October 2012

17
Oct
2012

Veni, Vidi, Cecidi

Posted by Cha

This post is part of the Blogs of the Round Table at Critical Distance, on the topic of "Fear and Loathing in Game Spaces".

Just being in the world and around other people is scary and exhausting for me. I forget sometimes, because to me it's completely normal. I've learnt to distance myself from the stronger emotions, leaving behind a constant, dull anxiety. But still, no-one would mistake it for anything but fear. I'm not shy, but still perpetually skittish and closed off from the people around me.

13
Oct
2012

The Maturity of Tokyo Jungle

Posted by Cha

There's a lot of fuss about achieving genuine maturity in games. An uncomfortable amount of this discussion is coming from people who want to delegitimise games they dislike. But if they can use subjective definitions for their own purposes so can I.

My definition of maturity involves not caring what other people think. This doesn't mean taking the idea to its ridiculous extreme — you can still seek advice and treat other people well. But maturity is a particular sense of self that, at its heart, does not rely on how others perceive you. An identity secure enough not to amplify its own uniqueness either, just accepting it.

02
Oct
2012

The Hypercube Is Hollow

Posted by Cha

[This post contains spoilers for Fez, such as they are]

Fez reminds me of the puzzle books I used to enjoy as a kid. I genuinely delighted in unravelling the puzzle logic and secret places. This is pure, simple pleasure for me. Unfortunately, after collecting all 67 cubes (with some hints) I was left with a hollow victory. I loved playing Fez but sort of wish it didn't exist.

One major issue is just how deeply embedded Fez is in game history and culture. The blatant references to Zelda, Tetris and so on make it clear this is a game for gamers, in the most backward-looking sense of the term. Hey listen! It assumes its audience will appreciate a game reference on its own merits with no other reason for being there.