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Blasphemous Geometries 12

March 5, 2009

My latest Blasphemous Geometries column has gone up over at Futurismic.

It’s an attempt to lay down some thoughts on a different way of looking at story-telling in video games, but it’s also an excuse for me to make wise-arse comments about a number of different games I’ve played over the years.  Speaking of being a wise-arse I was intriged to discover a YouTube pilot for an Australian TV programme called Game Damage.  Starring The Escapist‘s answer to Charlie Brooker, Yahtzee Croshaw.  It will be interesting to see whether the show will be picked up because I think it highlights the problem with game commentary in a nut shell.  If you watch the pilot you’ll see Yahtzee pouring scorn on what is evidently the contents of a press release while the other two scramble to say something positive.  One the one hand, everyone who plays games knows by now that games companies are entirely self-serving massively dishonest and mostly incompetent.  On the other hand, ‘Yay! New games!’.

VideoGaiden came close to solving this problems by being mostly weird and curmudgeonly with interludes of interest and enthusiasm but I think the problem is that gamers and TV people have tended to be on different pages.  Gamers want to express their culture and that culture involves a good deal of snark and cynicism to counter-act the heavy handed and manipulative marketing techniques used to ensnare them.  TV people, want something that taps into the popularity of games and you generally do this by being up-beat about the thing you’re covering.  Result = generation upon generation of games-related TV that genuinely struggles to move past reading out press releases and playing game trailers.

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