At Electronic Arts, Art Tries to Imitate Horror
The phrase that stays with me is "strategic dismemberment." It was meant in a good way.
We're talking about a video game here, not human rights violations, and Alex Charlow, a youngish marketer for mega game-maker Electronic Arts, was describing a feature of a yet-to-be-released game known as "Dead Space". The term refers to the kind of tactics a player must use to figure out how to fend off attackers in a nightmarish space scenario.
"Just shooting them in the head won't kill them," he said. A visitor to the company's Redwood City campus is also urged to make sure to see how the game renders "viscera in zero gravity."
So it's gory. But what might be just as striking in Dead Space may be the success the creators have had in borrowing techniques from decades of horror films. In order to create atmosphere, and scare the bejeebers out of players, the games scenery makes exacting use of shadow and light in a way that at times seemed to approach the quality of the movies.
It might not be Caravaggio - that Italian guy who was way before the Internet - or even Hitchcock, but it was striking, all the more so because it is generated by the computers as the player moves through the setting.
The game will not be released until October.
March 11, 2008; 5:05 PM ET
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Posted by: LL22102 | March 12, 2008 4:13 PM
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