"It’s not the end of the world, but you can see it from here." – Various
(though it was in the Deus Ex: HR trailer!)2012 is here and not long from now you know there’s going to be a ton of extremists running around fearing for their lives and throwing bibles in our faces. But I’m not going to write about that! What I have noticed, with me personally, is a disturbing trend in the types of games I play: the End of the World.
First of all, this has nothing to do with 2012. I have been playing games like Gears of War and Chrono Cross since I was in high school. Obviously, I play Halo; a game series constantly looming on the threat of the end of humanity. And the world actually ends in Halo: Reach. Gears of War 3 and Enslaved are just a few other 'end of the world' games I’m still playing.
This should set the mood.I look at a game like Deus Ex: Human Revolution and yeah I know, they don't show the end of the world. But it does show a world corrupted by its own technology. The streets are flooded with homeless people and criminals. Terrorism. Riots. If things like these were not a sign of some incoming apocalypse, someone might need a reality check.
To be fair, my taste for all things dystopia is probably the biggest reason the 'end of the world' seems more appealing to me. It also probably doesn’t mean a whole lot other than the fact that the end of the world is simply a common plot device in everything everywhere! I could be watching movies, reading books, or playing games, chances are someone is going to look at a different way to destroy the world!
The End of the World or 'Destroyed Beauty' is an art-style these days.The silver lining to all this (and to any 2012 extremists) is that the endings to all these games are more-or-less a happy ones – well except Chrono Cross, but with 40+ endings that’s understandable. Any warning these games try to convey is all eclipsed by the idea that things will work themselves out and we will all live happily-ever-after... or something.