Sunday, 18 January 2009

Suddenly: GONZO

This post was entirely written on a mobile phone in the early hours of this morning then meticulously copied over to PC by hand.


There are few places colder and sadder than Strathfield station at 12:30 in the morning. I’m listening to electronic music and plotting ways of killing a friend, out of some deep irrational, simmering hatred that finds its was to the surface after a vodka and red bull.

* a paragraph is missing here. It was accidentally deleted. I said something about being the whitest dude on the station, and explained that I was working on this post, writing on my Nokia phone to take my mind off my predicament. *


Because I’m typing this on my phone, I just lost the last two paragraphs, but that’s ok. I’ll pretend they’re still in here and you can guess what was in there.

…So can a 3D space in a videogame ever be proper Gonzo?


I’m tempted to think not, but only because I can’t see how a method of storytelling that relies so much on the reader trying to imagine the outlandish and the plainly ridiculous… (I failed to finish this sentence, the slow type speed broke my train of thought)

Could a narrative be told then in a game that is Gonzo in style? The best games clearly ‘show not tell’ their stories which would render the florid descriptions of scenes crafted to highlight the insane, pointless. Could we visually highlight the crazy, or must we rely imperfectly on a narrator?


Oh man, Metronomy just came on my iPod and it stirs up a feeling of regret; i missed their concert just the other day because i didn’t have anyone to go with. (note: Spencer Greenwood was considering it) That’s partly why I’m pissed at my mate (note: not Spencer), because he wasn’t there to go with me to see them. But also it’s because of a girl (Shhh! Don’t tell!).

What makes a situation Gonzo worthy? L.B. Jeffries pointed out that it’s not the drugs that makes Gonzo, that was just what HST just used to get in the groove or the flow or something. The drug culture (freaks) however, and identifying with its ethos, was however and the clash of cultures was often the source of most of his anecdotes. Having the head political wizard of the McGovern campaign (note: Frank Mankiewicz) waiting for Thompson in the bushes outside his hotel to club him over the head in retribution for something Hunter had done was very much an invasionary possession of the poor fellow by some demon of drug-taking.


Editing on a nokia phone isn’t easy so getting it right the first time is important. Thankfully it’s impossible to write faster than a few words per minute, so the pace of writing is in my favour at least. The train is also so empty by this time, being ten minutes good of 1am. That’s also ok, it’s just me and a sleeping old guy who has shifted in his sleep once the whole trip. I accidentally the whole trip. And the whole ticket collector, who checked my ticket in a lovely way, wishing me a lovely trip. There’s an ad campaign running at the moment “a lot goes into a forgettable trip”, and the slogan could be applied to game design. The unforgettable games are often the worst ones, or the worst experiences.

When I was a fair bit yo9unger I hired Playstation games based on what was supposed to be good. Resident Evil and Metal Gear Solid, both, were atrocious for someone of my age, experience and skill. It didn’t make sense to me to run from zombies and hide from the guards at the bottom of the elevator. Games are bout killing and doing stuff, not running away and hiding, surely! A slight variation on the basic idea and we get ‘hiding’ as the main game verb, and just so with Gonzo – an injection of personality into reportage.

And in that same way, we get blogging on a phone – a slight variation on the theme and a product of a very particular situation. Short and sweet, take it or leave it. FIN.

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