|Typos are as scary as Dead Space.|
The half-brains behind JD's "Unraveling Yarns" series recently had a bout on Google Chat, rambling about zombies and the power of survival-horror video games. Consider this riffage streaming from the mind to the page, and feel welcome to join in - typo free or not.
Seriously, tell us about your favorite zombie narratives.
|We jump between gameplay and narrative.|
Indulge me for a few minutes as I meditate on those questions, drawing on some classroom experiences.
This year was particularly strong in terms of narrative content. Blockbusters and indie games took bold leaps into the fold of previously uncharted territory of creative game storytelling, by handing us dozens of beautiful, well-told stories that can move and change us. We've selected the ten that best represent 2011 as a whole, and the ten best that will go down in history as some of the best the medium has ever offered.
|Can pandas change the world?|
As James Gee writes:
"Video games usually involve a visual and auditory world in which the player manipulates a virtual character (or characters). They often come with editors or other sorts of software with which the player can make changes to the game world or even build a new game world (much as the mind can edit its previous experiences to form simulations of things not directly experienced)."
Taking a step further, some also say video games can change the world.
The good news is, video games really are changing the world, and they are changing "our" brains. It's not really a question of "can" anymore. Why? To arrive at some answers, we can point to World of Warcraft, the enemy of Eve Online. Consider this Part Two of our yarns on narratives in massively multiplayer online role-playing games.
|Where do we start?|
Jokingly, I asked how Eve Online was treating him. I haven't played the science-fiction, spacecraft-centered, massively multiplayer online role-playing game, where players control the economy, government and more from the ground up.
His shook his head again.
"In Eve, you can really hurt people."
Those words have been haunting me for a week. He had so much conviction behind them, a sign of a self-described recovering (albeit harmless) addict of the game. I've taken his words, done some Internet trolling, and synthesized an idea related to preexisting ideas about Eve: It's a drama with infinite narratives designed by its community. Or it's a drama lacking an "authorial narrative," or a master narrative that dictates the drama. (More on that in a moment.)
It's a simple idea that I invite you to expand on. I have to know more about this game.
|Limbo's narrative is ripe for analysis.|
|How much can The Dark Knight accomplish in one night?|
Outside that museum, though, a city of threats is beckoning Batman. For this player, the trouble is deciding which threat to investigate, to follow-up on, and to neutralize. Should he track down Deadshot? Should he look for "Identity Thief?" (I know who it is!) How much time should he waste on Zzasz's phone calls? Why bother helping Bane? Who was the dude who can catch Batarangs? What can Riddler's goons reveal to me? Every threat/mystery seems to be timely and critical, as if Batman needs to delegate some investigations to the Justice League, Nightwing, Robin or some other buddy.
As the Batcomputer shows, Batman has a lot to cover in Arkham City - perhaps too much for one man, and too much for one night.