The Worst Thing About Video Games

I hear talk from game journalists. I hear a lot of talk. “This video game about giant mechs is unrealistic,” they crow. “I can’t believe that this game about a sentient blob of meat has shoddy physics.” Their fingers flail across a keyboard, endlessly and aimlessly monologuing about the negative influence of Goethe upon the narrative of Lego Island or whatever the hell this week’s mundane gaming topic is.

Shut up. Shut the heck up, game journalists. None of you get it.

The worst thing about video games — and I mean the worst thing about them, goes far beyond the characters, the textures, the lighting, what have you.

The worst thing about video games are vents.


You might be thinking to yourself, “Well, Isiah, that’s stupid. Vents are sometimes good, and I love to game,” and that’s fantastic that you can think thoughts but they’re considerably bad thoughts. Vents in video games are crap.

Now, vents in real life are good. They’re great, actually! You can’t fit a whole body into them, meaning that you definitely can’t climb through a whole ventilation system and dust the thing out. They’re thin and easy to throw a rock into or through, if the need arises.

Unfortunately, here come the video game developers, and they really want to amp things up. They storm up to the mapmakers and the texture artists, demanding huge, flawlessly pristine ventilation shafts in buildings that a bulky, gun-toting man in power armor could waddle through stealthily and effortlessly.

And that’s what we get.


As a guy who prides himself on being Very Good at video games, I am appalled that there is not a more public uproar about the vent issue. Why are the people playing these games so content with ignoring the fact that their character is not having a hard time getting into vents? Why are we, as gamers, complacent with the idea of a video game protagonist climbing out of a vent and not coughing up a thick orb of dust and vent detritus? Are we to just believe that our character, armed to the teeth and armored in protective gear, is going to waddle through a sheet metal ventilation system without being heard by virtually anyone with ears?

Vents are the scum of gaming.

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