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First Person Shooter; art imitating life imitating art imitating warfare

6:27 AM on 05.06.2007 // Earnest Cavalli

Many of you don't know this, but I was once an aspiring actor. Admittedly, I did it mainly to score with girls who had turned to drama to escape a troubled home life, but after realizing that my ability to emote boiled down to "surly", and "surly with puppies", I was forced to give up my SAG card and get a real job.

A real job writing d*ck jokes about video games.

Fortunately for fans of highbrow art, many people suck less than I do, and a few of those people debuted a play titled First Person Shooter last night at the San Francisco Playhouse. The adorable ragamuffins over at GayGamer.net have a review of the piece up on their site, and to say that they liked it would be an understatement on par with saying David Mamet likes swears.

Hit the jump for choice quotes.

The play's plot can be summarized thusly;

The play’s plot, while complex and deeply-nuanced, boils down to this: two teens in a rural Illinois high school gun down a number of their classmates with brutal efficiency. Within days, it’s revealed that they rehearsed their massacre on a custom game map, and the management of JetPack Games (the developer of the aforementioned software) finds themselves scrambling to deal with their possible role in the school tragedy. What could have quickly turned into a tale of lawsuits and greed gradually unfolds into a believable story of shock, anger, grief, and, ultimately, self-realization.

With the recent spate of violence blamed on gaming and the number of politicians currently making a name for themselves on this not-so-critical issue, to say this play is timely would be an understatement on par with saying David Mamet has an affinity for curse words.

But, GayGamer, what did you think of the play? We need a verdict!

It’s easy to recommend Loeb’s play to just about any theatre-goer because, while it deals with the video game industry, it doesn’t seek to alienate viewers unfamiliar with the world of gaming and it tackles a complex topic while refusing to lay the blame at anyone’s feet. I liked First Person Shooter for a number of reasons: I liked it for its originality, I liked it for its versatility, and I liked it for its depth. But, most importantly, I liked it for the sincerity it contains when addressing a complex subject that will never contain an simple explanation. It’s heart-wrenching, it’s beautiful, and it’s bittersweet… and I hope it’s seen by as many people as possible.

They enjoyed it! The real question is if it will be a hit with people unfamiliar with the dark backside of the gaming industry, but if this review is any indication, saying it could resonate with the general public would be an understatement on par with saying the entirety of my knowledge about the theatre involves David Mamet saying f*ck over and over again. 



Earnest Cavalli, Contributor
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I'm Nex. I used to work here but my love of cash led me to take a gig with Wired. I still keep an eye on the 'toid, but to see what I'm really up to, you should either hit up my Vox or go have ... more   |   staff directory

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