Yesterday, I spent significantly less time on working on the drones. Unsurprisingly, yesterday, I left work feeling much more spirited and pleasant than I usually do. When learning about shaders, I had to dredge up math that I haven’t touched since high school, but I think I’m alright now. I’m not as enthused as I should be about making an app for the C6, but that’s alright, too. I keep thinking about how little time there is left in the program and the likelihood of my project to fail.
Topic I’m thinking about today: queer game studies and horror games. I went to a PHD candidate’s talk about queer games and space. She claimed that games are usually characterized by agency & player choice, and that queerness manifests in these games through restrictive mechanics. I think she also mentioned that queer games often include estrangement from the domestic/familiar spaces because of the exclusion of queer people from heteronormative societal standards. For example, Gone Home takes place in an isolated mansion with a kind of creepy atmosphere- despite being the controllable character’s home, the domestic feels foreign and off-putting.
I’m also thinking about horror games taking place in domestic spaces; there was one where a portal in your bathroom transported you to some terrible place. I think there was another idea of a hallway in a house becoming progressively more terrifying as a the player passed through it. Horror games also make use of restricted player mechanics,* like in Amnesia- I’m pretty sure that you can’t fight any of the monsters. Supposedly, the difference btw these genres is that the estrangement in horror games comes from an external factor (the monster) where something is there but should not be there. In queer games, the estrangement is internal- the character is the factor to be excluded from the environment.
Anyways, I spent so much longer on this blog post than I rightfully should have just to say that I want to watch horror movies. I’m going to get to work, now.
My bike tire is flat, and I realize that I don’t know where to find a pump to fill it.
*Also, I want to say that all games, by necessity, have to have restricted mechanics. There’s no programmer in the world who would actually want to program the player having complete freedom in a game. I mean, what would that even look like? So maybe this isn’t a valid lens through which to look at video games.