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For the first time in ages, Deus Ex director Warren Spector is unemployed. The man who created what’s regarded by many as the greatest game of all time isn’t cracking any whips, cooking up cyber conspiracies, or teaching cartoon mice to sing. Instead, he’s taking some time to both teach and learn, which is what brought him to UC Santa Cruz’s recent Interactive Storytelling Symposium. There, he echoed the refrain that’s recently become his calling card: take games to new, interesting places, and don’t just lean on crutches from film, TV, and the like to do it. It was a call to action – a plea for tomorrow’s burgeoning brains to break outside the box and then burn the remains. Do not, however, mistake that for an admission of inaction on Spector’s part. Unemployed or not, his gears are churning again, and he’s starting to think about his next big move. After his session, Spector and I discussed why he can’t simply make another Deus-Ex-esque game, why he really wants to put a “no weapons restriction” on his next project, Kickstarter’s popularity among his pioneering peers, Epic Mickey in retrospect, and more.>
Heavy Spoilers, obv. (more…)
The following theory is not true, but it could be. It’s surely no accident that BioShock Infinite often evokes The Wizard of Oz – there’s even an early stage of the game named after it. Even so, the similarities, be they deliberate or coincidental, run deeper than a turn-of-the-century character being mysteriously transported to an amazing world of technology and magic. Once I started down the yellow brick road of looking for parallels between Dorothy’s adventure in Oz and Booker’s adventure in Columbia, I couldn’t stop – I identified what seemed> to be dozens of them. Am I onto something, or am I projecting? It doesn’t matter – this is purely a thought experiment, not a claim to accuracy, and I’m entirely sure you could achieve a similar effect by comparing Binfinite to Star Wars or the Bible or Peppa Pig. I’m doing this for fun. Mostly.
Also, SPOILERS UNBOUND. Do not read past this point if you haven’t completed the game. (Or if you somehow haven’t seen/read The Wizard of Oz). If you have, fire up Dark Side of the Moon and let’s go off to see the wizard. (more…)