Noobz: The Misrepresentation of Video Game Culture
The last few years have seen some truly wonderful films based on video game/nerd culture. Indie Game: The Movie showed the passion and dedication with which the indie scene is brimming. The Dungeon Masters gave us an insight into the importance of gaming (albeit in the pen-and-paper format) in people’s lives, even showing how D & D acted as a release for some rather troubled individuals. The King of Kong, also, was a wonderful story of one man’s sheer determination to clear his name as a cheat, and reclaim a title once stolen from him.
All these films provide a wonderful insight into the culture that is slowly becoming more and more mainstream. 2012′s Noobz, however, is pure garbage. A film for gamers by gamers, this was the gimmick the film’s marketing team went for. Noobz is simply a vile, unoriginal, waste of time. I watched the film out of pure curiosity, mostly due to hearing mixed things about it. After sitting through all ninety-seven minutes of the film, I came to the unwelcome conclusion that Noobz does in fact represent a large portion of today’s video game culture.
Noobz follows a group of Gears of War fans as they drive across the country to play in an e-sport event. The film features a number of characters that have very few likable, or even realistic, traits. The majority of such all revolve around things that feel utterly awkward. One of the group members (Oliver) is a camp-acting young male, and his only role is to make vaguely sexual jokes towards men. His character role in the group is to be on the wrong end of jokes aimed at his supposed sexuality. The only people that will find these jokes funny are pre-teens who often spend their time in Call of Duty lobbies yelling ‘fag’.
Cody fills the role of the main character, and what I assume is supposed to be the ‘average gamer’. He is, however, utterly unlikeable and totally withdrawn from reality. Cody is fired from his job, left by his wife, and all because of his dedication–addiction–to his Gears of War clan. The character drifts through the whole film being nothing but a lifeless douchebag to people. His only place in life is literally to play Gears. The people this character will appeal to don’t exist, and if they do then humanity is doomed.
Andy is possibly the most relatable character of the bunch. While he is something of a passive-aggressive slacker, the character has a job and has interests beyond Gears of War. The character makes social links outside of his clan; this further pushes him as the most human character in the group.
The last character of the group is Hollywood, and all of the jokes around him focus on his disability. Hilarious, right? Wrong.
Sure, Noobz is supposed to be a dumb movie, and its characters embody this, but it’s also supposed to represent video game culture. The tone of the jokes, the way in which characters interact with each other and the people around them, is all in poor taste and subsequently fails to resonate with the majority of gamers. For years people have almost looked down on the industry and its customers as social outcasts; Noobz reinforces this stereotype. The film conveys the impression that gamers are immature wastes of space that live for only one reason: to play video games.
The likes of Indie Game: The Movie, The King of Kong, and The Dungeon Masters all did a fantastic job of representing video game culture, but Noobz is at the bottom end of the spectrum. There is almost certainly a population of gamers to which Noobz will appeal to and represent, but the chances are these people are the ones running your online experience.