There seems to be an issue that goes beyond the simple subject of ridiculous costumes: the fashion in which contemporary games treat the physical act of sex itself.
Dear Esther resolutely, and I think intentionally, resists any kind of complete analysis, but over the months since I first played and replayed the game, a kind of shape has been forming in my mind, one that grows and builds upon itself each time I go through it.
Two years ago, I posted a rather grandiose statement of purpose on a little blogspot site to an audience of my wife and a few friends. Today, we have our own domain, a regular writing staff of eight people, and people actually come to the website that don’t personally know me!
What cultural narratives do RPG mechanics tap into? And, knowing this, what cool things can we do with games to subvert that?
Three years ago I sat down with a used copy of Mass Effect, knowing next to nothing about the game. I mean, I knew about elevators, I knew people hated something called the Mako, and I knew you couldn’t play past the ending.
After a prolonged and ammunition-expensive battle the Big Daddy fell. ‘How the hell are your weapons doing so little damage? And how were his doing so much?’ We quickly came to the answer: I was playing on Hard Mode. He’d played on the game’s default Normal Mode.
I know that for many the zombie craze has been played out. And yet, like the hellwalkers they depict, zombie games just keep coming. I want to examine why zombies work in games, specifically why they make engaging and compelling enemies when presented in the context of a survival situation.
My love of villainous types started when I was a child, awe-struck by David Bowie dressed as the Goblin King in Labyrinth, and carried on into my JRPG-obsessed teenage years.