So Bad It Isn't Funny

Clive Thompson has a very interesting article over at today about the very essence of play keeping bad games from ever being loved like some B-movies do.

What I'm getting at, really, is that play is a curiously all-or-nothing affair. You're either having fun or you're not. I think this is why gamers are so viciously Manichean -- why they make such snap judgments, proclaiming, after playing a game for only a few minutes, whether it "sucks" or "rocks". (And those are the only two possible verdicts.) Gamers aren't just being juvenile. Fun really is a digital bit-flip, either fully on or fully off. And a company cannot lie or PR-massage us into believing a game is good when we know it isn't. Like pornography, we know fun when we see it.

B movies exist because it's possible to stand apart from crappy art, to laugh at it ironically. But it's impossible to play ironically. Play is the most earnest form of culture we've got. In the end, it's yet another reason why games, for all their surface resemblances, have very little in common with movies.

It's a really good read, however brief, and he does drop some game-names in the article. One of which I've recently written the official guidebook for. Gulp. Here's the link.

No comments: