2014年 5月 27日 - Non classé

Joel is a weary but survival hardened

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Canada Goose Jackets Human beings are storytellers. This basic, constant instinct is evident throughout history from creation narratives told around the night’s fire canada goose clearance to Greek playwrights to the first novels to the flickering images of early motion pictures. Canada Goose Jackets

What has changed, though, is how we tell stories. Each of canada goose coats on sale our technologies, from the printing press to celluloid film, has opened up revolutionary new possibilities that have fundamentally altered the way stories can be told. That revolutionary role of technology is at work again now, and it’s why we should be paying attention to video games.

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canada goose coats But, let’s get a few things out of the way first. I am relatively new to gaming, having begun just five years ago. That is when I finally relented and bought my then 15 year old son a PS3. So, if you are a long time gamer, you will likely find these musings old news. Feel free to complain in the comments. canada goose coats

The point is that, for many folks, “video game” still doesn’t conjure Canada Goose Outlet up canada goose clearance sale anything considered worthwhile. For them, it’s all mindless first cheap Canada Goose person shooters and endless virtual carnage. So, if you think, “Video games, ugh!,” then I want just a few minutes of your cheap canada goose uk time.

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The Last of Us belongs to a time honored story genre. It’s a post apocalypse narrative. The story begins in the present with the outbreak of a pandemic that destroys the minds of the “infected” turning them into violent zombies. We then jump ahead to 20 years later, after the weight of the pandemic has left the nation in ruins. Just a handful of cities are left maintaining protected quarantine zones. These are run by a military (all that’s left of the government) that has imposed a much hated martial law.

Canada Goose sale Yes, it sounds familiar and I am sure you think you’ve seen and heard it all before. After Canada Goose Parka all, when it comes to the zombie apocalypse, there’s the film 28 Days Later, the book and movie World War Z and, of course, the much discussed graphic novel and TV show The Walking Dead. Canada Goose sale

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Canada Goose online Because The Canada Goose Coats On Sale Last of Us is a video game, it can do something utterly remarkable that other storytelling forms can’t. The brilliance of this game is the way it takes the tropes of the standard post apocalypse narrative and both unpacks them in new ways and hijacks them for its own ends. Canada Goose online

canada goose deals The story The Last of Us tells is the journey, both real and metaphorical, of Joel and Ellie. Joel is a weary but survival hardened, 49 year old, black market smuggler. We first meet him in our present as the chaos of the infection is just starting. The game begins with his daughter dying in his arms after being shot by a soldier. Ellie is a teenage girl, born after the infection has destroyed society, who ends up Canada Goose Outlet placed in Joel’s charge. Her recently discovered immunity to the infection offers a last hope that a vaccine might still be possible. Joel, and his partner in crime Tess, are given the task of getting Ellie across the nation’s broken landscape to the last laboratory of the Fireflies, a group that opposes martial law and still believes a cure is possible. canada goose store After Tess dies at the beginning of their journey to the Firefly lab, the Canada Goose Jackets main arc of the narrative begins following Joel as he comes to terms with canada goose the presence of this girl, so much like his daughter, in his life. canada goose deals

canada goose black friday sale Using that relationship’s evolution to animate the actual cross country trek from canada goose factory sale Boston to Salt Lake City allows The uk canada goose outlet Last of canada goose uk shop Us to do something with the classic post apocalyptic narrative that other stories haven’t. While there are lots of battles with zombies and humans alike, it’s Canada Goose sale the emotional tone of the game that stands out. The Last of Us, more than anything else, is overwhelmingly sad. canada goose black friday sale

Like Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, which the game is often compared to, the world of The Last of Us seems irreparably broken. Over and over again, in subtle ways only a game can allow, we are forced to face this fog of grief. A penetrating book or movie would have its own language for revealing that sadness, but what The Last of Us does is exploit the mechanics of gaming in a way that makes us explore that emotional landscape firsthand.

cheap Canada Goose Many games ask you to find and collect stuff as you progress through the story (money, new weapons, etc). But in The Last of Us, the breakdown of society means you have to scavenge. But it also means you spend a lot of time moving through empty neighborhoods gofind and empty houses. You wander through bedrooms and living rooms full of the things people left. These familiar yet fallen spaces are rendered with a beauty that becomes transportive. The spare cords of Gustavo canada goose black friday sale Santaolalla’s score also holds the game’s sober tone (he was composer who did the haunting music for Brokeback Mountain). Thus along with the usual gameplay (which can be pretty violent and scary), there also comes this remarkable and unexpected meditation on loss at scale we usually can’t touch. cheap Canada Goose

canada goose clearance But canadian goose jacket the most stunning feature of this game is its ending. As the game progresses, Ellie becomes a full fledged partner in the battle for survival (for one whole segment the player controls Ellie after Joel is almost killed). As the story unfolds, Joel slowly seems to find a place for his grief. His bond with Ellie seems to bring a buy canada goose jacket kind of awakening and peace to this man who has done terrible things. Finally finding canada goose uk black friday the Fireflies, it seems that, yes, Ellie does hold the key to a cure. Perhaps there can be redemption for humanity. But, then, we discover that the price for extracting this cure is Ellie’s death. canada goose clearance

It’s here that the usual tropes should kick in. At first Joel rejects Ellie’s fate and fights desperately to take her back from the Fireflies. As we navigate through the final battle, we are shown, in various ways, that there is really no choice. The tragedy of Ellie’s death is the only means to save the rest of us. And we also know, having spend so much time with Ellie (I was in the game for 37 hours total) that more than anyone else she would have understood and been willing to make the sacrifice. Thus, we expect that ending and we expect Joel to finally understand, too.

canada goose Instead, the game makes us kill the doctors. canada goose

canadian goose jacket In the harrowing crescendo, this character who we thought was a hero, (making us, as players, the heroes, too), turns out to be a monster. The game forces us to become the agent though which Joel violently destroys the only hope left for the world. canadian goose jacket

Canada Goose Outlet It’s in this way that The Last of Us illustrates something truly radical that’s inherent to the technologies of video game storytelling. The game convinces us that, as players, Joel’s story is our story. Instead, we find that we never really understood this man. We never understood the toll his survival had taken on him. We could not see how deeply his grief had destroyed his humanity. Canada Goose Outlet

buy canada goose jacket cheap As I played through these last few moments, I was stunned. For all the books and movies and TV shows and plays I have seen, here was a something truly new, truly novel. I was being shown something that only recently became possible. buy canada goose jacket cheap

Now, I am not so much of a fan boy to miss the fact that The Last of Us still lives in an often male dominated video game universe replete with the usual virtual mayhem. And there is enough of this mayhem to keep The Last of Us from truly being a portal to a bright, new world where everyone games in the same way that everyone watches TV. But, by brilliantly co opting the new mechanics of video game story telling for its own ends, The Last of Us does illuminate the contours of what that world may look like.

Updated, 2014年 5月 27日

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