3/23/2009

Thoughts After Finishing Fallout 3

Played a little of a game called Fallout 3. It's a great game, absolutely engrossing storyline and visuals. It's a work of art, to me at least. One of the most interesting areas of the game is a section where you have to get into a pod and take part in a virtual reality simulator: a simulation of a suburban Leave It To Beaver 1950s type realm that is black and white and inescapable. It's a circular street called Tranquility Lane where, depending upon your actions, you can kill the avatars of the characters in the realm or really kill them via a special variation on the simulation (communist Chinese soldiers come out of nowhere and mow them down). I saw some similarities to the Outer Limits and I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream.
Everything in the game has incredible references and has a great creepiness that permeates every aspect. It's one of the few games that's actually made me jump in fright.
Post-apocalypse genres are always so bleak, and yet we are obsessed with them. We're also obsessed with zombie genres. It reminds us of our own fragile mortality perhaps. An affirmation of an afterlife and a continuation of life. Sure, destruction is almost inevitable for the post-apocalyptic genre, but why is it always so bleak? So scorched? Why can't it be... green. Like I Am Legend... only more so.

I had a very interesting conversation about video games tonight proposing that they're an amalgamation of mediums, a hybrid that becomes a medium unto itself and thus, should surpass the mediums it's composed of or that it reflects: ie. film, comics, etc. For the most part, video games do this quite well when they have alternate story-lines and sub-plots that have different endings and consequences as the player chooses. Narration in video games should get rid of the linear one ending scenario or else risk a low level of replay in my opinion.... but still, I wonder what compels me to play Psychonauts, Sam and Max or Full Throttle for the 5 or 6th time because they are quite linear though.

I'll definitely be playing Fallout 3 again. Maybe as an evil girl character.

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