By Brendan Keogh on March 19, 2013 at 12:13 pm
You know what I love? Unreliable narrators. I love stories where I can’t trust the storyteller. I love how such stories draw attention to the way they are presenting me information, the way they insist that I be critical and suspicious, and the way they show me that every story is presented from a particular point of view. In videogames in particular, I love how this unreliability of the narrator (usually the playable character) feeds into everything I experience in that world.
I love being forced to wonder if I am seeing this world as it really ‘is’ — or just how my character wants me to see it.
By Brendan Keogh on November 13, 2012 at 1:57 pm
You know what I love? Violent videogames about videogame violence. I love the trend over the past few years (and the last year especially) to examine the various ways that violence functions in videogames. I love the way that these games aren’t so much trying to claim that videogame violence is simply ‘good’ or ‘bad’, but the way they simply want to understand it better, the way they simply want to respect its power more.
Of course, I am talking about games like Bioshock, Spec Ops: The Line, Far Cry 2 and, more recently, Dishonored, Mark of the Ninja, Hotline Miami and the still upcoming Far Cry 3. All of these games, in their own way, ask questions about the ways violence is both depicted and deployed in videogames — the way violence is used against the player, and the way the player uses violence. They want to help us as players have richer and more nuanced understandings of just what violence is doing in these games.
By Toby McCasker on July 25, 2012 at 5:25 pm
All this talk about Spec Ops: The Line has our resident gun-nut wondering exactly where that line is. How many virtual people have we really killed? And why has it taken so long for games to actually start talking about this in the first place?
By Patrick Stafford on July 24, 2012 at 12:52 pm
If you’ve played Spec Ops: The Line, you’ll know that it’s a game with a dark, morally ambiguous narrative, that really makes you feel like you’re making tough decisions and having to live with the consequences. Patrick Stafford argues that, although it’s not perfect, Spec Ops has raised the bar for shooters everywhere, and we as players have an obligation to raise our standards as well.