Friday, August 20, 2010

Review of Cactus' Norrland

Norrland is a game by Cactus, a swedish game developer that accepted the IGF award for Best Game by thanking jesus and then standing in place for thirty seconds to a minute. You can download Norrland off his site for free. Cactus seems like a really chill dude. Like, if you were in sweden and didn't know anyone you could call him up and get into some antics. The name of the game is Norrland, which is also the name of the northern rural area of sweden. Norrland seems like the south or the midwest of america, like the boring wooded areas where militant libertarians go to make bombs. Norrland is probably my favorite game by Cactus, even more than his Mondo series or Clean Asia. Even though I prefer the gameplay of his other games, Norrland is cripplingly hopeless in a really endearing way. If you asked me what the game was about, I would say 'killing animals in the woods and suicide'. Like, here is the game. You are some guy, I guess you live in Norrland. You go out on a hunting and fishing trip. Maybe it's not even a trip, maybe it's just Tuesday and the dude decided to take off. You  walk through the woods and shoot animals. You can collect their meat after you kill them. You can't collect the meat of the birds though, because the birds just kind of explode violently when you shoot them. You have to manually reload the gun by pressing up, back, forward, and down. Occasionally you fall asleep and experience a dream. The way you interact with each dream is different, but it's always simple, like mashing Z to drink beer or using the arrow keys to eat food. In one dream you are a man deep underwater that swims around until you are eaten by some giant fucking worm or something. I remember consciously thinking 'this is one of the saddest fucking things I've ever seen' while playing it. One anonymous comment on his blog says, "This game made me contemplate suicide for the majority of the day." Seems like a bitchin pull quote. Like, Norrland is released in Gamestops around the world and there are a bunch of quotes on there. Next to the IGN quote and gametrailers quote is just that: "This game made me contemplate suicide for the majority of the day." I really want to see IGN review Norrland. I think they would set a precedent and give it a 0.0, calling it 'faggot shit' or something. 'There are no titties in this game and only one gun. No online no replay value no achievements. Only queer homos would play this game and you aren't a queer homo or are you.' One of my favorite parts of Norrland is the end. The game asks you a bunch of questions and you aren't allowed to say no. One of them is "Are You A Fag?" Cactus makes me think that sweden maybe isn't as nice a place as I thought it was. If you asked me three years ago what countries I would like to live in besides america, I would probably say japan or sweden. I even called some official swedish embassy number to ask about dual citizenship, so I could have a place to go when america collapses. It feels like there isn't anywhere to run from america, like if I left america wherever I arrived would be like america but shittier. I feel the same way about California. I could move to the midwest, away from a high cost of living and thin job market, but then I would be living in the midwest. These are some things Norrland made me think about. Norrland fucking owns, you should play it. You should play it, and think about death.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Writing Something About Writing Something Because I Am Sick of Not Writing Something And At Least It Is A Start

Here is a vid by a dude named "woofycakes" on youtube. He posted it because this techno dude named m1dy is in the video. I first learned about woof because a friend of mine showed me his vids/the vids that he has in his favorites. Here is his youtube page. We said the words 'I love this guy so much' a lot, as well as 'this dude has the best sense of irony and yet weird sincerity ever'. I think that this video "woof@cali: sleeps m1dy vid" is everything that I try to write about in regards to young people/moderately young people just kind of tooling around. This would be like a poem that I would try to write, or a short story. The video is just a bunch of dorks setting shit on fire in what is either a southern or south western culdesac, which probably captures the essence of 'south western culdesac' better than anything else ever. Woof also starts chatting up a drunk girl, and their conversation veers into the mundanely tragic. Like, just ordinary soul crushing stuff, the kind of awful shit that ruins people's day even though they live in America or whatever. But then she's like, let's go to Evo, and woof is like fuck yeah come with me. Then she says she's going to lose her job but woof is just like, oh shit a job, you have a job goddam. Then the video ends. I think a book about woof and this drunk girl and whatever friends they bring or meet along the way as they go to Evo in las vegas would be my favorite book ever written. It would be like a combination of Fear Of Loathing and On The Road even though Kerouac is a really boring writer upon reflection, and like maybe David Foster Wallace except instead of tennis they play street fighter or melty blood. That would be my favorite book. They would get fucking wasted and have the kind of unexceptional adventures that make life obscenely beautiful for the three to five minutes they realize that what they are doing is having an adventure and it is making their life obscenely beautiful. It is the kind of profound stupid shit that happens when high guys and drunk girls hang out in parking lots without calling their parents first. I think there should also be a big scene like in Infinite Jest where they play Street Fighter and it breaks down the match into little poetic snippets and it's all super meaningful when it ends. I think the writer that can write the words 'hadouken' and 'focus attack dash cancel into ultra' and be taken seriously but not too seriously is the greatest writer of this generation. I think I am going to try to do that. I am going to try to write this book. I expect it will be read by no one, and I will die poor and alone, but everyone does that anyways.

I think if woofy found out about this post he would think I'm fucking crazy. I don't know. Maybe we could play Melty Blood or 3rd Strike or something.