I AM BECOME BEER, ARBITER OF MEN
As a rubric for determining the worths of all types of people, the old "would I like to have a beer with them" test reigns supreme. We hear this question posed across the spectrum of American discourse, from politics ("Sure, he's clearly the better candidate and the other guy keeps confusing Austria with Australia... but would I want to get a beer with him?") to establishing friendships ("She's smart, funny... but aloof. Do I want to get a beer with her?") to philosophy ("So, class, Plato's point was that if you were the owner of the Ring of Gyges, you could have a beer with anyone in the world without consequence... but would it be just?"). We may be paraphrasing Plato slightly here.
The point is that "would I like to have a beer with this person" has become, in our culture, synonymous with "do I like this person on an instinctual level."
We've all heard the "most influential" or "baddest-assed" lists compiled of video game characters. But why not apply the all-important "get a beer with" test to these same characters? It's an almost completely original idea! So here it goes -- ten video game characters we'd like to have a beer with.More >>
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim -- putting the "fan" back in "fantasy."
Oedipus has survived for millenia as a dramatic figure, because the story of his life is so compelling. In Oedipus's search for a cure to the plague of Thebes, we see our own compulsion to uproot the evil and misery in life. In Oedipus's discovery of the horrible truth that he killed his own father (ANCIENT GREEK THEATRE SPOILER ALERT), we recall every time we've accidentally brought ruin upon ourselves. And when Oedipus leaves town, once a beloved king, now a blind exile, we recognize that even the mighty may fall.
As a gamer, the Nintendo 64 Kid holds a similar place in my psyche -- he is an archetype, a figure who reflects my own thoughts, emotions and dreams. When I see N64 Kid's complete rapturous meltdown because he's received a gaming system, I understand the yardstick by which my excitement about future video game releases can be measured.
I was pretty stoked about LA Noire, maybe 0.4 N64Ks (if one N64K denotes a level of excitement equal to that of Nintendo 64 Kid). And I clocked in at about 0.65 N64Ks in the days leading up to the release of Deus Ex: Human Revolution. But I think now I may be approaching 0.8, 0.9 N64Ks of exhiliration... I may even pull a full-on 1.0.
Guys, I'm really excited for Skyrim. And I'm not alone -- fans and reviewers not lucky enough to have snagged an advance look at Bethesda's newest Action-RPG smorgasbord are wildly speculating about what the game will be like. And so, here's my own speculation -- five things that, Nine Divines willing, we will learn from Skyrim.More >>
|The internet thinks these guys are comedic gold; though we can probably agree this was not Bethesda's original intent.|
One point that has been raised in the past concerning video games is that they generally err on the side of being humorless. Luckily, there are notable exceptions -- classic games like the ridiculous Space Quest series come to mind, and recent offerings like the Portal games prove that it's quite possible to produce a gaming experience that is both emotionally satisfying and deliberately funny.
|Die, walker, die.|
I finished the episode last night and thought about how it compares to zombie video games. Though an excellent drama, The Walking Dead is nowhere near as violent as some recent releases featuring the undead. To prove my point, I dug up gore-y videos from such titles as Dead Rising 2, Call of Duty: Black Ops and Dead Island. The videos speak for themselves, showing just how creative us zombie slayers can be. Add for your favorites in the comments.
|Splinter Cell -- it's about to get subtle up in here.|
|Conned into awesomeness.|
But don't take my word for it. Check out some NYCC footage from fans and indie reporters, and feel free to share yours.