Riot Games, creators League of Legends, has announced some lofty ambitions . Arcane, their upcoming animated TV series, reportedly intends to destigmatize video games. How exactly they plan on doing that with an animated show based on their popular MOBA game isn’t clear.
Arcane follows the story of Jinx and Vi, two heroes from League of Legends, and tells the tale of their origins. Everyone knows that League of Legends has a toxic and immature fan base. How exactly Riot thinks that will help them destigmatize anything is anybody’s guess.
Don’t get me wrong. The idea is completely on point. It’s a lovely idea that everyone in the world will eventually come to see gaming for what it is, a pastime like any other. It can be as deep and meaningful as any book or movie but also comes with its bad elements. Of course, sometimes the bad elements are thrown into sharp relief by just how toxic they are.
The issue is that a lot of the public at large know little about video games. Having a show tell a fantasy story about characters from a preexisting game isn’t going to do anything. Chances are, that anyone into fantasy is probably already into video games. And anyone not into fantasy isn’t going to bother watching the show in the first place. No matter how much Riot want them to.
The real way to destigmatize gaming is to clean it up a bit. No, that does not mean getting rid of the adult games. Erotic fiction doesn’t stop people from reading books, erotic games will not stop people from playing video games. What might stop them is a raging dumpster fire of a community.
Basically what I’m saying is that going harder into making the League of Legends community a better, more welcoming place would be more helpful than 1,000 animated series. If learning to play LOL was a better experience, maybe an animated series would actually pull people in.
As it currently stands, the most we’re going to get out of Arcane is a decent TV series. More than likely, we’ll get a semi-decent TV series based on a popular video game. No matter what happens, Riot’s lofty ambitions are probably going to outstrip their show’s capabilities.