Dying Light 2

I’ve mentioned this on Half-Glass Gaming before, but I used to work for a company that sold commercial signage. That means I pay more attention to signs and banners than the average person — it’s something I had to train my brain to do back when I was working in that industry.

Even now that I’m back to writing about video games (and some other things) rather than signs and banners, the part of my brain that observes signage is still very much active. Take, for instance, my photo tour of the advertising in Marvel’s Spider-Man.

I’m currently playing Dying Light 2: Stay Human, and I’m often stopping to look at signage within the game. In this world, civilization started crumbling in about 2021, and the game is set 15 years after that. And this got me thinking about how, after human civilization falls apart, our advertising will endure.

I don’t think Dying Light 2 is wrong to include this detail. When future beings excavate the pieces of this lost civilization, they probably won’t find our art, and our music and film will be long gone. But they might actually dig up some advertisements, and perhaps even develop a craving for a little beverage called Coca-Cola.

Dying Light 2

At first it’s kind of funny, but once you ruminate on that for a bit, it becomes really sad. We could be spending our fleeting time on this planet loving each other, enjoying art and delicious food, and doing our best to leave the planet better off than we found it. We talk about how these things are sort of at the core of human existence, but then we go spend eight hours a day in a cubicle making advertisements for companies that couldn’t care less about whether we live or die.

And honestly, that’s super depressing. We’re forced inside of tiny boxes (figuratively and almost quite literally) so we can make money for entities that don’t even exist in any tangible way. I mean, a company is really just a legal umbrella for a group of people who work together, right? So in some philosophical definition of these terms, a company doesn’t actually exist. It’s just a concept that keeps us grinding away for moolah instead of focusing on what’s actually important in life, because if we stop, we are no longer able to keep eating and sleeping in safe, warm places.

Dying Light 2

And we like to pretend that this isn’t a prison that we’ve created for ourselves. “It’s just the way things are,” we’ll say under our breath as we’re sipping a Starbucks while risking our lives speeding down the highway to get to work on time. But it’s not the way things need to be. Not really. It’s just the way things are currently. If humanity collectively decided that life could be better than this, it would be better than this almost instantly. But we won’t collectively decide that life could be better than this; it’s easier to just keep sipping that Carmel Macchiato and pressing your foot on that gas pedal. You’ve got deadlines, after all.

But who am I to criticize anyone for how they spend their time? I played PlayStation for 2,611 hours in 2021, so maybe I’m not someone you should be taking time-management advice from. I also own Half-Glass Gaming, which gets 100% of its revenue from showing advertisements to our readers, so I’m kind of biting the hand that feeds me here. I don’t have this figured out any better than anybody else.

Also, I think I probably found the worst ad in Dying Light 2.

Dying Light 2

That’s pretty bad, right?

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