Initial thoughts on Remember Me

I think I’m about half way through Dontnod Entertainment’s depressing Neo-Parisian future-revolution simulation Remember Me, and though it wise to jot down my impressions before I forget them all entirely. Har har har. The following words, then, will obviously touch upon aspects of the game that you won’t be familiar with if you haven’t played it yet. That includes the story.

I - The overarching concept - wherein memories have been digitised, commoditised and are widely abused - is a beautifully pessimistic take on the glaringly obvious problems of future tech. Much like the Jesse Armstrong penned The Entire History of You entry into the Black Mirror anthology, the game presents a pretty plausible future in which a seemingly helpful and benign technology could cause harm and misery. Initially developed as a way of sharing information held in memories, this technology has snowballed into a society-crippling/controlling monster. Junkies addicted to happy memories beg and steal for one more taste of the - literal and figurative - high life. We see them huddled in shacks living out their fantasies through the remembered actions of others. I’ve been surprised at the lack of allusion to sexual gratification though; surely a decimated society confined to undercity slums would be, at least in part, made up of quivering, perpetually-wanking wrecks?

The drunken forum experiment I: Can violence be more ‘meaningful’?

The last couple of weeks have been very heady for me in terms of violence, specifically the 'proper' kind. I morbidly consumed some very explicit violence and then sought to understand it through extensive reading and research. I saw a man killed for entertainment on video and wanted to understand why, and more-so what, would lead someone to do such a thing. After that I became intoxicated and thought about violence and its depiction within video games, here is the outcome and reaction from the community.

Video game violence should be more violent. Or not at all, really. No?

The below writing contains minor spoilers about a film and a few swearers.

The film Cannibal Holocaust isn’t a particularly good one, even when assessed within the scope of the horror/shocker genre. In a very reductive sense, it is a series of shocking and brutal images stitched together with an unnecessarily fussy narrative and lots - lots - of walking around. The film tells the story of an expedition of scientists going into the jungle in search of another expedition of, one is led to presume lost, scientists. When they get there they witness all sorts of person-eating-person happenings, person-being-impaled-on-spikes happenings and lots of killing-animals-for-real-‘cos-it’s-gross happenings. I watched Cannibal Holocaust as a youngster and was fucking shocked by it. Truly shocked. But it wasn’t the bare-titted women eating fake arms or the laughable special effects on the whole. No, it was the sight of the real life turtle being stripped out of its real life shell and killed on film that disturbed me then and continues to do so to this day.

Violence, real, actual violence is horrible.