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Puncherson_64LadyBrain_64

No real spoilers

Butch:

Mrs. McP’s staycation continues, so I didn’t play and I’m off to the zoo today so once again light bloggage, but I did have a question pop into my head.

Remember a ways back we were complaining about the shifting camera in games, like RotTR? “What was that scene? Does Lara know that?” Etc. We’ve bitched about that a lot.

Well, just the other day, I read a blog post where I, myself, praised the scene with the Kett there where the Kett boss dude was mimicking what Alec Ryder did, and trying to get it to work, and wasn’t all that cool, what a neat scene, humanized them, etc.

What I didn’t say was “Hey, wait, that scene was JUST LIKE THE ONES IN RotTR that we complained about!” And I didn’t say that because it didn’t occur to me until just now.

So I start the day pondering why. How come that scene didn’t seem anywhere near as jarring (indeed, I praised it) than the one in RotTR (which we did NOT priase)? How come we didn’t instantly say “What, THIS again?” We’ve asked “How can we do exposition if we can’t shift the camera” and, yet, here we are shifting the camera, doing exposition just fine. Is it a question of execution of the scene? What gives?

Feminina:

You raise a good point. I vaguely noticed that bit, but in a “wait, where am I seeing this from, oh whatever” kind of way, rather than a narrative-disrupting “no, seriously, wait, WHY AM I EVEN SEEING THIS” way. And you’re right, that kind of makes no sense, because it’s exactly the thing we complained about when it happened to (or, rather, in the absence of) Lara Croft.

I wonder if maybe it has something to do with where it falls in the game? I mean, we’d already spent tons of time with Lara, being Lara, seeing everything as Lara, by the time that first happened in Tomb Raider. Where with this game, the break comes fairly early on, and we haven’t yet spent all that much time being immersed in our character. Maybe we didn’t notice as much because it didn’t break with as much previous experience?

It also might be partly the way the two games approach physical space. Tomb Raider environments, even though they can have a lot of ground to cover, tend to be kind of self-contained, with this very strong sense of “we are here in this space that covers a few square miles.”

In Mass Effect, we get used to zooming from planet to planet, system to system, and being able to casually drive hundreds of miles within the active area on a single planet, so there’s not that sense of compactness and being ‘grounded’ in one location. Maybe the fact that we’re not so anchored in one place, makes it less jarring to be occasionally not anchored to one person?

I don’t know, though. It is a very good question.

Butch:

Zoos are fun but it’s very hot.

Mrs McP is one if those who thinks time off should be exhausting.

Feminina:

It’s not a vacation unless it makes you want to go back to work to get some rest!

Butch:

Whose side are you on?

Feminina:

Obviously, the side of good, thoughtful, ultimately unanswerable questions.

What IS vacation? Why DO we accept some shifts in narrative point of view but not others?

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