Thursday, May 28, 2009

King's Quest VI

I think we're all probably tired of the "Oh yeah" gag at this point.

Dividing up articles and features on a website or newspaper always felt a bit like an Upton Sinclair Concrete Jungle arrangement. In the book he jokes that the factory will take two of the exact same kinds of meat and label them differently. Meat A is sold for double what Meat B is by having nicer wrapping and only sold in fancy shops. On the internet, dividing up columns and blogs seems very similar to me. It's all still just content.

But if I call it a Column and get it a bigger image on the website, it gets more clicks and more exposure than if it was just a ZA essay. I'm not complaining about the system, it just seems like a throwback to an old way of organizing information. In the eyes of Google, it's all the same. After today the blog will go handily into the vast, vast archives of Popmatters and will be stumbled upon intermittently by people reading up on the game. I suppose it's just a matter of keeping one foot in the present and one in the future when you're arranging these kinds of things.

At this point I'm thinking about taking a break from the ZA series and just doing culture commentry for a while. I've played a ton of games the past few months and would like to casually enjoy one again. Mass Effect was fifteen bucks in a bargain bin and is proving to be just as good as people have been claiming.

The piece is an exercise in taking a more contextual and historical approach. I'm going to claw my eyes out if I read another Joseph Campbell essay, so when dealing with a content heavy adventure game I decided to do something new. How the games had been evolving, Roberta Williams and her goals, how the narrative is working, etc. I'm a little nervous because I'm coming in the day after this ridiculously awesome piece on Final Fantasy 8.

For all the scrabbling and emphasis on previews for games no one has played yet, writing about old games is continuing to be far more valuable in the long term if you're willing to put the work in. No one is going to read a preview for a game after it has been released.

Nostalgia, however, lasts a very long time.

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