Not this crude matter

Did anyone actually test MK3 before release?

A thought experiment: imagine you were watching the latest Transformers film in the cinema, except that every five minutes someone popped up and demanded that you beat them at chess before being allowed to watch the next scene. By about halfway through, you have to beat Kasparov before you can see the next scene of Megan Fox bending over. And every time you fail to beat Kasparov, you have to go back to the beginning of the film and beat all of the chess players all over again. That is what “video games as art” is like. The “game” element adds nothing to the “art” element. That’s the point here: games can be built around art, but they are not art in themselves and often they just get in the way.

A pretty weak argument about why video games aren’t art. I think the latest Transformers movie is a really-really bad example, and the analogy is flawed on many levels.

The flaws are:

1. Playing chess everytime to watch the movie further would make a bad video game: repetitive ones are the bad ones, every gamer knows that.

2. The purpose of the various tasks of the game is to immerse you in the game’s universe as a whole. It is indeed possible to wait for the “chess part” when you’re watching the movie part. It’s not a distraction, it’s the experience itself!

3. You need to think holistically here: if you play games solely for the story, and think of games as movies which are prompting you to play random games and do some annoying tasks before you can see what happens next, then… you are completely missing the point.


There is a difference between “fun” and “realistic”. Can you survive a shot to the chest with an AK point blank? Even with kevlar, the answer is no. Would it be more fun if 1 bullet the chest killed you, no matter what gun it was? Certainly not. The premise of making a game LESS fun so it can be MORE realistic is just… Dumb. These are video games, not combat sims.

My thoughts exactly!

(From a Counter-Strike: Source review on GameFAQs)


Guido Núñez-Mujica, a 26-year-old Boing Boing reader in Venezuela who is an avid gamer, writes in with this extensive personal observation piece about a new law that widely criminalizes video games in the South American country. As you read the piece, please also bear in mind that publishing this sort of thing under one’s full name is not done without personal risk.

These games are a cherished part of my life, they helped to shape my young mind, they gave me challenges and vastly improved my English, opening the door to a whole new world of literature, music and people from all around the world. What I have achieved, all my research, how I have been able to travel even though I’m always broke, the hard work I’ve done to convince people to fund a start up for cheap biotech for developing countries and regular folks, none of that would have been possible hadn’t I learned English through video games.

Now, thanks to the tiny horizons of the cast of morons who govern me, thanks to the stupidity and ham-fisted authoritarianism of the local authorities, so beloved of so many liberals, my 7 year old brother’s chances to do the same could be greatly impacted.

Do me a favor and go read his essay. It’s not just about video games.

"Yesterday I was explaining to my little brother how any computer could in theory, emulate another computer, and how that made it possible to play really old games (Older than him!) on his DS. I was explaining what a terminal window and a program were and how I converted videos to a format that his DS can understand. And he was thrilled, his eyes lit with pleasure, technology was a bridge that got us closer. If we blindly follow the copyright and video game forbidding laws, we won’t be able to do this anymore, and he will stop learning as much as he could gaming and hacking, finding his way to talk to machines to get them to do what he needs."

This is my fave quote from this, and so very true. Copyright laws are insane, the situation in Venezuela is ridiculous. I hope they can do something about this idiocy!

I don’t think video games are the equal of movies. Sure, they can be fun. And the level of detail and the quality of graphics can be breathtaking. But have you ever listened to the dialogue in one? Or thought about the storyline of one? They’re all seriously predictable, unoriginal and at a level that a grade school kid could understand.


Did this guy play Max Payne 2, Resident Evil 2 or Silent Hill 2? Great story is not something that is extremely rare to find in the world of video games. This is just silly.

Prince of Persia: Sands of Time review

To be honest, I couldn’t play this game all the way through. I wanted to play an exciting platformer, but what I got was almost zero excitement! The structure of this title is very simple: you start with a platformer part, where you swing on bars, pull switches horizontally and vertically, solve puzzles, walk on ledges, do the wall-run from The Matrix (well, this is a nice feature, I have to admit), and stuff like that. And then, here comes the part, where you have to fight. But these fights are staged, and just aren’t a least bit interesting! Let me tell you what’s wrong with them.

First of all: there are only a few types of enemies, you can fight. And… no bosses! You have to slice scarabeuses in half, you have to slash dozens of sand creatures, and they are always the same! Nothing new for so long, I gave up the game at 50%. And yeah, you only have a few fighting moves as well. At the first few occasions, you can beat them only using one move, when the prince jumps from their heads to the behind of their backs, turns mid-air and slashes them. It’s a great move, but it’s unblockable by your poor antagonists, so you repeat it over and over again, and you win but you become bored very quickly. If you want to fight nicely without abusing a move too much, I’ve got news for you: you can only use your sword and your dagger, you can slash and stab with them and that’s it. No combo moves, no skillful fighting, no reaction moves, combo breakers, no nothing. It just blows my mind! Why is this so goddamn lame…?

Later on in the game, the almighty move becomes blockable by the enemies (the developers must have realized how idiotic was it actually…), but now the problem is that… they ALWAYS block it! Well… you still can’t fight skillfully because the prince’s recovery time after a failed (or blocked) strike is unbearably slow (I’ve seen turltles moving much faster), and if you’re on the ground, the enemies can hit you repeatedly, and the prince just doesn’t want to get up! What’s wrong with him??? Ridiculous.

So now they always block the head jumping move… but hey, you have another unblockable move: this time you have to back against a wall, press the jump button and then the attack button, and voilá: now they can’t block this move! Seriously: it’s ludicrous! Close to that point where I stopped playing this game, I won a fight repeating this method about 30 times! Come on! When you play the jumping/puzzle solving parts you get a straightforward and linear experience. Nothing exciting or innovative there. The fight parts are extremely poor, so there’s no reason to get this game so far. Two aspects were missing from my review, but now I will mention them now: the story and the ability to reverse time.

So, the story is nothing special, really. The only thing worth mentioning here is the interactions between the prince and the girl (Oh, my god, I forgot her name… Talk about a poor story, they couldn’t even emphasize the second most important character in the game!), but those are so few and far between… and they aren’t even always funny. So the story sucks. The prince’s narrative is a nice thing, but once you get used to it, it’s not a big deal anymore, besides he only talks at the beginning, then very rarely, and then when you die.

Throughout your “adventures”, you can use the sands of time, which are giving you the ability to turn back time. It requires some “four dimensional thinking”, but not much. After a while, it gets old too. And in the platformer parts, you only use it to get a continue after you miss a jump. So what’s the point?

Sands of Time is an average game, they didn’t screw it up completely and for a while it was entertaining. But then it became repetitive, and couldn’t give me anything new. Boring platform parts, lame fights. I say, avoid it, if you don’t want to get frustrated!

Overall score: 64%

Papercraft SNES.
I can’t believe this. This guy has too much time on his hands… Simply incredible.
via stanleylieber on Flickr.

Papercraft SNES.

I can’t believe this. This guy has too much time on his hands… Simply incredible.

via stanleylieber on Flickr.

X-rayed SNES controller. Kneel before this awesomeness!
via Reintji on Flickr.

X-rayed SNES controller. Kneel before this awesomeness!

via Reintji on Flickr.