Bogost finds the words

Just stopping by to share this amazing quote by Bogost in Gamasutra’s ‘Are Games Art? “Here we go again.”

“Film can be used for deeply charged emotional expression, or it can be used to show you how to use the oxygen mask in case of cabin depressurization. If video games are indeed a medium, then they too will speak on different registers. “If you look at the world of ‘serious games,’ a lot of those titles are much closer to the airline safety video than to ‘Citizen Kane,'”Bogost adds. “And like film or TV or painting, there will be different modes of video game craft. There will be pop-art games and self-referential postmodern games and exploitative games and games made solely to cash in on intellectual property like Sponge Bob.”

Naw – I haven’t actually read it – but found the quote at Water Cooler Games and I’ve been thinking about it all day! So much so that I’m getting very distracted from work. But I suppose I knew that would happen eventually!

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"The Days After"

By now we’ve all read about the dreadful Montreal college shooting, which is devestating! And I understand, truely, the desire to find an answer to ‘why?’ – it’s something I ask myself, as well! And ofcourse violent computer games are on top of the medias ‘answers’ list. Bogost discusses this best – I’m not going too dwell on it here.
I just found this machinima film when on a little ‘brain break’ – and thought it was a tad relevant. Just because it’s made using Grand Theft Auto, which usually gets the worst rap when discussions of ‘violent games lead to violence’ occur. I’ll admit it’s kinda sappy – but I enjoyed it. And isn’t it amazing that such a non-violent film can be made in a violent game? I love that!

News Games

So there’s two new News Games (I guess that’s what we’re calling them now) out, that just claw viciously at my definition of game.
Either way, they weren’t very enjoyable for me and I’m saddened that anyone would! I suppose this is why the word ‘fun’ isn’t a requisite in any formal definition of game. Nasral is…well…just filled with some really nasty connotations! Which I suppose has all the qualities to properly be defined as a game, just my lack of fun while playing it. But fun is a point of view, isn’t it? I mean, I don’t have fun playing car racing games either (hmm…should brush up on my Koster). So I guess it’s a perfect example of how games can ‘mean’ something, and I’m not just talking narrative here, we’re talking real Bogostian theory! And then there’s this one with Google maps – impossible to gain points, which I guess is the point! Gruesome!
(via Guardian Games Blog via WaterCoolerGames)

Controversy and drama

Super Columbine Massacre RPG

It’s caused a lot of controversy lately, which I suppose is only natural. It’s a game about the Columbine school shootings of 1999, and you know…it’s not pleasant. This ofcourse has raised havock! Ian Bogost at WaterCoolerGames, who is quite passionate about games with an agenda – wrote an interesting piece a few weeks ago, which has caused people like Brent Bozell, president of the Parents Television Council to call for Bogost’s resignation from Georgia Tech.I suppose that’s what upset me the most really. Personally, I haven’t played the game because it just seemed too uncomfortable, for me – I’m such a wimp, I know.

Mr. Bogost has written yet another brilliant post on the media coverage, which really needs to be read in full – I’ll cut’n’paste the summary here though:

“Most of all, I am deeply worried by this culture of ineffability, a culture that would rather not talk about anything at all for fear that it might make someone uncomfortable. This trend descends from Theodor Adorno’s argument that the holocaust becomes “transformed, with something of the horror removed” when represented in art, thus his famous statement that to write poetry after Auschwitz would be barbaric. These events are considered “ineffable” — unspeakable, unrepresentable. It is a tired sentiment that we must move beyond. Of course topics like 9/11 should make us uncomfortable. Of course Columbine should make us uncomfortable. But that is no excuse to put these issues away in a drawer, waiting for some miraculous solution to spring forth and resolve them for us. If we do so, history is much more likely to forget them. I don’t care if we make videogames, films, novels, poems, sidewalk art, cupcakes, or pelts as a way to interrogate our world. But we must not fear that world.”

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