PROCEDURAL DEHUMANISATION

Procedural generation, of the sort which automatically creates videogame levels using an algorithm, is not to me an exciting new technology. I understand independent game-makers use it to cheaply build products (I refuse to call a game created by this method anything other than a product) that might compete, size-wise, with published and larger-budgeted works. […]

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SPEAK UP, DiRT 4

At the centre of sports games is a contradiction. They have top athletes on their covers and reverence for the sport they’re recreating, and generally insist that whatever we’re doing in-game isn’t something we could ever do in real-life. But they also, like almost every videogame, want us to win and to feel good, so […]

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SHUT UP, OLD MAN’S JOURNEY

Since he is able to literally move mountains and, in one sequence, traverse effortlessly the bottom of the ocean, the eponymous central character in Old Man’s Journey – despite the game’s mawkishness – appears not forlorn or sympathetic, but powerful and able. If one were willing to co-operate with this game, they might argue that dragging […]

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Twenty-Seven

Even when you’re older than the dead, musical idols they seem the more experienced adults. Why? They did things in their lives you haven’t and are increasingly unlikely ever to do – two years my junior, forever, Tupac Shakur could nevertheless boast a quantity of living three times my own. Or not, because like Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix and the […]

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HITMAN, YAKUZA ZERO AND ASPIRATION

Rarely do videogames give us characters to whom we can aspire. Coolness, of the fictional kind, should, of course, be impossible for us to attain – James Bond endures because, although he is tied to our world, he is also its inexplicable, unscrupulous controller, whose suaveness overwhelms even the most immovable rules of reality. But […]

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LADS ON TOUR IN THE WILDLANDS

Reid McCarter, my colleague at Bullet Points, and I recently took a trip to Bolivia. It was just the two of us. Doing guy stuff. No wives. Something about that fresh South American air, those verdant fields, the roaring engine of a compact utility tractor (this year’s 4 Series really is a class leader) puts […]

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