Filler, repetition, padding; call it what you will, but it's damn annoying and infuriating. It's like a love scene in a comedy. What could be more maddening that that?
Some video games employ this deplorable technique—filler—to make up for lack of original content. When you fight samey-looking enemies, pass through an unchanging environment, end up doing the same things with the same weapons and abilities, you are experiencing filler.
Filler steals your precious time, turning your life into a series of dreary, delirious, hazy, déjà vu vignettes. Developers know we are addicted to games, and as such we don't want to miss a single second of gaming in anticipation of the next thrilling scenario. And many times all that suspense leads to nothing more than a half-baked idea, diluted like an Oxo cube in a hot tub.
Filler is not exclusive to video games. You can find examples of filler in all forms of entertainment and media. How about those "Caught on Tape" TV shows? They have ten seconds of an interesting clip, but they interview 20 people and show the clip over and over and over. How about CDs of your favorite band with only two good songs? Another fine example is Fred Flintstone running in his house passing the same table and lamp again and again.
Filler is an illusion. It pads the content, making it look like you're getting more for your money. It's the textbook example of quantity over quality.
There is not a single genre of game that doesn't have some element of filler. Some of the worst offenders are RPGs, platformers, and action adventure games. The same could be said for shooters and puzzle games, but they are by design repetitive and limited to a stricter format. Most often you'll replay the entire game with an increase in difficulty. This is expected. No surprises here.
Unfortunately filler has become the norm. We do expect it, but we loathe it. Endless maze-like environments, backtracking, relentless fighting to level-up, a sudden difficulty increase just before a checkpoint, and no save points; these are elements that cause you to replay entire sections of the game. These lazy developers come up with a few decent ideas and stretch them out so thin you can see their molecular structure. All in the name of robbing you of your hard-earned money, (I should say your parents' hard-earned money, you slacker).
Once the illusion of filler has been revealed, you will no longer be unwary of its existence. Now that I've shared this information, you'll no longer be fooled by it. This way you can share in my bitterness, frustration, disappointment, anger, and intolerance. Consider yourself educated. Ignorance was bliss, wasn't it? I'm assuming at one time you used to be a bundle of joy, but now you're just a withered cynical shell like me. You're welcome.
I hope this is making you as mad as I am. If not, just look at the first word of this article. Go to the top where you see the word, "Filler." Now go down a few sentences where the word "sucker" appears. Everything between those two words is filler. Now if you'll excuse me, I am off to Vegas with your money—the money generated from you clicking on this page. So thanks. So long sucker.
By Cole Smith
CCC Senior Contributing Writer
*The views expressed within this article are solely the opinion of the author and do not express the views held by Cheat Code Central. This week's is also purely a work of fiction*