A rather serious issue with weapons

You are a D-bag

Comment on my old Splinter Cell entry.

I’m actually not too sure what the meaning of “D-bag” is… Dirty bag? Delivery bag? Damaged bag? In any case, I assume it is something unpleasant and considered it at length.

My actual experience with weapons is fairly limited. Aside from handling a combat knife, a rapier, and a bolt-action rifle plus bayonet, I’m not well versed. However, my love of reading allowed me to pursue this interest despite no actual hands-on experience. I suppose, in technical details, I know more than the average citizen – terminology don’t often confuse me – except for the shoulder thing that goes up – and I look at ergonomics and sensibility of design before aesthetics, though it is no less important in consideration.

I sort of realized this when I found that I could (generally) identify every gun used in the Matrix lobby shootout scene – “Holy shit, dual PPK’s!” – not to mention that I fervently mod every game to make guns more “realistic” (unless it’s Unreal Tournament or something…). My opinion of any movie generally plummets when gunfights are badly done, which in 95% of cases they are.

I mean, I was picking at inaccuracies while watching Saving Private Ryan and Black Hawk Down at the theatres, while the movie was still going. I modded all 120+ weapons on Call of Duty 4, even though I don’t own the game yet, since I wanted to get a head-start in modding it. I frequent /k/. And on it goes.

My lack of actual, physical experience has led me to going more by the spirit than the factual word; making logical assumptions in the absense of real evidence. Which means while my thoughts might not be 100% correct, they are at least, logical from a technical standpoint (I hope).

I suppose that it makes me a douchebag to fret about the accuracy of guns in a vidya gaem, but hey, why do so many people make and/or download so-called “realism” mods if they didn’t think that they could be more accurate? Like most forms of entertainment, gaming is about suspension of disbelief; allowing yourself to accept the impossibilities within the game environment. To relate back to that “Gaming Experience” entry I wrote a while ago, creating a better “experience” needs better “immersion”, which in turn is affected by suspension of disbelief. You don’t need a reason for Gordon Freeman to survive the shit that he does on a regular basis, only an explanation that gamers will accept as 10% plausible to their view of reality (which, thanks to mass media, is distressingly filtered).

But my requirements for a good reason for suspension of disbelief is quite high. I can enjoy a game like Half-Life 2 without problems, but afterwards, I can’t help but wonder, and start itching to create more “realisitic” gameplay, one that violates my view of reality less. In another case, I had some trouble with enjoying Call of Duty 2 for prolonged periods; it had great and frenetic gameplay, but my love of contemporary war history constantly irritates me. “Why on earth was that man hiding in the open?”, “Why did that man not die when shot in the brain?”, and “Why are we charging at a machine gun that has fired nonstop for the past 20 seconds? Wait, why did they fire it for so damn long?” are just some questions that I frequently ask myself while playing. I can’t even remember how many times I have gone through the scripts and code in Call of Duty 2, changing everything from AI priority-setting to behaviour to weapon stats and more, just to pursue a personally satisfying experience in my second, third, fourth playthrough.

So what if I have an interest in the workings of firearms, a love of the history of modern conflicts and wars, in games that place logical realism higher than gameplay? People’s perceptions will allow them to mold the beheld in the way they want to – that’s why I could never get into Lock On: Modern Air Combat, and yet fans call it one of the greatest flight sims ever created. My friends love Company of Heroes; I find it an interesting diversion, nothing more.

To state the obvious, I play games for satisfaction, to achieve something that would probably be impossible in real life. If my views on life and my requirements for a believable fiction are different… well, that’s my problem.

So why did I write this again?

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