Tag: games criticism

Why Killing Orcs in Mordor is more intimate than sex in Mass Effect: Power and Intimacy in videogames

I am 12 years old. I am standing behind a Russian soldier, my SOCOM pistol pressed into his back. I whisper:

I am one military hardware enthusiast you don't want to mess with: gimme those tags

Poor man.

A minute or so later he is limping away, bleeding profusely from multiple gunshot wounds and trying in vain to call for help over his broken radio. If I were feeling kind, I’d shoot him in the head with a tranquilizer dart and stuff him in a locker somewhere.

I am not feeling kind.

I pummel and kick him until he loses consciousness. Then I wake him up, and do it all over again.

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When Roger Ebert infamously decried that video games can never be art, it clearly touched a nerve.

Now, I’m not saying that Ebert was right. His cultural elitism is irrelevant. But, the response of the gaming community was incredible. It sparked a wave of discussion and debate over something as insignificant as a definition. If Ebert has claimed that music was not art, would it have received the same attention? Would the music community have found his blog post anything other than hilariously misguided? Of course not.

But gamers and critics rallied against Ebert’s claim because they feel games still have something to prove as an art form. They think games are broken. And in a fundamental, blindingly obvious way – they are. But this brokenness (which we will address later) is often ignored; and instead the issue is overcomplicated with largely irrelevant pseudo-academic discourse and diction.

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