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Darkly Developing Dexter

The best programme on television right now? Well, right now would be In Treatment, but more generally, it could be Dexter. The show about everyone’s favourite serial killer (loosely based on the books by Jeff Lindsay) may have its moments of high melodrama and occasionally hyperbolic dialogue, but it has consistently superb acting, writing, and direction, and best of all, it’s so much fun. Constantly challenging your allegiances, as you find yourself screeching at the television, “NO! Don’t get caught by the police!” at the brutal, sociopathic killer, there’s a genuine darkness to it all that makes for great viewing. But could it make for great gaming?

Marc Ecko Entertainment, the videogaming wing of rebellious street artist and antiestablishmentarianist Marc Ecko’s $1.5bn/year business, has announced a deal with Showtime Networks to create a game based on the series. At this point it’s in pre-production, so scant few details will emerge for a while.

The immediate instinct is to think: um, how? Dexter is a blood-spatter forensic scientist by day, and a serial killer murdering those who have escaped justice by the official system by night, and day too. His method for killing is to study the prey, capture them in the location in which their crime took place, then after plastic-sheeting the room to prevent leaving evidence, he chops them up into little bits while they’re still alive. Then it’s over to girlfriend Rita and her kids for pizza. It’s hard to imagine the concept working if you have to click on the, “lay down sheets” button, or spend time in a minigame nipping to Dunkin’ Donuts before surprising Rita at breakfast. However, if someone could create a living-city game, in which you must carry out your job while still stalking your next kill, studying his moves and working out the location for the kill, that could be interesting.

Marc Fernandez, Ecko Entertainment’s VP, thinks so.

“DEXTER is the extremely rare TV show with enough layers of action and tension to translate perfectly into a compelling videogame. Our game designers, writers, and artists are going to give Dexter’s morally complex world the kind of interactivity that gamers will love.”

So with all that said, here’s a picture of my cat Dexter, named for the programme.

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John Walker

Senior Editor

One of the original co-founders of Rock, Paper, Shotgun, I'm now a senior editor and hero of humanity. Old and special.

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