The Video in Games, Moonrise Kingdom, & QUANTUM CONUNDRUM
The Video in Video Games:
One of the major problems with arguing against Video Games as a sight of meaning is that they inherently differ from typical games by including video in them. Video Games are there for a hybrid form between real life games like hide and seek and film. The problem with this mixture is that any medium capable image is also capable of meaning and the control that one has in shaping the possibilities and framing of a game means that poignancy can abound. Hence focusing on the absence of meaning in play ignores that games contain another medium with in them perfectly suited to meaning production. It’s what happens when the two collide that makes it all interesting.
Moonrise Kingdom is Wes Anderson’s latest and like a lot it deals with trauma and the rather flexible borders of acceptability. It is essentially a record of society enforcing mental illness by trying to block the romantic intentions of a 12 year old.
QUANTUM CONUNDRUM is the latest game by Kim Swift. The game is not portal. The puzzles rather quickly differentiate into new territory (a lot of glass breaking and platform building) and the game play becomes hypnotic. The game suffers from one major problem: Portal derived a lot of it’s charm by being a disturbingly realistic fps in a sci-fi world that humorously devolved many of the overtly serious conventions of the fps into comedy. It was like opening a Gears of Wars games only to find out the locust were emotionally disturbed pansies, Portal turned genre expectations on it’s head. QUANTUM CONUNDRUM does not do this, the game’s cartoon lay out screams kid friendly game and while the dialogue isn’t entirely unenjoyable seeing Ms. Swift’s trademark humor in the dimension it was intended, takes some of the bite out of it. The story in other words lags, the game play shines. I fine myself strangely frustrated by the narrator because I think I would rather be him than the little child at the door step. It was patched yesterday (hopefully with better video options) and I bought the dlc season pass so we’ll see if the second outing from Portal’s main lady works as well. So far it’s fun and really drew me in.
Anyway, I continue to have this weird nagging I should be posting about philosophy sensation, but really am taking a break into game design. Stuck on a fairly hard problem over at udacity.com right now and my game in Codea continues to lag on a simple display issue… sigh… programming can be so much fun (I would really like to get into A.I. and bioinformatics), but leaves me with many mysteries. Back to my classes and probably Crysis 2.
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