I’m the first to admit that I can become a little acerbic when I’m writing whilst drinking. I’m not like that in company, in fact quite the opposite. In recent years I’ve become somewhat Russell Brandian in my public inebriation; full of gesticulation, pithy anecdotes and enthusiasm. This goes doubly if I’m meeting people for the first time. It isn’t something I do willingly, that would be a little bit pathetic really, no, it’s my way of getting by in situations that would otherwise make me feel a little self-conscious. The drinking certainly helps as well. It, as I’m sure it does for many people, loosens me up, imbues me with greatly inflated self-confidence and - people might beg to differ - makes me funnier. That’s only when I’m in company though; when I have to be courteous and charming and very happy. When I’m by myself and half drunk, writing, as I like to do, I become more realistic, cynical and just a little bit bitter.
Everyone denies that I am a genius - but no one ever called me one! - Orson Welles
That may well be true, that oh so self-effacing sound bite, but we all know that it isn’t really. Orson Welles. Let us say it again: Orson Welles. It feels good just to utter his name.
Orson Welles, then, is often cited as the most influential man in cinematic history, indeed, his most celebrated work, Citizen Kane, is widely regarded as the Best Film Ever Made. That statement is, of course, completely true. Revolutionary in its day, timeless in its brilliance; Citizen Kane is both scholastically and populously celebrated as a work of uncompromising genius.
It is only fitting then, that critics, practitioners and the drooling masses alike use this cinematic tour de force as the barometer with which to judge all other cultural products. Nirvana’s In Utero is the Citizen Kane of popular-early-90s-guitar-rock. Jon Ronson’s The Psychopath Test is the Citizen Kane of left-of-field-humorous-investigative-journalism. What then, by the same leaps of logic, is the Citizen Kane of video games? Does it even exist? It has to, doesn’t it?
I’ve created a work of player-driven fiction to explore this very topic. In it, you play the part of Orson Welles himself as he explores the personal ramifications of creating the Greatest Cultural Artefact Ever. ‘Players’ have never before been given this level of access to the great man himself, and YatCKoVG offers an unprecedented look at the world through the eyes of the greatest visionary to have ever lived.
So join me, please, as each of us becomes The Citizen Kane of Video Games.
(4x4) (And away we go)
As people who obviously like technology, the games-playing public are at a disadvantage. They will instinctively gravitate to a new device regardless of its merits or otherwise. This is, generally, all right. These are the people who blaze trails; create ‘memes’; own the newest, shit, iteration of a phone; or are guinea pigs when a game needs to raise funds and QA at the same time. In essence, these people are both pioneers and, quite often, mindless idiots.
Saints Row IV is the loveliest game ever made (and it loves you more than you’ll probably ever know)
The fourth entry in the Saints Row series sees The Video Game shed its mortal trappings and ascend to a higher place. I don’t think it is an exaggeration to say that in Saints Row IV we finally have the greatest example thus far of the video game in its purest form. While it is by no means perfect - it does regrettably give over a little too much time to characters and exposition - I see it as the closest humanity has yet come to unfettered goal-orientated mechanical perfection. To call it merely a video game is almost an insult, for SR IV operates on a plane far out of the grasp of its contemporaries. It is in fact closer to the likes of chess, cricket or professional wrestling: instances where rules and mechanics dance around one another, momentarily coalescing to create beauty, amazement and pure, magical, inconceivable beauty.