- Nothing important should be left unsaid
- Know when it’s time to move on
- There is such a thing as too much knowledge (and sometimes forgetting is the most painless route)
- A real marriage means either together or never
AGH THE LAST ONE
I love the internet.
Through it, I find so many things to which I would have never been exposed otherwise. Though with that power, comes many a person who thinks their opinion, however wrong it may be, must be heard, and therefore proceeds to proclaim their perceived intellect.
I hate the internet.
I just watched a video talking about an RPG book titled Charnel Houses of Europe: The Shoah, an RPG book that is set in the universe of Wraith: The Oblivion. This book uses the Wraith universe to talk about the Holocaust and the atrocities that happened within several concentration camps at the time. I have not had the ability to read this book yet, but according to the video, Charnel Houses of Europe does not shy away from staring the subject matter in the face or try to tip-toe around the horrors of the Holocaust.
This is where I get a bit ranty.
This is what I love about games. (not just video games, but games in general) At least the quality ones anyway; they make you think, make you ask questions, take you outside of your comfort zone and smash you over the head with the cold hard truth. They do it better than most mediums can due to the immersion level games inherently have.
After watching the video, I scrolled down to the comment section and read some of the comments. Always a mistake. This is what one person said:
“At that point we should not call them games anymore rather than interactive stories. A game is something that is expected to be a fun experience. A game about the holocaust cannot work, because it would either be inappropriate to the subject matter or it would not be a game in that sense.”
If you know me, you would understand how upset reading that made me. I replied with this:
A game, whether it be a videogame or any other type of game is not required, nor should it be blindly assumed to be a “fun” experience any more than a film, theatrical piece or a novel should. Stating that games should be treated as such discredits the entire medium of being able to be anything more than just a waste of time. At that point, one can pass off any hard-hitting story point (or anything in a game that makes one think) as “just a game” and fail to try to understand it.”
Let me state this clearly: I love videogames. I love movies. I love the Theatre. I love books. I hate it when people try to pigeon-hole any medium into a stereotype because that’s all they have experienced.
Don’t get me wrong, I like fun games as much as anyone else, but let me raise a question: when it comes to games/movies/plays/books that stand out in your memory, which do you think of first: the ones that were fun, or the ones that made you think? For me, it’s always been the thought-provoking pieces that really stood out as being better than the rest. They are the ones that I talk about when I refer people to “great” games.
Again, don’t get me wrong. I think games can be fun and thought-provoking at the same time. They also don’t always need to be heavy-hitting, but to say that a game isn’t a game because it’s not fun is an atrocity and completely devalues the entire medium of being able to produce substantial content.
Dear Esther is a great example of this. Dear Esther, if you don’t know, is a game made by Thechineseroom and is a first-person, narrative-driven, interactive story. It’s still a game. The game play isn’t very fun, and it’s certainly not fast-paced, but the narrative is what drives you forward. The story is what is the most engaging, and yet, it’s still a game because Daniel Pinchbeck used the “constraints” (I use that term very loosely) that have been set down as to what makes a videogame. It’s on a screen, you’re controlling a character, and you have a clear ending.
If you are reading this and feel like I don’t know what I’m talking about, here is a list of really awesome and/or avant-garde that I highly suggest you take a look at. Although, if you’re not going to keep an open mind about them, don’t bother:
Spec Ops: The Line: A wonderful example of how a game can be perceived as “just another shooter” and then completely spin you around. Keep in mind that your actions actually matter, and you can change your outcome.
Thomas Was Alone: A puzzle game about a little block of color. I guarantee you’ll never care more for a little block of color more than you do in this game.
Imscared - A Pixelated Nightmare: Definitely on the cusp of “avant-garde,” but still a good thinking game- one that doesn’t believe in the normal videogame rules, which makes it all the more terrifying. If you get scared easily, don’t play this one. Also, you may wish to promptly delete it after you finish. I don’t know if you’ll want it around on your computer for long.
To the Moon: A game that’s substantially more enjoyable than probably any on this list so far, but one that makes you think nonetheless. I won’t ruin anything about this game because I honestly think that the game is priceless.
Papers, Please: Currently in beta, this is more of a sociological experiment when not taken at face-value. When taken at face-value, it’s a fun little boarder crossing simulator. Don’t take it at face-value.
The BioShock series: Again, at first glance, these games seem like just another fun FPS, but these games really delve into what humanity can become if the government and its “rules” are removed. Or in Infinite’s case, if the government and its rules become too powerful.
Those are only a few games that make you question things. If you play through those and want more, let me know. I can give you a bunch more.
Also, do you remember interactive stories? You know, those books that had two choices at the bottom of the page that required you to turn to a certain page to see how your choice played out? Yeah, those were pretty bad, weren’t they?
- me at the beginning of the episode: it'll all make sense at the end
- me in the middle of the episode: it'll make sense at the end
- me 5 minutes from the end: it'll make sense at the end
- me 30 seconds from the end: it'll make sense at the end????
- the end: what
i ain’t sayin’ she a gold-digger, but she did move west to california in 1849