Dec 17, 2012

Kickstarter is a casino

Kickstarter is a video game casino. That's the appeal, really, when you dig down into it. But hold your stones: my job here isn't to judge, merely to question. Like a casino, Kickstarter isn't good and it isn't evil, but it does affect us. We need to be aware.

A Kickstarter fever has seized the minds of gamers across the Internet. Gaming news outlets are hooked on Kickstarter failures, successes, drop outs. No simple fad, the word refuses to slip off of our public lexicon. Not after Double Fine Adventure or Wasteland 2 or Project Eternity or Barkley 2 or a thousand other games worth thousands of millions succeeded.

On one level, fans hold onto it as a new mode of publishing. On another, nostalgia works to bring back old genres like the ARPG and the space sim for one last hurrah. But a simpler thing keeps us hooked.

Dec 7, 2012

Max Payne 3: Divine Terror & Social Responsibilty

Featured on Critical Distance.

One bizarre moment in Max Payne (2002) has the titular protagonist discovering that the Inner Circle, an X-Filesesque conspiracy of shadow men who offer him help, has hands in every major political event of the American century. With voice actor James McCaffery sounding unimpressed, Max rattles off vague lists of their deeds before moving on to his revenge. A narrative shrug, some might call it, but it’s the first hints of what the Max Payne trilogy is now about.