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Tycho / on Mon, Jul 11 2005 at 9:41 am

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The Scion, Part Four

Looks like she got her equipment set up.  Last time she was over here for a LAN, her machine came up on the network as Union_Maid.  If you ever have the misfortune of spending any time with her father, I want to emphasize in the strongest terms that you should not draw his protest records back and forth under the needle - in effect, “re-mixing” them.  If you absolutely must do it, then for God’s sake please do not also attempt to kick a flow.  I won’t say how I know this.

I don’t recommend that any of you actually buy Killer7, but I do recommend that everyone play it, because there is something odd and compelling about it that really gets obscured once you’ve spent money on it.  Proponents of our medium, your host included of course, use the term “art” to describe games because that software has been the catalyst for transcendent experiences.  That said, we approach it with a suite of highly specialized, hyper-refined skills that allow us access to it.  Most people don’t don personas with an easy motion of the wrist.  And it’s not hard to see why they might fixate on on superficial elements like “violence” when the fact of the matter is that they lack the skillset to fully discern electronic space, to take the mantle upon them and manifest another life.   

Simultaneously, I think it’s rare that we as players truly think about what it would mean for a game to be “art,” straight up, with no qualifications.  I’m not even sure the two terms can abide without rancor in the same sentence. Games are products, we buy them, and like other things we buy we have a reasonable expectation that it will produce a certain quantity of “amusement” before we have exhausted its supply.  This definition is not sufficient to describe art.  Art can be illegible.  It can be exhausting.  It can be maddening, offensive, and revelatory.  Sometimes, it is literally Our Savior in a jar of pee.  There is certainly no guarantee that you may be amused consistently, we take it for granted when we play a game that such was their intention, even if they have failed in it.  Art can and will elude you.  I’m fairly certain these themes are incompatible with the entire anatomy of consumerism.     

Killer7 has an utterly fascinating premise, completely infused with a bold aesthetic and brilliant audio married to ancient gameplay cliches one could reasonably call decrepit.  I do not believe this to be a good “game.”  As an experience outside of the inputs it solicits from the player, it’s something intriguing and frighteningly original.  It’s a beachhead for a type of technology unafraid to challenge the player along axes other than pure logic or dexterity.  I would caution you against buying it, because unless you are absolutely steadfast in your determination to enjoy it, this game will drive you fucking nuts.     

(CW)TB out.

she’d show her card to the national guard


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