October 3, 2007

Now he tells me

girlmc0ii1.gif Chris Suellentrop, who edited my Times op-ed about how Halo 3 fails as a work of narrative art, has his own essay on the game in Slate.

Reviewing the game on the merits of its single-player campaign is like judging a deck of cards based on how fun your last game of solitaire was. The best games are exercises in collaboration and competition with human opponents.... Halo 3 is probably a disappointment for fans of console gaming as it's evolved over the past decade. It's not a game that wows players with new discoveries and twists over the course of a shaggy 40 hours of play. But it's a delight to an arcade button-masher like me. The online game boasts tightly coiled, elegantly paced action that's a blast even to a slow-thumbed player who frequently finds himself outmatched by the competition. So, don't think of Halo 3 as a work of narrative fiction. Think of it as Madden for the science-fiction crowd. It ain't art, but it sure is fun.


Posted by Daniel Radosh


I had my computer science students read your Halo 3 piece in the Times and comment.

While they generally agree, they note there are games/environments, such as Fallout 2, XIII and Facade, which do create powerfully engaging narratives via the gaming itself.

The subsequent discussion was that if future gaming developments achieve the transforming power of "art," what might be the impact of these hyper-immersive experiences, good or bad?

Fallout 2 is one of my favorite games of all time, and it's true that it does not rely on cut scenes. But while its narrative is engaging, it's not truly powerful. Think of a post-apocalpytic game that evoked the emotions of, say, Ridley Walker.

Any interesting points come out of the discussion?

Post a comment

Powered by
Movable Type 3.2