I am too busy playing Mass Effect.
Mass Effect 2 comes out in January, so you understand the pressure I am under to complete the first one. Also, you can customize your character, so obviously Commander Shepherd is a badass lady in my version. I find action games somewhat stressful because I’m really terrible at combat, but after playing for a few minutes I got sucked into the storyline enough that I’m powering through all the explosions. My brother got me started on it – he cracked me up because I asked him if there was a lot of shooting and he said no. When I complained about all the shooting/combat that started like 2 minutes in, he insisted that this game is not a first person shooter and therefore it doesn’t count somehow. Thanks, guy. Ha. Anyway, I need to know what happens to humanity so I guess I’ll have to put up with a little (third person) combat.
On Sunday I played Loom, a game from 1990 that I played when I was little. It only took me a few hours because, even after all these years, I still remembered how to get through all the obstacles – probably because I spent so damn long trying to figure them out in the first place! (Hint: Dye all the sheep green so they blend in with the field and the dragon won’t eat them) Loom was a really interesting game where you had no inventory and instead manipulated things around you by weaving songs (“drafts”) on your distaff (which you usually learned by listening to/observing other objects that gave off the notes). My favorite part is how you can reverse the drafts by playing them backwards – so you can twist or untwist, fill or empty (or un-empty, I guess). Long story short, Bishop Mandible wants to raise an army of dead and in doing so tears the fabric of reality and allows Chaos (or “Choas,” as it is spelled in my version) to escape and cause trouble. You can patch up some of the tears (using the reverse of the “open” draft, obviously) but the game ends (OMG SPOILER ALERT for a game that is almost 20 years old) with a really open end where your Weaver guild says they will repair their part of the pattern and return. Obviously Loom 2 never came about.
This scared the crap out of me when I was little (start at like 7 minutes):
I’ve already briefly talked about video games as art (or at least vehicles for storytelling) sooo….therefore this post is relevant to this blog. Somehow. Loom is still awesome, they had some great ideas.
Speaking of games as art, here is something that I just found out about today due to a ridiculous wikipedia chain: Super Columbine Massacre RPG!
The lingering question—that grand burning query so many have tried to answer—is one I believe this game allows us to at least access in a more honest way. Beyond the simple platitudes and panaceas of gun control, media ratings/censorship, bully prevention programs, and parental supervision remains a glaring possibility: that the society we have created is deeply moribund. This game asks more of its audience than rudimentary button-pushing and map navigation; it implores introspection. This is why the game’s forum is equally important to the SCMRPG project. Through it, people from six continents and all walks of life are discussing the game itself and the incident it is based on. Some of them confess childhood pain or share personal feelings on the shooting. Some of them sustain vulgar diatribes or accuse the creator of wrongdoing. Some of them discuss the game’s social implications in a broader context. At the end of the day, the understanding of the Columbine school shooting is deepened and redefined. That is the real object of the game.
Games as social commentary y/n? This was created with RPG Maker, a program that allows anybody to make a game (albeit a cartoony one). I think my brother had a copy of it once. Anyway, as things like this become more available, I do think we’ll see more stuff like this and I’m interested to see where it’ll go. I’m sure a lot of it will be tasteless (or worse) but we’ll probably get some good stuff out of it too (I haven’t played this particular one so I can’t say which one it is).