Archive for December, 2006

Fatality!
December 27, 2006

It seems that I’m doing many posts this end of year, probably because I’m in a very good mood. One of the games that I enjoyed the most in my years of innocence was Mortal Kombat. A complete revolution at its time due to the realistic graphics and the extreme violence it portrayed. This fine video shows all the fatalities of the game:

It’s interesting how violence in its most extreme form has some beauty hidden in it and it can even provokes us a laugh. Makes you think when almost three decades ago a movie like A Clockwork Orange was censored worldwide and today you find kids playing games like these. Kinda of a reactionary comment there, huh?

Well, I constantly receive calls from local media asking me about violence and games, and I always defend our beloved medium. Yet, sometimes it does seem that developers are trying to push the limits in terms of blood simulation, and it somehow those are the same developers that believe games should be about having better graphics rather than better gameplay.

Mortal Kombat had great gameplay, don’t get me wrong. But if we keep our industry trapped in the eat/kill/run dogma, we’re doomed.

The Pinball Wizard
December 25, 2006

I’ve spent this Christmas with my father watching the incredible rock opera from The Who Tommy.

Not many movies portray the beauty of play like this marvelous generational piece. In Tommy you will see music and play expressed in the soul of a young kid who can’t see, speak or hear and ends up in a spiritual chase for god.

This will probably be my last post of the year, so Have a great 2007 and keep on evangelizing on games as art to anyone you know!

A Socialist Game?
December 21, 2006

Two years ago, I’ve made this teaser video for a game project that I had back then. The figure of Che Guevara fascinates me due to his firm beliefs and how he acted according to what he felt was right. He was probably the christ of communism, that atheist religion inspired by the words of a particular Moses named Marx.

The animation has its issues, I’m not a professional animator as you can see, but it was a fun job to do. The audio is a discourse Che gave in the UN back in ’64. The excerpt says:

No people of Latin America is weak, because it is part of a family of 200 million brothers beset by the same miseries, who harbor the same feelings, have the same enemy, while they all dream of the same better destiny and have the support of all honest men and women in the world.

Future history will be written by the hungry masses of Indians, of landless peasants, of exploited workers; it will be written by the progressive masses, by the honest and brilliant intellectuals who abound in our unfortunate lands of Latin America, by the struggle of the masses and of ideas;

Games are quite affected by this postmodern era of dead ideas. But they have a huge potential to test concepts not only through theory but also through artificial experiences. To me, if used right, we are dealing with a very powerful medium to awaken the minds of human beings. I wonder if we’ll see more social games in the future…

Some Personal News
December 11, 2006

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The year is beginning to end and I would like to share some very important news I got in the last weeks concerning my career as a game developer.

Utopia: After a year and half working very hard on this drama game project with the support of Three Melons, the Design Center of the government of Buenos Aires and the National Entity FONSOFT that supports software developments in Argentina have granted the project two subsidies so it can be completed. This kind of support helps Utopia to keep an independent view and empowers its potential for educational purposes.

GDC 2007: Not only I’ll be able to work on my experimental project with the right support, but also my proposal for next year’s Serious Games Summit at the Game Developers Conference got selected and I’ll be sharing my work of Utopia among talented colleagues from around the world. Here is a brief description of the talk.

I’ve been blogging on the cultural importance of games for a long time now, and my career is now permitting me to transform those ideas into actual projects. Theory and reality are always very different things, but I hope that in 2007 I can start making a tangible contribution in the game industry for us to start seeing more innovative, risky and profound interactive art.