Here is the section of my current MFA Thesis on Freud’s exploration of the uncanny, a kind of psychological horror. I am putting it here so that I can share it and see how incomprehensible (or not) the text is. Much of this is purposefully unedited.
I am probably about to do two books probably a great deal of injustice. I do not mean to, but I feel like I have been a bit lax in some of my reading lately. I have had two books on my radar for a while, bought them about a month ago, and I hadn’t really gotten around to reading them yet. One was Chris Crawford on Interactive Storytelling by Chris Crawford (no surprise). I’m still working on that one because it is really interesting to me and I want to give more than usual. The other book is Imaginary Games by Chris Bateman. You may have noticed that I also indicated Patterns in Game Design as part of the post title. A few days ago, I was skulking about on Twitter, following conversations back for context, when I came across a book recommendation from Brenda Brathwaite. She mentioned Patterns in Game Design (by Staffanto Bjork) to someone as a must-read book. I casually checked my university library and found we had an electronic copy. I didn’t read it right away, but instead tried to find someplace to buy the book (with no luck as the book appears to be a bit rare). Eventually I got around to reading it in my own way. The injustice I am giving these books is, for the most part, that I did not read every word. In fact, I read only parts that I thought were relevant to my topics. Even still I am going to talk about them anyway.
On November 26th, 2011, I finished a prototypical game as a portion of my fulfillment of one of my graduate classes this semester. The game, For the Love of Salt: A Prelude, was an attempt to address the notion that story is reserved for easier modes in gameplay. Here I will give a brief background on how the project started, and then explain what I think worked and what I think didn’t work. I will end with what I think needs to be done going forward to form this into fortified theory.
So, yesterday I popped Catherine into the 360, pretty much knowing what to expect by playing it. Adult drama with a puzzle game attached. And I played the game for about three hours before I put it away. I might not go back to Catherine for a while, but that’s ok. Three hours was enough for me to really evaluate what I wanted to out of it. This was the nature of the game’s difficulty in relation to its story.
Now, I could go into a rant here about games and story and how story is treated in Raph Koster’s A Theory of Fun (On page 86 Koster even says, “my background is a writer, so this actually pisses me off.”). Instead I want to talk about how Catherine is fun and what it is teaching us. I will needless get back to story and challenge just that which Koster is so pissed off about.