I swear so much of 2020 is spent with me trying to reconcile existing at the end of history with the odd effects it has on my noggin. Catching the arse end of a million potential futures due to having spent the better part of half a century on the planet makes the cultural what’s now is then and what’s then is now that is any artform or media in 2020 weirdly difficult to process.
Not gonna lie, this ReBind piece on The All Shooter really didn’t help in that regard. It’s totally on the nose to the point of being almost too easy, too obvious. It’s exactly that obviousness that makes it messier for me to deal with because, well, it’s only a tiny amount of changes required here and there for it to fit perfectly into any year in the past decade.
Like I say, living at the end of history is weird. I have to concentrate really hard to remember that this article wasn’t always obvious, wasn’t always so deeply embedded in what videogames simply are. The All Shooter was not always a thing. It doesn’t have to always be a thing and isn’t all things – it’s a looming shadow over all videogames though because it forever dominates conversations.
The latest all shooter is the latest all discourse. Its position bought and assured, regardless of quality, invention and aesthetics.
As games have pushed further and further into fringes, niches rarely explored in the medium prior, towards audiences who’ve been forced to defend their right to Just Be in games, the discourse dominance of the All Shooter is a great disservice to all of games.
But we know this, it’s been said for my entire time in games, year after year after year. It’s right there in the ReBind piece. That’s the thing though, isn’t it?
What’s then is now, what’s now is then. And so it goes until the grave.
No wonder it wrecks my head.