The Angry Gamer – H.P. Lovecraft Rolls in His Grave

Whew, it’s good to be back. Without further ado, it’s time to launch into a good old fashioned rant!

H.P. Lovecraft’s work is overrated beyond all comprehension. There. I said it! Yes, the whiny goth crowd will go on and on about him being the godfather of horror and all that jazz, and likely claim that Cthulhu’s going to eat me for writing this. Piss off. I will admit that HPL’s influence has been potent and shaped the horror genre as we know it. However, his work has been far surpassed by other authors and creators more times than I can count, and the whole “ancient gods with tentacles” thing is so unbelievably ridiculous and clichÃÆ’© at this point that it’s become downright laughable. Even author Brian Lumley’s Titus Crow novels (which are an “official” continuation of HPL’s work), are far better written.

What does this have to do with gaming? Well, the ol’ HPL clichÃÆ’©s have showed up there, too. Generally, they show up in the survival horror genre (Eternal Darkness), or the gothic-RPG genre (Koudelka, Shadow Hearts). They’ve also dug their filthy fingers into the 3D action genre; the tentacled omnipresence in the Soul Reaver games is literally named the Elder God!

This shit needs to stop. Aside from the cheese value (and yes, I’m aware that it’s not just HPL clichÃÆ’©s that riddle gaming these days), HPL’s creations were admittedly rather weak. Let’s see…a giant squid who consumes people. That’s huge Godzilla-size retarded. And queer. If you’re going to mine literary material for gaming, I’d suggest doing something different for a change. There’s a wealth of more intriguing concepts out there; for example, scifi author Lawrence Miles’ nasty creations, the “conceptual entities.” These little bastards literally existed as a concept inside an unwitting victim’s head. They wouldn’t commmunicate through telepathy or anything so mundane; their words would appear (only to the victim, mind you) in the newspaper you’re reading, or the woodgrain patterns on the wall, or the Hey, listen, it’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it. How do you think I feel? I’m stuck in this sot’s head, and all he does is complain about bloody video games. At least you people can stop reading this drivel. I’ve got a job to do, so here I am. No, I’m not going to tell you! I haven’t got the time nor the patience to discuss my mission here. Let’s talk about something else, like the Euro Cup this year. Greece winning the final? Who saw that coming? I thought for sure it would be Portugal. Guess the clubs aren’t up to snuff down there anymore. Well, time to get back to work. Ta ta! kind of thing that makes life interesting.

Maybe HPL’s ghost isn’t complaining too much. Sure, his work’s being exposed to more people in this manner, and every time his estate his mined, that’s more money for the coffers. If HPL were to come back to life, though, he’d likely be living in Japan producing hentai films. They’re all about the tentacles over there. Of course, once he laid on eyes on the cute ‘n’ cuddly Cthulhu plush dolls we’ve got, he’d drop dead all over again.

But I digress. Yes, I could go on and on about Lovecraft’s overrated squids, but the point is that that games need some semblance of originality these days. There’s simply no excuse otherwise.