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Great question. If I only had one video I could play it would be this.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Issue : Games : Simulationist



Evoland is a game about tradition, and basically the role playing version of A Christmas Carol, in that you get visited by the ghosts of RPG past, present and future.

The past is dipped in sanguine nostalgia caked in it's systems, menus, and characters, then whisks you away just as you begin to realize how annoying the constant backtracking, something happened somewhere game play mechanics, and random overland battles actually were.

The present arrives in three high definition dimensions, loot tables, and top down slashing. There are also destructible walls, airships, and flower girls not long for this world. This visitation only served to remind me of a time when developers were not afraid of the concepts like adversity, choice, and permanence. And how the games they made were better for it.

The future is most true to the source material in that there is nothing there. There is not an original word, texture, system, or object in the whole game. This truth is also truthy to the state of modem gaming, because role playing games have not seen substantial innovation in many, many years.

Through necromancy a bloated spikey haired carcass with amnesia appears every fiscal quarter. The kids are repulsed, the adults are bored. Evoland's credits are the gravestone that laments the loss of a genre that did the same thing over and over because they thought it was what it was supposed to do. Giving phoenix down to the undead.

How old are we now anyway? Some people have video games date of birth pegged at 1947 with Missile Simulator, some say it was '61 with Spacewar!, others swear it was '03 with Call of Duty.

There is a school of thought on the subject that claim the whole argument moot, that the digital canvas is just another extension of the same basic game our species have been using to pass the time since the lights came on.

The only difference I see in all of it is that these days things move fast, much faster than ever before. Especially in our neck of the woods. Folks that have been around for a couple decades or more have had a front row seat to the show. We have seen how platformers split into side scrollers, which begat brawlers, which begat adventures, that sort of thing.

So the idea of tradition, or, things that whole generations of humans do over and over and over because somebody did them first, is new to video game land, mostly because video game land is new to the world. Kind of. But how does that work for us?

For instance, a parent that wants their kid to read would usually give them a children's book, Cat in the Hat, Everybody Poops... Is there an equivalent for that in the video game world? Should a kid start with Super Mario brothers?

What happens to a kid that starts a story at chapter thirty? Or coming at a different angle, what happens to the story when it's that kids turn to add a chapter? Personally, I say start em at the top. Tabletop. That's even better.

Whatever. The game is Definitely a standout entry on Greenlight, the gaming industry's version of a rapper standing outside of a club trying to sell you his CD for eight bucks, and well worth a weekend for what it is.

Alright fine, I get it, the news thing is a wrap. SpeakingOfGames does it better over on Reddit anyway, so there you go, ill just bite his shit. Cry Moar. Oh and almost forgot to mention Arena.xlsm, play it because saying you experimented on an Excel tab makes you sound more grown up.

Hope information chokes on information, wait, wha?  Also JERBZ.

The Protoculture Mixtape v.156 Issue : People : Twink

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