Category: Art

Sound of Nothing

Now, this is something I’ve been wanting to talk about for a little bit, so to start, we’re going to hop media for a second. I’ve watched an anime by the name of ‘Lucky Star’ and absolutely adored the entire show. The characters were cute, animation was great, personalities were full, but for the life of me I couldn’t ever remember more than one background song, and that was only rarely, but it strangely didn’t bother me. Flash forward to when I bought the actual anime OST and found out there is a lot of music in that anime. What does that have to do with games? Well, mostly that video game music can actually be really, really bad.

Right now, we’re more or less stuck in this ‘must-have-epic’ mindset for a ton of games. Games have to have this big, amazing boss fight at the end of them. Yeah, how’d that go for you, Dead Space? Games have to have a billion weapons, even when the game isn’t designed to handle more than a couple. Duke, looking at you. Rebalance your stuff. Most of the time, the sound track is over looked, but it suffers the same problem.  Music is just over the top, subtlety is becoming a foreign concept. That’s starting to hurt the players enjoyment of the game, more than anything. What happens when you hear this epic, live orchestra rendition of a battle-theme… while in town? Or just walking through the woods? What if it’s night?

What if it’s at night, in the woods, with a puppy?

It creates a disconnect, pulling the player from the game as things start becoming just a little off. If it gets to its worst, the player can just pause and open the menu, going straight in to disable the music in general. But that can’t be a good solution, right? The game was made to be played with that score! Actually…
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A Good Day To…

Do whatever you wish, especially in a video game. This one is probably going to be short, if only because I’m too happy to stay coherent for long… Okay, fine, coherent for the same amount of time as usual. As some of you may now, in November of last year there was a case in the Supreme Court to decide if video games are protected under the first amendment as a right to free speech, or if they had no redeeming qualities and needed to be regulated by the government like pornography or tobacco. Well folks, yesterday we got out answer.

Video games are protected under the first amendment.
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Artistic Gaming

Well, it was only a matter of time before I did something high-brow to look like a smarty art type who knows what she’s talking about, so let’s get on to it. I’ve a lot to say, and a lot of ground to cover. To start with, go watch this (Or scroll to the bottom). And if you don’t normally watch Extra Credits, check it out sometime. They cover a great number of topics and go over the state of the industry. Always a joy to watch an episode. Now, after that episode went up, there was another post were the writer of EC, James Portnow, had a friendly argument with Thomas Grip of Frictional Games, who you might know for the game Amnesia: The Dark Descent. You can read the entire conversation here, but I’ll be talking about my main views with quotes here, so don’t worry about having to read the whole thing before this.

NOTE: While I intensely disagree with Thomas Grip, I respect his own philosophies. Do not try to twist this into me going off on someone, or I will hit you with a frozen tuna. Maybe and old mail box. You get a cookie if you can name the game that reference is from. Now, without further ado, let’s begin.
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