Ken Levine’s Secret Notepad of BioShock Ideas

  • BioShock — A city under the ocean (not Atlantis) is populated by murderous psychopaths. Everyone here also has superpowers. A little girl and her dozen twin sisters wander around needing to be rescued. Andrew Ryan talks to you about why his city is so great. After you kill everyone in the city the moral of the story is that killing children is bad. (Chance to prove that videogames can have moral messages just like movies?) I think this game could give people a lot to think about, like how it’s dangerous to give everyone in a city inherently destructive superpowers.
  • BioShock Infinite–A city in the sky is populated by an evil Tea Party analog (to prevent moral ambiguity make sure their eyes burn and they roar like monsters so there’s no confusion over who the bad guys are).
 →  You lost me.

Opinion – Final Fantasy 13

For weeks, I have been trying to write something, anything, about Final Fantasy 13, but the task has proven difficult.  One reason is that anything worth saying about the game has been stated already, and by better writers.  Another is that I continue to suffer from the longest period of writer’s block I have ever encountered.  Recently, I came to a third conclusion about my struggles; you can’t say much about a game that itself has no point. That’s the best way I can describe FF13.  It exists as multiple pieces and components, none of which work together to create a unified experience.

This problem runs throughout the entire product.  Take the environments, for example.  They serve no purpose beyond offering the player a new color palette every few hours.  →  Speak softly and carry a big post.

Extra Lives Review

Tom Bissell’s latest work, Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter, doesn’t include much discussion on the subject of why video games matter. This has very little weight on the text itself, but I think every reader should be aware of that fact before opening a copy. Extra Lives is about Bissell’s fascination with videogames and videogame developers, and about his own experiences playing games. The basic point of the book is, well, I can’t really say. Any central thesis has gone far over my head because as far as my reading comprehension extends I couldn’t find any real point to the book. Each chapter is tied to the others by the fact that it’s about videogames. Videogames: that’s basically the point of the book.

It's like... some sort of life.... it's an... EXTRA Life!?!?!!!

Is it a good or a bad book? →  The post still burns.

Review – Burger Island

I recently [not recently – Ed.] spent a good portion of my Memorial Day weekend remembering our fallen soldiers by playing Burger Island with my daughter.

“Do you want a turn making milkshakes, daddy?” she asked in a cute manner.

“I will do it! I will do it for those that died at Normandy!” I cried.

And thus began my nightmarish decent into the maddening world of Burger Island.

Burger Island, I learned the hard way while simultaneously paying tribute to the ultimate sacrifice of others, is a lie.

The island in the title is not a gigantic delicious hamburger. It is not a Burger Island. The point of the game is not to gorge your stranded survivor on the island itself in the name of survival, slowly eating the very piece of juicy, flame-broiled land that also keeps you safe. →  Postgaea 2: Cursed Memories