If it bleeds, it leads … in the real world

Screenshot from Battlefield 1’s Argonne Forest.

In recent months I’ve developed a severe allergy to national news for the obvious reason: “If it bleeds, it leads.” (Try as I might, I cannot confirm the source of that phrase although everyone has heard it and it’s been around as long as I can remember.) Even local news outlets succumb to it, but at least they (usually) temper it with some feel-good “human interest” stories. It doesn’t help much, though, when it’s the station itself sponsoring the “local hero of the day” award.

So what do I do when I can’t stand it anymore, or don’t turn it on at all? I fire up the Xbox One and start playing video games. Oh yes, I’m still a gamer. As I recall, I started 2016 playing Battlefield 4, then moved on (or was it back to?) Destiny. Took a brief run at Halo 5, which I’d never played before, and didn’t care for it. Started Battlefield 1 (set in WWI) when it came out, but didn’t fare nearly as well as in BF4. Still, it was — and is — fun being able to play with my son and grandson. And the game is beautifully rendered, with realistic depictions of historically significant battles. I have a harder time with it than I did with BF4 because I don’t have all the “modern” WWII technology to work with.

Red Dead Redemption, originally an Xbox 360 game, was made backward compatible (playable on Xbox One) so I revisited it briefly. But the one game I really longed to revisit was Skyrim, and it was not released in a backward compatible format because the publisher wanted to upgrade/update it and grab a lot of new sales.

Then came Thanksgiving, and I broke a cardinal rule in our family: “Never buy anything for yourself after Thanksgiving” because you might ruin someone’s Christmas gift plans. I found Far Cry Primal on sale that weekend and grabbed it. Judging from my son’s reaction, I think he’d planned to get it for me for Christmas. Or maybe already had. Oops. I felt really guilty about that, but still, it was the most fun game I’ve played in a very long time and I spent hours with it. Finally finished it just a few days before Christmas and hated to see it end.

Good timing, however. Santa brought the new Skyrim and also Assassin’s Creed Syndicate. So I’ve jumped into Skyrim and it’s fun seeing all the old haunts again. All the shooters I’ve played this year apparently are having an influence though, and dungeon crawls seem rather tedious now. Will probably be moving on to ACS pretty soon, as well as jumping back into BF1 to play with family (now waaay ahead of me).

Yes, way too much gaming these days. But it’s a way to escape to a different world, one where the goal is to have fun even when you’re being shot at.

8 thoughts on “If it bleeds, it leads … in the real world

  1. I’d never heard that expression before, and am not sure what I think or feel about it. In my present state of mind I’ll probably forget I’d even seen it once I sign out.

    Those games have never caught my interest, I sometimes wonder, is it because I’ve lived through the real thing? Guns firing,bombs dropping, people killing and being killed. I suppose I’m better off sticking to my card games.

    I must admit I’m enjoying playing poker against real people on WSOP on line; I got into this after watching the WSOP championship on the TV. Getting quite good at it, but doubt I’ll ever get a seat at Las Vegas for the real thing.

    I’m a bit like Diane, too. I still get pleasure from picking up a book when I’m feeling low, as I did yesterday.

    Jane Austen to the rescue.

    1. The expression describes our media’s penchant for focusing on the most violent, dramatic, disastrous, etc., stories. And of course they all do it because they are competing for audience share, ie, advertising dollars.

      The games aren’t all shoot ’em ups. Depends on what you choose to play. There’s something for everyone. But I knew when I posted this that only a very few readers would have any interest at all. It’s mostly for the few who are curious about my gaming.

... and that's my two cents