Conventions Gaming

E3 2021 – A Big Fat Zoom Lecture That No One Wanted

If there is one thing that gamers love, it’s new games. Video Games are a medium of the modern age, from titans like Dark Souls to Candy Crush to gameplay at an online casino South Africa.

That’s why every year since 1995, members of the video game industry would come together for a trade convention called E3, which stands for Electronic Entertainment Expo. Hence the three Es, you see.

Originally, this event was for professional members of the industry only, and gaining entry required proving verifying your connection to the video game industry.

However, the event started getting streamed online to increase their visibility, and as a result, the Electronic Software Association (ESA) that runs and organizes E3 began to realize that the public was very interested in what was advertised.

So, in 2017, E3 was opened to the public, with about 15,000 general-admittance tickets being sold for those that wished to attend in person.

E3 is considered by many to be one of the most important gaming expos by sheer impact. It hasn’t missed a single year aside from 2020, which was canceled due to Covid. So with the advent of 2021’s expo, people were excited to get back into the swing of things.

Unfortunately, the expo’s return has been marred by game “journalists” getting salty over the fact that no one appreciated being lectured to about “Equity, Diversity, and Inclusivity”.

The Good

However, I would be lying if I said that nothing good came from E3 2021. There were a number of announcements that have me excited for the gaming future, and I’d be loath, not to mention them.

Elden Ring

Holy cow, am I excited for this one!

If you don’t know, Elden Ring is the latest game by Fromsoftware, a Japanese studio known for their infamously difficult game titles such as the Dark Souls trilogy, Bloodborne, and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Dark Souls is often considered a sort of rite of passage in the gaming community, and if any game deserves that title, it’s Dark Souls.

Inspired by dark fantasy such as “Beserk” and more Western-style RPGs, Dark Souls is the penultimate proof of what makes Video Games as a medium so special and deserving of its place among film and literature as a mode of storytelling and entertainment.

Elden Ring was announced two years ago, with an agonizingly short, fifteen-second teaser. Now, however, Fromsoftware has finally graced with a gameplay trailer, a release date, and the platforms it’s going to be released on. The gameplay looks amazing, the game is coming in January of 2022, and it’s going to be released on every mainstream platform. Thank goodness it’s not another Playstation Exclusive.

I am so ready to be pounded into the dirt over and over again by indescribable monstrosities- you have no idea.

Battlefield 2042

Now, I’ve never exactly been a huge FPS fan. I don’t despise them, but they’re just not for me. That being said, for those who do enjoy the genre, Battlefield 2042 looks amazing. Cutting-edge graphics combined with kickass gameplay on creative and expansive maps that are going to be affected by crazy, extreme weather conditions.

On another positive note, Battlefield 2042 looks to be moving away from the politics that caused a lot of divisiveness among the fans. Professional game bloggers salivated at the prospect that the game’s extreme weather would be a commentary about climate change were horrified when devs at DIVE reported that the weather system was just, in fact, for gameplay purposes.

Oh nO HoW daRe thEyyy?

Imagine developing a fun video game instead of shoveling political commentary down the throats of frustrated gamers who just want to blow up some fake buildings for fun.

Starfield

I don’t really have much to say about this one. It’s a space-themed game developed by Bethesda that apparently has been in development for a long time. I know nothing else about it, but apparently, it has people excited.

Since I don’t trust cinematic trailers, I’ll wait until some actual game reviewers get their hands on a copy before making any final judgments.

Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2

Ain’t that a mouthful?

Nevertheless, Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 is to Nintendo fans what Elden Ring is to me. A sequel to a highly beloved RPG that’s considered to be one of the best games on the Nintendo Switch. It’s releasing sometime in 2022, and while there isn’t much revealed about it, the latest trailer has many fans excited.

