The Banality of Killing and Spec Ops: The Line
I wrote a short piece detailing the brilliance of mature story-telling, this time in a video game. Spec Ops: The Line is a military-shooter that is aware of itself, the kind of world that makes games like it, and, indeed, the kind of people that play it. Since I've been focused on villains lately, this is a brilliant example of what creating and moulding and demonstrating villainy can be when done properly.
Sure: you’re meant to be there rescuing survivors, finding out why and whether a well-renowned general went rogue, as per Conrad’s Heart of Darkness and the film Apocalypse Now. Yet, your squadmates tell you: this is pointless. They don’t need saving. You’re making things worse. But no, you’re in command – both as player and character.
Only you’re not: the game is.
The game pushes you forward, not because you’re some noble, fighting warrior, defending innocents. It pushes you forward because you bought this game, dammit; you clicked New Game, you have to finish. You have to complete the mission. Even in your continual slaughtering of innocents, you push forward because you don’t care: you must finish the game!
It annoys me when people assume video games can't be vehicles for mature story, well-structured characters, and moral dilemmas. The more people consider this, the more writers will get lazy and start creating those Saturday cartoon villains again. I hope this article helps show what kind of impact games, like any novel or film, can have when creators bother to treat their audience as adults.
Read the rest here.
Image Credit: Detail from Spec Ops: The Line cover
What can 3D printing do for medicine? The "sky is the limit," says Northwell Health researcher Dr. Todd Goldstein.
- Medical professionals are currently using 3D printers to create prosthetics and patient-specific organ models that doctors can use to prepare for surgery.
- Eventually, scientists hope to print patient-specific organs that can be transplanted safely into the human body.
- Northwell Health, New York State's largest health care provider, is pioneering 3D printing in medicine in three key ways.
- Push Past Negative Self-Talk: Give Yourself the Proper Fuel to Attack the World, with David Goggins, Former NAVY SealIf you've ever spent 5 minutes trying to meditate, you know something most people don't realize: that our minds are filled, much of the time, with negative nonsense. Messaging from TV, from the news, from advertising, and from difficult daily interactions pulls us mentally in every direction, insisting that we focus on or worry about this or that. To start from a place of strength and stability, you need to quiet your mind and gain control. For former NAVY Seal David Goggins, this begins with recognizing all the negative self-messaging and committing to quieting the mind. It continues with replacing the negative thoughts with positive ones.
If you don't want to know anything about your death, consider this your spoiler warning.
- For centuries cultures have personified death to give this terrifying mystery a familiar face.
- Modern science has demystified death by divulging its biological processes, yet many questions remain.
- Studying death is not meant to be a morbid reminder of a cruel fate, but a way to improve the lives of the living.
- Master Execution: How to Get from Point A to Point B in 7 Steps, with Rob Roy, Retired Navy SEALUsing the principles of SEAL training to forge better bosses, former Navy SEAL and founder of the Leadership Under Fire series Rob Roy, a self-described "Hammer", makes people's lives miserable in the hopes of teaching them how to be a tougher—and better—manager. "We offer something that you are not going to get from reading a book," says Roy. "Real leaders inspire, guide and give hope."Anybody can make a decision when everything is in their favor, but what happens in turbulent times? Roy teaches leaders, through intense experiences, that they can walk into any situation and come out ahead. In this lesson, he outlines seven SEAL-tested steps for executing any plan—even under extreme conditions or crisis situations.
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