Gaming for Millennials
November 25, 2015 2:11 AM   Subscribe

Gaming for Millennials: "Games such as Mass Effect allow a millennial to spend hours modelling my own face but prettier, something that has become important to me after years of Mad Men era advertising deriding my own self-image in order to have me buy their beauty products in a feeble attempt to feel better. Mass Effect also enables me to go out into a world of arseholes to battle some made-up concepts in order to gain made-up currency, something I imagine Wall Street executives braying over as they have a butler hold their dick at a urinal. What an outlandish idea! How could it be applicable to the real world."
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants (45 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
 
I understand the author is very pointedly and sarcastically saying something, but I can't figure out what.
posted by Bugbread at 2:29 AM on November 25, 2015 [14 favorites]


I have that reaction to most things, these days.
posted by pipeski at 2:32 AM on November 25, 2015 [7 favorites]


It's a piss-take on all the 'oh noes, millennials!' articles that are going around, plus it's the rare bit of good games writing. I've found that to get people to read it I've needed to spoil (and now explain) the gag, which is a shame... its better when you think it's going to be mocking LoL and DOTA and Let's Plays.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 2:35 AM on November 25, 2015


"Readers may be interested to know that in Fallout New Vegas there is a faction named the “Boomers” whose main characteristics are their suspicion of others, territorialism and cruel miserliness."

I LOD'd.
posted by longbaugh at 2:46 AM on November 25, 2015 [11 favorites]


Groovy. Now do the same thing for 90's-era games like Doom, Myst, Duke Nuke'em, Sim City and Sid Meier's Civilization, for this oldster. I want to laugh, and play along and get all nostalgic, too.
posted by valkane at 2:51 AM on November 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Why would a butler hold a Wall Street exec's dick? Surely that's a batman's or valet's job?
posted by Pinback at 4:10 AM on November 25, 2015 [6 favorites]


I remember when they said all the same things, only with Vine and selfies replaced by MTV, and for GenXers (who, remember, were self-absorbed slackers with the attention span of a gnat, only their music was made with guitars and the ones who didn't work in computer science facilities weren't on the internet).

In other news, I am old.
posted by acb at 4:23 AM on November 25, 2015


Mass Effect also lets you kiss the hallucinogen-infused lips of a lizard man--an assassin with a tragic backstory who's dying of an incurable disease--so that you can get high while you bang, but I guess that doesn't fit easily into the rant.
posted by Halloween Jack at 4:41 AM on November 25, 2015 [12 favorites]


Sometimes viciousness is what's needed.
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:46 AM on November 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Are we finally nostalgic for so called millennials now? That was quick.

Because making a joke about a game genre that allows trainspotting to the highest degree without a shred of introspection is sort of a "my generation" thing, no?

I mean, from the article it sounds like they know they are the new boomers. And the iron man soundtrack is their Big Chill.
posted by clvrmnky at 5:11 AM on November 25, 2015


Metafilter: I understand the author is very pointedly and sarcastically saying something, but I can't figure out what.
posted by officer_fred at 5:21 AM on November 25, 2015 [7 favorites]


Why would a butler hold a Wall Street exec's dick? Surely that's a batman's or valet's job?

Batman has his own butler.
posted by Strange Interlude at 5:26 AM on November 25, 2015 [8 favorites]


It's a post-McGonigal thinkpiece, Bugbread.
posted by subdee at 5:50 AM on November 25, 2015


That defense of LoL is inches away from "but it's not a waste of time, mom!"
posted by postcommunism at 6:02 AM on November 25, 2015


Why would a butler hold a Wall Street exec's dick? Surely that's a batman's or valet's job?

"At a court, even minor princes and high officials may be assigned one, but in a smaller household the butler – the majordomo in charge of the household staff – might have to double as his employer's valet."
posted by Dysk at 6:11 AM on November 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


This is by Cara Ellison, one of the best games writers alive, who's now jumped ship to writing for games rather than about them. (She's narrative designer for Dishonored 2.) Somewhat in the same vein.

Cara Ellison, previously on Metafilter.
posted by kmz at 6:27 AM on November 25, 2015 [4 favorites]


I don't think taking a "I am over 40; is this something I would have to own a TV to understand?" approach to this is helpful. It's satire. If you were able to understand A Modest Proposal, you can grasp this.

Or not. You can choose not to and be deprived of something that is very, very funny.
posted by DarlingBri at 6:32 AM on November 25, 2015 [13 favorites]


I wonder when it was that people stopped saying that they play video games and started instead using 'game' itself as an intransitive verb.

