When is the last time that Tomb Raider babe Lara Croft went to rehab or got arrested with a needle in her arm? The immersion factor is why video games beat movies and TV for me.
NPCs Never Get Busted
In the 60’s and 70’s, rock stars destroyed hotel rooms and their lungs. They even had publicized fights with fellow band members that helped fuel sales. Remember when George Michael got arrested for “engaging in a lewd act” in a Beverly Hills bathroom? For some reason, video game NPCs (non-player characters) never get in trouble. Maybe they’re too slick to get caught?
NPCs Don’t Spew Politics
Every time I hear Barbra Streisand singing “Memories, like the corners of my mind,” I recall memories of her political rants. Celebrities — including Streisand — do great things for causes they believe in. When is the last time you heard a celebrity say, “My political views are always evolving and I respect both sides?” Lara Croft has yet to do a cameo at a political convention or trash President Whoever.
When I pay for content, I want to be immersed. I’ve never heard even one of Justin Bieber’s songs, but I already know too much about him. The entertainment sections of news sites are filled with articles about the personal lives of celebrities and very little on the content they create.
Video game characters don’t ruin the story. Everything I know about Elizabeth Comstock is from Bioshock Infinite. Mario and Pacman don’t wander dark streets at night looking for trouble. Even the shady characters of zombie horror game, The Last Of Us, have yet to appear in a mugshot. You’d think that the thugs from Grand Theft Auto would show up downtown with shotguns. Maybe they’re too busy with their Bible lessons.
Bob Dylan – Chabad Troubadour
Bob Dylan is perhaps the best example of an entertainer who strives to keep us immersed in his music. He has been known to show up at Chabad fundraisers, but ferociously protects his personal life.
In 2004, Dylan was interviewed on 60 Minutes. Here is what he said about politics to Ed Bradley:
“I never wanted to be a prophet or savior. Elvis maybe. I could easily see myself becoming him. But prophet? No. My stuff were songs, you know? They weren’t sermons,” says Dylan. “If you examine the songs, I don’t believe you’re gonna find anything in there that says that I’m a spokesman for anybody or anything really.”
“But they saw it,” says Bradley.
“They must not have heard the songs,” says Dylan.
Bob Dylan is a master at creating a mystery of his life. I often wonder what he thinks about the world we live in. Like video game characters, we will never know.
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