James Wallis levels with you

Archive for the ‘narrative’ Category

Bioshocking —

So I played the demo of Bioshock a few days ago and I was all like, “huh,” enough to put my money down on a pre-order but not, you know, entirely convinced. Game play, atmosphere, setting and backstory, fantastic, but there was one thing that really jarred. And then I read an internest discussion that […]

Cahiers du Cutscene? —

Wired has suddenly got a bee under its bonnet about the idea that video games need a critical vocabulary before they can begin to be any good, or at least taken seriously. Annalee Newitz argues that film didn’t flower till the 1940s and it was the publication of French film-crit magazine Cahiers du Cinema in […]

Dogs about towns —

Over at Extenuating Circumstances Dan Hon has already done an excellent job of liveblogging chunks of GaME 07 (Imperial College, yesterday) so I won’t duplicate his effort. I will say that it was a good day, the talks were of variable quality, and the stand-outs—as you’d expect—were David Braben talking about ‘Creating Games for the […]

A synopsis, a manifesto and a question —

To sum up the last two posts: Will Wright believes that a player’s satisfaction from interacting with a videogame should be on a primarily intellectual level. I’m not saying he’s wrong. In fact I’d say that this describes 99% of the games currently on the market, including several that I enjoy and recommend. That does […]

Wrong and Wright —

…hell with it, I will write a reposte. The problem we have, the huge great mote in Will Wright’s eye and also in the eyes of most of the people who have called him on his appalling SXSW keynote (see previous entry if you’re bewildered and lost), is that frankly the state of the art […]

Good Day Sunshine —

Next time someone asks me how to do a driving, exciting character-centric narrative in a video game, I am going to go totally old-media on their ass. Specifically I am going to tell them to go and see Sunshine, the forthcoming film directed by Danny Boyle (28 Days Later) from a script by Alex Garland […]

Gathering nuts in May —

The world is full of bullshit awards. In a few days we’ve got the Oscars, where an Academy dominated by retired actors will vote for films in which other actors get to showcase their acting, and scripts and directors that showcase acting, and people will call foul because these films, these scripts, these directors and […]

Second Person singular —

It’s official: I’ve had an RPG published by MIT Press. My author copy of Second Person: Role-Playing and Story in Games and Playable Media (ed. Pat Harrigan and Noah Wardrip-Fruin) arrived today, and it’s a goodie. Four hundred pages of essays and discussions on all aspects of interactive narrative, story-telling and character in games and […]

Gordon Bennett —

I’ve recently finished playing through Half-Life 2 (Valve, 2004) again. If anything I was even less impressed this time than the last. Let’s get one thing straight: the runny-shooty stuff is great. It’s a fantastic runny-shooty game. I’ve loved runny-shooty games since the days of Rolling Thunder, which was released in 1986, and this one […]