When it comes to the art that I consume in my life, be it movies, music, books or games, I am generally a pretty set in stone guy. When I don’t like something, I put it in the proverbial New Mexican landfill in my mind to be forgotten about and derided in clever ways in the future.
I thought I would always function this way until recently. You see, due to the immense post college no job and no opportunities boredom that I currently find myself unable to escape from, I’ve been playing a lot of video games (More than even usual for me, and that’s a lot.). As a result, I decided to buy Rare Replay and spend my evenings delving into the legendarily back catalogue of the famously reclusive British studio. However, there was one game I was not looking forward to at all in the collection. In fact, I put it down years ago in deep frustration.
Kameo: Elements of Power. Yes, out of all the games I never managed to finish, this one stuck out. All those years ago, it seemed hard to control, dull and generally just not creative enough to keep earning my time. I sold it on a loss and never thought I would end up playing it again. I even intended to pass the thing up entirely whilst making my way through the compilation.
But then, my nostalgia got the better of me and I decided to say “Fuck it, I will play this game again. If it’s bad, I can always just stop.” And so I played, I loaded up the digital software and went in expecting to be just as frustrated as I was when I tried it all those gaming years ago.
To my surprise, I was enjoying myself. What once seemed dull and poorly designed was now exciting and clever. For the first time in a while, I smiled and even managed to laugh a few times. As I kept playing and rescuing elemental warriors, I began to wonder something curious.
“Have I ever been wrong about any other media? Maybe I should go check?”
And so I did. First, I went online and listened to some of Eminem’s earlier work and a good deal of his current musical offerings that are on the market today. Where I once dismissed the man due to his excessive anger, I now found myself struck by his self-aware lyrics and social consciousness. Now, I can honestly call myself a fan and owner of several albums.
From there, I went and took a look back at Independence Day. The legendary 1990’s event movie and cheese fest helmed by Will Smith. In the past, I found the film absurd and so over the top that it was my poster child for movies that discredit the action and sci-fi genres. Now, I’m in on the joke. The movie is great because of its absurdity. If you don’t chuckle at the ridiculous salute later in the film, you are emotionally dead inside or maybe even part Vulcan I think.
Ultimately, what I’ve learned recently is that no one’s artistic opinions are entirely set in stone. Freddy got Fingered is undergoing a critical re-assessment, I’m now a fan of Eminem and maybe one day, Mass Effect 3’s original ending will be seen as good. Learn to be open to re-examining what you think dear reader, you might be surprised at what you end up learning to enjoy.