Saturday, February 25, 2006


So, I watched a couple of movies tonight that I had not seen before. Two of them were fairly decent, one is the Greatest Film I Have Ever Seen, at least for the next few days. I ended up formulating a bit stronger a problem I have with games as a result. Video games, as a whole, have little variety in their content.

Too, too often, a game boils down to "kill the other guy," or "get to other side of the map, with killable and dangerous things along the way." Even in the casual set, there are some alchemical formulae that I have not studied which form the basis for most of their games. The independents largely create new examples of dead genres. There's a place for this, sure (and I should stop bitching and make something New and Wonderful, I realize), but not when it's the only thing.

I can understand some of it. Video games are a very young medium. We're really only developing structuralist theories of games now. Further, video games are difficult to make. Artsy types who might come up with stuff meet the technical limitations of making the computer do stuff. Some large portion of programmer types don't give a fuck about the artsy types and what they like. I don't mean no offense to them, they just prefer being creative in other ways. And in the Bigger Business part, it's expensive and dangerous to try out staggeringly new ground. None of this is new.

But, why do we gamey types seem to limit our concept of the possible emotional reactions games can produce? Exhiliration, defeat, OMGFRUSTRATION, relief, triumph, guilt... all these wonderful, active emotions. These are good things to work with (except for frustration, but that's unavoidable in some respects). But what else can we do?

Also, Wild Zero is an amazing goddamn movie. It's a Japanese zombie/romance movie with rock and roll provided by Guitar Wolf. It's ridiculous and I love it as a result.