Wednesday, October 20, 2004

The Intruder...

A month ago, PBS-Seattle-KCTS, released its Video Game Revolution documentary. There is also a webchat archive with its producer. I've been intererested in the phenomenon, although I've never really had the attention span to become a gamer. So, while in New York, I stumbled across Saint Mark's Books in the East Village and while listening to the Cheney-Edwards debate, I perused several MIT press books talking about digital culture and how video games are being "theorized" by humanities scholars and artists. One project that caught my eye was a post-feminist video game by Natalie Bookchin called, The Intruder (1999). It is based on an unpopular story by Jorge Luis Borges. It's not a fun game and the graphics are old school, but I found it interesting, as it made the player play a part in the tragic narrative. The idea that video games are a new medium that transcend literature and film rings true with me. The interactivity transforms the action, making the player more involved, but since the context is still contrived, it is still an abstraction. As a product, it's clear that the social implications of games will be debated for years, as technology alters our behaviors and reflexively, we alter technological functionality. Inserting players into interactive entertainment contexts is here to stay and the genres of games will surely expand.

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