Tuesday, March 27, 2001

Jill mentioned a game in her blog, then Torbjørn wanted to know what I think about the same game. That's peer pressure, and I crumble under it and check it out.

Majestic is hyped up to be the game that steps over the limits to your reality and plays you. To quote from the page: "You only use 12% of your brain. Mind if we play with the rest?" This is, according to them, new. To anyone who has been reading reader-response theory, that idea seems less new and romantic - although it's a good catchphrase. Books, films, music - it all plays with our brains and makes us supply meaning, understanding - do our own "gap-filling". This game seems to play on that skill of gap-filling.

It's also supposed to be "The Game meets the internet" - with references to the film of a game breaking down the border to reality. This sounds exiting - but not exactly what Huizinga would call a game: "Nevertheless........ the consciousness of play being 'only pretend' does not by any means prevent it from proceeding with the utmost seriousness, with an absorption, a devotion that passes into rapture and, temporalily at least, completely abolishes that troublesome 'only' feeling. Any game can at any time wholly run away with the players." While a game can run away with the players, this game doesn't threaten to do that unless you choose it. According to their FAQ the level of realism will be adjustable - that is, you will be able to choose whether the game will alert you that this is a game-related request or not.

It also looks somewhat like a live game in the presentation. But according to their site, the characters who will contact you are NPCs, run by the game. The live element applies in that you can choose to play in groups. The format of this game is less like a MUD or even Quake, and more like riddle-games where you can choose to solve the riddles alone or in company - more like a single-user game with a group of followers, like all those boys I keep finding in my kitchen, in front of the computer, going: try this! try that!

No, I am not evaluating it - I can't even play it, not being in the US. That doesn't make me less curious, though!

No comments: