Thoughts Out Loud: Hype, Fans, Detroit Become Human
So, what's up, ponies, November? Cyberpunk2077 has been rescheduled (who would doubt that), I still haven't gotten through Ghostrunner because it's complicated, the year is about to end, so it's about time we had some more experimental format and talked about everything at once.
The video version is here somewhere, as always:
I was inspired to write this script by my own burning ass. Today we're going to talk mostly about Detroit Become Human, but it's worth pointing out exactly how I got the idea to tell my thoughts about this unforgettable movie.
On a chilly September morning, a friend and colleague of mine texted me a video about the history of the Cyberpunk genre. I'm not going to point the finger now as to which channel did the video, it's not nice and it's not a dickish thing to do.
I don't consider myself an expert in the cyberpunk genre. Yes, I basically like this genre in games and movies, but Kammon, I haven't even gotten past Gibson's Neuromancer, so how much of an "expert" can I be?
However, even I found this video offensive. Not only is it boring, I skipped the first 10 minutes (I can read about "where did cyberpunk come from" and "something about Riddley Scott's movie" on Wikipedia), but it's also superficial and made purely on the wave of hype. Sp77 is coming out soon, which means that the video with the title "History of the cyberpunk genre" will obviously get a lot of hits.
On the one hand, it's a good thing. People want to know more about a popular product that is about to be released, and such videos can help uninitiated people understand the subject.
On the other hand it is bad when people learn information from these very videos.
I won't make loud statements like "dude doesn't know the subject, he took all the information from Wikipedia..."
No. I didn't hold a candle, maybe he is an expert on the subject.
But the script for the video is poorly written, it's not even a gallop through Europe, it's a gallop through one fourth of Europe, and in many cases they won't even let you see the Eiffel Tower.
I can't stand this approach to making videos. When the author is clearly sawing a video to order, to current topics, when it becomes obvious that the video is coming from a hype, not from the heart.
This is not a lazy approach, God forbid, he at least did not feel lazy to read the information on the topic and google a list of popular cyberpunk games.
But this approach is soulless
I understand the desire to get high. But I'm dead set against hype for hype's sake. I have always been for exactly two approaches to making informative video content: either you talk about a topic that you really understand, or you talk about what's on your mind, what's on your mind, what you care about.
Making a video just because a topic is hot and for that reason aloneis such an idea.
But whatever, with this soulless approach, after all, half the Internet is in such videos.
I would have closed this video and forgotten about it if the author hadn't gotten to the history of modern cyberpunk.
He talked about Remember Me and about Detroit Become Human. THAT WAS IT. That was the end of his modern cyberpunk history.
Not a word about Dex, not a word about Ruiner, not a word about Observer. And now this is a nightmare. Observer was just ignored in this video.
But he spent almost as much time talking about DBH as he did Deus Ex. "How dare you," I thought, and wrote a blog.
So, I wanted to explain why it's a dumb idea to write DBH into the cyberpunk genre.
Detroit Become Human... Took this game to the streamers, went through it completely, spit up venom.
Why I was, to put it mildly, not thrilled with what I saw, we'll talk a little later. For now, let's talk about why DBH is not cyberpunk at all.
If you want your work to belong to a genre, you need to respect its components. Otherwise it won't work.
I used to blog about the components of cyberpunk
Why not change DBH with my own old blog?
NEON. No. I mean, not at all. It's just a futuristic city of the future, but there's not a huge amount of neon.
AUGMENTATIONS, BIOCHIPS, NANOTECHNOLOGY... just pass it by. Mechanical limbs are what people associate with cyberpunk. There's no such thing in DBH.
(And you can't even find a picture of it.)
VIRTUAL REALITY and immersion in it. Put a dash in it right away.
A sinister megacorporation, or better yet, several megacorporations, all sinister. There's technically a megacorporation called Cyberlife. But they have no bearing on the overall story and overall state of affairs in this universe. It's just an office that produces these androids. The replacement rule works well here. Replace Cyberlife with Uncle Ashot's underground clinic, and the story won't change.
AN EVIL ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE. No.
DARK FUTURE- no.
Already a failure on almost all counts. So why is Detroit Become Human suddenly so confidently written in cyberpunk? Well the action takes place in the future, and there are androids. So what? Do androids and the future automatically make it cyberpunk?
Alien has androids, and the action takes place in the future. "Alien" is cyberpunk now?
"Star Wars" has a future and androids. Is ST now cyberpunk?
