The Wachowski brothers are back to their usual pop subversions, borrowing a pulp aesthetic and making it Oscar-ready for the cultural exiles of the Academy. Speed Racer is on its way, rawr. I'm not sure why overly hyper-kinetic movies have always been deemed "videogame-like." Am I so desensitized that I don't find the majority of video games all that fast? Or are they really just not that fast, except the few outliers that the non-gaming populace get exposed to regularly? I imagine if their knowledge of what the "videogame aesthetic" is comes from arcades at movie theaters, then the latter is probably true.
But I don't think it's just us gamers. Look at investors, playing their silly game with the Fed. After two weeks of anticipating a 0.5% rate cut, which was a number pulled out of the ass of the rumor monster, the market got 25 points. And boy did they whine and cry, as if any of the trouble right now has the slightest malleability by the Fed. But it's all a game to them, you see, and it's called Guess The Fed. The market itself is apparently too uneventful as is, they need to keep the market fluctuating to feel like their treading and afloat.
It's a great end to an insanely busy week. Tonight's our holiday party, tomorrow is Xstine's, and on Sunday, Dan has to buy me dinner for betting me Mass Effect would be a bomb. I bet a million sales in a month, and boy did it deliver.
The game is awesome in the way watching an episode of Battlestar Galactica, or Star Trek. It's an unabashed sci-fi space opera with great acting, a great cast, and "cinematic feeling" hard to quantify, but wanting in any other game out there. It captures my long-standing belief that sci-fi differs from fantasy not from being about the future, aliens, high-tech weapons, or any such trappings, but by being about defining how something works, and making that integral to the story. And I haven't even mentioned the graphics, which again show the UT3 engine off, and have beautiful art design pulling in the practical futurism of Syd Mead into a real 3D environment. There are levels that look like real-time concept art… I haven't seen anything like this since Metroid Prime.
This is what makes Star Trek science-fiction, but Star Wars fantasy. Sci-fi strives to explain why things work the way they do, and those explanations have consequences on the choices the characters have to make. Fantasy, on the other hand, assumes a world works a certain way, and expects us to accept it, and often that means that the quick answer to the why is "magic." This is how a game like Final Fantasy can be considered fantasy, and not sci-fi, even though there are guns, robots, and high-tech sets. A fantasy you swallow, but science-fiction you dissect.