Wednesday, March 27, 2013

BioShock Infinite: video games are not what you think

The debut of BioShock Infinite (a video game), curious topic for a woman of certain years.  Just proves to me again there is much to learn.

Because a friend of my son worked as a level designer on this eagerly-awaited release, I have felt a certain kinship to the project as it went along, though I am mostly clueless in this world.  Yesterday he brought home his purchase - game, lithograph, playing piece for the future board game version, key chain, remarkable character figure and a small representation of "The Art of..." book that will be released later.  Between the litho and the book I found too many favorite things - a Chinese paper lantern, airships, what seemed to be the remnants of a World's Fair and possibly an amusement park from the early 20th century.  The visuals are nearly overwhelming.  Here is what the game's creative director Ken Levine said:

"When I was working on Thief with Doug Church, way, way back in the day, we always said that vibe was more important than story. I think that's the same thing as what you're saying. Put the player in an interesting world and make him feel like there's interesting things around the corner. That's way more important than specific details about what's going on."

If you're interested, this article pretty much explains it all, far better than I could from my spot here at the bottom of the learning curve.  I'll just mention that interviewer Tom Bissell likens the BioShock aesthetic to the films of Terrence Malick, "conceptually audacious."  I can imagine a lot of things and what I am capable of scarcely begins to graze the surface of what is required to put something so layered and complex together.  And P.S.  Video games are not ruining the world.  That culprit would be ignorance, hand in hand with indifference.

ONE LAST NOTE, ENTIRELY UNRELATED.  Yesterday was the 500th post on this blog.  Yes, there have been a few - two in the last week, good grief - reposts but, over the years since August 4, 2008 and the first "publishing," there have probably been fewer than 10 repeats.  So I am declaring this as the 501st post.  In bloglandia, where many write with brilliance and dedication every day, this may seem like small potatoes and it may be.  For me, though, it gives me a sense of consistency and determination which I was unsure I could achieve.  And the beat goes on.


Erin in Morro Bay said...

Congrats on passing 500! That's quite an accomplishment and what a joy it's been to share the ride with you!

Marylinn Kelly said...

Erin - Thank you. And I am so happy to have you here in the station wagon - not riding in the back seat - with me. All our art and book and LA County connections, with lots more to come I trust. xo

beth coyote said...

Whoa, 500!!! is that like turning 60?

Marylinn Kelly said...

Beth - It may feel a bit more like turning 80, I'm not sure yet. No, not 80, just the pleasant surprise of looking up and finding some consistency where I wasn't sure any existed. Thank you. xo