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Indie game "Edmund" delivers NSFW nihilism, pixel art

5:20 PM on 09.10.2009 // Anthony Burch

Recently announced as the winner of the TIGSource Adult/Educational Competition, it's probably better not to tell you what Edmund is about in any great detail. Suffice to say, it tackles a subject seldom explored in videogames, indie or otherwise.

I didn't like it, at all. And not because of the subject matter.

I'm getting rather burned out on games that claim to offer meaningful activity, but are really just prebaked stories with some multiple endings thrown in that don't really lend themselves to interactivity. The playable characters in Edmund are horrible and unpleasant people, and you may well find yourself not wanting to continue after you realize what one of the gameplay scenarios entails (sort of like the shift that occurs Shadow of the Colossus once you begin to sympathize with the Colossi, only much more immediate).

Unlike SOTC, however, I had no personal reason to continue playing other than morbid curiosity: my control over the characters was horrifying, but didn't reflect on my own involvement as a player in any meaningful way (although Edmund admittedly outdoes SOTC in that you're given a canon, ingame method of quitting the story). The game seems to congratulate itself for giving the player controversial, disturbing roles to play, without considering that those roles are so wildly distancing that the entire experience might better be conveyed via fiction or film rather than through a torturous, not-all-that-interactive pseudogame. 

Still, it'll give you something to think about.




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