Tuesday, March 7, 2006

Tyrian Comic

Here is a completely obscure Tyrian comic that I never expected to see.

Gaming subculture is turning into a real culture. We are seeing music, art and stories that take the language and mythos of games and weave them into a broader experience.

Not so long ago, the culture of games was limited to just games. As much as I like the medium, it deals with the shallow end of the human experience pool. Well, the non-gamers are dying off slowly but surely. And the gamers that take their place 'speak' games in the same way previous generations used music and movies as their preferred metaphors when communicating.

Here's a thought. We always wonder when games will make their Citizen Kane. What if it doesn't work like that? What if instead, games gain meaning through the participation and deep personal involvement of their players much like basketball or football. When these two sports were invented, they were a couple of guys acting like fools with odd shaped balls. Over time, the passion of the players and fans spawned movies, books, articles, stories and legends. Due to intense participation and the clouds of secondary artifacts, these sports became a near religious cultural phenomenon.

What if video games are the same? Take something like Mario 50 years from now. Does it still inspire us? Suppose we create in the Mario universe because it is a powerful metaphor for describing the human experience. It is a different, but no less potent path towards cultural significance. Odd thoughts for a Tuesday morning.

(This isn't a long post...just a link to a cool comic. I lost a big chunk of time browsing the Book of Random Bunny site. :-)

take care


  1. The Japanese video game industry, from what I understand, is already like that. At venues like comiket, you can find fan-made comics, novels, music, costumes, posters, toys, etc. for hundreds of different popular (and not so popular) video games. Heck, there are even fan-made video games of fan-made video games (like "Melty Blood", coming soon to the PS2, which took the characters from a dating-sim called "Tsukihime" -- which was itself inspired by commercial dating-sims -- and put them in a fighting game).

    Although something like this would be unthinkable under U.S. copyright law, it works out in Japan where, although copyright law is stricter than in the U.S., lawsuits are MUCH rarer.

  2. A little plug: the featured webcomic, Bunny, and its creator Lem will be present at the upcoming "UK Web & Mini Comix Thing" this saturday. Naturally, lots of the other comics in The Thing reference games or even directly draw their inspiration from games and gaming culture. Take Little Gamers for example.

    So come and show your support in the UK :)

  3. I hope I'm not to blame for that lost chunk of time. ;)

    Give us the article on Web 2.0 games... We demand it!


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  5. I can't wait until we actually can go out and catch our own pokemon. ;)


  6. Video games (all kinds) will, and SHOULD become increasingly important to our societies. Much like movies and music have. I don't like the analogy to sports. Games CAN be sports in multiplayer games (even in single player), but I don't think that that is the only, and best, way to go.

    I WANT a game where there's proper social commentary, metaphors and interesting choices to be made. It should make the player think, not just about the game, but how the choices applies to his own life. Much like books, movies and theatre.

    Games are a MUCH more powerful media than any of the ones I mentioned, and thus should be used to its full extent. Don't worry, games will be accepted as more than entertainment in a few years (I'm guessing 5-10).

    Looking forward to it.

  7. I am really surprised how many people actually got the reference to that comic. It's probably one of the most commented on comic in the archive... which I'm rather proud about.

    Here's hoping that Games do to become socially significant and as much a part of our society as the moving image or the written word.

    Even now, there are gems in between all the rubbish. Maybe there's already been a Citizen Kane, and we haven't even noticed.
    Personally, I nominate Katamari Damacii.