Archive for June 22nd, 2011

06/22/2011

Propagandize my video games, Al Gore, and you and I are going to have (more) issues

by wfgodbold

You turn video games into Captain Planet, Fern Gully, Avatar, or The Day After Tomorrow, and they’ll be even less ineffective than no ecologically sound video games at all.

Al Gore doesn’t care about making good games; he only cares that games espouse views that help him sell carbon credits and maintain his lavish jetsetting lifestyle.

I’m not saying that pro-environment games are bad; I’m saying that if producers set out first and foremost to preach to their audience, no one will be interested, and the game itself will suffer.

Final Fantasy VII has sold roughly ten million copies in the fifteen years since its release; it’s a pro-environment game, about what happens when man pollutes so much that the planet itself rises up against him in protest. While this informed the plot, setting, and characters, it wasn’t overly preachy, and Square didn’t set out to make a propaganda game. They set out to make a good game, and gamers were fine with the message because it wasn’t overbearing, or the focus of the story, or tacked on at the end obviously, or shoehorned in at the expense of quality gameplay.

Radiata Stories has the main character choose to side either with humanity against the faerie kingdom (who live in harmony with nature), or with the faerie against humanity, and the entire plot and ending changes depending on which choice the player makes.

If you’re making a game, you should set out to make a good game first, and tell whatever story works best with that game style. If you’re just going to shoehorn in propaganda for whatever cause you feel deserves it, then don’t bother.

No one will play it.

06/22/2011

The Sun Rises (太陽は昇る)

by wfgodbold

Okami follows the adventures of the Sun Goddess Amaterasu, taken wolf form, in a Japanese pun (大神 (okami, great god) vs. 狼 (okami, wolf)).

The game’s art style is distinct; the entire world and all of the characters are rendered to look like they were painted in the sumi-e ink style, and it makes for an amazing experience.

Amaterasu possesses a giant brush which the player can use to call up wind, cut enemies or certain objects in half, or use various other abilities. She must fight enemies, solve puzzles, and learn why the land has been cursed and how to lift it.

It’s a fun game, with a unique art style. Unfortunately, it didn’t sell all that well.

06/22/2011

Well, Jon Stewart has roundly mocked the ATF; does that mean Gunwalker’s real news?

by wfgodbold

He even points out the absurdity of submitting entirely redacted sheets of paper (H/T Uncle).

It’s a funny bit; I’m not holding my breath about this spurring actual investigative journalism or coverage from the rest of the media, though.

06/22/2011

The Muppets!

by wfgodbold

Just to prove I’m not perpetually angry, we’ll kick today off with the recently released trailer for the newest Muppet movie: The Muppets!

Thanksgiving seems so far away…

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