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Can a Computer Make You Cry? Wimp...

Apple hi apple ho. After nearly a decade spent befriending Chris, I've finally managed to infiltrate something he loves. All those compliments of his shirts, all those not-hittings of his nerd glasses; it all finally seems to have paid off. Still, somewhere in the back of my mind I realize that all I needed to do to join the Blogulator was agree that Entourage sucks.

Before I begin and complete my plan of transforming this site into either one of those blogs that links you to other blogs that link you to other... or a sanctuary for screwdriver enthusiasts, I've been asked to write about pop culture. Some people here seem to believe movies are cool. Some seem to like music. Some gossip? They're all right in their own ways, sure, but, relative to the awesomeness of video games, they're all way wrong. This isn't the gramophone era anymore. Kidz love video games, I don't have a job and I live with my parents, hence I'm still a kid(z). Here are games that tickle my fancy at the moment RIGHT NOW///

Mother 3 - This game, perhaps more familiarly known as the sequel to the role-playing game Earthbound, comes with my highest recommendation. Unfortunately, you can't buy it in America, so my recommendation carries the same weight it does when I tell girls they should kiss me. Earthbound (the original version, aka Mother 2... got it?!) was my favorite game for many moons. I fondly remember waking up before middle school, scratching and sniffing the free scratch'n'sniff cards included with the game, and taming enemies like new age retro hippies. I say this "was" my favorite game only because Mother 3 now "is"... included as another game that could be my favorite. I can't make up my mind, and I'm afraid that if I question the opinion I formed as a lonely adolescent I will somehow warp back into myself and suffer some kind of fourth-dimensional death. Or worse, I'll have to go to middle school again. Awkward times.

Short Mother 3 review: The plot is divided into 8 chapters, of which the main adventure doesn't even arrive until the 6th. One of the bosses is a scary, womanizing guy in a pig mask. Minor disappointments arose when I would accidentally read too far ahead in the online English translation and spoil upcoming events, but I still teetered on the edge of tears numerous times. You don't believe me?!?!? Then believe this commercially-selected Japanese girl:

Long Mother 3 review: To address why something so obscure (though not really that obscure) is relevant to pop culture, the answer is writing. TV/movies emphasize visuals. Music is in-your-face/ear about its audio quality. Video games rely on their interactive nature. Yet for any of these media to capture some part of our humanity, good scripting is essential. Yes, pure fun-orgies like Guitar Hero seem to question that thesis, but I maintain that the natural story which evolves around your (the player's) improvement and your versus contests then fills the void of actual plot. But that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about Mother 3, and only Mother 3, and not any other game like I originally intended. I'll have to do that in the future cool!

Basically, the brilliance of Mother 3 lies in its ability to compose a completely meaningful story out of a smorgasboard of randomness. Somehow, from a game in which: the antagonists wear pig masks, a kitsch cow hat serves as armor, an enterprising mole cricket runs the market, and talking frogs act as save points; a picture of the calm of pastoral society tragically eroding into megalopolitic modernity emerges. Then again, maybe this makes more sense than anything. While run'n'gun games appeal to the intrinsic, barbaric intrigue of violence, a game that posits animals in key facets appeals to the even more base question of: Why have we evolved as we have, moving away from wood and towards steel?

Why is technology cool? the video game asks. Because it makes me think of nature, I sheepishly respond.

This week the Writers Guild moved forward in creating an awards division for video game writing because, "Video games are written and many are written very well." An example, from the game I've been talking about this whole time, of why I agree:

Girl: (in line for the bathroom) This line is taking, like, forever.
Girl: (in line for the bathroom) I've been in this line so long that it's gotten fun waiting for my turn.
Cow: (in line for the bathroom) Moo! (Um, Moo?)

Man: (in line for the bathroom) Supposedly there's a ramen place around here that's so good that there's always a line out front. This must be the line for it.

Except it's all said in Japanese.

After beating the game, I finally realized why the game series is called Mother. I won't reveal the specifics of my revelation, as that would ruin a plot I still hope Nintendo will wise up and localize, but it totally made me want to hug my mom. I didn't, because I finished the game at 2 AM and my mom was asleep and I would have woken up the barky dogs and the moment had passed by the next afternoon when I woke up. Still, I should have. It would've been comforting in that retrofamilial "love your mom" sort of way.

Now dance, video game, dance!

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  1. Blogger Dave | 10:37 PM |  


    This site just got 200 times cooler. How the hell does Harry have time to post here, but not on his own site? Whatever, give me more.

    And post songs.

  2. Blogger chris | 2:33 PM |  

    cooler, dave, really? i have NO idea what the hell harry is talking about in this post but that is one emo video game commercial. i almost cried and i don't even know what she's talking about!

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