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26 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