Although I guess it's likely a contextual or cohort-based difference; 25-year-olds probably would feel silly saying that they're playing Fallout 4, but young kids might still use that word in reference to video games. I wonder.
posted by clockzero at 6:58 AM on November 25, 2015


Millennials also love the Fallout series

Considering most were probably still in preschool when the first fallout was released.

I understand why folks want to create their own avatars, but for character creation, that's a whole lotta code and part of gameplay that I don't really care about.
posted by k5.user at 7:19 AM on November 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


Yeah. Millenials love Fallout 3 and 4 which true gamers barely recognize as Fallouts. New Vegas gets a grudging acceptance.
posted by Justinian at 7:21 AM on November 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


There is nothing obtuse about this piece, what is the confusion?

I particularly liked this description of the Sims: getting a foothold on the bottom rung of a job and being able to climb to the top of the company with hard work is actually achievable instead of blocked by fifty old white men who all play tennis together in a gated community.
posted by emjaybee at 7:22 AM on November 25, 2015 [8 favorites]


I wonder when it was that people stopped saying that they play video games and started instead using 'game' itself as an intransitive verb.

My friends and I were using "game" as a verb as far back as the late eighties in reference to pen and paper RPGs. I don't think it's a new thing.
posted by echocollate at 7:24 AM on November 25, 2015 [5 favorites]


Folks, if you think this is about nostalgia or a takedown of some kind, or if you just didn't get the point the first time, re-read the final paragraph. The way sarcasm works is that the author's point is the exact opposite of what it says.
posted by WCWedin at 7:27 AM on November 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


My friends and I were using "game" as a verb as far back as the late eighties in reference to pen and paper RPGs. I don't think it's a new thing.

“Gaming” is a far more serious and involved activity than playing games like, say, WipeOut or Galaga or whatever, and thus the term suggests not only gravitas but a commitment that extends to one's sense of personal identity.

Interestingly, the term “gaming” was used in some places to refer to another activity far more involving than merely playing the odd game: gambling (as in “Gaming Commission” and such).
posted by acb at 7:28 AM on November 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Also, in case you missed the reference (I know I did): Mhairi Black.
posted by WCWedin at 7:29 AM on November 25, 2015


I don't know about linguistically, but I'll arbitrarily set the release of Quake 2, 1998ish, for the beginning of video gamer identity. To me that just feels about when it metastasized, when the industry and the demographic embraced and looked each other in the eyes and said, "Let's be leet, not sux0rz, forever."
posted by nom de poop at 7:31 AM on November 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


Why would a butler hold a Wall Street exec's dick? Surely that's a batman's or valet's job?

Batman holds no man's dick but his own


And Dick's


Dick's dick
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 7:35 AM on November 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


Glad you're back Charlemagne!
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:18 AM on November 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Why would a butler hold a Wall Street exec's dick? Surely that's a batman's or valet's job?

Does this mean that the truly super-rich, the .0001%, have dedicated Batmen (rather than valets or footmen, god that just reeks of millionaire) for dick-holding?
posted by clockzero at 8:25 AM on November 25, 2015


'Snake People' Invade the Interent
posted by Nelson at 8:30 AM on November 25, 2015


They prefer to be called "sneeple" or in the singular a "snerson."

(per Steven Universe)
posted by emjaybee at 8:34 AM on November 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Better gaming for millenials? D&D 5th edition. That's gaming to me. Get off my lawn, also.
posted by Docrailgun at 8:42 AM on November 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


And the iron man soundtrack is their Big Chill.

Iron Man soundtrack? Now I'm confused.
posted by rtimmel at 9:35 AM on November 25, 2015


Also, "Gaming for Millennials" is an awesome name for a community access TV game show.

Which makes no sense to millennials.

IRONY.
posted by clvrmnky at 10:04 AM on November 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


And the iron man soundtrack is their Big Chill.

And Generation X only had Rump's Hating Brenda.
posted by acb at 10:05 AM on November 25, 2015


Metafilter: You can choose not to and be deprived of something that is very, very funny.
posted by clvrmnky at 10:08 AM on November 25, 2015


I was literally rolling on the floor laughing.
posted by duffell at 11:49 AM on November 25, 2015


Interestingly, the term “gaming” was used in some places to refer to another activity far more involving than merely playing the odd game: gambling (as in “Gaming Commission” and such).

