Do You Know The Enemy?

I have a new column up over at First Wall Rebate, starring Dante Alighieri, Electronic Arts, Leigh Alexander, Kevin Smith, Orson Welles and Sinead O’Connor. My focus is on EA’s forthcoming video game Dante’s Inferno, and how t’ain’t no sin to ruffle a few feathers.

Here’s an excerpt:

For me, whether a game is “fun” or not is almost always secondary to me deciphering what it might be trying to tell me, and then deciding what I ultimately think about that particular argument, issue, or aesthetic. How “successful” a game is has everything to do with its coherence as an artistic expression and nothing to do with its NDP numbers. For me, games are an interactive conduit for ideas, arguments and meaning, and “action” is that thought, deed or utterance inspired by the experience of playing the game.

So what’s the problem, then? It’s simple: caught up in the never-ending cattle rush among other videogame publishers to acquire and trademark new brands of intellectual property, Electronic Arts have marginalized Dante Alighieri’s Commedia as little more than a crudely-painted backdrop for a yet another insipid action adventure. And as much as I respect Leigh Alexander, I’m not at all sold on the And It’s Okay argument.

Click here to read the full piece and then again over here to leave a comment. (here, I’ll even help you get started: the first six words should read “Relax, dude, it’s just a game.”)

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