Death Stranding: Directors Cut

This has got to be one of the most unexpected surprises at E3. Death Stranding was made by Kojima Productions and proved to be one of the most bizarre, effervescent walking simulators ever released. It featured horrific ghosts, acid / time rain, non-combat-oriented mechanics, and psychic baby ghost-detectors.

Hideo Kojima has got to be one of the most unique visionaries in the gaming industry, and it’s a shame that we’ll never get that Silent Hills game that he and Guillermo Del Toro wanted to make.

At E3, Kojima Studios dropped a trailer for the director’s cut of Death Stranding, a reveal that I believe absolutely no one expected. It features the return of Sam Bridges, apparently trying to sneak through some sort of warehouse, and teases the idea of hiding in a cardboard box, which is a throwback to Kojima’s Metal Gear Solid games.

The Bad and the Ugly

So while there was a lot to excited about regarding future gaming releases (and a lot of exciting stuff for Nintendo fans that I didn’t include), E3 also included a septic tank’s worth of all that political garbage that Battlefield 2042 has already backed away from.

Possibly the most egregious thing E3 could have done was have one of the industry titans host an hour and a half-long zoom call lecture about identity politics. Because that would be stupid. After all, E3 is a convention about video games. Who’s going to want to sit through an hour of people telling each other that the secret to political correctness is to hate yourself, your past, and everything that makes life worth living?

Well, apparently, Take-Two Interactive thought it was a good idea. If you’re not familiar with them, they’re the parent company of Rockstar Games and 2K, who are each known for incredibly popular titles, such as Grand Theft Auto and Civilization, respectively.

The whole forced lecture (because, let’s be honest, no one tuned into E3 expecting to have to listen to a discussion on why Black is Beautiful or white people need to do more for minorities) felt like a contrived excuse not to promote inclusivity in gaming, but instead to promote Intersectionality into an industry that really, really doesn’t need it.

Of course, I don’t believe that Intersectionality belongs in any industry. Which I think is the crux of the problem. I, like 99% of people who are just going about our daily lives, do not give one iota of concern for your racial, sexual, or cultural identity. We care about quality. If the product is good, the race of those involved is irrelevant.

Nobody complained when Samuel L. Jackson was cast as Nick Fury, despite the fact that Nick Fury in the comics was white. Why? Because Samuel L. Jackson is awesome, and he’s written incredibly well.

The Matrix is arguably a movie about transitioning genders. One of the background characters, Switch, apparently even changes gender whenever he/she jumps in and out of the matrix. And to claim this isn’t revising the author’s original intent since the Wachowski Siblings are themselves, transgender. And no one cares. Why? Because The Matrix is a kick-ass movie, regardless.

That’s what these intersectionalists don’t seem to get. If you truly believe that representation is important then write a story featuring a character with X quality that people will love. Don’t tell me that the things that I happen to like are bad because they don’t have X quality and that because I like those things, that I am a bad person.

We don’t need a black Superman / Captain America / Spiderman- although Miles Morales in Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse is the perfect example of how to do this right. Miles Morales isn’t replacing the classic Spidey we all know and love. He’s a new character that is great on his own merits.

It’s the exact same with video games. There are no gamers anywhere trying to tell women, girls, black, brown, pink, or banana people that they can’t play video games. In fact, the immense popularity of gamer-girl streamers on Twitch proves the exact opposite.

Obviously, there are gross people on the internet- of course, there are. However, they aren’t exactly numerous. It just might seem that way because of how the nature of the internet is. Even twenty negative comments can send people into a panic because most people have never had twenty people telling them that they are wrong.

You have to take into context that out of the billions of people that have access to the internet, only a handful, a minuscule, tiny, imperceptible amount, are being mean. Twitter is not representative of the real world at all.

Intersectionality, critical race theory, and social justice movements are the equivalent of burning down your house because you found a single ant in it. Yeah, the fact that the ant is there isn’t nice, but getting arrested for arson really isn’t worth it. And the consequences of all these movements demanding that we look at the world through the lens of race is going to burn us all in the end.

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