Posts Tagged ‘Jeffrey Yohalem’

Spec Ops, FC3 Writers On What’s Next, Futurism, BioShock

By Nathan Grayson on April 13th, 2013.

Who shoots the shooters? Well, I don’t think Spec Ops: The Line and Far Cry 3 writers Walt Williams and Jeffrey Yohalem have ever shot anybody, but they are attempting to skewer gaming’s shooter genre – or at least give it a good paddling. In the previous two installments of this gigantic chat, we discussed everything from the art of critique, to violence, to the effect of treating gamers like they’re stupid, to Dante’s Inferno and the Sistine Chapel. Seriously. It’s been a very long and interesting road, but now we’re finally at its end. In this thrill-a-millisecond conclusion, we discuss real, long-form criticism of games (including that one guy who wrote a book about Spec Ops), what’s next for these sorts of dissection of videogame culture, games as tools for exploring the future, and where games like BioShock Infinite fit into that.

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Spec Ops, FC3 Writers On Art, Treating Players Intelligently

By Nathan Grayson on April 11th, 2013.

When last we joined Spec Ops: The Line writer Walt Williams and Far Cry 3 writer Jeffrey Yohalem, they discussed everything from the problematic nature of modern escapism to Western culture’s disturbing disconnection from real violence. Today: art! Or rather, the process of creating it using someone else’s money when that’s not really what they wanted in the first place. Also, we delve into the notion that gamers (often rightly) assume games think they’re dumb, and how that factored into the receptions of both games’ messages. In the process, the likes of Mass Effect, Shadow of the Colossus, the Sistine Chapel, and Dante’s Inferno (the literary work; not the bizarre EA game) get ruthlessly dissected. NO ONE IS SAFE. Flee beyond the break while you still can.

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Fire Away: Spec Ops, Far Cry 3 Writers On Criticizing FPS

By Nathan Grayson on April 9th, 2013.

The shooters! They’ve become self-aware! Now they’re in the vents, skittering around menacingly and writing lengthy commentaries on why the very mechanics that make them tick might just be hyper problematic for, you know, society. Two games, especially, have claimed the forefront of this movement and have succeeded to – erm, depending on whom you talk to – varying degrees. If nothing else, however, Spec Ops: The Line and Far Cry 3 should be applauded for aiming right down the sights at a very important topic. Thing is, they furrowed their proverbial brows at shooters in extremely different fashions – Spec Ops by charting a slow descent into bodycount-borne madness, and Far Cry by “straight-faced” (and/or frustratingly obtuse) satire. So, during GDC, I brought their respective writers, Walt Williams and Jeffrey Yohalem, together for a wide-ranging chat about, well, everything. In part one, we talk the industry’s emotional disconnect from the realities of shooting, how to critique violence without accidentally glorifying it in the process, getting these critiques past publishers, and tons more. Oh, and of course, beware of SPOILERS.

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Far Cry 3′s Jeffrey Yohalem On Racism, Torture And Satire

By John Walker on December 19th, 2012.

Having completed Far Cry 3 a while back, I found that so much of the game’s story just didn’t sit right with me. Not simply in the sense that it appeared to contain colonialist nonsense and clumsily handled rape plots, but that I felt I was missing something. That the game was trying to say something to me, perhaps partly through that which I found problematic, and I hadn’t been able to hear it. So I pursued the game’s author, Jeffrey Yohalem, to talk it through.

Yohalem proves to be a very animated, very passionate writer, who sees Far Cry 3 as a complex exploration of many ideas, mostly questioning the role of the player in a game, and what they’ll do in order to win. It was, he says, an attempt to break the loops of modern gaming, to ask the player to start to demand better. Fortunately, I’m animated and passionate too, so we get to discussing how successful this really was. What follows is a heated chat about what gaming could and should be. I return at the end with some thoughts on the conversation.

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