Archive for April, 2010

In Response to Mr. Ebert…

Earlier this week, the brilliant, esteemed critic Roger Ebert wrote again that he believes that video games can never be art.  When he first made this argument some five years ago, I disagreed with him quite strongly.  Here was, I thought, a man that could not and would not ever understand the way that games were, the potential that they had, the point that many attempted.  Here was a man that would not and could not see that games were meant to reach heights heretofore unseen by the likes of cinema and books.

Since then, my view has changed quite dramatically.  Before now, I cited examples such as Indigo Prophecy and Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time as being the closest that games had come to art in form, as the closest they had come to meaningful narrative and true artful focus.  They were games that attempted to break the status quo: games that did not cater to the masses but focused on instead delivering their respective visions without deviating for a second.  And while that’s not entirely true, in that the former unraveled by the end and the latter featured two sequels that deviated quite a bit from the fantastical nature of the original, it was my view, and I stood by it.

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The Antlers Release Free EP

Normally, I’m not going to attempt to hock anything here, but The Antlers are a band that everyone should pay attention to, and a free EP by them is not something that I can just ignore and not share with people.

http://www.myspace.com/theantlers

And a video for the song “Sylvia,” which is probably one of the most haunting songs of 2009:

http://www.ifc.com/blogs/indie-ear/2010/04/exclusive-video-premiere-the-a.php

Enjoy.

In Which I Beat a Dead Horse – Narrative in Gaming (Part 3)

I tend to – often mistakenly – pride myself on not being a “gamer.”  There are other words, other definitions, that I would attempt to place myself in, were I to do that sort of thing, in some effort to put this thing called me in some preconceived box.

That is to say that all of the things that I write about gaming come first from a writer and a reader of fiction, and second from a gamer and a person who enjoys those experiences: the fun, the visceral, the intellectual pursuits that I seem to aspire to in my continuing journey through interactive storytelling and in some effort to find it.

There are those that would say that gaming itself could function without story involved.  This is absolutely, unequivocally true.  I have no preconceived notions of that.  Yet I would argue that we would lose an exciting, powerful, stimulating medium through which to tell those selfsame stories.

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