Poverty & Powerlessness Part 3 – A Postcard From Afthonia

A Postcard from Afthonia is a fitting work to end this essay on. Not only it’s aware of the arguments put forward by Three Fourths Home and Little Inferno, but, given that starting point, it focuses on what can be done to try to make things better, and what we can reasonably hope for. There is an ambitious vision behind the work, and, unlike our other games, it’s much more explicit about its political ideas. Continue reading Poverty & Powerlessness Part 3 – A Postcard From Afthonia

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Revengeance Data Storage – #5 Sam was wrong, Sam was right (or: Does the Dark Side Really Have Cookies?)

At the end of the first chapter, Jetstream Sam defeats Raiden in a swordfight on top of a moving train, inside a tunnel, because action tropes. Sam, like a perverse teacher, explains why Raiden is losing the fight: “Now I see. You deny your weapon its purpose. It yearns to bathe in the blood of your enemies… but you hold it back.” Continue reading Revengeance Data Storage – #5 Sam was wrong, Sam was right (or: Does the Dark Side Really Have Cookies?)

Poverty & Powerlessness Part 2 – Little Inferno

“I don’t have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad. It’s a depression. Everybody’s out of work, or scared of losing their job and every day is colder than the last. The dollar buys a nickel’s worth. Banks are going bust. Shopkeepers keep guns under the counter. Punks are running wild into the street. There’s nobody anywhere who seems to know what to do and there’s no end to it. We know the air is unfit to breathe, and our food is unfit to eat. We sit watching our TVs while some local newscaster over the smoke stacks tells us that today we had 15 homicides and 63 violent crimes and that thick snow clouds are rolling in from all directions as if that’s the way it’s supposed to be.

We know things are bad. Worse than bad. They’re crazy. It’s like everything everywhere is going crazy, so we don’t go out anymore, we just stare into the fire for hours and days. We sit in the house, and slowly the world we’re living in is getting smaller, and all we say is ‘Please! At least leave us alone in our living rooms! Let me have my toaster, and my TV, and my steel-belted radials and my Little Inferno Entertainment Fireplace and I won’t say anything. Just leave me alone’ Well I’m not gonna leave you alone. I want you to turn around! I want you to get mad!

I don’t want you to protest, I don’t want you to riot, I don’t want you to write to your congressman because I wouldn’t know what to tell you to write. I don’t know what to do about the depression and the inflation and the Russians and the crime in the streets and the smoke stacks. All I know is that first, you’ve got to turn around! You’ve got to get mad! You’ve gotta say: ‘I’m a human being, goddammit. My life has value!’

So, I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs, I want you to get up right now, and go to the window, open it and stick your head out and yell ‘I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not gonna take this anymore!” Continue reading Poverty & Powerlessness Part 2 – Little Inferno

Revengeance Data Storage – #3 A Necessary Evil

In the opening cutscene, Raiden makes it a point to condemn Private Military Companies (N’Mani calls them “opportunists” and “enablers of war”) while reframing his own job as ‘Private Security Provider’. Which would be an interesting point to discuss, but it dangerously echoes Western rhetoric about the ‘War of Peace’ as well as the usage of ‘security’ as a buzzword to in fact limit people’s freedoms, both in real life and on the internet, and legitimize surveillance, detention and worse. Continue reading Revengeance Data Storage – #3 A Necessary Evil

Revengeance Data Storage – #1 Between Science-Fiction and Documentary

I’m playing through Metal Gear Ri– no, wait, actually I’m playing through METAL GEAR RISING: REVENGEANCE IS A DISH BEST SERVED IN ALL CAPS, and, I really wasn’t planning on writing about it. I dismissed it, based on what others told me, as “just a fun game” with not much else going for it, but I’ve quickly found the seeds of some interesting ideas here and there.

Consider this a sort of diary, then. Also keep in mind that I’m going in blind, so I don’t know if and how much those themes will be explored as the story advances. Continue reading Revengeance Data Storage – #1 Between Science-Fiction and Documentary