Train is over when it…HEY!

From the twitter of bbrathwaite,

Someone took a souvenir from Train at #g4c. If you inadvertently took it, please return it. It was a Terminus card. Thanks.

You might know of Brenda Brathwaites game ‘Train’. There’s a rule in it “Train is over when it ends.”

If you’ve been watching ‘play this thing’ there’s a few…I dunno how you’d put it? Don’t get what you started the activity for, games? An older one is “The Graveyard”. Another is “Vampires”. With a few others as well. “Fathom” has the subtitle of ‘pleasantly fucking with your head’ in the review, even (taking it the review is in tune with what the authors think of these sorts of games).

And I’m rather skeptical of what I consider to be a bait and switch for shock and awe design. Most notably BECAUSE the player has no way to affect the author at a similar level.

Until now, it seems.

As much as I can see art in a game that acts like it will give control but doesn’t (graveyard), or massively changes the theme to give a fixed message, I can see art in taking the card.

Mind you, the person was probably just souveniring/stealing. Which is a shame because I could see the art in it. Because when you start stripping away the boarders, you don’t just strip them away for the other person – you strip your own boarders away as well.

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2 Comments

  1. Dustin said,

    30 May, 2009 at 6:13 am

    Hey, it’s TheDustin from PTT. Regarding Fathom and my review:

    Fathom set out to subvert the archetypal Megaman gameplay; I believe the developer included the conventional run-and-gun action initially to accentuate the differences between it and the subsequent explorative bit. This “bait-and-switch” was a necessary part of the game, and not mere shock tactics.

    “Most notably BECAUSE the player has no way to affect the author at a similar level” – In which games are you able to affect the author ? And were you this peeved when you watched The Sixth Sense?

    I wrote the review because Fathom is everything that industry games aren’t. It’s non-violent, methodical, and doesn’t hold your hand in regards on how to play. Because the game is so foreign, I’ve gotten a few comments that the game is pointless or boring. However, judging the game against other Megaman clones (and uninventive industry games) is counterintuitive to, you know, fathoming the experience. I mentioned humility in my review, and it’s ironic that the majority of the complaints come from a lack of it.

  2. Callan said,

    30 May, 2009 at 9:07 am

    Hi Dustin,

    Well, I think your saying ‘accentuate the difference’ and I’m saying ‘shock’. It’s pretty much the same – I could just as much say it was a bait and switch merely to accentuate a difference.

    And were you this peeved when you watched The Sixth Sense?

    Do you just watch video games? What’s happened here – do you treat yourself as a passive participant in games? And the button pressing is just some busy work to do while the movie/game rolls? If so, ok, but I don’t. Is my position on active play so alien and unshared in gaming culture that a comparison to a passive medium disproves my point?

    In which games are you able to affect the author ?

    And this is a good question – we have a medium which is supposedly interactive – and pretty much every title I can think of can only end in exactly the way the author feels comfortable with. Ie, non interactive endings.

    You do have sandbox games like GTA and you could finish it without casually running people over, or deliberately killing people. But while that’ll be the bulk of play, it still doesn’t affect the end.

    So were getting games which have messages alot now, but a fixed message in what is an interactive medium. This just does not compute!

    By effect the author, I mean people might be able to play to an ending which is not the authors prefered choice. People will talk about their play on forums and boards, and what ending they went to – and if the author finds most people went to an ending he doesn’t prefer, that effects him.

    But instead of that we get a fixed message, and then some puzzle jumping perhaps dropped on top, or some such. Nothing that can challenge the authors preferences.

    But if you want to say “Hey, its the conforming standard that it’s always a fixed message and you can’t affect the author, so that’s how its supposed to be” I dunno.

    However, judging the game against other Megaman clones (and uninventive industry games) is counterintuitive to, you know, fathoming the experience. I mentioned humility in my review, and it’s ironic that the majority of the complaints come from a lack of it.

    Well, if wanting signs that I’m getting toward completing the activity I set out to complete, is not showing humility, then I don’t show humility.

    I’m not exactly so humble that I let the game decide for me how I spend my leasure time. If it seems to be just going on and on for I don’t know how long, I decide how long it gets – I don’t let the game decide my leasure time for me. Though tens of millions of people seem to allow world of warcraft to decide for them how long they play, so maybe I’m alien in this regard?


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