Ladies and gentlemen of the court: Phoenix Wright is a goofy, spike-haired, blue-suited lawyerman who mostly has everyone drop dead around him. His first three adventures, Ace Attorney, Justice For All, and Trials and Tribulations mainly involve his various acquaintances dying from outlandish murders, occasionally reminiscent of the ways in which many Spinal Tap drummers have snuffed it. Phoenix is then usually called upon to defend the accused and Wright all Wrongs.
There was a particular woman standing there on that Monday night, on the cusp of E3, beaming at everyone at the door to the Loading Bar, London’s videogame-themed drinking hole. This is Britain’s Tracy King, grinning at me, ushering me through the small crowd gathered outside, bringing me into the hustle inside. Tracy’s the BAFTA-longlisted co-producer of Tim Minchin’s Storm movie. She produces animations, develops games, writes, and today she’s co-managing the very first EToo London, London’s alternative E3 held from the 11th to the 13th of June. Set up to highlight independent games developers’ work, providing a refreshing alternative to the tech fetishistic E3, EToo was organised in a total of ten days Tracy told me, but “you can do anything with enough experts and goodwill.” And the place was flooded with them: from Rufus Hound to One Life Left, the whole four days were exhaustingly exciting, and filled with interesting new ideas for interactive experiences.
In the far reaches of the psychedelic interwebspace, at the end of the net, there is a man who has been working on his fucked-up nineties surrealist nightmare for more than five years, on and off, idly messing with the magics and mechanics of that dark art of gameage. Drugless, though producing something that has an effect on a brain like a cattleprod, Jacob Waldemar Buczynski worked broadly in dirty rainbow colours, in Hunter S. Thompson punctuation. He ate raw shock and disgust in huge mouthfuls, and then spat them lovingly towards the screen. He is like a videogame Brian from Spaced.
“When I was fighting a man named Colt, text appeared written in Arial 10pt and attached to my backside while I ran into a huge firefight. As I was shot to death, it read, “All enemies in this area are dead.” My hips are lying.
In the same mission, the level design was so ambiguous about where I should go next that I pressed myself up against every unopenable door, of which there are at least a tantalising 10 in each level, for a chance to press E to open, only to realise that warehouse walls sometimes slide open automatically when you go near them. So then I started grinding myself against perimeter walls like a cat in heat in case they magically opened to send me to the next part of the level.”
My first 1/10 review at Eurogamer. Please feel free to put your alternatives to ‘dong-bandage’ in the comments, as some users have gladly done.
“I am tired of all this “sexism in gaming” crap that has come up recently. Reasonable people know that fantasy has nothing to do with reality: believing otherwise infantilises us and treats us as if we cannot distinguish one from the other. People who are outraged about this latest ‘gaming drama’ need a severe reality check: those masculists simply seek out reasons to get upset all the time. The “disembodied bloody crotch in Speedos” outrage went too far, for a start.”
This piece of satire for The New Statesman was pretty well received, and I got almost no hatemail. *bats eyelids to show wide blue shining eyes*