Passage to the New Year


It’s 2011, everybody!  Let’s make it an awesome year!

I personally am off to a shitty start, at least in terms of the Sense of Right Alliance.  I planned to have a series of huge articles detailing my favorite shit of 2010 (movies, video games, comics, etc), but either I’m retarded or WordPress is, because everything kept getting all screwed up.  Entire posts would be deleted halfway through writing them, formatting would go completely nuts, images wouldn’t go where I wanted them to, etc.  So I abandoned my plans… but I do have something similar I’m putting together, and that should be posted in the next day or two, so keep a lookout for that!

In the meantime, I was shocked this morning when I read that an anthology of video games by Jason Rohrer is available to download on Nintendo DSi for only $2.  For those of you not familiar with Rohrer, his creations are the single best argument (in my opinion) that video games can be art.  On my old blog, I wrote the following about his game Passage:

Passage is probably the best evidence I’ve ever seen that video games ARE art. I don’t want to spoil to much about this beautiful game, but I think the most brilliant aspect of it is the way that its use of the cliched old video game conventions – mazes, treasure, points, hazards – are reworked as metaphors that serve the piece’s main theme. Because of this, Passage is not just an interactive piece of art; it is actually an old-school video game, played for a high score. At the same time, its message is extremely powerful (so much so that it nearly brought me to tears – nearly). The concept of this game is so brilliant that I’m hoping it eventually gets noticed by a big developer, and made into a full-length modern game – this is a concept that definitely deserves to be expanded upon. Go play this game – it will only take literally five minutes. After you’ve played it, and formed your own opinion, check out the Creator’s Statement to read about the author’s intent with this game.

I am truly shocked and delighted that this game made it to a Nintendo system, and I really hope it gets all the support it deserves from mainstream fans.  I have yet to play the other two games in this anthology (Between and Gravitation), but if they’re half as interesting as Passage, then they’re totally worth everybody’s time.  If you have a DSi and two lousy dollars, do yourself a favor and give a chance to some thoughtful and beautiful indie art games.

Happy new year!

 

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