Friday, April 24, 2009

Favorites of a Video Game Geek #1: WOLFENSTEIN

I'm a gamer. I'm not shy of admitting it. Here is the start of another semi-regular series of blogs, like the Women Warriors installments!

Some of you might not have even been born before the early 1990's...the World Wide Web was launching, the U.S. played bodyguard for Kuwait by kicking Saddam Hussein's ass for the first time, and mobile phones were so big if you tried to hit a person in the head with one you'd be charged with attempted murder. A computer game came along in 1992 for MS-DOS that, while not exactly groundbreaking, became insanely popular as well as highly offensive to a very vocal few. The game was "Wolfenstein 3D", the game that put first person shooters on the video game map forever.

Broken down into shareware 'episodes', "Wolfenstein 3D" was as straightforward a game as you can imagine. The gamer is put in the combat boots of an American soldier killing Nazis in WWII and must navigate through a maze of castle halls to make a great escape. However. People were already getting correct even in the early 90's, and a big huff was raised. Wait, you must be asking, what's to object about? The object of the game is to kill Nazis! Well, even in "Wolfenstein 3D's" highly pixellated day, the results of shooting Nazis and their guard dogs and uber-nasty bosses was always gory. Protests and negative reaction came in because of Nazi imagery and...because digital dogs were being shot.

Once again. The bad guys are Nazis...what's wrong with killing 'em and the dogs they send to fetch your entrails?! Good grief!

Thankfully, in spite of the oh-so-correct nonsense, "Wolfenstein 3D" became a best seller and set the standard for FPS games in the future. The company that made it, id Software, became successful and soon made another game that put correct noses out of joint called "Doom". I have both "Wolfenstein 3D" and its 2003 sequel, "Return to Castle Wolfenstein" for the PS2 and the Xbox. A new installment is supposed to be released this year, and I'd love to get it...if I can afford a current-gen system when the time comes, dammit!

I still don't get why some would freak out over shooting a virtual Nazi...I might as well be stepping on a cockroach -- !

Uh-oh, speaking of 'incorrect'...if an animal lover is reading this, I'm in trouble! ;D

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