In the last three Symposia, we’ve talked about games with a tight systems focus: FTL, Gemcraft: Labyrinth, and Spelunky. This time, I want to talk about a couple of games that have a broader view: System Shock 2 and BioShock. As first-person shooters go, both games have relatively elaborate systems: the RPG heritage of the System Shock series is still evident in both. But both also devote quite a lot of time to narrative considerations: their elaborate persistent worlds, their casts of characters, their plotlines.
So: are the Shocks providing the best of both worlds? Or perhaps the worst of both worlds? Stepping back a bit, just what do we want out of video games these days?
We’ll meet on Thursday, June 5th at 9:30pm EDT / 6:30pm PDT; voice chat over Skype.