Memories of Gamecity , November 1
Souvik Friday, November 14, 2008Two weeks have passed without my noticing and it's been a very busy two weeks. The last day of GameCity 2008, however, must absolutely be remembered in Ludus ex. Hence this post - albeit delayed. I spent the whole day in town, hopping from venue to venue to catch the best of GameCity: it all started with a talk on how the world would be like if the world leaders were gamers. Then there was Sackboy and his creators in the Little Big Planet intro: some of the things that interested me were 1) the creators are called Media Molecule and they claim to have a molecular organisation structure (Deleuzian ?) 2) Sackboy character stops the game from becoming a tool (narrative-machinic-ludic?) 3)User generated content does not replace the game- just as blogs don't replace journalism (What a quote!). As I left Sackboy and went for a coffee with my new found friend Elsa, the Fable 2 expert, we started thinking of what to do next. The plan was to go to Indiecade. Am glad we went. Came across an awesome Indie CS mod with the graffiti and murals of Belfast's walls all over the game. Two computers playing CS where you shoot 'the other' - fenian or not. On a third connected computer randomly generated images of important figureheads deliver randomly generated speeches (not necessarily their own). Faith Denham, creator of the installation, explained that this was to indicate how the speeches were doctored and never played live in Northern Ireland. The division of the north and the south (and perhaps the illogicality of it all) was well described by the huge dividing wall, the tower and the mindless shooting. Very realistic ... didn't think of the potential of videogames as documentary media.
The final events of the day were a pub (curry, rather) quiz conducted by Guardian Gamesblog's Keith Stuart and a party. The questions were ... hard ... my ignorance of videogames despite doing a PhD on them became shamefully evident. Besides discovering Elsa's superlative Play-Doh skills, the other major find was an extremely game-knowledgeable informatics student, Andrew Armstrong. I'm planning an interview with him on Ludus ex: you listening, Andrew? The party, however, didn't go too well but I did get to join the team of green robots that defeated the hordes of red robots invading our territory. It's just that the 8-bit music got on my nerves. GameCity was over. For me, at least.
'Literature is a combinatorial game that pursues the possibilities implicit in its own material [...] but it is a game that at a certain point is invested with an unexpected meaning' - Italo Calvino