Cathode Tan - Games, Media and Geek Stuff
logo design by man bytes blog

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Bogost On Heavy Rain's Interactvity

This is pretty brilliant:

Narratively speaking, the scene is abysmal. It is forced and obvious and unbelievable, and questions abound.

What ten year old begs for a balloon? How can such a slow-moving car fatally injure a child? Is Jason really so stupid as not to know how to cross the street? Why does Jason feel so compelled to leave his father in the first place?

But we don't really need narrative success to appreciate how truly frenzied the scene feels. In a film, that frenzy would be best carried out through a series of quick cuts: Ethan looking in different directions; a fast pan of the crowd, left and right; Ethan's movement through the mall concourse; a handheld first-person view down the escalators; more visually confused panning; a glimpse of a balloon; and then a cut to a different boy grasping it.
-- Persuasive Games: The Picnic Spoils the Rain

I've never managed to get the "spoiler heavy" review of Rain together - but this article is in line with how I feel about the game in general. The narrative, by itself, is certainly not without fault - though I would stand by my argument that it gives breadth and depth that it can at least be critiqued as an actual story, which is untrue of 90% of games. However, the implementation of the QTE in Rain combined with the storytelling is a fine accomplishment for games in general.

Bogost argues that the game, because of how it differs from cinematic editing, is not really an "interactive movie" - and while I think that term works mostly for marketing purposes anyway is as good as a place as any to try and define what it actually is in the long run. It is certainly interactive fiction, and I still think anyone with an interest in IF needs to put the game on their must-play list.

I did play The Taxidermist recently, (short) review to follow.

No comments: