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Thursday, 17 October 2002

Blurring the lines

The episode of Buffy that aired on Tuesday in the 'States had Willow googling - which was pretty cool. What's even cooler is that the person being googled (the googlee) actually has a site. Or, rather, Mutant Enemy (peple assume) have put up the site - check out Cassie's Poetry and Paintings. It's not exactly the same as the site shown in the show, but the poems are the same, and the eagle-eyed have already spotted that the site runs without Yahoo! Geocities' customary adverts. Just for fun - check out the meta tags on the site.

Is anyone else being freaked out about how similar doing this kind of thing is to the AI Game? And is anyone else positively foaming at the mouth at what a Buffy type highly immersive fictionn game would be like? Yeah. Thought so.

So here's the thing. Around AI, Microsoft and Steel Rain Studios weaved an impressive and immersive world. It reacted when it was prodded by hundreds of thousands of users - the best example of this is when a malevolent character was killed when it read a database of nightmares the players had put together. This was a world populated with believable people--thanks to the writing of Sean Stewart--who did believable things. Anyone who played the game will tell you with no qualifications that possibly the best thing about it was its writing, that it told a gripping, engaging story.

What do we have with Buffy? A rich, detailed universe, internally consistent. People who have written engrossing storylines, characters that viewers have come to identify with and follow with morbid curiosity. Wouldn't Buffy provide a wonderful, rich universe for some immersive storytelling? What would you give to get phone calls and text messages from the scooby gang? What would you do to go to a library, find a book reference and see that Giles has left you a note?

And if not the scooby gang, if not Giles leaving cryptic notes in dusty library books, if not wandering around cities looking for chalk clues on walls and learning about forensics to try and find out which demon's terrorising who this time round, the great thing about the Buffy universe is that although it's richly detailed, there's still room for maneuver. There was enough for Angel. There'd be enough for a game.

So, how about it, Joss?

Via Bronwen and MeFi. See also Tom's take.

Update: see the followup entry to this, I've got a Theory.

1 comments and trackbacks

Middling (mssv.net) Oct 17, 2002 9:56 PM
There's a bit of talk at the moment of how an AI-type game set in the Buffy universe would be a good thing. I think in general, yes, it wouldn't
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