CONTEXTCreated in the Winter 2020 Worldbuilding class (DESMA 171), taught by Eddo Stern
PEOPLESame Malabre : Game Designer
In an article titled ”Gaming’s Forever War: Halo 2 and 9/11″, Andrew Carroll describes the first level of Halo 2, the first game in the still running Halo series: “A lone warrior volunteers to martyr himself. The two Long Sword fighters fly by to give the Master Chief an entry way. The hero surviving a fiery death guided by a voice in his head. Using the aliens’ own equipment to destroy one of their monumental symbols of superiority.” Games in the 2000’s were particularly egregious in their warmongering ideology: recall Halo’s cathartic masculine self-sacrifice or Call of Duty’s constant ramblings about taking the gloves off, crossing lines, and ignoring red tape. Dark Souls is game about a fraying world. Withered lords, their power slowly burning away, task the player with taking up their mantle, to travel through a dying kingdom populated by mad adventurers, where time is literally falling apart. This is all for the purpose of that world’s continuation, to restart the cycle again. – to preserve a world where nothing you’ve seen is worth preserving. I was interested in combining a difficult traversal system, ‘retro’ pixel art, symbols from these FPS games, and the misleading missions from Dark Souls to make something that speaks to the tired and troubling recursion of these themes and symbols, while also exploiting their resonance.