Posts tagged: games
This week at The Gutter: Editor alex thinks about “Naked Woman (Steep Hill)”
One night, when I was poking around on the internet for something mindless to play, I stumbled across a game called Naked Woman (Steep Hill). The description: “Control the fate of a naked woman riding down a steep hill. 20 options decide her doom. Feel free to suggest any other fates she can face!” My response was something akin to watching a horror movie between your fingers – I had a feeling that I’d wish I hadn’t seen it but I couldn’t quite bring myself to look away.
Inspired by Anita Sarkeesian’s Video Game Tropes vs Women, I wanted to pitch a Zelda game where Zelda herself was the hero, rescuing a Prince Link.
Clockwork Empire is set 2,000 years after Twilight Princess, and is not a reboot, but simply another iteration in the Zelda franchise. It just so happens that in this case, Zelda is the protagonist. I’m a very big Zelda fan, and worked hard to draw from key elements in the continuity and mythos.
This concept work is meant to show that Zelda as a game protagonist can be both compelling and true to the franchise, while bringing new and dynamic game elements that go farther than being a simple gender swap.
Hope you like it!
Every April we mix things up at The Gutter. This week Screen Editor alex writes about video games and failure:
When I was a kid, my parents got me a later model Radio Shack Trash 80 (TRS-80) computer, but what I really wanted was an Atari. All my friends had them, so I spent hours in other people’s basements, pushing that one red button and twisting the joystick as we navigated pixellated characters through two-dimensional landscapes. I didn’t realize it at the time, but in addition to having fun I was also learning something about handling success and failure. In some ways, sitting down with my friends now and playing the Lego universe games (Lego Star Wars, Bat Man, Indiana Jones) takes me back to those days.
JLA Twister Drawn By Mike Allred
Science Fiction Editor James battles the plague and starts to see connections between Bastion and The Dark Tower:
Now, it’s true that a lot of things are Stephen-King-esque (as Grady Hendrix says over at Tor.com: “Stephen King is such a part of the American cultural consciousness that there’s no point in debating his importance anymore”), but Bastion specifically reminds me of King’s The Dark Tower, which is a bit of a different beast than his more horror-focused works. I talked about The Dark Tower on the Gutter a while ago here.
Screen Editor alex meditates on the slaying of monsters in games and movies.
In 1988, I spent more hours of my life than I care to recall playing Zelda II: The Adventure of Link on my original 8-bit Nintendo. Combined with Ridley Scott’s Legend, Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal, and Rob Reiner’s The Princess Bride, it gave me a soft spot for sword and sorcery. Playing Shadow of the Colossus on my Playstation 2 reminded me of that. It’s sad and simple and beautiful. It makes me wonder about the value of narrative meaning in art, and about why people feel the need to kill monsters.
Guest Star Clarice Meadows faces the plague of the white knight in video games.
I’ve played many games in my life: using console systems from the Vectrex to my Xbox 360, and playing games from Joust to Mass Effect 3. The games that involved a “saving someone else” storyline started for me with King’s Quest V, received as a shared Christmas gift with my brother in the early 90s, and went all the way through to this spring’s release of Max Payne 3. While playing Halo 3, Bioshock 2 and Max Payne 3 all in a row, it occurred to me that the “White Knight Savior” and the “Save the Cheerleader, Save the World” storyline, works best when it’s subverted, but the narrative has been overused to the point that it is no longer actually satisfying.
This week Science Fiction Editor James dives into two books by authors he’s never read before to bring back the love.
Now it’s true that I did know a fair bit about both authors, so it wasn’t a completely random selection. Also, both were science fiction, so I certainly wasn’t straying too far from my natural inclinations. What surprised me most was how similar the books were, structurally speaking, and how one book seemed to work generally better than the other. Both were definitely fun reads, so maybe judging a book by its cover is not such a bad idea after all!
(image via Bookhound).