Resident Evil has a sinister mega-corporation doing total mayhem, but that doesn't make RE cyberpunk.
Mass Effect takes place in the future, and there are androids. And in the second part Shep has implants. And there's enough neon design here. And there's a matrix... Mass Effect is more cyberpunk than Detroit Become Human!
You can't take one or two components of a genre and then be attributed to that genre. It doesn't work that way. At least half of it has to be taken.
Not "we've got the future and androids and a megacorporation looming uselessly in the background somewhere and it's freezing rain," and that's why it's cyberpunk.
Zombies, but there's a detective and detective investigations.
Oddly enough, it's in the moments of playing as Connor that this story gets the most cyberpunk. Because he's a detective and investigator, as a typical cyberpunk character should be. Yes, he doesn't have a stylish cape, but okay, a jacket will do.
It would be nice if we only played as Connor, really. But, unfortunately, there are other characters here...
Zombie zombies, but there's a theme of inequality, which is very characteristic of cyberpunk!
There's definitely a theme of inequality here, except that while in the cyberpunk genre inequality refers to the so-called"High Tech - Low Life" or the difference between the lower and upper classes, DBH uses a type of inequality that makes me cringe.
Here we are slowly getting to why I don't like this game.
I'll be honest with you, I despise Detroit Become Human. It's not even that this game isn't cyberpunk, even though it pretends to be. I'm a fan of the genre, but I'm not a fanatic.
I had exactly 3 reasons to hate this game, and each one of them is catastrophically huge and unforgivable.
Let's start with a small one.
The first reasonis the brutal, just hellacious seriousness of what's going on. In other words, everything is happening in a ridiculously serious way.
Don't get me wrong, I myself am against when a serious work turns into a farce.
But at least a couple of jokes can be thrown in? Why is it that all the characters in this game know exactly two emotions: fucking pathos beyond the bounds of decency and fucking tragedy beyond the bounds of what is allowed.
Can I at least have a little humor? Just a little bit?
In general, yes, this game with a clever look pretends to be a serious work, playing purely on the negative, and it's infuriating.
The second reason. I couldn't help thinking that Detroit Become Human was shoving a summons right in my face in the most brazen way. The whole thing is so saturated with this agenda about the oppression of minorities and women.
I'll just show you a couple of screenshots from the game and you'll see what I mean.
I got it, man, I got it! It's not good to oppress black people! I get it, women are people too! I get that lesbians are cool! Can I have a story and a game instead of all this?
The subpoena is infuriating, what else can I add...
And finally, the third reason, which is the most compelling reason for me not to recommend this game to anyone, ever.
There's an off the charts amount of people who are assholes in this story. And the androids are saints and sinless in contrast to these human assholes. Even when they kill people.
I'm not kidding, here literally every human character you meet along the way is an asshole, a freak, and a bastard.
fat, sadistic drug addict
unemployed schizoid sadist
just a boor.
you stoned asshole
Let's count how many asshole characters there are! This is a "fascinating" game.
and just people passing by
There are a total of...
Now let's count the numskulls.
Don't you think it's too much? Jesus, who exactly put so many asshole characters in this game? David Cage? Fuck you, David Cage, that's not how real life works.
And people here hate androids just "because." They have no reason to. Not one, I repeat, not one goddamn reason has been voiced throughout the game. People hate because they hate because they're human, because they're human, because fuck you, that's why.
The apogee of the lack of reasons and the screenwriter's unwillingness to voice reasons for me was the character Hank. He has his reasons for hating androids. He himself said he had reasons. And why do you think he hates androids?
I don't! I went through this game twice, and they were two polarly different walkthroughs, different from each other in everything. I chose different developments, had different locations, different character behavior, and different outcomes.
In two completely different playthroughs, I never found out why Hank hates androids.
Either the game never indicated this reason, or it hid it so deep that I don't know what had to happen for me to find out what it was.
Well, the apogee of this most gratuitous hatred of humans was exactly two
The first location is.
When I saw it, I didn't know whether to laugh at the absurdity of such a place or cry with pity for the writer.
It's a really ridiculous place. People throw working androids in the landfill, seriously, look, they walk, they talk, they function, they have working parts.
This would not be possible in any of our worlds.
First, working androids should be completely disassembled and shut down before being scrapped. Second, working parts should be removed and sent to a good cause. What kind of waste is it to do with working hardware and working parts?
But no, no one does that here, and this dump is here because all people are assholes.
And the second locationis something else.
