I don't really understand how something as minor as the Diablo III color scheme became a big deal, but it definitely did.
The argument apparently goes like this: Diablo is a sinister and moody game befitting darkness and shadows, and what Blizzard has offered as a concept appears to have been created with a Lite Brite. Angry fans cried havoc and let slip the hyperbole laden posts of war, their delicate sensibilities offended by errant blues and tawdry greens that were either the afflictions of Disney addled minds or some kind of intentional malfeasance levied against sour faced gamers. It was the sort of haphazard complaint--thousands of internet gamers passing the time by role playing as a gothic interior decorator with a My Chemical Romance fetish--that I was sure would blow over in a half hour once everyone spotted some shiny piece of metal in a corner and decided to complain about its crass reflectiveness.
Though this all smacked of the cliché cynicism that haunts most things that become too popular too quickly on the web, I imagined it would be a sour but brief brouhaha, like passing a dead skunk on the highway. Tragically, I was wrong.
“It’s too colorful,” came the cry of malcontents with too much time on their hands.
Perhaps I’m all alone on my Incredible Shrinking Island of Sensible Priorities, the greenhouse gases vented from angry gamers raising the roiling seas around me, but this seems like a positively stupid thing to get up in arms about.
It’s like complaining that your Ferarri’s rear view mirror is the wrong shape. It’s like getting worked up that your girlfriend, Kate Beckinsale, has a heart-shaped mole on the small of her back. It’s like complaining that your sudden super-power ability to fly messes up your hair.
And yet, numbers that could adequately populate a substantial Midwestern town have gathered the requisite self-righteousness to sign online petitions demanding that Blizzard dig into the brown and dusty palette we’ve enjoyed in such classics as the FPS hit Dingy Warehouse Shootout and the classic RPG Look, There’s A Sewer! Let’s Explore It!
Like many of you, I was surprised and annoyed to discover that every time I went outside trees would stubbornly display their annoying green leaves under a blue sky no matter how sour my mood. This inconvenient world which is awash in reds, greens and blues, the impending threat of singing birds and twittering chipmunks omnipresent every time I take out the garbage, is completely destroying my well cultivated sense of ennui.
“You’re ruining the _atmosphere_,” I want to shout at the chlorophyll swollen flora.
So, gamers have taken matters into their own hands and worked with that bastion of class and cultural value, MTV, to offer Blizzard — long criticized for having poor art direction — some suggestions. These fan made concepts include comparisons of, and I’m not kidding, Necromancers Choice vs Wow gayness, as well as How it Looks Like vs How it Should Look Like.
The question at this point, for me at least, is not how can we take what these barely literate buffoons think and employ it in Diablo III, but why is Blizzard Designer Jay Wilson, who clearly has an actual paying job, being asked to expend valuable time and life-giving breath to legitimize such nonsense. A good follow up might also be where he keeps the mind-bending rage that must come on the heels of being exposed to such lunacy and how big a key he needs to lock it up.
It would be possible, I suppose, to look at this as gratifying. After all, people are clearly so irrationally invested in the Diablo universe, that they are willing to rail until their lungs burst and their eyes bulge wildly from their head about how much blue a dank dungeon should have. Frankly, I find the whole controversy terminally silly, a waste of time so magnificent that one could lose significant faith in the mental capacity of gamers just thinking about those 50,000 digitally pointless signatures.
I see this kind of controversy, a vast and offensive perversion of that word, and truly I find myself certain that the internet has jumped the shark, or the rainbow as the case may be.