When Enough is Enough

My mother called me last night for a nice little chat — one that made me realize how over-hyped Modern Warfare 2 is becoming. A strange thing to realize, I know.

"Are you buying that new game coming out tomorrow?" she asked me, somewhat randomly.

"Oh… Yeah, Call of Duty right? Modern Warfare 2?" I said to her.

"Yes, that’s the one. It’s been on the news all night here. They’ve been interviewing kids waiting in lines, and videogame store employees about it. They said it’s going to be crazy, and that it’s the biggest game ever," she said to me. "I figured you would know about it."

Yep, as a matter of fact, Mom, I do know about it. But wait, how surprised could I actually be that my mom has heard about Modern Warfare 2?

It’s only the biggest thing since Halo 3 (maybe even bigger, as I’m sure we’ll all find out real soon from every videogame website ever!), and I suspect that her local news station isn’t the only one broadcasting something about Modern Warfare 2‘s release.

Any gamer that’s been online recently has no doubt been absolutely bombarded with information regarding the game. For the last few months, everything from the newest trailers, pre-order numbers, leaked footage, single-player impressions, spec-ops impressions, playable characters, and weapon details to the miniscule things like the newest perks, PS3 and Xbox 360 comparison screen shots, and exclusive gear has been reported to death by multiple websites. It’s all too much, and in my opinion, is ruining what makes the game feel new and special.

For example, I logged on to Kotaku last night just to see what news headlines were popping up, and I ended up finding twelve Modern Warfare 2-related articles on their front page. Twelve. And that’s just for one day.

I’m not knocking Kotaku’s work, I really enjoy it in actuality, but I have to ask, "what’s left to report on?" I understand MW2 is a sequel to an amazing FPS, one that I put my fair amount of time into, and that its hype was unavoidable. I also understand that if one wanted to avoid all the hype and commotion surrounding the game, they could have just skipped on reading the articles.

But it’s not that you could see the articles and ignore them, it’s that they are constantly in your face, all the time. This isn’t the first time this has happened to an anticipated game, and it won’t be the last.

The question I want to bring up is this — can a game be reported on so much that it affects it negatively? Not that I think that MW2 will be adversely effected from all its media exposure, but does games journalism go too far to the point that nothing is a surprise, and too much is revealed about a game before its release?

It’s tough when you have a AAA game like MW2, where millions of people are seeking out information and demanding to know anything about the game that they can. Obviously gaming websites want to provide this info to the readers to draw traffic and to report on said game. That’s their job, and they do it well. But if someone like me wants the final game to remain a surprise (or is just plain tired of hearing about the game) and wants to go without seeing the headlines blasted across every website’s homepage, then it seems the only thing to do is to avoid gaming news altogether.

Is it time videogame journalism looks at the way (and frequency with which) videogames are previewed? Or are the publishers the problem, with their viral marketing ads and PR stunts? How much previewing do you want on your games, and what hurts a game, pre-release, the most in your eyes?


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Author: Tyler Cameron View all posts by

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