A Gaming Education: Batman: Arkham City

"Shit, I left the hob on."

I’ve noticed videogame articles containing bullet points are a lot more likely to get commissioned on big sites these days, perhaps because the editors of places like GamesRadar recognise that the repetition of stark black holes boring through the fabric of reality draws the attention of readers towards the inescapable futility of our existence, reminds us that nothingness rests at the base of our experience, and that, far from fearing it, we should embrace this Taoistic interpretation of zero as the root of our creativity and love.

As such, I’m going to adopt the approach for this Gaming Education about Batman: Arkham City, and maybe GamesRadar will pay me the £15 and loss of all journalistic dignity that they bestow upon their other writers. Huzzah!

Here are some memento moris explaining why Arkham City is a game to keep you playing through many a Dark Knight. Which is a pun, which Gamesradar will enjoy, perhaps because they’re cunts. To the bullet-point cave! (that one wasn’t as good):

  • Batman: Arkham City provides a searing and heartfelt glimpse into the life of an average goon. They don’t have it easy, those goons. For they must stand on very dirty street corners, warming their hands against tragically clichéd trash-can fires, muttering the same string of oddly informative explanations of the evil plans of their super-criminal masters. And then, just when they’re tiring of the exposition, and wondering if they could maybe start talking about something useful, like where to find a good greengrocer’s in a city that is literally a prison, some caped bastard swoops down from the shadows and uppercuts them in the goolies. The poor lambs.
  • Arkham City is loved by girls, such as my friend Grace. She says she likes “flying around the city and whatnot” — which is endearing, because as every comic book geek knows, Batman doesn’t actually possess the power of flight, but rather employs squadrons of tiny RC helicopters hidden in his boots to give him the illusion of flight. Girls, huh? Trying to muscle in on our hobbies but always getting it wrong. Though maybe I’m just cross because Grace completed the game and I keep getting killed by goons while searching for the remote for my helicopter-boots.
  • Most importantly, Arkham City is a good game because it lets you punch people really hard in the face. Punching people in the face is what videogames are for. You always want to punch people in the face in real life, but you’re not allowed. Like the time in a maths lesson when the teacher hadn’t turned up yet and Josh McMuscles (I changed his name) got me in a headlock because his parents hadn’t bought him a car yet, and my cheeks turned beetroot, and my spots became even more visible than usual, and all the girls stared at me with this mixture of pity and revulsion, which is a look I’ve become so familiar with in the years since. If that maths lesson had been set inside Arkham City, I could have punched Josh right in his stupid, classically-attractive face, maybe breaking a couple of those perfect teeth, before grappling up to a gargoyle on the ceiling and brooding darkly as I watched as pandemonium ensued below. That wasn’t the best way to end that sentence, but try saying “pandemonium” without saying “ensued” right afterwards. An impossibility.

Well, then. If GamesRadar has taught me anything (it hasn’t), it’s that videogame articles shouldn’t outstay their welcome. The audience-surveys conducted by GamesRadar suggest readers tire of bullet points after the third bullet point, returning to their usual pursuits of homophobia and banging their heads repeatedly against walls, trees, sparrows and babies’ prams, looking to comprehend the world through the only method of interaction they understand. So on that note, I’m outtie. Fingers crossed for the call-up from GamesRadar, eh?



Filed under Game Ponderings

8 responses to “A Gaming Education: Batman: Arkham City

  1. Sam Rhodes

    That made me wince. Ouch.

  2. Howard

    Hi Rob. 🙂

  3. GamesRadar

    Hello Rob, GamesRadar here. Just a few things about your article.
    # Bullet points are the future.
    # This isn’t really GamesRadar.
    # I don’t know how to do bullet points.
    # Hashtags are apparently cool, though I’m using them only to represent bullet points at the moment,
    # Twitter is going to have a field day thanks to me.

    But most importantly your articles, blogs and rants (council tax especially) always put a smile on my face. Keep up the good work man.


    • Rob

      Phyllis. If ever you need a sofa to sleep on, a pan to cook carbonara in, a rolled up twenty to [redacted] through, or a bad-fucking-bitch to groove to Girl Talk with, we’re your babies. You’re so money, Phil, and you don’t even know it. Boosh. I’m drunk. Boosh.

  4. Big Ste

    Well this is a different route, Ive not heard of biting the hand that hasnt fed and probably now wont, but I did enjoy reading all the same.

    I made my first comment!

    • Rob

      Congrats. I made some minor edits to your name, because I’m pretty sure there’s a little black book, and you don’t want to go in it (I don’t want to go in it either). Also, whatever that hand is doing (probably wearing a strangler’s glove and touching children), I’m glad to bite it. Tastes of children.

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