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Kottke, games, and family - Alex 4.o [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Alex 4.o

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Kottke, games, and family [Jun. 3rd, 2009|01:38 am]
Alex 4.o
Earlier this week Jason Kottke mentioned the addictiveness of Crush the Castle, a game hosted at Armor Games, a 'casual gaming' site. The title of the game is a misnomer, as the goal of the game is to kill all of each castle's inhabitants. After a few games I realised this theme was not dissimilar to that of The Onion's recent FPS parody, Close Range - 'Here's some people. Kill them. Now kill these people. Now these.' And I lost interest. I wouldn't play a game where you had to hit kittens with a hammer -  flinging rocks at royals started to look the same. Flying shopping trolleys, on the other hand ...!

I wonder how palatable a game based on clearing slums or demolishing houses might be, either as a straight-out 'bad taste' exercise, or as a political act like MolleIndustria's Mcvideogame. PacMan with a bulldozer. Or Bomber Man. Once it was ready, of course, I'd want to let all my friends know about it.

After my mind drifted back, I noticed another game, also hosted at Armor, Morningstar. It's pretty polished for a point-and-click adventure, and if I had more time (and self-control) I wouldn't have referred to to the readily-available walkthrough. Having a fellow space adventurer, pinned to his seat by a metal beam in the crash, available on the radio for the occasional hint, was a nice touch.

It reminded me how I used to play old text adventures collaboratively with my sister, me on the keyboard (are you kidding me? I was older! and a boy!) and her riding shotgun, providing advice, reminding me where I'd taken a wrong turn -- first Mindshadow on the C64 and then The Hobbit on the XT/AT. (I ended up working for Melbourne House, albeit briefly.) I'll have to tell Fi about it.

I wonder if anyone will ever embarrasingly lament the clichés of alien interaction in videogames and fiction -- (start/stop the reactor!) -- or will they instead thank the authors for helping us overcome the alien menace?