Gaming and Art

You might expect that Bright Falls would get a lot of coverage on gaming sites because of it’s connection to Alan Wake. You would be right!

Jake Forsyth in Bright FallsJoystiq posted a Public Service Announcement about the shorts appearing on Xbox Live. It’s fascinating to note that nearly the entire audience for Bright Falls are gamers. The Xbox Live launch gave the series a great built in audience. As I wrote about in a previous post, the two entities feed off eachother.

As the reactions to Bright Falls have been coming in, Joystiq still has one of my favorite quotes: “Watching it is like staring into the inky, black eye of madness.”

Speaking of great reactions, MyGaming put up an article called Alan Wake prequel Bright Falls is out, is weird. How great is that? Where as Joystiq framed theirs as a PSA, the MyGaming post reads like a warning. “…late at night, when you’re trying to sleep, and you can’t seem to forget what you saw, or what you think you saw, or what you might’ve imagined all along, and what was that, anyway?”

The gaming blog Destructoid had a quick write up announcing the series as well. While there isn’t a lot of substance to the actual post, some of the comments are worth contemplating. One writes:

I must say that the pacing was absolutely spot on, with the exact right amount of suspense and shocks. I hope to god the game follows this trend, but I fear Roger Ebert may be right in the case of this kind of story. It needs to be in movie format, its a lot better when you aren’t controlling the character.

Roger Ebert came out against gaming as an art form last week, and was met with a lot of criticism. The above commenter makes an interesting point – Bright Falls, in all its cinematic glory, is really compelling. Will Alan Wake be able to live up to that?

I’m glad to at least see it try. While I think games are often ruined by their unnecessary desire to be more like movies, some games really do benefit from that kind of story telling. It’s rare for a game to match a well crafted film, but as more and more try, the entire industry is getting better at it. Bright Falls is already a great live action series. Let’s see if Alan Wake can offer a similar experience as a game.