The game is Passage and it
only takes five minutes to play. And at the end...you turn old and grey, and die.
A quick description from the creator:
Passage is meant to be a memento mori game. It presents an entire life, from young
adulthood through old age and death, in the span of five minutes. Of course, it's a game,
not a painting or a film, so the choices that you make as the player are crucial. There's no
"right" way to play Passage, just as there's no right way to interpret it. However, I had
specific intentions for the various mechanics and features that I included.
As I said before, there's no right way to play this game. Part of the goal, in fact, is to get
you to reflect on the choices that you make while playing. The rewards in Passage come in
the form of points added to your score...
Yes, you could spend your five minutes trying to accumulate as many points as possible,
but in the end, death is still coming for you. Your score looks pretty meaningless hovering
there above your little tombstone. This treatment of character death stands in stark
contrast with the way death is commonly used in video games (where you die countless
times during a given game and emerge victorious---and still alive---in the end). Passage is
a game in which you die only once, at the very end, and you are powerless to stave off this
You have to download the game (2MB), which is available for the pc or mac. It's worth
checking out as it doesn't offer the level of entertainment you're used to as a gamer, but
does encourage quite a bit of reflection.
Ok, ok...so it doesn't suck. But I am glad it's getting mid-level reviews and being shown
as a mediocre game that held great promise. Why does this make me glad? Because I
am so tired of seeing game hype ALL THE TIME. There is always something about to come
out, always something in development, or always something on the horizon that is
promising to blow us away. And as a whole, we always fall for it. We always allow the
developers to get us hyped up, over something we usually know very little about.
'It's going to combine GTA, Prince of Persia and Theif!? Awesome! I can't wait!!'
'It's like Half-Life 2, but with the depth of Oblivion and the replay value of Star Wars
Monopoly? Give it to me now!'
'Spore is going to be the best video game ever made? I am saving up for it now and will
wait with incredible anticipation for as long as it takes because it's going to be so
Games are hyped so we buy them. Even if a review shows it to be mediocre, many
gamers were so excited about it to begin with they still go out and buy it. Because of how
much it was hyped.
Now, buying games you're interested in is fine. I'm looking forward to Fallout 3 because I
played both previous games many times over on my pc. I'll buy it regardless of how good
or bad it is, because that is one series I truly, truly love. And buying a game because
people (you trust) say it's fun or worthwhile is also great. But getting pysched that a game
is going to be something major, something notable for the year based on what the
developers say, the screen shots they release, the teasers that get 'leaked' or whatever is
simply allowing them to brainwash you.
Ghostbusters? Could be cool. I see people on other forums saying how kick ass it is. How
amazing it's going to be and how they can't wait to relive their childhood through it.
Sure...it might be those things. It might be terrible. It might be mediocre. But to say it's
going to be this huge, awesome thing....well, no one knows.
My point is this:
That hype doesn't do gamers any good. It does the companies good. They know that if
they hype a game, show you the best screenshots, release the best in-game footage, get a
massive buzz going, that people buy it. And that all they have to do is follow that same
formula in the future and we'll buy what they're selling then as well. Companies know the
internet is a great, almost the perfect hype building tool. And they use it. To their
advantage. To make money. This leads to situations like Assassin's Creed....something
suppoed to blow us all away and be a major game for this year. And maybe it will be...but
it seems doubtful from the reviews, and in my own personal opinion after having played it
Basically I'm tired of the mentality that I should always be looking forward to something
that's going to blow my mind. Very few actual revolutionary games are released each
year. And to expect each 'Next Big Thing' to be truly revolutionary or completely
awesome only helps companies sell games, and not necessarily make better ones.
Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe no one buys games on hype. Maybe I'm making gross
generalizations about how gamers don't think for themselves. But I think there is some
truth in my thoughts. And that if they aren't currently happening to the degree which I say
they are, I think we're following a trend that will one day lead us to a place where it
here's a video from the Cal/Washington football game from earlier this month. why should you care? because this halftime show kick ass. serious, serious ass. they start kickig ass with pong, and then go on to kick more ass from there.
i was thinking this morning at breakfast that achievement points are very similar to 'works' in the christian faith. that is, most non-catholic christians believe God has saved them (and all of us) by dying for us, and there is nothing, not one single thing, we are able to do to earn this gift. there is no 'work' (feeding the homeless, going to church every sunday, etc...) we can do to earn God's grace.
and this is where the xbox 360's achievement point system is very similar to the christian faith. some gamers out there earn the achievments for bragging rights. same thing for some christians...they do a lot of 'good things' in order to show everyone how great they are, how spiritual they are. they do good deeds for the bragging rights. or they think they're a 'better gamer' for having the mst points. just like some christians. some gamers don't care about achievements. they simply want to enjoy the game. same for some christians. they don't make an effort to help those who need it. they are good people, who love, but they don't 'do' a whole lot to help those around them. they just enjoy life (the game) simply for what it is. and then there are some gamers who go for achievements in some games, but not others. the games they really love, are truly interested in are the games that drive them to get all the achievements. not for bragging rights, not because they are supposed to...but just because it's what they want to do. (for me, this was the orange box.) and same thing for some christians. they love Jesus so much, they go out and help people. they have so much love, they want to share it. they want other people to know how awesome Jesus and God are. they have a genuine love and interest in these things, and this naturally leads them to do 'good deeds' in order to express that love. not because they are supposed to, not for bragging rights, but simply because it's what they want to do.
ultimately achievement points are pointless. there is no reason to keep score as to who plays video games the best. points are no way to judge who had the most fun. when you see someone with a ton of points, you probably think they either have too much time on their hands, they are far too serious about video games, or they are just really into getting points for the hell of it. but ultimately, those points don't matter. they don't really tell you anything about that person. not really. and i think that's how God views christians. we are trying to earn points. to show Him how awesome we are at playing the game, being christians. but God doesn't care about those points. he cares about the reason behind the points. if two people both go for points because they truly have a love for doing so, He doesn't care who has more. if someone doesn't go for points, but just enjoys knowing Him on a personal level, He still loves them. if someone goes for points for bragging rights, He still loves them, as misguided as they are.
achievements points themselves are meaningless...what's meaningful, what says something about you is WHY you get them. or don't get them. regardless...we all end up with SOME points. some meaningless points. and if everyone has something that's meaningless, then everyone is equal. and I think that's how God see all of us.
(quick note....i'm well aware my past two journal entries have been about being drunk, or not drunk enough. let me just say that as a christian, i'm not perfect. i screw up and make mistakes. and i also have a small problem with drinking too much. it's one of many problems i have. it's also something i've been working on and getting better at. and God is right there, helping em out the whole way. no doubt.)
after four or so beers at the bar, i was too tired to drink any of my beloved jack tonight. shit, that sounds bad out of context. i was hoping for another solid night of drunk tf2 where i simply try to run circles around the enemy as a scout, literally...or try to finally catch up with myself in portal. or bashing eli over the head with a crowbar repeatedly in episode 2. but none of these things happened. i didn't even lay a hand on my favorite bottle.
what a waste. now i have to put up with nerdcore archive posts while sober. what an even bigger waste.