Posts Tagged ‘ Spec Ops: The Line

Episode 64 – Violence in Context

 

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There is a conversation in America about violence in videogames. While the cool-headed and rational among us don’t believe this medium signals the end times, the debate—or blame—rages on. And the points of either side rarely change. Yet the treatment of violence in games can be a constructive thing. It can emulate the sense of chaos and horror and confusion the average person would experience in a real life firefight, as Kane & Lynch 2 does.

The particulars or gravity of the situation may shift, but violence is also an inevitable part of any survival scenario. How far would you go to stay alive in, say, Fallout 3’s post-apocalyptic wasteland? Would you let your moral compass guide you? Or murder a stranger just because you want his cool hat?

Perhaps, as is so often the case, you’re the archetypal hero. One minute you’re riddling enemies with bullets— one cannon fodder target after the next in endless ways—then the story turns in on itself, forcing you, the player, to question who exactly you really are and what the consequences of your actions might be. Games  like Spec Ops: The Line, Shadow of the Colossus, Far Cry 2 and The Walking Dead make it impossible to separate violence from narrative, either forcing you along an unsure path or to shaping your experience, however unwillingly, into a personal psychological profile.

Let’s talk about violence. All of it.

Featuring tracks by Blitz Lunar

Episode 43 – Whatcha Playin’ 08.13.12

AJBS, A Jumps B Shoots, Spelunky, XBLA, PS3, Xbox 360, 2K Games, Spec Ops: The Line, Heart of Darkness, iOS, 10000000
This week the discussion focuses around death—whether it’s a game that kills you mercilessly or an examination of uncertainty, AJBS explores one of gaming’s most enduring topics in this week’s Whatcha Playin’.

Rich examines his own mortality with XBLA’s Spelunky, comparing it to rougelikes of yesteryear; Steve tackles Spec Ops: the Line‘s take on Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness while Matt plays the App store’s iOS RPG puzzler, 10000000.

Finally, many listeners have said they have been experiencing some problems with the donate button; the issue has been fixed and you can now donate here. Thanks to everyone who brought this to our attention.

Featuring music by I Fight Dragons