Posts Tagged ‘Mass Effect’

The most offensive games

March 2, 2009

Late December an investment company released this list list of the most offensive video games from the past two years. It’s funny how it could also almost be a list of the best games from the past two years.

Now I don’t have a problem with The Timothy Plan releasing this list as a guide for their clients to use when considering video games to purchase the children in their lives for Christmas. That’s their prerogative, and they specifically say they’re not trying to stop me from playing offensive video games, so live and let live.

recharging your power in Bioshock

recharging your power in Bioshock

But it is kind of funny what they have to say about some of these games. For example, they point out that in Grand Theft Auto IV you can use the in-game Internet to search for a gay date. Or in Army of Two the two characters share a parachute and get uncomfortably close while using a car door as a shield.

Anyways, their list of the Most Offensive Games were judged primarily on sexually suggestive themes and images, curse words, alcohol, tobacco and other drug use and violence. And all were already rated Mature (except for World of Warcraft and Bully, which were rated Teen), so if parents just paid attention to the ESRB rating on the box they could see that these games were never intended for their precious little snowflakes anyways.

The list, in seemingly no seemingly relevant order: (more…)

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Narrative in gaming presents barriers and opportunities

February 17, 2009

Jon Christensen at /gamer makes a good point here based on an clip of an interview of David Jaffe:

There are many reasons why video games don’t tell an incredible story, one huge reason for me is the character development. In order to have a true masterpiece in storytelling, the person reading/watching the tale must truly care about the main character. Sadly, there has yet to be a game where I truly hope the main star achieves his goal. I believe many factors contribute to this, but one main reason always sticks out of my mind. The person we play as — never dies. Sure, most games we play; the character can get shot, fall off a cliff, get stabbed to death, run over etc…but we can select continue and the story is back where it left off. There is not a punishment, we always know he/she always wins in the end — as long as we put the time and effort into it. So, how could we care for someone/something if for the most part — works out in the end.

via /gamer -> David Jaffe Believes Games Don’t Tell a Great Story and Why We Agree!

Jaffe is best known for directing God of War and the Twisted Metal series, neither of which hang their laurels on narrative. But it seems we all three agree there are major hurdles for game designers to overcome if they want their games’ stories to be considered great. Especially difficult when many of them seem to be working in revenue-focused corporatations (as they should be, just saying its not an environment that’s conducive to creativity).

I really don’t see the medium as being able to weave a tale as complex and profound as The Godfather anywhere in the near future. But it is far more valuable to judge pieces within their media as opposed to comparing to pieces in other media. (more…)