Beauty Is In The Eye of Me
I wish I could meet everybody who ever said they didn't like so many "beautiful people" in television advertisements so I can personally punch each and every one of them in the neck.
In addition, I'd like to formally state that I can't stand the mind-numbing proliferation of ugly people in television commercials. And while I'm at it, let me register another complaint for the horrid commercial filming practices that somehow won't go away. You know them; the once-edgy "poor contrast technique" seems to be the most popular. If I want to see people with appalling yellowy-green complexions lounging amidst background colors that look like they seeped from a festering wound, I'll smash my eyeballs halfway in so as to damage my rods and cones. Another ingratiating trait of today's commercials is "rapid camera movements" (including, but not limited to, the "disorienting zoom," the "stomach-turning pan," and the "bile-upsetting film speed shift"). I'm nauseous enough from the putrid colors; keep the camera steady, for crying out loud!
Political correctness be damned; I want my commercials to feature good-looking women in rainbow-friendly colors smiling their thousand-dollar pearly whites at me. If I have to be inconvenienced by the ads in the first place, I'd rather it be by a woman who, unattainable and vapid she may be, is worth watching. Why do these producers think we're watching television, anyway? To experience real life? If I want to see homely people, I'll turn the set off and go outside.
Having said that, I'd like to congratulate the majority of video game developers out there who still know what we want. Even when they fail, we know that, at some level, they want to attract people to their product. If you saw footage of a pot-bellied Cloud Strife with vomit-green hair alongside a pigeon-toed Aerith in a urine-orange dress battling Sephiroth in a patchy beard and nosebleed-black coat, would you want to buy Final Fantasy VII? If the Mario Brothers had to save a pear-shaped, hairy-legged Princess Toadstool, do you think home video games would have ever gained the popularity they have now?
Of course not. Do you buy CD's of out-of-practice bands? No; people like to hear music that was skillfully prepared for them so that they'll enjoy what they hear. Likewise, a product incorporating video should want to use images that people like. I don't want to rescue an ugly princess. I don't want to save a world colored so that it looks like it was just gagged up by the neighborhood stray cat. These things fail to entice me.
Therefore, I say to the developers of the video games we love; keep up the good work! Give us pretty girls, suave-looking men, flashy clothing, stylish villains, and picturesque landscapes! We love them! We know it's all fake; that's part of what attracts us! We want more Aerith Gainsboroughs, more Tifa Lockhearts, more (ladies, insert the name of a good-looking male character here)! Keep 'em comin'!
The television advertising industry may have lost its way, but the video game industry can still preserve its dignity. I once found a web site that went into toe-curling detail explaining how Seiken Densetsu 3 was one of the best-looking 16-bit RPG's ever made. The proprietor even examined the individual pixels in a patch of grass and told how they add to the beauty of the game. Grass! We may have browned, poorly hydrated lawns in real life, but Secret of Mana 2 doesn't disappoint with its vegetation. Imagine how much this guy must have enjoyed the rest of the game's graphics (no, not that much ).
I'll admit that there are times when a game will want to make something look ugly. But when it does, it's usually stylish ugliness. Chrono Trigger's Lavos, for example, has a face that only a mother could love (that is, if she's blind). But it's still cool to see it smash out of the ground and flare its mandibles in abject menace. Its scream is blood-curdling, but we still love to hear it because it's so fashionably effective at what it does (i.e. curdle blood).
So I say again, and will say until I die: give us beautiful people, Video Game Industry! We've seen the real world, and we don't care to see it in our games. We'll be dealing with plain folks when we're stuck in our mundane jobs. Let us see head-turning beauty while we're young and bursting with free time to waste on video games. Don't worry about warping our expectations of the real world; we're not that stupid.
(Now, obviously, I'm not going to go so far as to say that there are no good-looking people in the real world. There are plenty. But there's no guarantee that you're going to see a potential swimsuit model walk into your place of business and ask you specifically to help him/her. That kind of thing only happens in the entertainment industry. At least it did, until people started whining about it, which brings us back to my initial beef, which will eventually wind up back here, so please continue reading.)
I urge every red-blooded video gamer out there to go right now to their favorite video game console, pick the most visually striking title you have, and say to yourself: "I hereby declare that this game undoubtedly has the most (attractive, good-looking, stylish, picturesque, stunning) (hero, heroine, villain, landscape, city, action animation, cinema sequence) of all of the games I've ever played." Then come back here and finish reading this; I'm not done.
We need to appreciate beauty while it's still here, and before the gigantic super-intelligent airborne vitreous-consuming cuttlefish come to wipe out all of the world's supply of eyes woops, off topic. Heh, heh. But anyway, the point is that you should never take for granted the fine work your favorite developers go into in order to produce the alluring imagery you see in your video games. After all, you never know when next you'll get to witness something of true beauty. I can tell you it's not going to happen in the next Taco Bell ad.
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