Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Recommendations: Tower of the Blood Lord and Leigh Alexander's Critique of Bioshock Infinite

Here's an interactive fiction game made in Twine called Tower of the Blood Lord, which starts out as an amusing parody of the first 20 minutes of Modern Warfare 2, but then takes a surreal twist, and eventually ascends into a really well written essay about games and culture and violence and prejudice and interacting with culture instead of just consuming it. The game gave me a much needed reminder to consider the relationship between narrative and gameplay, especially violent gameplay, and to consider my own role as a game developer in proliferating (or not) certain cultural attitudes about violence, gender, and race in games. Definitely worth a play/read.

Especially relevant to the themes of Tower of the Blood Lord is this brilliant critique of Bioshock: Infinite by Leigh Alexander. While I enjoyed Infinite very much, I was a little off-put by the narrative context of the game's violence, as well as how the game addressed race. I might write more about race in Infinite some other time (I need to go to bed), but Alexander does a fantastic job in critiquing violence in the game. Well worth reading.

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