October 22, 2008

Bailout THIS! Gamers Celebrate Doomsday

Last week I went to the best office party ever. It was on a crisp clear evening in Downtown LA, with geeks, rockers, and beauties all together in one big kumbaya. There was a nuclear wasteland, an open bar, and a game lounge. It could only mean one thing: the Fallout 3 launch party.

As I walked through a field of oil drums peppered with empty martini glasses, the smell of clove cigarettes in the air, I remember thinking that this is proof that we can heal from any terror. I mean, does anyone even remember when the thought of nuclear annihilation was actually terrifying, and not just a gaming environment? One of the reasons all this fascinates me is because one of my favorite directors did a movie called eXistenZ (totally ahead of its time) in which our emotional attachment to a synthesized world was explored. And now, with 3d animation technology where it is today, the synthetic worlds are getting more complex, therefore more beautiful, as more and more nuances are artfully rendered. I can definitely appreciate the level of production and concept design of the Fallout world. All I can say is: zeitgest. Plus, Fallout pokes fun at the ridiculous mentality of the 1950's - so what's not to love?

And to the people who are against video games because they are too violent, think about why we need them. In fact, our need is so great that video gaming formed a huge entertainment industry of its own, rivaling and surpassing hollywood blockbusters while possibly being recession-proof. Video games quench our society's thirst for gladiator tournaments in a virtual coliseum. The technology may be new, but the collective need is as old as a dusty fossil.

One of my favorite highlights of the evening was seeing the Foo Fighters live. Dave Grohl is funny. In between rock anthems, he would say things like "We've never played an office party before. This is heaven: you get to play video games and drink beer. Kudos. It's the American Dream." and "See you at the next office party. Are you having a Christmas party? Cause we'll f*@#in' do that one too."

And by the way, how cool is downtown LA getting? No matter how many penthouse lofts go up, you can still quadron off a couple of city blocks, have a rock concert, and spray your logo in light all over the sides of the adjacent skyscrapers, which is exactly what the Fallout peeps did. That's why a video game launch party makes my blog, another moment that is rockstar friggin' awesome.

:: bogna ::

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