Video Games Are Embracing Being Weird

On this week's Fave This, Gita and guest Heather Alexandra talk about how games can benefit from being campy. Whether it's Metal Gear Solid's Vamp or Deadly Premonition's sinner's sandwiches, a lot of games embrace how weird they are to be more fun.

(Get the MP3 here.)

With Patricia Hernandez out sick, I'm joined by Kotaku US staff writer Heather Alexandra to talk about camp. Heather, who has been playing the weird and wonderful Deadly Premonition on Kotaku US' Twitch channel, helps me explain how camp applies to video games. In her essay "Notes on Camp", Susan Sontag writes, "Camp is art that proposes itself seriously, but cannot be taken altogether seriously because it is 'too much'." Video games, but especially the work of someone like Deadly Premonition director Hidetaka "Swery" Suehiro, are pieces of performance that really easily lean into being "too much". If you've ever laughed at an over-the-top kill animation or wanted to cosplay a character designed by Tetsuya Nomura, you might understand what I'm talking about.

Later on, we talk about creepypasta. These short, spooky stories are disseminated over the internet, usually as first person stories about a weird thing that happened to the person posting it. Stories such as "Ben Drowned", about a haunted copy of Majora's Mask, serve as the internet's campfire tales. Heather and I talk through what makes these stories really work, and why video games are a fertile ground for exploring the uncanny. In case you were wondering where you could find the creepypasta I mentioned in the episode, about a forgotten song from 2008 that makes people kill themselves, here's a link.

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Comments

    Every other thing in MGS V makes my partner shake her head and say, "Fuck this game. This is fucking ridiculous."

    Whether it's my dog pulling a knife to murder Russian soldiers then do a backflip off their corpse as it falls, subduing a super-sniper with an air-dropped box dropped on her head, a remote-controlled rocket-fist punching three soldiers in one shot, men of various ethnicities being brainwashing into becoming dedicated soldiers with the voice of Troy Baker and an unhealthy fetish for getting beaten to shit by their beloved Big Boss, or hardened soldiers dropping their weapons and jaw to run up and embrace a picture of an anime waifu stuck to a cardboard box...

    She keeps thinking the game is weird.

      MGSV is hardly even weird in comparison to some of the earlier games. Play through MGS3 and see what your partner thinks.

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