Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Left 4 Dead

Oh man.

Simply amazing. Played the demo four times with Peck. Simple play mechanics (based off half life 2) and straightforward objectives. There are zombies. You have guns. Up to three friends can play along with you.

It feels like middle school when you'd spawn 99 bots in CS and give them all knives just for the sensation of being overwhelmed. Everyone did that, right?

This game holds some serious affective power. I was scared, by a game. What?! Why? Well JPN 61 tells us that fear of zombies stems from a fear of society at large, of the majority's influence over the individual and the human tendency to conform. With modern society becoming increasingly self-aware and, in my opinion, over-systematized... it just feels good to mow down zombies. You know? I think there's something meaningful here but once again, i need to think about it more.

JPN 61, Japanese Art Horror (great class) also claims that Zombies represent the border between life and death, signifying the inconceivable void of not-death(?). Whatever. The game made me FEEL my mortality, prize my individuality and value whatever social ties i held within the game (thanks peck and mike). If you get pinned down by a zombie your teammate has to free you. Players have to heal each other to survive. The cooperative element really made it what it was: WE were scared.

Counterpoint: In the game I'm not mortal. I'm not individual. I played as a retired army vet. When I left the keyboard for 30 seconds the computer started controlling him for me and my friends didn't notice. Made me feel like...

a zombie?

Holy unholiness this game is good. Simple, fun, and playing off of real societal pressures. A+


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