Sunday, June 3, 2012

To Be Amazed

I love Law and Order: Criminal Intent. It was one of my favorite detective shows, Goren and Eames are a dynamite duo and just a lot of fun. I’ve watched a lot of detective shows, or procedurals as they’re called now, over the years and the truth be told I’m rarely surprised by the bad guy. Which isn’t to say that I’m any kind of savant; these shows run like clockwork.  If there is fifteen minutes left the guy the cops are questioning is unlikely to be the bad guy; I’m rarely amazed by a show anymore. In some ways the same could be said about when I play video games. Every now and then though, I find something so amazing or shockingly good that it simply makes my day.

I’m playing Dragon’s Dogma this week and for the foreseeable future really. The summer months belong to the movie industry, and this year is not going to be any different. You really can’t blame the gaming industry; there is a reason that the movie industry makes more than two times as much money as the gaming industry. I’ve been pacing myself so as to not have to go through a dry spell, but that also means I don’t play games as much as I would normally. Even so, every now and then I get that moment in Dragon’s Dogma which just blows me away and I love it.

You don’t always get that anymore, that feeling of amazement. Sure the law of diminishing returns has some play in that but as I get older I find myself getting less impressed by the big explosions and the cool cut scenes; I’d much rather sit back and ponder the great story I just finished. Be it books, movies, video games, or just life itself I’m always looking for that next moment of awe. Still even now some things still spark the feeling of amazement; slaying huge monsters, or sometimes small things that you didn’t see coming.

For instance while I was playing Max Payne 3, I ran across a neighbor, who had lived by Max in this dirt hole of an apartment. Armed men are storming the gates to cut Max down. In typical fashion Max has managed to kill the son of the local Crime Lord, and the father wants revenge. Max’s neighbor takes a look out his door yells at Max and runs toward these thugs talking about the cleansing fire right before he blows himself up killing them all. You find out that his neighbor is a tad bit crazy but he had been following Max’s exploits as a police officer and sensed a kindred soul. It’s a small scene in a crazy game filled with helicopter crashes, high speed boat chases and an overabundance of explosions, and yet this one small scene is the one that stuck with me the most. There was a moment in Mass Effect 3 when I realized I loved those characters and I didn’t want to see them go, or Final Fantasy XIII when I realized that Lightning was my favorite heroine from the series; I love being amazed.

We all try to find those small moments of awe and amazement wherever we can. Whether it is jumping out of a plane, reading a quiet book in front of the fireplace, or staring at a computer screen with a smile; those small moments are everything. When we leave this mortal coil they say all we have experienced will flash before our eyes one last time, what shall you see, will you be amazed?

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