*%$#ing load times. Here's a rant everyone can join in on. So, save your hate email for Justa' Beaver and last week's SNL.
Load times are the interminable intermittent interruptions in video games. Load times occur when the game changes scenes, or when the action begins to heat up. During this time period, or digital vortex as I call it, information is extracted from the game disk into the hard drive of the gaming system. This is because the gaming system doesn't access the disk in real time. More complex games require more information on the disk. This information will ultimately end up in the hard drive, but only in chunks. When the hard drive chews up a chunk of info, everything comes to a standstill. This is a load time. A load time is the electronic equivalent of someone putting you on hold.
Steven Hawking did some research on load times and found they do indeed bend the fabric of time. Twenty seconds of load time is equal to four minutes, eleven seconds, in real time. Some of the worst offenders are Fable 2, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Sonic for the Xbox 360, and basically any PSP game. In the sub-atomic particle realm, you can go from pubescent choirboy to great grandfather during these load times.
What is not true is that all complex games take an eternity to load. Some developers get it right, or at least offer some misdirection in the form of graphics, text, or lame incidental music to take your mind off it.
What if your car had to stop every twenty minutes, regardless of where you were? What if The Strokes stopped to load in the middle of a song? These scenarios are unacceptable, but for some reason it's acceptable for video games.
Load times can be viewed as a necessary evil. Sure I get it, but I don't like it. I may be understanding, but I'm not forgiving. Load times are like commercials from hell. Load times are typically dead air, with little more than a timeline graphic mocking you, slowly filling up the bar. Anger slowly replaces interest.
Some games load when you simply walk into a different room, as in some action adventure games. Unfortunately these games require backtracking. Having to wait a virtual eternity to walk from the study to the den is enough to make you want to pull an Elvis. (That means shooting the offending system with a pistol as he was reported to have done to his TV sets when certain programs were not to his liking). But since most of us don't have a loaded gun handy when we need one, we just eject the game and play something else. The developers don't care, they already have your money. And don't think that a bigger and better gaming system will eliminate load times. The developers will just cram as much information as possible onto the new disks, sloppy codes and all.
Philosophically speaking, load times jar us back into the very reality we are trying to escape. Here we are forced to reflect on the emptiness and meaninglessness of our sorry existence.
Okay, my game's ready now. Later.
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.*