I decided to spend my Good Friday very slowly uploading backups to OneDrive (i found another 80 gig of lossless CD rips) and watching sci-fi. The last episode of The Expanse i watched was another heart-wrenching depiction of the horrors of war and how civilians are the ones who really suffer the costs. Now i am watching Rogue One and i almost want to vomit at how nonchalantly the "heroes" mow down hundreds or thousands of enemies. That much slaughter should not be celebrated. Was Star Wars always like this? I guess so. It's in the name, after all. I love the awesome spaceship flyovers and widescreen alien landscapes, but putting on some jolly music reminiscent of Snoopy as the Red Baron doesn't change the fact there is a shit-ton of triumphant murder going on.
It happened to me in computer games too. When i was a teenager i loved to play Doom. In my early 20s i got into Counter-Strike. I am sure i killed thousands of virtual people and animals. Nowadays the only shooters i can deal with are the ones that make you feel very, very shitty about that killing. Far Cry 2. Spec Ops: The Line. War is hell. If your player character kills, he should be broken in a million pieces afterwards. And if he isn't, he should be a depicted as a sociopath, not a hero.
I even feel a little uncomfortable in the games where you are forced to take out a bunch of guys non-lethally. Because that's the alternative in so-called stealth games. Instead of killing people dead with a bullet or a knife, you "disable" them with a tranq dart or a baton. I dunno, man. Still seems like a pretty extreme way to solve a problem. Sure, some people don't listen to reason. But most games don't even give you the opportunity to have that conversation before having to fight for your life. It's shameful.
I guess this is why i mostly play walking sims or narrative adventures these days. In walking sims you just potter about aimlessly. In narrative adventures you choose scripted dialog that fits the role you want to play, and deaths - if there are any at all - are treated with the weight they deserve.
Am i becoming hyper-sensitive in my old age? I'm not really a peacenik or anything. My father was in the military and i would rather sit down for a drink with a soldier than a cop (most of whom i would rather punch in the face). I just find it a bit distasteful when art or the media depicts war and murder as something glamorous.
Maybe i am just particularly sensitive right now because the past week in the real world has been a nightmare of saber-rattling and brinksmanship. Sigh. Yeah, this nonsense is why i wanted to go on a container ship for a few weeks and not worry about politics for a while.
Three and a half weeks. I got three and a half weeks to make my way across Slovenia and Italy and Greece and hopefully not watch any idiots pick up the red telephone before i am in a boat and can stick my fingers in my ears and go lalalala.