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About the Archives

This page contains all entries posted to GAMBIT in November 2007. They are listed from oldest to newest.

October 2007 is the previous archive.

December 2007 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

Ebert Likes Hitman, Hates Games

Roger Ebert just gave his first favorable review (as far as I'm aware) to a movie based on a videogame. Naturally this doesn't stop him from bashing games. But at least it's a slight variation in his normal behavior.

The [Hitman] movie, directed by Xavier Gens, was inspired by a best-selling video game and serves as an excellent illustration of my conviction that video games will never become an art form -- never, at least, until they morph into something else or more.

He goes on to explain how the story is not bad and that the movie actually has interesting characters. But this is all undercut, he claims, by the scenes of endless shooting in which 47 appears invincible and in which truck loads of people die. These scenes are "no doubt from the video game," he concludes.

Ebert's status as a crank when it comes to videogames is well documented. Yet it's still interesting to see just how ignorant he is of the medium, let alone the genres, he's criticizing. Anyone who's played Hitman knows that it's not about walking down hallways killing endless streams of people. It's about planning a hit for hours, getting every detail right, and then finally striking in total secrecy. A good player will not kill anyone except the person they are supposed to kill, which means the Hitman games often become excruciating studies at avoiding violence in every possible way.

11/08/07: Games and Civic Engagement

Thursday, November 8
5-7 p.m.
Bartos Theater, MIT Media Lab

A generation of scholars, critics and political leaders has denounced videogames as at best a distraction and at worst a negative influence on society. Yet for a growing generation of activists and researchers, games may also represent a resource for engaging young people with the political process and heightening their awareness of social issues. In what ways do young people use the online societies constructed in multiplayer games to rehearse and refine skills at citizenship? Can we imagine games as a medium that encourages public awareness and citizenship? And what might it mean to empower young people to create their own games to reflect their perceptions of the world around them?

This is the second lecture in a continuing series from the new MIT Center for Future Civic Media.

Hooray for Samus Aran!


The Galactic Federation sure is great in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. They help Samus Aran kick Space Pirate butt and save the universe once again. Corruption ends with a massive, Return of the Jedi style space battle. Samus leads thousands of Federation ships in an assault on Phaaze, the source of a radioactive disease that has been infecting the galaxy for three consecutive games. Yay for Samus! Yay for the Federation! Yay for me, who waited six years for all this!

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