2010, Fallout, and my happy hopes for 2011
I played a lot of Fallout 3 in 2010. Anyone played it? It’s a very immersive game set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. It is full of grey-brown landscapes of destruction. Crumbling buildings, remnants of what was once society, skeletons and bodies everywhere and raiders looking to kill you for what few supplies you have.
It’s a great game.
But, man, it’s depressing.
People have always wondered why someone doesn’t make a newspaper with good news and the answer is always the same ‘ it wouldn’t sell. No, instead we are drawn in by the misery, fear and the worst aspects of humanity. Even crafting stories for our own entertainment, all screenwriting books will tell you that story is drama and drama is conflict. Yeah, some movies have happy endings but it’s usually hell getting there. I found myself wondering the other day just how many people we see die on screen each week.
And it’s not just movies or books.
Weigh up the number of miserable or angry tunes compared with happy music. Happy, uplifting music is actually pretty hard to find. Dance music can be unashamedly happy but that’s about it. Mostly, we have a Coldplay ripple-effect trying to depress us (The Smiths have a lot to answer for). And we have gangsta rap and metal and the like.
Black metal, death metal but I haven’t found anyone doing happy flower metal.
You know one thing I find from parents who spend time watching children’s television? People enjoy the happiness. People enjoy the fun. The silliness. Okay, so Barney had people wanting to tear their own eyes out but who doesn’t love Pingu? Who doesn’t laugh through Peppa Pig? Who doesn’t love watching Humf? And I know parents are absolutely loving Yo Gabba Gabba.
People enjoy the happiness.
They really do!
People love happiness. And 2010 was a rough year for some people. 2011 could be just as tough, if not tougher. We’re going to have plenty of real-world stuff we need tackle. We don’t need our ‘entertainment’ using up all that mental energy, dragging us down. Do we?
So, in 2011, I’m going to try to create more happiness, or simply spread the happiness that already exists. My big hope is that the happiness spreads, and not just in a blinkered ‘I have convinced myself to be happy’ positive-thinking sort of way. Real happiness because people around us are doing well and things are actually good. And to the makers of Fallout 3 (and everyone else making miserable games, movies or music), my challenge for 2011, should you choose to accept it, is that just once in a while you would take your amazing skills and talents and use them to create something about people being nice to each other. Maybe handing out flowers. Or picking out pretty dresses. Flying on rainbows. Exploring everything that’s magical about the world right now. The beautiful world we all live in.
With blue skies, bright suns and plenty of smiles. We could do with more happiness in our entertainment.
I hope 2011 brings you all more happiness. In your entertainment and your life. HAPPY 2011!