I would like to take a moment to draw attention to a not-so-well-known Youtube “gamer” who I watch from time to time. The reason I put “gamer” in brackets is because he doesn’t really post videos of mainstream games… He doesn’t even post videos of indie games. In fact, I think you’d be hard pressed to find any of the games he actually posts videos of. His Youtube name is Rich “Lowtax” Kyanka, his sidekick is Shmorky, and he posts videos of play-throughs of garbage video game ripoffs. Hilarity ensues not only because of his sarcastic reactions to the terrible gameplay mechanics, but because of the fact that the poorly made game often takes a common trope from a specific game or type of game and exaggerates it (whether this is intentional or purely coincidental I have no idea).
Exhibit A: Crimelife 3
The first thing that I noticed thanks to recent lectures on violence in video games is the indiscriminate violence in Crimelife 3. Lowtax runs over without remorse and without consequence countless civilians. This clearly shows he is a bad person who is going to get in his car and run over anyone he sees. In addition, he seemed to discriminate against and target overweight civilians. In his own words: ”Take that, fatty. America’s obesity epidemic is OVER.”
End of sarcasm.
This is another one of those clear examples of fantastical vs. real violence. It isn’t that the player or gamer finds violence amusing in this case, but rather that the violence is so fantastical and unrealistic that it is laughable. I suppose this is the case with most cartoons, or by Jack Thompson’s logic there would be a lot more cases of anvils being dropped on heads and that would put an end to Wile E. Coyote.
The second thing I’d like to acknowledge has to do with racial stereotypes once again. As this is a Grand Theft Auto ripoff, this was unavoidable, but Crimelife 3 is so blatant in its (almost) lack of diversity that it is once again laughable. At 6:45 in the above video, we discover that the only three African-Americans in town are in fact the “West Gang.” The mission is to kill the West Gang and Lowtax does so by running over them with his truck, announcing “Achievement unlocked: racial purity achieved.”
While I am still at a loss as to whether the tropes exhibited in these rip-off games were intentional or accidental, I think this particular Youtuber’s sense of humour in this video, as in many of his videos of other games, poke fun at the problematic but surprisingly common tropes of video games.