There's this house in Northeast Portland. A green Cape Cod, with moss on the roof and a hammock in the backyard. The kind of place where you want to raise a family, maybe retire to, if the Pacific Northwest is your thing.
The Beauchamps and their apartment play no role in the plot of Bioshock, and unlike some other tragic subplots (the Lutz family, for instance), there are no audio diaries to explain what happened. But their presence, appearance and arrangement raise some interesting questions, and seeking answers to those questions through some analysis of their formal material composition illuminates Bioshock‘s implicit critical use of media history.
Clanking robot bodies. Faceless bodies without identity. Giygas isn’t Ness’ fight, he’s yours. Only you can beat him. When you do, the TV shuts itself off. You’re done. Then it fucking turns itself back on. Then, as a prize, it says: good job completing this journey with us, now stay in your fake bullshit pop art nostalgia theme park forever.
The function of a boss character is that of a marker, a milestone for character or narrative progression. Some are imbued with great power, requiring an equally powerful player character to defeat them, while others derive importance from their plot relevance or emotional connection to the player character.
Where the App store, the Steam store, and the XBLA store tell you, "This is what's popular/featured, you should get one of these," the Kindle book store asks you, "What are you in the mood for? Can we help find you something that you might like?"
The people who are pirating our game are also playing a surprising amount, with really great engagement - these are no casual pirates just downloading because they can. So this confirmed to us that our game design is solid, and that we’ve made a super fun game that people enjoy. To be honest, that is really great.
And the PC folk sit there going “fucks sake” and be glad they got the games but there’s that unshakable “well, you could have just let me buy it the same day as those console folks you know? You could have had my money aaaages ago”.
Above all else, videogames teach us that the world is meant to be explored. It’s important to press pause every so often and remember that.
All else being equal, do you enjoy the games you pay full price for as much as the ones you buy on sale for cheap?
Over the past few years I have had a growing feeling that videogame storytelling is not what it could be. And the core issue is not in the writing, themes, characters or anything like that; instead, the main problem is with the overall delivery. There is always something that hinders me from truly feeling like I am playing a story.
Gone Home will remind you what it’s like to be young, naive, and full of passion. Everything mattered and nothing mattered. No one understands you and no one ever will. The world is both infinite and unfathomably small. As the story unfolds, what’s remarkable is just how unremarkable it really is.
Perhaps what we really need to advance our medium, then, is not the development of yet more new technology, but instead new sets of rules under which to work– that is, new kinds of artistic forms.
Wir "verstehen" unser Medium vielleicht, in dem Sinne, dass wir seine Zeichen zu deuten wissen und mit ihm umgehen können; zugleich engt dieses Verstehen aber unseren Umgang mit dem Medium ein und führt fatalerweise vielleicht sogar zu jener Stagnation, die wir an anderer Stelle bedauern. Gone Home ist so gesehen ein Befreiungsschlag, der demonstrativ zeigt: Wir verstehen da vielleicht was falsch.
There's no doubt that PS Vita has struggled to assert itself since its launch 18 months ago. But Sony has been working hard to give the handheld more luster for hardcore gamers, and to widen its general appeal.