Friday, March 28, 2008

The inveitable post about 50 Cent in relation to what's wrong with the world today.

In the strange world that is entertainment, it’s not unusual for successful properties to be given unnecessary sequels or spin-offs of possibly dubious merit. Sometimes the original doesn’t even need to be any good for this to happen, it only need be bankable. This in itself could spawn quite the rant, but we'll save that for another day.

Thus we arrive at the newest videogame to feature to feature one Curtis James Jackson III, known to his friends as 50 Cent. For those unaware, 50’s last attempt at capturing the minds of Mario fans [and yes, I’m aware it never reached a Nintendo system, before you say it], 50 Cent: Bulletproof, was notorious for a lot of things, notably being banned in Australia [and later released in an edited form] and not being very good to begin with. This didn’t seem to matter, as the game has somehow enjoyed enough sales to justify a sequel, 50 Cent: Blood in the Sand.

Sounds epic doesn’t it? Like the eternal struggle between the east and west coast will finally be resolved… on a beach. Perhaps playing volleyball in a number of different outfits? Perhaps not, for you see intrepid reader the titular sand is Middle Eastern sand, of course. Aaron Blean, producer of Blood on the Sand, explains:

50 and G-Unit are putting on a sold-out performance somewhere in a fictional Middle Eastern setting. This is where the 'blood on the sand' comes in. They put on the performance; the people are pleased, but the concert promoter stiffs them and doesn't give 50 and G-Unit their payment… So, of course, 50 isn't going to leave until he gets paid, so he hassles the concert promoter, [saying] if he doesn't come up with the money now, there will be consequences. And instead, the promoter offers him a very valuable gift – something that's valuable to this particular country – a diamond encrusted skull...

So 50 gets the skull, and as he's about to leave this war-torn country, when they're ambushed and the skull is taken. They escape the ambush, but they're without the skull. So 50's motivated to get what belongs to him. So basically, throughout the game, he's trying to track these people down and find out who they are and why he was ambushed.

Of course he is. Now, I could proceed to describe how this particular entrant into cultural history is not going to do anyone any good, let alone the people who actually bother to play the game itself, but that much seems to be evident without needing anyone to point it out. But before anyone out there decides to jump to any conclusions accusing this potentially fine product of capitalising on sensitive political themes, rest assured, as the writer of the game “from Hollywood” is “one of the few Muslim writers in Hollywood”. I don’t know what mentioning that has to do with anything, but hey, now I can sleep at night.

It really annoys me that there are developers who are really trying to push the medium in interesting ways, and really try and make statements for right of decent [and heck, inoffensive] storytelling; putting forward that perhaps games aren’t just for kids mindless idiots, and this sort of thing slips through. Yet above else, the fictional setting, the crystal skull isn’t what annoys me most. I just want to see Fiddy actually put on a show in the middle east, fictitious nation or not. Going gun crazy afterwards, that’d just be a bonus.