The Art Of August
There are multiple ways of expressing emotion, generally categorized as THE ARTS. The world’s magic is distilled into seven simple letters, but the feelings garnered are as far-flung as the stars. It’s a topic encompassing time, medium and limitless arguments including debate over da Vinci and Michelangelo. Robert Mapplethorpe one-ups Georgia O’Keefe’s flowers. Clive Barker walks the same passages as Dante. Manga artists are so talented! No, they’re not, it’s just a comic book and comic books are not art. I’ll stop you there because I insist that comic books definitely are. It may not be your cup of tea, but if you slowed yourself down and really looked, you’d see the time and talent devoted to this form. There have been protests, celebrations, and banning’s of art. Cirque du Soleil has been condemned for perversion as often as it’s been praised for its beauty. Time periods and the ideals of people are forever influx making art a fluid notion. So, what is art?
Likely, it is not the armless, legless fellow you’ve strapped to the wall. But it could be! Just as horror novels have literary merit and rock-n-roll really is music, it is also true that video games are a form of art. With 4K television and the graphics seen in Red Dead Redemption, it’s impossible to deny. Clive Barker has placed his mark on the video game industry with Undying and Jericho, which holds an 8/10 on IGN. His artistry is present, the writing unmistakable. Stephen King has also allowed a little of his blood to feed the machines, though not as personally as Barker.
Horror has given much to the world of gaming. Remember Maximum Carnage and Mutant League Football/Hockey from SEGA? Let’s not argue about sci-fi not really being horror. I’m sure if a shapeshifting being was coming to bite your head off, you would be horrified no matter its origins. Resident Evil has been a gaming staple through several generations of consoles. There are too many zombie-related games to mention. The same holds true for titles with the word dead in them, (Dead Rising, Left 4 Dead, and my all-time favorite, House of the Dead, Overkill). We’ve gone from Pong to DOOM VFR! Xbox has included the 3D game, Attack of the Movies then moved on to Rise of Nightmares utilizing its Kinect system. Wii included DARKSIDERS 2 and let you “Become Death”. One of my old favorites was Twisted Metal, a racing game of sorts. On the back of that case, “They say the mind bends and twists in order to deal with the horrors of life…sometimes the mind bends so much it snaps in two”. Oh Calypso, you trickster!
Horror in gaming covers so much. Limbo is a beautiful, twisted little 2D side-scroller that defies your ability to master physics. SUBNAUTICA drops you far below the twilights zone. FARCRY is all over the place, one version, Primal has you chasing and being chased by prehistoric beasties and trying to decide if the woman with the necklace of ears is friendly or not! Another FARCRY dares you to outmanoeuvre a cult in Hope County, my hint make friends with the dog and the bear as soon as possible.
The latest tech (that I’m familiar with, it changes so fast!) is VR. The Oculus is good, but for my money, the PlayStation VR is better. Titles range from mundane to the already mentioned DOOM VFR, you can decipher the F for yourself. Borderlands 2, Bioshock, and Watchdogs VR are fine, but if they bring Call of Duty Zombies in, I think I’m out. Resident Evil VR is pretty intense, Alien in VR is straight out scary. While using your camera you can hear what’s going on, but the Xenomorphs can also hear you. After a day of playing those two games, I’d like to know how well you get through the long, dark night. I’ve read that if you play Tetris for a while the puzzles will continue to drop into your mind even when you try to sleep; right through the Vantablack. Bet you can’t wait to play that in VR (it’s freaking awesome!) One more VR recommendation for my horror family, RUSH OF BLOOD. It’s an older game so you can probably find it used. Paid $11 for mine and I’m really glad I picked it up. If you like Fun Houses and rollercoasters, you’ll enjoy this title. Strap in for the ride, load your weapons and make sure you check ALL the edges. They’re coming to get you, even if you’re not Barbara.
MICHELLE’S QUICK RECOMMENDATION:
Preseason is underway and the new Mutant League Football is a blast! Skeletal Deadheads, Monstrous Orcs, BruiserBots, Mutant Humans, Hell-Spawned Demons, Rampaging Werewolves, and Criminal Aliens are on your 6 (your 3, 9 and 12 o’clock too). You can choose to be The Mile High Chronic (Denver Broncos) and play as Von Killer or one of the other teams and their players. Favorite is, of course, The New Goreleans Zombies with Drew Sleaze, Valve Kilmora, and Coach Pawn O Satan. Pick up the Werewolf Rampage DLC and play with the Karcass City Kreeps or Nuked London Hatriots and Bomb Shady as he bribes the referee and is allowed a chainsaw to cut through any opposition.
HAHAHAHA!!! Happy Gaming!
Raised by Pentecostal preachers, horror was not a readily available commodity. As her love grew, her parents were occasionally summoned to school to talk about book reports and various projects that weren’t quite appropriate for her age. They were lost as to where she’d gotten such “trash”. Luckily for her, there was a librarian that understood her insatiable hunger for darker worlds. Even now, if she could, she’d live among the stacks.
Her penchant grew to include ghastly movies and music, which she’ll happily share with anyone listening. The love of horror continues with her favorite videogame, “House of the Dead, Overkill”. She’s not the best gamer, except when defending herself against the wrong monsters. Headshots are her speciality.