Saturday, November 1, 2014
The second kickstarter project I backed (the first was A House in California, made by Jake Elliott of Kentucky Route fame) was Hadean Lands. Now, four years later, it's finally here. And I'm not going to play it. It's simple, really - the game is mainly a puzzle game, with very little story and very much heavy puzzle solving. I'm just not into that game of game. Ok, I loved Plotkins Dual Transform even though it basically had no story, but it was short, and experimental, and had a wonderful atmosphere. This game seems to be very long and very heavy. So yeah, sometimes you just have to pass up on games.
This week I've been playing Dragon Age 2 and some horror games, but more on those next week when I do a write-up!
I see people walking toward me, but they’re not really people, just strange aliens that don’t quite cohere into any particular shape when I get close. That’s what marks Bernband: nothing makes any more sense as you get closer to it. It’s stranger than that: the further away things are, the clearer they seem. There’s a night that covers the world and gives everything an enveloping calm.
articles about games, in the end, still garner much less traffic and general interest than other cultural phenomena. serious discussion that happens in the videogame sphere is largely disregarded as niche and unimportant in broader cultural conversations - much to the frustration, by the way, of those of us who do see games' ubiquity and value. and so, in the absence of larger serious cultural attention, the boy genius rules as king.
The trouble is I am find myself getting a little tired of this kind of subversion. The game looks like a shooter and the player can do nothing except shoot. Now you might point out that the player has another option - do nothing. It is in doing nothing that enlightenment can be found.
If the player cannot inhabit the role on offer, the game collapses into a system and meaning and metaphor are lost. But this is as much an issue of game education as it is acting.
A developer who chooses to subvert conventions, thinking that the results will be in the higher metaphorical level, may find players accusing them of being exploitative. The reason is the developer has broken the compact. The player has adopted the role they were supposed to, but the developer has used familiar labels to do quite different things. Now when I press a button in the lift for the basement, the building explodes. The system has been deliberately corrupted.
What I’ve realized during my time engaging with the online community surrounding games media and development is that minoritized voices often only get visibility and resources when they are talking about their pain.
I am more than my pain. I am more than my pain. I am more than my pain.
Persona 3’s protagonist is a supernatural other, a messianic figure capable only of departing from their own realities and connecting to the feelings of others. The PC is a series of masks, but these masks are more than a costume for others to look at, the PC is a reflection of those that speak to them, the masks look outward and see the world in different ways. The PC’s masks are the source of their divine empathy.
Could there be a viable concept of ‘player rights’, and if not, are there any grounds for legally restricting games?
It is not that players have rights so much as it is that players have responsibilities – and not least of all, to themselves.