It's a... a concentration camp. It's a direct reference to the gazenwagen.
The screenwriter was telling us the whole game that all people are assholes. And at the end of the game he said, in plain language, that all people are Nazis.
What was going on in David Cage's head? What was the fly that bit him, where did he get up from, why did he write this script soaked with so much hate? I ask this question because such scripts are not written in a good mood, such scripts are written in a tranquil state!
Я... I'm speechless. I hope I was able to convey my shock and was able to convey to you why this game is crap.
At this point I should have summed it up and said that this DBH is not cyberpunk and anyone who thinks it's cyberpunk just doesn't know anything about the genre. Should have said it was a cheap soap drama for squeaky girls, not a serious story. Should have said that the drama techniques here are primitive to the point of being primitive, and the agenda being shoved right in your face is incredibly infuriating. I should have told you that the game sucks, and that the interactive movie genre has seen better examples than this. Seriously, it's better to play Wolf Among Us over there or 2 seasons of Batman from Telltale or Until Dawn...
But I've already said it all.
I should have summed it up at this point, but... I can't end this blog by just saying the game sucks.
Yes, Detroit Become Human is definitely a stupid game, but its fandom is... good.
In the video version of this blog, I simply asked anyone disgusted by the homosexual footage to turn off the video at that point. Here on the blog, the whole segment about fan content was supposed to go into the spoiler section, but the spoiler segment on SG blogs suddenly stops working if you cram too many pictures into it.
Hopefully, Stopgame will fix that.
So the whole segment about fan content will remain open, but I'll mark its beginning and end with the words FAN CONTENT . You can scroll through.
Anyway, next comes the ambiguous footage, then the kissing men.
So, FAN CONTENT.
I'm not going to talk too much about fanfics, there are a lot of them, and some of them are badly written and some of them are quite intelligent and entertaining.
The quality of fanfiction writing depends on the talent of the fanfiction's author. Let's just say that a talented author will write a great work based on a stupid fandom.
So now we're going to talk about Reed900 fanfiction.
For a long time I was deciding whether to watch it or not.
In the end, I watched it and have absolutely no regrets.
It's very beautifully filmed.
The spirit of the game is maintained.
And the cool thing is that it's a very romantic and sweet story.
Somebody's going to wave their hands and yell: "Ahhhh, LGBT propaganda, two men love each other here!"
This is the unique case where it just doesn't feel like any kind of propaganda
First of all, the script is well written, and secondly, the actors play very well, and between them just feel chemistry, without the slightest falsity.
Propaganda is always difficult to explain, but it is always easy to feel.
That is, if you take any CW series, every time a same-sex couple appears in their storylines, you immediately cringe and realize that it was done only to please minorities. Even though the actors are acting and trying. But the chemistry is out of the question, you can see that the actors were told to play it, and they do.
In Reed900, on the other hand, the story is very cute, and the actors don't look like they're being forced to act out a crush.
A lot of that is due to the dialogue. I don't know who wrote the dialogues in this story, but the man knew his stuff. I caught myself at one point thinking that I was listening to the dialogues with interest.
In this fan film, it seems that several fortunate coincidences happened at once. The screenwriter was smart, the dialogue writer was not untalented, the actors cared about what they were playing, money was invested in recreating the atmosphere and lore of the game, and the composer did his best.
Bottom line, yeah...that some of the fanfics on ficbook, that this movie here, which is clearly an adaptation of all those fanfics, made me think that DBH chose the wrong type of storytelling. It would have been really cool if this story had been something sweet, romantic in a good way, naive in a good way, rather than some story about fucked up and bastard people.
After this movie, you start to understand what the game was missing.
You should have added details to the game's lore, because as it is, it looks clumsy and understated.
Add more chemistry between the Persians, more depth and more ambiguous situations, more charming little things in the end.
You have great potential for cuteness here, why are you turning this into some cheap melodrama instead of a really touching tale?
Because you want cyberpunk, that's why there's politeness and inequality. We want to be like the deus ex.
. The fans suddenly understood and implemented Cage's idea better than Cage himself.
My point is that as much as I despise the game, I like its FAN CONTENT
Zombie was with you, thanks for listening to all these thoughts on hype, DBH and fan stories.
And before I end this blog, I'll give you one recommendation.
If you really need to know the history of cyberpunk, read the article on lurkmore. It's pretty comprehensive on books, movies, games, board games, and anime. And in this article nothing is forgotten and no one is forgotten.
See you in December.