Tuesday, May 06, 2008

You Might Not Get It

You Have to Burn the Rope is a video game joke. That's never really happened before as far as I know. There are games that have jokes in them and games that are overall silly, but in YHTBTR (gonna just...ctrl+c that so I don't have to say it over in my head again) the entire game is a joke. Whats better, and what makes it blog worthy, is that it's ALL joke. What I mean is, the game isn't a set of jokes, or a comedic setting, but a set of intertwined satirical gaming elements that are a joke once they've all been completed. Whereas Penny Arcade and Sam and Max tell jokes, YHTBTR is a joke. It's Ravel's Bolero of video games.

Like with Portal, YHTBTR is a seldom seen example of a game who's form and content, interaction and narration, work together and form a complete idea. It may be simple, but it's exciting to see.

It also happens to bring to light somethings that I hope becomes more of an intentional aspect of gaming. Absurdity and abstraction. As Internet culture grows and tastes become more niche, I feel like absurdist humor becomes more interesting. In television and movies, jokes have to have a clear reference point. You have to allow for lots of people to "get it", so it has to be based on something concrete and recognizable. Online gags no longer have to be anything except exactly what the creator intended. They're hard to explain and they deal with very specialized insights in very focused way.

YHTBTR is a very non specific joke that has to do exclusively with video game culture and ties closely into the Internet Bizarre. But not all gamers get it! It's so indirect and so subtle (despite its total overtness) that many gamers, according the the creator, don't get it!

I don't know, I'm sure this is an overreaction on my part. But this is more of what I want to see! This is a game being art, not art being found in a game. This game says something with itself, not from within itself.

1 comment:

Fred said...

Wow, great comeback post!

You're completely right that YHTBTR is a game being art, and exists solely for itself. Great way to sum it up. Also glad to see you're working your point about the Internet and absurdist humor in there.