BG19 – Fear of a Transhuman Future : Zombies and Resident Evil

Futurismic have my nineteenth Blasphemous Geometries column.

It deals partly with the Resident Evil games but mostly with the evolution of the zombie genre.  Originally, I was planning a much more expansive piece that also took in the games Dead Space and Prototype – as they also have a rather reactionary attitude towards the shifting conceptions of identity found in transhumanism  – but I decided instead to focus my analysis a bit more.

Blasphemous Geometries 13

Futurismic have just put up my thirteenth Blasphemous Geometries column entitled “The Alternative Hugo for Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form”.

Unsurprisingly, given that title, it is an alternative shortlist of five works of genre cinema that push the envelope a little furthers than the very mainstream indeed hugo shortlist.  I’ll also take the opportunity to link to Mark Kermode’s discussion of Martyrs, which he agrees is an almost unwatchable film redeemed by its transcendental themes.

Blasphemous Geometries 12

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.