2020: a Retrospective on Motion Gaming
(This is another edition of “</RANT>,” a weekly opinion piece column on GameFront. Check back every week for more).
As the year 2020 draws to a close, it feels strange to think about to 2010, otherwise known as The Year Motion Gaming Took Over. Microsoft touted Kinect as “the future of gaming,” and they were telling the truth; Kinect no-handedly won the console war for the Microsoft, and the eighth generation of video games is dominated by the Xbox 4πr2, which was released just five years ago.
The world is a strange place now for someone who grew up in Alabama in the late 20th century. The obesity rate has fallen drastically, and I’m the healthiest I’ve been since high school. Xbox helped me quit drinking and doing drugs. I lost a bunch of weight very quickly and I’ve kept it off quite easily because I get several hours of legit exercise every day and because I only eat what Xbox tells me to eat. I now have the sexual stamina of a robot — I last exactly as long as I need to. I have more friends now because gaming has finally been adopted by the mainstream.
Thinking back is unsettling. I was once a very unsocial being who spent his days alone in front of the computer and his nights alone in front of the TV with controller in hand. I still spend my days alone, but now my nights are filled with people making finga gunz at the television. I remember watching the movie Gamer all those years ago and thinking that kid’s crazy setup in the empty room would never happen, but the Xbox 4πr2 isn’t all that different from that which Neveldine and Taylor envisioned, although it is a lot more oriented toward in-person interaction than they thought.
What is the point of my writing this? Like so much of the things I write, this probably seems like an exercise in masturbation as I just ramble on and on about nothing. But there is a point to this, I promise.
Another big change occurred in the years between the introduction of Kinect and now: I became a nice person. I was once a curmudgeonly young man who liked to bitch about anything and everything, but Kinect did, apparently, change everything. When Mahmoud Abbas and Benjamin Netanyahu spent weeks playing Dance Central together before creating a unified Israeli-Palestinian state in 2011, they thought Kinect could solve any problem, but I stubbornly went on being a dick, swearing that Kinect would never change me, goddamn it. But it did, and now, years later, people tell me I’m a rather pleasant fella to be around.
I’m pleasant, everyone else is pleasant, and we all have nice homes.
F**k all this bulls**t.
You know why I didn’t have a pile of friends back in the day? It was because I f**king hate people. I hate ‘em. And it’s worse now that Microsoft has created a more attractive and much, much more smug populace. These motherf**kers thought they knew everything about everything before, and now that they don’t wanna throw up when they look at themselves in the mirror, they know even more about everything. Thanks to Kinect, I can’t get away from these assholes because Kinect games are zero fun when you play alone.
But that’s not really why I’m upset. People have always been stupid, and they always will be stupid. No, I’m really pissed because I like to lounge on my couch in the dark by myself and play games. I work from home, and I when I take breaks from my work, I like to play some games. Or I did like to. It’s not so much fun to have to stand up and move around a lot when I’m trying to chill. Sure, I could play games on my PC, but that’s not the most exciting prospect when I really just want to get away from the computer I’ve been staring at for hours.
I also really, really enjoyed being an asshole. Being nice and happy all the time feels wrong somehow, like I joined a cult or something. And people need someone like me to gleefully point out their faults all the time, or else they won’t be embarrassed for being the way they are. And I feel like I’ve got a bunch of bottled up emotion that really needs to get out. The Xbox 4πr2 is great for dispersing some of that aggression, but it’s not a perfect replacement for telling a person he should travel back in time to before he was born and shoot his mother in the head.
So I say, Microsoft, give us our controllers back, and let us once again play games in our underwear while eating a pizza and yelling curses through our headsets. I’m really sick of this let’s-have-some-fun-as-a-family-and-be-friendly-to-everybody bulls**t, and I want to be me again.