08/14/2015: collage

playing ff7, a disjointed heap of visuals, in many mediums and styles, narratives and minigames overlapping, systems upon systems awkwardly pieced into a semi-cohesive whole. cryptic biblical names and anime plot tropes contrasted against perfect teenage dramas and cute, fun fantasies. i think what most interests me about the structure of jrpgs is how it feels like a collage world. drawing from religious sources, existing genre standards, popular media of the time, a million compacted visions of the world around us trying to come together in some strange new way that i guess feels both contrived yet fascinating in its scope. if i’m going to play this thing for 100 hours i’m going to pick it apart, ok.

like, transferred from weird cyberpunk ecoterrorist fantasy zone circa 20XX, to placid medieval rpg overworld, to gaudy prerendered themeparks, plots about cloning and corporate conspiracies and ancient astronauts all fighting for your attention.

i don’t like making authoratative claims but i guess for me, atleast, what separates game narrative stuff from watching a movie or w/e people talk about “games” as these days is how they’re so rooted in being thrown over the top of this plinky, silly structure that’s also trying to get your attention. the main difference between playing something like zelda 2, and something more recent like skyrim, is now they use more words, more areas, can vainly attempt to convince you it has any more depth than it did 20 years ago. so instead of experiencing it as “wow, this was so well thought out, such a perfectly crafted whole..” etc etc generic art critic stuff it’s more this barrage of plot points and little side-quests and dopey game systems trying to keep your attention while you bop some monster on the head for the millionth time. it’s so bleak and futile and brings to the forefront how all these things you would see in other media are kinda, honestly, really fake and constructed. i’m not really sure how to end this, because i have a million arbitrary thoughts about this subject and could ramble endlessly, but i love how honest these things feel, not a beautiful moving narrative, just some pointless event repeating over and over that we try to find meaning in until we do or don’t.