mention of fat people in this news clip? After watching it, I actually felt the insult was pretty insulting to fat people as well. I think we're going to need another story that covers fat people too! They were probably SUPER offended when that fictional character called them out!

So even with all this nonsense and stupidity from news stations that makes me want to scream, it's always nice to put your fist in your mouth and try to find the humor of things. What I find even MORE hilarious and ironic than a news station covering something it has no idea about is that this was nowhere near the most offensive clip in the game about adoption... In the video below, which does take place in the game far before the "controversial" section of the game the news covered, GLaDOS gets pretty nasty about the whole no-parents issue.

But in all seriousness, in the end, who are you to blame when your kids get into some sort of videogame such as this? Well, I may not be much of a parent, but I dunno, maybe you should TALK to your kids about it? GOD FORBID YOU TALK TO YOUR KIDS!!! I don't know what it is with parents and actual PARENTING but for some reason they want no part of it. If you have a daughter and she's already 10 years old, maybe it's time to tell her she's adopted... I'd imagine that's something you'd do when the child is 6 or 7? Not only that, but why is it so taboo to talk about something like that? Adoption isn't something that's frowned upon, it's completely fine. I don't see why telling your child they're adopted is hard at all. If anything, it should be easy. YOU chose THEM! You love THEM! Whether or not their biological parents do is literally meaningless. I define a "parent" as someone who raised the child, not someone who gave birth to it.

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