I've always assumed that the gambling industry's preference for the word "gaming" is a self-serving attempt at spin and image-polishing. Maybe it's older than that, but I think these days it's clearly intended to put lipstick on the pig.
posted by anonymisc at 2:07 PM on November 25, 2015


As far as I'm concerned, "gaming" is still properly a shortening of "wargaming", and refers specifically to tabletop-style games, whether those are miniatures-based simulations, pen-and-paper RPGs, strategic board or card games, or storytelling games. Video gaming is its own thing, and gambling is a waste of time and money.
posted by Strange Interlude at 2:27 PM on November 25, 2015


emjaybee: "There is nothing obtuse about this piece, what is the confusion?"

Well, okay, going from near the start:

"First on the list is League Of Legends. League Of Legends is a game suited to the millennial mindset because the millennial is so vitalised by the titillation provided by fantasy characters with their jugs out and orgasmic-sounding Brigitte Bardots that they cannot be without such jerkoff material for more than the length of a Vine without withering and dying."

Which of the following is going on here?
1) There is an image that millennials are titillated by fantasy characters. The author agrees this is true. The author is ridiculing fellow millennials about this.
2) There is an image that millennials are titillated by fantasy characters. The author disagrees this is true. The author is ridiculing non-millennials for believing this about millennials.
3) There is no image that millennials are titillated by fantasy characters. The author is putting this up as an absurdist statement for humor, like talking about millennials putting alarm clocks on their heads or something.
4) There is an image that Gen-Xers are titillated by fantasy characters. The author is ridiculing Gen-Xers by taking a trait associated with them and associating it with millennials, which Gen-Xers are primed to dislike.

"Millennials also love the Fallout series, a game series that appeals because it concerns only talking to people to get things from them, something that only millennials do."

You can also steal things and shoot people to get things. So which of the following is going on?
1) Ignoring that is the joke.
2) The author is ignoring that in order to make the joke (which is fine). The joke is that millennials don't get things from people because there are no jobs or things to be gotten.
3) The author is ignoring that in order to make the joke (which is fine). The joke is that millennials get things from people by talking to them, which is the same thing as everyone else, but for some reason people have the image that only millennials do it.
4) The author is ignoring that in order to make the joke (which is fine). The joke is that millennials get things in lots of ways, but the image is just that they only get things by talking to people.

...and on and on through the whole article. I'm not saying it's a bad piece. Obviously, if it clicks, it totally clicks. I purely meant that, literally, I don't understand it. It's like a magic-eye poster: some people see the sailboat clear as day, some people can't make it out. It's not a matter of "obtuseness" or "choosing not to get it".

WCWedin: "The way sarcasm works is that the author's point is the exact opposite of what it says."

I get that. But it's not as simple as that. Is the author saying "League of Legends isn't suited to the millennial mindset because millennials aren't titillated by fantasy characters. Millennials don't like Fallout because it's all about talking and millennials don't like talking." I mean, I'm pretty sure the paragraph in which it talked about the Sims being a place where you can do something like buy a house and climb the corporate ladder and live without homophobia, while in real life that dream is no longer achievable, doesn't mean the exact opposite of what it says. , but in fact means exactly what it says, that in real life that dream is no longer achievable.

Again, seriously, none of this is meant as an attack on the piece. I just meant I can't make out this magic eye poster. I understand that many people can, and for them it's an awesome picture of a pyramid or a unicorn.
posted by Bugbread at 3:20 PM on November 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Bugbread: 2, 3.
posted by valrus at 3:38 PM on November 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Well, to dissect the frog...

"The author is ridiculing non-millenials for believing this about millenials."

This is the general thrust of the essay, illustrated with a mix of (exaggerated versions of) things people believe about snake people -- sorry, I mean millenials -- and things that are actually true about millenials' situation.

(Also, 'only talk to be people to get things from them' as in 'talk to people only in order to get things from them', not 'get things from people only by talking to them').

Anyway, I got a buzz of catharsis from the article and found it rad and a little empridening!
posted by Drexen at 4:55 PM on November 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Drexen: "Also, 'only talk to people to get things from them' as in 'talk to people only in order to get things from them', not 'get things from people only by talking to them'"

Oh! Ohhhhhhhh! Okay, that section makes a lot more sense now!
posted by Bugbread at 5:38 PM on November 25, 2015


I guess that if one has never read a thinkpiece about how terrible Millennials are, a) this is going to be confusing and b) you are the luckiest person on this or any other Earth.
posted by running order squabble fest at 6:37 PM on November 25, 2015 [4 favorites]


Yeah, I've sort of rejected any further generational horror articles for some time now. Inclus
posted by clvrmnky at 7:10 AM on November 26, 2015


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