Today, video games are finally starting to be treated as a serious creative medium. In recent years, we've seen profound experiences capable of telling stories like no other medium, while designers are no longer seen as reclusive nerds like they were in the 90s, but as wise thinkers (Jonathan Blow) and even media superstars (Hideo Kojima). But there are still way too many moments in video games that make you squirm - both as an industry and the game narratives themselves. Whether it's dodgy gender politics, gratuitously violent scenes or presentations delivered with the grace of an adolescent boy trying to explain to his parents why there's porn on their computer, video games sure know how to make us cringe better than most. Here are the 10 video game moments from 2015 that you'll watch with the uncomfortable, morbid fascination of a bystander at a train wreck.
9. PlayStation VR Tech Demo
Virtual Reality is one of the few new technologies of recent years that really delivers when you experience it yourself. But to the outsider, watching someone goofing around on VR just looks a bit naff - particularly when they're playing a glitchy disc-throwing game that looks like an outtake from Lawnmower Man. The audience gathering for the VR tech demo at Sony's 2015 PSX expo were no doubt hoping to see a beautiful presentation showcasing gaming of the future, but what they got was the nauseatingly shaky head movement of a couple of guys playing some measly Tron rip-off. To make things worse, the demo was unresponsive to the presenters' movements, the on-screen hands seemed to be having violent seizures, and even the presenters appeared to be disinterested in the game. Eventually, one of the presenters (the one whose controllers didn't work) took off his headset and said resignedly "I think you guys get the idea". Do we? If what we've just seen is "the idea" of PlayStation VR, then count me out. In a single awkward tech demo, the PlayStation VR went from one of the most eagerly anticipated devices of 2016 to a huge question mark about whether it can really live up to its promise. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UgvRh2qJWIQ
Gamer, Researcher of strange things.
I'm a writer-editor hybrid whose writings on video games, technology and movies can be found across the internet. I've even ventured into the realm of current affairs on occasion but, unable to face reality, have retreated into expatiating on things on screens instead.