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25 posts tagged games

Dark Souls II encourages a kind of amazed storytelling about how it was one managed to survive. The game is so large and hostile to the player’s presence every moment feels like a precursor to some cruel twist or miraculous delivery from unexpected doom that could merit retelling. Victories and discovery only become meaningful to an audience who knows how much work must be put into them, and so these player tales are implicitly clouded by the unspoken murk of failure and defeat. This structure of play is ideally matched with a culture of emotionally and socially isolated individuals—still primarily men—who rush toward non-intimate prompts for social exchange, creating the impression of a community without requiring any reciprocal vulnerability nor emotional obligation. Dark Souls provides an empirical baseline to use in describing one’s own experience, which makes admissions of weakness or incompetence tolerable through the impersonal nature of the game’s system. There no psychoanalytic backdrop to distinguish sorcerers from warriors or thieves.

Forbes review of a game called Dark Souls II— videogame people seem quite upset about it and anything that upsets that kind of person is usually pretty worthwhile.  I just like reading “structure of play is ideally matched with a culture of emotionally and socially isolated individuals" in a game review a lot. (via twiststreet)

…Man, Demon’s Souls is one of favorite games of all time - a lot of hours sunk into that.  I still haven’t finished the first Dark Souls and the 2nd beckons but frightens me because of what a huge time sink I know it will be.  Not sure I completely agree with the depressing sentiment above essay - that Dark Souls II (and games in general) are masturbatory and unlike other art don’t don anything but teach you to be good at that game - but it’s a provocative read.

Reblogged from twiststreet


Part of my continuing series on many images that have influence DRACULA, SON OF THE DRAGON, the comic book epic I’m creating with artist Salgood Sam chronicling the transfomation of Vlad Tepes from Impaler to Vampire.

We’re funding the book through KICKSTARTER and could really use your help: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/78669939/dracula-son-of-the-dragon

The big set-piece battle in the first Volume of Dracula: Son of the Dragon is The Battle of Varna, which took place in 1444.  Vlad Dracul of Wallachia- Vlad Dracula’s father and older brother Mircea reluctantly joined a Crusade with the legendary Hungarian John Hunyadi and the Polish King Wladysws to push the Ottoman Turks under Sultan Murad II out of Europe.

The Varna crusade entailed breaking a treaty the Christians had with Turks.  This was a particularly dangerous thing for Vlad Dracul to do, because his sons Dracula and Radu were hostages of the Sultan.   Going into battle, he had to know that his sons lives were likely forfeit.  (Death might have been one of the best scenarios…two of the Sultan’s other child hostages were blinded with hot irons).

The Ottomans had overwhelming forces, consisting of their Sipahi cavalry and elite Janissary corps (shock troops who were comprised of Christian boys often taken from their families and forcibly converted to Islam at a young age) and cannon fire.

Nevertheless, the combined Wallachian and Hungarian forces of nearly routed the Ottomans and killed the Sultan…until Wladyslaws foolishly charged the Janissaries with his bodyguard in a failed attempt at personal glory.  He was killed, and is severed head was impaled on a spear.

That site caused the Europeans to flee in disarray.  That would cause a rift between The Draculas and Hunyadi that would lead to the deaths of Dracula’s father and older brother at Hunyadi’s hands, putting him as first in line for the Wallachian throne.  The Sultan spared Dracula, pitting him against Hunyadi and giving him the chance to reclaim his throne.

In DRACULA: SON OF THE DRAGON, we’re going to follow the model of mostly sticking to the historical accounts of battles like these, but with a supernatural twist.  The Janissary corps will be more (or maybe more accurately, less) than human…and will be the first use of vampire soldiers on the battlefield.

The above pictures show the battle depicted in miniature in a wargaming scenario.  I wish I could claim credit for painting and arranging those miniatures, but they are taken from the Vlad The Impaler sourcebook for the Warhammer Historical boardgame.  I thought it would be fun to show that, in addition to history texts and pop culture, wargaming is one of the other things Salgood and I are looking at to help capture the Medieval epic side of the equation.

Again, we could really use your help in bringing DRACULA: SON OF THE DRAGON to life as a comic book.  Please check out our Kickstarter page, make a pledge, reblog this post, share the link etc.: