A couple of months before Christmas, when the world was selling it's plasma for the up coming bid for Jesus's affections, my son asked me for a game. Normally, I file such requests under "Fuck no, I'm broke!" but, this time, I decided to hear him out. The game was L.A. Noire, a nifty piece of graphically rendered bloodshed about the seedy underbelly of 1940's L.A., as seen through the eye of a rookie police detective named Cole Phelps. Perfect for an kid freshly off a Cars The Movie addiction, am I right?
The muzzle flare means "kid friendly"
in conflict diamond area game ratings.
Normally, I take a pretty open stance toward video games and their ratings. I figure, as long as a kid understands that the game axe would kill a normal, blood spurting man, I'm alright with it. Kids are more adept at handling multiple planes of reality than adults. Most adults can barely handle a cash register or the fact that monkeys masturbate.
So, when Christmas rolled around, I got the game for him. Holy shit, was I in for a surprise. Almost as surprising as the time I saw my balls in "Things That Should Be Carried In Wheelbarrows Monthly".
Wow! Muh bawwls!
For those of us not ball deep in video games daily or know a dead beat like myself, I'll explain what it's about. L.A. Noire is a game that follows police detective, Cole Phelps, through his career in the 1940's L.A. police department. He starts out as a beat cop and works his way through, traffic, vice and finally the homicide departments. You guide Phelps as he investigates crimes, interrogates witnesses and pistol whips passerby with animalistic cruelty. Okay, I made up the last thing, but, the other two things are true.
"D" means fucking dead.
The game is a pretty accurate view of detective work, according to an actual detective. In keeping to the realism there is some nudity and a few adult themed crimes as well, but, all are handled in a very forensic and sterile manner. There are violent crime of course, rarely does anyone volunteer to be murdered. However, you're on the side of the solving, not the execution. Which...again for me...a snooze. I love me some violent nudity. It's kinda my thing.
(sigh) He's outside swinging a bat and screaming
with his huge balls hanging out...again.
What surprised me about the game was how surprisingly...non-violent it is. Don't get me wrong, people open fire pretty often, just not constantly. There aren't rampages in the streets and gutters filled with babies on fire...(i.e. the Toy Story 3 video game). This made it kind of a downer for me as well. I like to put huge bloody holes in game people's chests...as stress relief of course. Though, if I could do it in real life, half of main street would be ducking bullets. Stress relief bullets. So, as my son played his newly acquired game I watched from the side lines and something more surprising happened, he got involved. I mean, really involved.
More involved than he was with planking.
He was fascinated by it. It was written on his face...that and sugar withdrawal...and a mild disappointment for his unemployed father. Nothing cereal can't fix.
Seriously, he actually wanted to to a good job...as a detective. This was an unforeseen development indeed. I figured the "Shit, this is just like...a grown up JOB. Fuck this!" idea would have hit him by now. Instead, he's told me he wants to be a detective when he grows up. What the fuck? Inside, I was at a loss for words, outside, I rolled with it. "If you want to be a detective...you have to do good in school and go to college.". Which is partly true. You do need to go to college to do it right, just not in every circumstance. My son doesn't need to know that though. I'm sure Cole Phelps would agree that fudging the truth to get a kid to kick out better grades is just fine. Until then, I just hope he holds on to his burgeoning desire to investigate homicides. Detectives get paid...well.