A fairly brief and (hopefully) pithy little posting this week. This post reminds me a bit of some other blog entries that I have done in the recent past (such as The Satisfaction of a Switch and Elegance Is a Shotgun), in which I ruminated about some traditional video game tropes and their general strangeness in a narrative or aesthetic context. In this case, I got to pondering the weird consequence of narratives that lack win states, specifically in classic coin-op games. Mostly the inherent and inevitable failure of protagonists in arcade games breeds a weird cynicism in early attempts at adding narrative elements to games.
I probably say all this in a much more straightforward manner here:
Pac-Man Will Die: Cynicism and Retro Game “Endings”