I have a confession to make: I’m not a gamer. Never have been. You won’t find a review of “LEGO Star Wars” or notices about the latest patch for “The Old Republic” in this space. I don’t pay that much attention to the gaming galaxies of the Expanded Universe, but I just couldn’t escape the furor over the newly released “Kinect Star Wars.”
You probably know what I’m referring to; last week millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror about the Xbox game, specifically its “Galactic Dance Off” feature where, according to the game’s website, you can “dance for Jabba the Hutt and take on other favorite ‘Star Wars’ characters in 4 different locations.”
What seems to be getting most folks in a tizzy is the sight of Han Solo boogieing down to a remake of Jason Derulo's "Ridin' Solo" (called "I'm Han Solo") inside the very room in which Movie Han gets carbon-frozen in “The Empire Strikes Back.” Once again, charges of childhood rape are being thrown around: at Microsoft, Lucasfilm and, of course, George Lucas himself.
Curious regarding what all the fuss was about, I watched the offending dance online. I laughed. I was amused, not offended. Can’t these people take a joke?
Apparently not, says Bryan Young of BigShinyRobot.com. “I had people tweeting at me, like, ‘This is an abomination.’” But it’s not the first time “Star Wars” has been the subject of parody, nor will it be the last. So why the outcry?
Part of it has to do with the fact that “Star Wars” gamers are very serious about their hobby. “I think a lot of fans expected, and want out of any ‘Star Wars’ [game] that comes out, the level of darkness and playability of ‘The Force Unleashed’ or ‘The Old Republic,’” says Young. “And anything that doesn’t live up to those I don’t think they’re satisfied with, because they take ‘Star Wars’ too seriously.” This is coming from a man who named his child Anakin.
And Young points out that all the vitriol about the dance feature in “Kinect Star Wars” overshadows the impressive aspects of the game. “These guys have made something amazing. You don’t have to use a controller and you can pantomime using a lightsaber. This is the first game like that,” he says. But these innovations don’t impress the “Mass Effect” set. “The hardcore gamers that own the Xboxes just don’t understand that kind of gaming,” says Young.
Though I do admit to being overly judgmental at times, I refuse to believe that all gamers are purist snobs with no sense of humor. Prove me right, Comlink readers! Let me know what you think of “Kinect Star Wars” in the comments section below, or give us a shout on Twitter.
In The Comlink, "Star Wars" fan and MTV News producer Tami Katzoff explores the glory days of a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. Whether you're Team Jedi or Team Sith, friend of Wookiees or wanted by bounty hunters, any and all "Star Wars" fans are welcome along for the ride.