So this is what we thought the internet looked like back in 2010. Apparently not too much has changed – other than it’s worth noting that when this video was originally created,there was barely any Little Big Planet machinima, despite its excellent puppet-style controls. This was created by Canned Geek co-creator Will Owen waaaaay back.
”Bring us the girl and wipe away the debt.” Sounds simple right? Yet Bioshock Infinite is a game that relishes in subverting expectations. What begins in a rescue the princess style mission unravels into a complex and affecting experience.
Anyone who has read TV Tropes will know that the most interesting examples are where a trope is subverted. In this article we’ll examine how Elizabeth sets up and flips over our expectations for both damsels in distress and for AI companions in video games.
Read only if you’ve finished Bioshock Infinte – spoilers ahead.
The damsel in distress trope is tenacious, having lasted for centuries and is found throughout all mediums; from tales of dragon slaying and princess rescuing through to King Kong and beyond. Video games often use a kidnapped woman (often a lover or potential or implied lover) as a launchpad for the narrative and end goal for the gameplay. From Mario to Dishonoured, damsels are everywhere. The problem is that these characters can sometimes by little more than a human trophy; lacking their own personality or power.
Likewise AI companions can be problematic; often hindering more than helping. They may step in front of bullets, wander off and get killed and fail the mission for you. There are some notable exceptions, such as Uncharted and Ratchet & Clank – both of which primarily use cutscenes and the occasional buddy mechanics to make them a useful ally.
From Mario to Dishonoured, damsels are everywhere.
Elizabeth of Bioshock Infinite is a damsel in distress who then becomes an AI companion…which on paper sounds awful. Where Bioshock Ininfite succeeds is by having Elizabeth integrated into both the narrative *and* the gameplay to an unprecedented degree. But before breaking the formula, the game first sets up and plays to our expectations.
Continue reading “Beyond The Damsel In Distress: Elizabeth In Bioshock Infinite”
We raised $895.55 for Child’s Play with just 50 people.
Thanks for coming – it was an experience.
When: 8pm on Saturday, July 6th, 2013
Where: Arrow On Swanston (488 Swanston Street, Carlton VIC)
Entry: $15 (100% of which goes to Child’s Play)
Note that since The Room is a mature film, attendance is restricted for people aged 18 or over. Attendees under the age of 18 will not be granted entry.
Why Child’s Play?
Child’s Play is an American based charity which helps sick children in hospitals by distributing much needed toys and video games to a network over 70 hospitals worldwide.
“It’s hard for kids to cope with hospitalisation,” explains Lina Lewis of the Seattle Children’s Hospital. By engaging them through play and distraction, children are better able to deal with a hospital environment, request less pain medication and are more compliant with medical procedures.
Penny Arcade co-creator Jerry Holkins further explains: “Playing video games provides a line of continuity between living at home and living at the hospital.” It can be a scary time for both children and parents.
Since starting in 2003 the charity has raised millions and has had a profound and substantial impact in helping children through their time in hospital.
Why The Room?
Since its release in 2003, The Room has been regarded as one of the worst films of all time. Written, directed and starring Tommy Wiseau, it tells the story of a man whose relationships crumble around him. It also has absolutely nothing to do with Child’s Play.
It has, however, gained a massive cult following and is considered by many to be the prime example of ‘so bad it’s good.’ The Melbourne screening has the potential to raise thousands of dollars for Child’s Play and it’s our hope that The Room will draw people in. Spoons will be provided at the door.