Sometimes it’s hard to care. In fact not just sometimes, most of the time it can be hard to care. This week, in the UK, there were several elections that took place. In Brighton we had local elections and the national referendum on whether or not we should change the voting system. 39% of people in my area turned out. It really is very easy to just not care. It’s pretty easy to care too much as well, we’ve all had that thing someone said that really hurt more than it should. The only hard thing is caring just the right amount, perspective is a hard thing to find.
Sometimes I find it hard to care about the games that come out. Oddly it’s not the bad ones that are hard to care about. They’re actually pretty easy to care about, by their very nature of being bad. They get under you skin, they make you shout and scream and want to put your controller through the wall in frustration; particularly when you have to review them so you can’t just stop playing. However, the good games, the games that you know are going to be good can be hard to care about.[drop]Perhaps that’s a bit harsh. There are good games that I can’t make a connection with, but I mean more the games that are good enough, the games that sit around the 7 mark, the games that aren’t bad but aren’t great either. Games like Prototype, which I really enjoyed at the time but can remember almost literally nothing about now. I guess I drop-kicked helicopters a lot? Oh and you ate people. I think. That’s about it.
Now there was nothing bad about the game, it was actually pretty enjoyable at the time. I’m almost certain I had fun with it, or I would have stopped playing it. Given that I have no attention span something has to be fairly good for me to pay attention to it for more than five minutes. However, it just never grabbed hold of me and left a real mark; it just didn’t make me care.
Surely I can’t be alone in this? The gaming industry’s ramped up so much in recent years that it’s impossible to care about everything, even stuff that’s good or looks interesting. Take L.A. Noire. It looks good, in fact it’s one of those rare games that looks like it might actually live up to the mound of hopes and expectations piled upon it. And yet somehow, for some reason, I just can’t bring myself to get excited about it in any way. I’m sure it will be exceptional, and is probably going to be very positively received. There’s just something about it that’s missing, some undefinable quantity that makes you care about x rather than y.
Perhaps it sounds harsh to say I don’t care about some games. There’s some nagging bit of my brain, probably my conscience, that tells me I’m supposed to care about every game equally, to give them equal weight in my mind. I mean I write about this stuff, I should at least try and be fair to every single game that some poor developer somewhere has sweated over, has poured their sweat and blood into. How can you not feel guilty when you know what goes into producing a single moment of a single game, let alone the experience as a whole?
Sadly I’m just human for now. Maybe one day I’ll be able to move up and care about everything equally, or just not care about anything at all. Or perhaps I should just accept my own apathy and get a little perspective.