The emotional nuance and sophistication of many computer games…

Think James Earl Jones’ voice here. Think about the tone and attitude of a bad Shakespearean actor, you know, the type that declares to the skull in Hamlet’s monologue. Think a list of cheesy aphorisms that are meant to come out as profound, but instead sound silly and hyperbolic.

That is sort of the attitude of the DLC of Fallout New Vegas that I’ve played today, and I love it. “A man walks a hard road, and walks it alone. And your road is the toughest of them all.” Can you see the Western influence of the strong, silent John Wayne-type that relies only on what comes hanging from his hip?

In a way, and I’m sorry if I keep going on about computer games here, these stories are the vaudeville of the modern era. Often poorly written and sensationalist, much like a modern day revival of the melodrama in its negative connotation. Sexism, poor writing, a tendency to cut the writing rather than the art assets when there’s a push toward the deadline.

You end up with a lush, gorgeous world that take your breath away, lovingly crafted 3d models representing people that have the mental level of ten year olds in fits of truculent regression.

I wish for Rhett Butler to saunter in, sneer, and leave the inevitable damsel in the cheesy distress with a “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.”

Maybe melodrama is something I’m drawn to. BIG things that go on, expressed in the most clichéd language imaginable, and with big guns that settle all nuance into a black and white of kill or be killed.

A .308 shell fired from a distance of nine hundred yards can take the skull off a human being’s body. Maybe that is all that is needed? Maybe all this nuance I expect, this smattering of layers, like in an onion before you come to the miniscule centre of an issue. It boils down to kill before you’re seen. If you kill, you’re right. To be right, don’t risk the other people getting close. Drop him or her before he gets into view. Or is that cowardly? Is that unfair? What on earth has fairness have to do with anything when guns are the deciders of points of philosophy like the parable of a hard road to walk alone.

As if there’s a value in walking alone, and reaching the end alone. What of the idea of reaching that destination holding someone’s hand? What of ending this life with someone you’ve shared it with? What if the utter destruction of the other that is at the heart of rugged individualism is in itself the ultimate defeat, because it defeats the core of being human?

I don’t know.

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