This may be a controversial statement, but I have to come out and finally pledge my support of the government’s campaign against video games. The harsh reality of it struck me the other day while driving. A news chopper caught my eye as it reported traffic conditions, but its invaluable service to the community at large was the last thing on my mind. I couldn’t think of anything else but fighting it until it exploded.
Naturally, the sordid world of video-gaming has conditioned me to the violent impulse to destroy all helicopters at sight. Acclaimed series like Devil May Cry, Metal Gear Solid and Ninja Gaiden have been training our nation to resist what is, in reality, a completely fabricated threat. Still, we’re put through boot camp daily, and the regimen stresses an “any means necessary” sort of thinking. Whether they are dismantled by sword, gun, or fisticuffs is completely up to the individual.
What these games haven’t been teaching us is how to own up to the risks involved.
Television isn’t any more innocent a medium. On Fox’s critically acclaimed show 24, federal agent Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) took down helicopters by himself on many separate occasions, each of which was vividly and awesomely documented. Even the video game (taking place between the second and third seasons) featured multiple stages pitting the player, in one instance as Jack Bauer and in another as Tony Almeida, against battle-armed choppers.
Aside from 24, most of these products originated in Japan. How many helicopters do you see flying around that island?
Don’t let anyone tell you it hasn’t always been this way, though. Aside from the rare and rad occasion (like Airwolf or Cobra Command), helicopters have stayed our enemy for decades. Just look at something like Double Dragon II (pictured), in which we see a chopper continually dropping enemies out on a rooftop, leading to a crescendo in the form of a two-on-one boss fight.
Recent games, such as Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter, have attempted to put you back in control of the ghetto bird. Sadly, Ubisoft’s plan backfired, because that game is too fucking hard.