Thursday, June 13, 2013

Postcards from 'Proteus'

This week at PopMatters, I send some postcards from Proteus.

When Proteus first came out, it re-ignited the "What is a game debate?" that tends to crop up every spring when the holiday rush dies down. Alright, that's a bit snarky, but only because I'm not sure such a debate is even that useful, or even a true debate at all. Mathew Burns says it better than me, but having a dialogue between experimental interactive experiences and big-publisher, "triple-a" Video Games isn't tenable or necessarily valuable.

Proteus' importance doesn't reside in a definition, but rather in the kind of thought it inspires in the people that play it. At the very least, the fact that people are forced to question their assumptions of what they consider a game shows gives it merit. On a more practical level, there are real mysteries that can be uncovered in Proteus that require attention and dedication. The thing is more than just a nature video on loop. Check out Jorge's and my stream for some concrete examples.

Finally, I threw in some screenshots to help convey the narrative of one of my playthroughs. I'm interested to see if they are similar to other people's experiences. Regardless of what Proteus in an ontological sense, it's clearly a great discussion-starter.

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