Really, Rockstar? Zombies? You took Red Dead Redemption, the highest rated, multi-platform release of the year and decided to add zombies? Gee, that’s really fucking original. And unique. Very unique. Really, extremely, very unique.
Archive for July, 2010
I finally got around to watching District 9, and for the most part I enjoyed it. So often movies with premises that center around social issues have problems maintaining profluence (see A Day Without A Mexican), but District 9 managed to shoehorn in an extensive criticism of humanity while keeping the story moving.
My biggest problem with D-9 was the point of view. The movie starts off as a faux documentary and then transitions into a more traditional omniscient camera POV, an unusual choice. Most faux-docs maintain the documentary POV for the sake of realism, and leaving it behind felt jarring.
“Eris Sinks Pluto” by Will Kaufman is a story of youth, friendship, frivolity, and choices, set on a moon awaiting its own destruction. Kaufman’s framing of an interpersonal conflict set amidst an interplanetary one is endlessly clever, and he follows through on the idea with compelling characters, realistic dialogue, and a fluid writing style that has all the ease of stream of consciousness prose without any of the confusion. Doubtlessly, this is the issue’s strongest story, and Kaufman its most promising new voice in speculative fiction.
I’m having this printed on a t-shirt!
One of my refrains in response the complaint that there aren’t any games with artistic merit has been that people aren’t looking outside the blockbuster titles. Just like blockbuster films, blockbuster games are much less likely to be artistic – after all, they’re profit oriented and art doesn’t generally make anyone much money…until the artist is dead.
So here’s a little taste of what I’m talking about to get you started:
The Electronic Literature Collection, Volume 1, released back in 2006 (so some of the content is no longer compatible with current versions of Flash). Sure, not all of these are games, but some are, and some of the interactive content is really only not called video-games for reasons of semantics. Check out Bad Machine if you can deal with text-based games, it’s a fantastic piece of interactive science fiction.
Jason Rohrer’s site. This guy is trying, he really is. And some of his stuff is pretty damn good.
FATALE. Tales of tales are also trying hard – I mean, a video game based on Oscar Wilde’s Salome? You can decide for yourself how successful you think the project is.
And that’s just a start. All I’m saying is that if you keep your ear to the proverbial ground, there’s a lot out there to find. Even just paying attention to Newgrounds yields the occasional attempt to create art. Designers aren’t always successful, but this is a young medium, and it’s being mostly worked with by young people. Both the medium and the artists need to mature. And they will.
And I would never have referred to Ebert as a blow-hard until today. Today I read this.
The pomposity and smugness of his supremely backhanded retraction, as well as the many, many semantic arguments it will inspire, I shall leave to others to address. Instead, I’m going to talk about Clive Barker.