Life Is Strange is a video game about a painfully hipsterish teenage girl who finds out she has the ability to bend time and therefore, all of reality to her whim. She of course uses this power to generally fuck around. The game was mostly well-received by critics and fans with the notable exception of the dialogue, which kinda sucked. Something a writer explained as being not his fault because teens talk so darn funny these days.
If you’ve never played the game just imagine a super-cut of news reporters describing teen fads intersected with clips of your parents reading the hashtags of a Kendall Jenner Instagram photo. The game’s dialogue is filled with awkward pop culture references that wouldn’t seem out of place in an episode of The Big Bang Theory and cringe-worthy attempts at slang such as the gem, “Go fuck your selfie!” which is used not once, but twice during the game.
Life is Strange is a video game that is very obviously written by a bunch of grown men who have no idea how actual, real teenage girls talk. Which would be fine if not for the fact one of those grown men got his grown man panties in a bunch when fans and critics rightfully started shitting all over the dialogue he’d written.
One thing that particularly irked the writer was the amounts of fans online making fun of one characters overuse of the word “hella”. Specifically fans felt that the character seemed to be trying too hard to be cool, which as we all know is the quickest way to establish that you’re not cool. It also didn’t help that this character also happened to embody every other stereotype of that one girl we all know who tries way too hard to be quirky and unique.
The writer responsible for the inclusion of the word hella in the script, Christian Divine, seemed to take this criticism as a personal slight, stating that when he was young the word was very popular. Which probably should have been his first hint that teenagers today probably don’t use the word unironically.
Divine defended the inclusion of the word in the game’s script by explaining that he totally heard some kids say it in 2013 in exactly one place in America near where the game’s fictional setting was located. When confronted with the fact that thousands of fans totally disagreed with the fact anyone, anywhere spoke like any character in Life is Strange, Divine changed tack, stating:
“I could research, I could find out, but I can’t honestly say that I would know how somebody talks elsewhere in the world.”
Just a pro tip Divine, research probably would have helped you figure out how actual teenagers talk because THAT’S THE LITERAL FUCKING DEFINITION OF WHAT RESEARCH IS. You could have gone to any college campus in Pacific Northwest and interviewed a bunch of hipsters and used that as the basis of your script. Writers around the world write dialogue for characters who are nothing like themselves every single day. You don’t get to be pissy about people criticising dialogue you wrote if your excuse for it being shitty boils down to “nobody knows how young people speak anyway?” There’s at least one demographic who do and they were the people who bought your game.
This shit is hella easy if you do the research, dude. Don’t be so cereal all the time, it’s a major drag.