I gotta be honest. I had a moment when I was playing Spider-Man last night. I had just finished taking out one of the various criminal bases. It was among the best 5 minutes of combat I can ever remember playing in a video game. Multiple 50+ combos, bouncing from enemy to enemy, using all my gadgets, knocking guys into the air, then grabbing them and throwing them at other guys, sliding between people’s legs, yanking rockets out of mid-air. You brought a rifle? How cute. Let me borrow that so I can hit you and all our friends over the head with it. The most highly-trained henchmen were helpless against my spider-senses.
Then after I cleaned that up, just launching into the NYC skyline, zipping down roads and between buildings at breakneck speeds, doing flips and tricks and spins and catapulting even faster, when it just hit me.
Holy shit. I cannot believe this exists.
I can’t believe Spider-Man exists. I can’t believe Infinity War exists. I can’t believe The Last Jedi, or Game of Thrones or Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings exist. Half a dozen Marvel TV shows. The Arrowverse. Steven Universe. Gravity Falls. Crunchyroll and Funimation. I can’t believe they’re making a Witcher series. And a Captain Marvel movie that looks totally badass.
That’s not to say any of these things are perfect. They all have their problems, whether they be thematic or technical.
But then I think back to 30-years-ago-me. Pumped to go to the movies with my friends to see Reindeer Games or fucking Mad Dog and Glory (we were seriously excited for Mad Dog and Glory). Spending hours upon hours playing easily-cheesed, two-button sports games and awkward, barely controllable action platformers.
I’m not sure if people in their early 20s or younger can really appreciate what it was like when an objectively horrible, made-for-TV Incredible Hulk movie was the most exciting thing to ever happen because, whoa his lawyer is Matt Murdock‽ A lot of what passed for popular entertainment in my youth was fucking awful. It was awful then and no amount of nostalgia-boner fueled rose-colored glasses can make it any less awful now.
So, yeah. It’s important to be vigilant in the day-to-day. Lord knows nerd culture has a lot to answer for. But it’s also worthwhile to swing, zip and climb your way to the top of Avengers Tower, take a look around and soak it all in. Because holy shit, man. Holy shit.