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Opinion

Video game realities are clichéd, overblown

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November 13, 2008

The past few weeks have been promising for game developers and gamers alike. With titles like “Dead Space,” “Fallout 3,” and “Gears of War II,” the violence factor has been upped, as has the recurring theme of survival.

As an unfrequented Xbox 360 player, I can only watch as my roommates gather around our huge 46-inch widescreen TV(not mine) with their sweaty palms groping controllers as they blast away at mutants, increase their character stats and gather the necessary ingredients from rusty boxes and corpses that’ll allow them to stay alive for just five more minutes.

I don’t even have time to play my own damn console, so I’m forced to, in passing, watch the various cut scenes often depicting the loner of a main character as he struggles in an apocalyptic setting. I wonder about these guys, especially when watching “Gears of War II.”

We’re fascinated by the end of the world. I’ve done my research on the subject, and I’m ready for it on an individual level, but as a population I am frightened. These games depict soldiers dying the most gruesome fashions, like being torn apart by shards of “razor ice.” That’s no way for a grungy warrior to die.

It’s time to step up, people, and take some pride in our humanity. You know why you never see human characters in uniform show up during a zombie movie and do some actual good? I’ll tell you why: the story would be over 30 seconds later.

Military commanders are too often portrayed as overconfident idiots, but not me. This is why I’m starting the River Falls Counter Mutant Unit – which is less political Jack Bauer-esque and more run and gun Jack Bauer – the guy we love to watch kick ass in “24.”

What’s going to happen when some loose strain of radioactive cocoa butter lotion slips between the cracks in the animal science department? All hell’s going to break loose and we’re immediately going to lose everyone on the west side of campus.

Meanwhile, I’ll be waiting. Giant tarantulas, 40-foot centipedes with gnashing pincers, dripping, mutated horses with razor hooves and probably some species of overgrown box elder bug will flourish together, wreaking havoc throughout the center of campus.

Counter Mutant Unit-River Falls will have nothing of it. Have you ever seen what fully automatic military weapons actually do in combat? My fellow comrades will have long since stocked up on fully armored black Humvees-the perfect battering ram against a four-ton tarantula.

Rolling down Cascade, the front of the Humvee will most likely slam into the tarantula’s front, knocking it backwards, most likely ripping its front apart as it tumbles back. If that doesn’t stop the eight legged freak, the top mounted, butterfly triggered, armor piercing 50-caliber machine gun will.

Suck that, Spidey.

We might lose a few CMU agents during the initial battle-but that’s to be expected. We will take back River Falls-and that’s final! I’m sick of watching the human species get torn apart in games and movies.

It’s time to take a stand, like right now. When the dead rise, they’re not going to get a second’s worth of confusion, dread or fear from me.

What they’re going to get is a year’s prep time of cultivated rage, aggression, planned execution and a group of super dedicated college students who had more time than God to theorize about the end of the world.

Who’s with me?

Brad Brookins is a graduate of UW-River Falls.