Free Indie Games 2013
how Shattered Memories uses its Silent Hill-ness in order to further its themes.
thematically, the game is about the process of therapy as a method of uncovering past trauma in order to finally deal with it properly.
Very little of the action in Shattered Memories actually happens. What we are seeing is a literalization of resistance. The Raw Shocks are the most obvious manifestation of this. Any time a character is about to reveal a truth about the situation, any time Cheryl is about to have a breakthrough, the world freezes and a bunch of monsters chase.
The feeling that this Harry isn’t the real Harry, that that’s not who Dhalia is–that’s resistance.
/.../Most of the complaints had to do with the fact that it’s widely perceived that the game simply uses the franchise/characters in order to boost sales of an unrelated game; it would have had a better reception if it had used all new characters to tell its story. But that’s clearly not the case. The game is quite literally about the inability to see people you believe you know in a different light, from a different angle. Our unwillingness to do so mimics the characters’ inability. We need to have preconceptions of these characters; we quite simply need to have some baggage. Giving this storyline to completely original characters would not have made it nearly as effective; the player would have been more of an observer than an active participant.
Michael Brough’s best works are not sprawling simulations that place a universe at your fingertips; nor are they more contained simulations that nonetheless remind you of your place in humanity; nor are they decorated narrative walkabouts. Brough’s best works are cerebral puzzles, untarnished by anything that might deserve to be called extra.
In Kafka’s Metamorphosis, what is revealed to be most absurd is not the thing that is most apparently ridiculous—that a man has turned into a bug—but how the characters choose to respond to the situation. David Lynch uses the mundane/absurd technique to expose the viewer to his best guess at what Pure Evil looks like. Thecatamites uses the technique to talk about the frustrating, the bureaucratic, the everyday, the things some people take fishing trips to get away from.
BioShock Infinite uses racism for no other reason than to make itself seem clever. Worse, it uses racism and real events in an incredibly superficial way—BioShock Infinite seeks not to make any meaningful statement about history or racism or America, but instead seeks to use an aesthetics of ‘racism’ and ‘history’ as a barrier to point to and claim importance. BioShock Infinite presents a veneer of intelligence—with wholly unexplored and mystifying asides to complicated concepts like Manifest Destiny and the New Eden—without ever following through. Without any deeper exploration of these ideas, BioShock Infinite’s use of American history and the Columbian Exposition is illusory, and already puts the lie to the claim that by engaging with these themes, BioShock Infinite is the place to find substance in mainstream videogames.
Is The Sims the Ultimate Reality TV Show?