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In response to "What Purpose, Minecraft Zombies?" from The Escapist forums:
Soooo you nearly got eaten by a bear eh?
...I honestly don't know why this doesn't surprise me XD
Anyways, great article! Very interesting read... However, I have to disagree about 'running and hiding' being the best course of action against zombies and the like - just like our ancestors whom paved the way to our capabilities of civilisation today, I think that, equipped with a good, diamond sword, sturdy iron armour and plenty of 'medical' supplies, a player in Minecraft can fight off the zombies, skeletons and creepers, at least temporarily. Much like how things have turned out in the real world, our unique ability to create complex tools and craft the landscape to our will allows players in Minecraft to have a distinct advantage to those creatures in the dark - whatever happens, we know that, at the very least, our intelligence is superior to whatever creatures nature throws at us.
In response to "To Die at the Hands of Your Own Creation" from The Escapist forums:
I said this the first time, and I'll say it again: This is a great article, and Alan Wake deserves it. It's a game that at least tries to break the mold and be smarter than its loudmouthed counterparts. The point to which it succeeds is debatable, but it surely reached some of its lofty goals.
This kind of analysis is always strange, since it always looks more like a Rorschach test that says more about yourself than about the work you're analyzing. But while I would usually say that devs have stumbled upon this great metaphor their game accidentally makes (hell, I'm certain that the whole 'this character is being manipulated, but we are the ones controlling him, so in essence we are the ones being manipulated by the story and game design' thing so many found the most genial in Bioshock went so far over the devs' heads that it was shot down by the air force) I think I can trust Alan Wake to have actually thought it over. All of the little things that look like plot holes at first (what are the odds that a guy who's married to a girl who's afraid of the dark will get attacked by something that matches precisely her perception of the darkness?) have an inkling that they are part of a far greater thread that we have barely explored because the main character is largely unable to comprehend it. My personal theory is that Alan Wake, Thomas Zine and the Dark Presence are responsible for each others' existence in a massive effect-before-cause timey-wimey-ball mobious double reach around, and it doesn't sound stupid comparing to what the game puts forward. (Then again, I already got upset that my theory that Agent Nightingale was a fictitious character created by Alan Wake that manifested only when he added himself to the story was debunked by the Bright Falls webseries, so I may be wounded again. ALAN WAKE MEETS EVERY SINGLE CHARACTER OTHER THAN HIM BEFORE HE ENTERS THE CABIN PASS IT ON)
It's sad that it's OK to make this kind of crazy theory about (say) Moby Dick but not about games, and it's sadder that it's not because of some sort of prejudice but because games don't yet have their shit together and haven't yet figured out this whole 'say one thing that actually means another' thing most high brow narrative is pretty much based on. Hell, the game with the most symbolism these days is probably Bioshock, in which you know a place stands for a certain political philosophy because it will shout it at you until your ears bleed.
Look, I know this article is great and everything, but you posted the exact same thing months ago.
Yeah, it's almost as if it this week consisted only of articles that have already been previously posted! But that would be MADNESS.
In response to "Zombies Rule, Vampires Drool" from The Escapist forums:
What ever happened to mummies? Proper bandaged, shambling ones, not all this "The Mummy" except it's just a dude with some creepy powers.
Rather marginalized, true, plus the setting is a little restrictive, but they do take some of the better aspects of the living dead.
Plus, you know, curses.