I've mentioned previously how much I enjoy the writing of Newsweek's N'Gai Croal and MTV's Stephen Totilo. All this week, then, it's been a pleasure to enjoy their witty exchange on the PS2's most recent blockbuster, God of War 2
. The conversation is spread across both Croal's LevelUp
column and Totilo's Player Two
blog, and features ruminations on the title from a number of viewpoints. If you have some time this afternoon I highly recommend you give their full correspondence a look. More than just a discussion about a single game, they manage to capture some of the greatness of the medium, with their conversation ranging across genre, time, and content to get at some of the most fundamental elements of videogaming. From N'Gai's final post: "I've said before that we 'see' videogames with our hands. Extending that analogy further, the way cutscenes are used today is the film equivalent of title cards during the silent film era: even though the audience came to the movies to watch people move, they had to do a fair bit of reading to get the full measure of the filmmaker's vision. Similarly, cutscenes leave gamers watching when they should be playing. Sure, cutscenes can communicate critical information; they allow for dramatic and spectacular sequences that might be too difficult to pull off interactively; they provide a nice breather or bookend to lengthy gameplay sections. But just as silent film gave way to the talkies, cutscenes need to keep giving way to gameplay so that our eyes--excuse me, our hands--are constantly engaged."