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Video Games: You Don't Need Drugs, Dammit PDF Print E-mail
Written by Vincent Diamante   
Friday, 03 April 2009 08:28

Whenever there's discussion of games like Noby Noby Boy, Katamari Damacy, Flower, or even more conventional games like Rez or Space Giraffe, I see people saying things like:

You know someone was high when they made this game...


You have to be high to enjoy this game...

That really annoys me.  One: I'm not big on the whole chemical alteration thing (I like remaining in control, as much as I understand that to mean) and Two: Games are all about these different relationships.  Sometimes those things being related are more absurd than others, but it's all about those relationships.  X = Y.  What's so special about some relationships that it would have required some mind altering substance to conjure up?  Or to enjoy?

In Flower, the player flies through the air by pushing a button on the controller.  A pretty simple connection, right?  Nearly as simple is Noby Noby Boy: one stick controls the head while another the tail of this snake like creature.  These aren't particularly crazy relationships; in fact, they sound rather trite and gamey.  However, these relationships require a little bit of chemical augmentation to understand compared to Gears of War, where hitting the overloaded A button (overloaded does not mean I think it's a bad thing, folks) can result in one of many things happening.  Right?

Or maybe you need a little bit of Mary Jane to actually enjoy something so simple.  Well, if that's the case, how come no one ever brought the stuff up when it comes to dead simple games like Pong, Gorf, and Missile Command?

Or maybe it's just a commentary on the narrative of the piece.  In which case: come on guys.  Surely gamers can enjoy some surrealist or magical realist game literature on top of our well established base of competitive sports, science fiction, and realistic power fantasy without the addition of recreational drugs.

If you don't enjoy or understand a game, please just say that.  That's perfectly okay.  No need to bring recreational drugs into the equation.


Comments (2)
1 Sunday, 05 April 2009 13:06
a. I'd argue that Rez is far less conventional than Flower
b. This isn't exclusive to the medium at all. Thanks to the counter-culture of the 60's, I've heard the "drugs" thing more in film than we will ever experience in games (unless that whole thing comes around again)
2 Tuesday, 25 May 2010 19:29
It's not necessarily true that one has to be high to enjoy the game. Games like Flower that are refreshing as well as stimulating in terms of the visual and auditory experience are naturally appealing to the casual drug user. Furthermore, because of the high replay value (no pun intended), users can experience the game from several perspectives. The idea that the creators "must have been high" is obviously ludicrous, and is surely a product of either a poor understanding of the effects of drugs or of overuse of said drugs.

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