South Park Is More Important to Gaming Than You Think

In the weeks since South Park: The Stick of Truth's release, besides being a solid-playing RPG, it seems that its legacy will be tied to its crude and outrageous content. While that may seem superficial, and not really speaking highly of the game as a whole, it's important to the world of gaming regardless.


It's important because the pendulum swings too far in either direction in the gaming world. Either you have high-brow "art" releases, or titles that are built to appeal to as many people as possible--with the Call Of Duty's and Battlefield's of the world on the far end of that extreme. The idea of satire, let alone a work that is built to both insult and question, is almost unheard of in gaming. Thankfully, South Park: TSOT reminds us that just because that satirical work is mostly absent in games, doesn't mean it's impossible to pull off.


Art should challenge its viewers, not placate them. At least, not all of the time. Gaming is far too often focused on lulling players into repetitive rhythms, and providing shallow, bare-bones story that only fuel the progress of the core gaming-loop. It's rare that you're presented with a tale that makes you feel uncomfortable, let alone feel anything at all. That's where South Park has always excelled--putting something on display that you may disagree with, and making you deal with it.

Between overseas censorship, and critics rallying hard against the game's content, The Stick of Truth shows that maybe it's time for our generation to grow a thicker skin. You don't have the right NOT to be offended, and nothing in life is beyond criticism. South Park is a refreshing reminder of these facts, and it's about time that message was brought to gaming.

Mike Murphy
Mike Murphy

Contributing Writer
Date: 03/24/2014

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