Posted by: bracehare | October 31, 2011

Invincible Death Lazer: creative vision

I have had an idea stuck in my head since approximately July 14th, 2008.  That idea was for a game, almost appalling in its simplicity, but immense in its own way.  If nothing else, my attempt to bring even part of that vision into reality is an attempt at catharsis; to finally cease dwelling on it, at least in its abstract ideal form, and to make something tangible of it,  which will doubtlessly hold less sway over me.  I would call it a high concept game, although the tone will be very crude and in ways which shatter the limitations of good taste.  My inspiration came in equal parts from exposure to games and game criticism, exposure to existential thought, and from intense personal experience with the platitudes, slogans, and soundbites which constitute “discourse” among both the lower ranks of society and the media which caters to them; among both the proles and their professional handlers; and the violence which is inspired or excused by these sophistries, as well as the intellectual and cultural damage which they perpetrate.  I want to create a statement against jingoism, against anti-intellectualism, and against the fundamental abdication of personal responsibility; all trends which have proven to be pervasive at every level of American society.  This game is not meant as a criticism of the America I know, which is diverse, and has at least as much good as bad.  It is meant as a criticism of the America which most vocally proclaims itself as such.  The most base and reprehensible philosophies are today enshrined and protected as a branch of identity politics; and this has made them contagious, because there is little in common between people in terms of their intellectual needs if not a need for an identity.

I tip my hat more than I ought to in writing all of this.  Proper satire and social criticism should not require explanation, and so to an extent I feel like I am doing a disservice to my art with this posting.  My vision is also liable to prove substantially more lofty than the final product I am able to create.  I have limited technical proficiencies, and limited time.  When; not if; my final game fails to be as didactically significant as I had wished, this large, circumlocutory wall of text will certainly be brought to bear against me.  That is ok.  Auspiciousness is a good thing.  Goals are useful for compelling motion of any sort, even when it falls short.  The type of person I enjoy the company of will recognize this (even if they must still be faithful to their criticism).  The type of person this game is meant as a parody of will not.  Video games, somewhat paradoxically, are horrible at conveying messages about choice.  This is because the actions of the player tend to seem mandated by the game.  The puerile tone of this game is intended to overcome this limitation by using narrative to contextualize the player’s ostensible lack of choice into an obvious, almost nauseating fiction; as it would be if it were a case of real life.  While this is a cheap narrative trick I am using to overcome a fundamental weakness of video games as a medium, it still allows me a story worth telling and the means to tell it.  That is sufficient for my purposes.  The revolution which completely changes how games tell stories can come later.

– Jessica Evans

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