This is not to say that real human interactions are not ritualized to the point of mechanic in some ways, but that procedural rhetoric about human life nearly always makes a specific argument: life works this way, life works that way.
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The problem with today’s big-budget video games is not that they aren’t Citizen Kane– it’s that they are too much like Citizen Kane.
Here it is, I think: the moment the world of video games definitively chunked up into discrete groups and congealed. The emulsifier we used to have, this kind of shared sense of exploring a new medium, simply isn’t working any more.
In many ways, it’s like naming a band: technically, you can do anything, but if your idea is at all clever, someone else has probably done it first. And really, the name shouldn’t be too clever, otherwise the joke gets in the way of what, ultimately, should be a desire to express the group’s ethos sincerely.
Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed games have historically opened with a title card that reads, “This game was developed by a multicultural team of various faiths and beliefs.”
To be an artist (or a craftsperson) and make something about today’s wars that’s corporately antiseptic and palatable, you often have to purposely leach the commentary away; you have to dance around the fact that there’s a lot of war in your game and that you have nothing at all to say about it.
By saying that Vanquish is a great game but could benefit from better story and characters, Clark implicitly proposes a mythical beast— the kind with the head of one animal and the body of another
Much of the consternation about games and art seems to arise from the application of a critical apparatus from some different medium– literary or filmic– and finding games disqualified to be considered at all.
Imagine you start a new game and are immediately presented with the following scene: on the left is a small bunny rabbit sitting on a small hill. Every once in a while it snuffles in the grass.
On the right is an enormous demon wreathed in flames.
Kane and Lynch are totally bad-ass dudes. You know this from the very start because their names are “Kane” and “Lynch”.