Thursday, November 08, 2007

More like this

I've had The Escapist over there in my links for quite a while, but I'm not a habitual reader of the site. I think I like the idea of The Escapist more than I like the end product. The world desperately needs intelligent games criticism that doesn't focus on how good a game is, but what a game means. Usually, Escapist articles don't go far enough in pursuing an argument. They leave threads dangling.

That's not the case with "Slouching Toward Black Mesa" by Tom Rhodes, which attempts to contextualize the Half-Life series within the archetype of the hero story, and does so convincingly. Rhodes does a couple things well in this piece: he draws parallels between the game and Yeats's poem "The Second Coming," and he also examines the relevance of both to the modern world. It's sober and thoughtful stuff, showing great respect for Half-Life and for games as a medium. If gamers want to argue that games are art, then the way to convince skeptics isn't to nag at them -- it's to keep producing insightful criticism like this.

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