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What is the 'punk' of video games?


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Unofficial projects like the Metroid 2 remake in a SM stylistic presentation. Streets of Rage Remix, that famously bastard hard modded Mario game, many mods and the whole mod scene.

 

Even the translation scene and games that just never got it done eg Aeon Genesis. The home brew scene. Those games you see @Unofficial Who post up in the Retro section that nobody has heard of but look awesome. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, ImmaculateClump said:

 

I'd argue that the most important aspect of the punk movement was the "do it yourself" ethos. The prole art threat. The realisation that anyone could make raw, powerful art without any sort of degree or qualification or music ability, and without censorship.

A multi million yen company like Nintendo making a family console, nah that ain't punk.

 

It's indie games, innit? That's the boring answer.

Oh entirely, I agree - and in that sense you are correct - indie games on PC is the only real answer, but like you say it also isn’t very rock n roll, which is all punk was, not that there’s anything wrong with that either. The real interesting and more inclusive stuff came just before and after punk. 

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10 minutes ago, Stanley said:

:lol: no, no the producers Stock, Aitken and Waterman. 

 

Oh, right :D

 

Never heard of them. Just looked it up on wikipedia and now I have even less idea what the similarity to edgy newgrounds garbage made by untrained amateurs is than when I thought you meant the low budget edgy horror movie.

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1 hour ago, Oh Danny Boy said:

To qualify as punk it would have to be completely independent, non commercial and not made for profit. A bit impossible in an industry that exists to make lots of coin.

 

That's what your Rogues and your Nethacks are, so:

 

3 hours ago, Wickedkitten said:

Roguelikes

 

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1 hour ago, dumpster said:

I'm going to suggest Deadly Premonition having given this around twenty seconds' thought.

 

Independent, amateurish presentation, it devalues itself deliberately to find a heightened sense of identity. It recaptures the spirit of similar games with a fleeting reverence and completely dismantles them in the process. Frances York Morgan  encourages you to break both the game itself and the player's experience with its chaotic systems.

 

It is impolite, unpolished, pure fuck off brilliance of a game.


I'm playing Deadly Premonition for the first time at the moment and I've been thinking this throughout. The irreverent writing and idiosyncratic implementation of its systems feel like a breath of fresh air, despite being a decade old at this point. Being chased by dobermans the size of cars is just the icing on the cake- I'm completely in love with it.

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4 minutes ago, MW_Jimmy said:

Original Mortal Kombat feels pretty punk to me. Ugly digitised characters, one-note gameplay, and US mainstream media worried on the effects of videogame violence.


Nah, that's like Oi! was to proper punk.

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Yeah as already said punk in music to me i thought meant that the technical requirement to be able to do it fell away, and all that mattered was your passion for it. There's no expectation of professionalism or a reverence for it, but that doesn't mean a commitment to quality is neglected. 

 

However much they eventually sold, Tony Hawks Pro Skater and GTA 3 for me always felt like they were made in that spirit, the humour an expression of them not taking it too seriously. They're both great examples of what seems like a bunch of mates trying to impress eachother/make eachother laugh having a shared love of what they're creating...which 4 games later transformed into hollow corporate churned out monstrosities. 

 

The difference between making a product to sell that's tweaked a million ways to appeal to audiences and the freedom to...just do something for the love of it. But the DIY ethos has to bring a different, unlearned perspective, breaking rules and conventions that people who have have been classically trained don't think to. When Phillip Glass worked with Aphex Twin in the 90s he said he couldn't understand what he was doing and things he couldn't understand interested him. 

 

I think it's better to come from a raw place and adapt than be so strictly trained that you're always so narrow in your thinking in a way you can't change. This comes up in football a lot, the academy player vs the street footballer. The attitude that's formed in chilhood can't be learnt later on in a way that tactics and positioning can. The maverick needed to pull something out to beat stubborn defences. 

 

Quentin Tarantino has said numerous times he doesn't want to be a professional, he wants 'to hold on to his amateur status'. That sense of stopping being someone who simply loved films and carried that passion into making them to being someone who is doing a professional job. He's also said he prides himself on always being on budget or under, being on schedule, and making a profit. 

 

I don't think there's enough anarchy in games and I've said this loads of times about user created content vs the professionally made content of the developers in the same gane. It might be the amateurs who make their own content are hired by the developer and they'll bring their perspective and ideas but then be swallowed by the professional expectation of what making a product sold for a price means. 

 

There's just a freedom in user created content that is liberating and exciting. You know they're doing it just ..because, to try something out, to amuse themselves, to annoy you even. There still doesn't feel like properly released technically accomplished games are made in environments of not giving a fuck, because everything is still largely derivative of what sells.

 

...by 'anarchy' i mean surrealism and absurdist elements, stream of consciousness, not game breaking glitches and horrendous clipping. 

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21 hours ago, MW_Jimmy said:

Original Mortal Kombat feels pretty punk to me. Ugly digitised characters, one-note gameplay, and US mainstream media worried on the effects of videogame violence.

Mortal Kombat is more metal isn’t it?

 Maybe Mastertonic £1.99 games were punk?

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Hotline Miami

 

Devil Daggers

 

Yeah the old Cactus games are a good shout as well. The Flash, early GameMaker and old school Shareware scenes were the nearest thing to the punk ethos. itch.io is vaguely similar but it's just flooded with about 10,000 half-arsed student assignments for every actual game. There's no reliable route to building a fanbase and an income like there was with Flash, where Newgrounds and Kongregate let you put a game in front of millions of people overnight and had a proper ratings system.

 

I don't think the Stock Aitken and Waterman comparison works. If anything modern indie publishers like Devolver (as they are now) or Tiny Build or No More Robots are more like that, taking little indie studios and polishing them up into making slick but quite tame product.

 

Minter is prog, surely.

 

 

Actually the Bloodlust Software games felt like weirdest, most fucked up thing ever at the time:

 

https://www.giantbomb.com/bloodlust-software/3010-2230/

 

Like something out of a serial killer's notebook.

 

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Well the SAW comparison was me saying they are not punk, in any way, so you may have misread that. And Minter ain’t prog, prog is Skyrim, it’s Witcher 3, Minter is psychedelia, man. 

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Conker’s Bad Fur Day is punk in the sense that the people making it threw shit at the wall for laughs and wanted to see what they could get away with. Nintendo of America and Europe wanted nothing to do with it despite Rare having been partnered with Nintendo for years. It was a studio produced game but also something of an inmates running the asylum situation with the game coming out as something completely detached from the original concept after years of development setbacks.
 

It was a piss take of the cutesy platformers that had been the rage and were about to fade out for the rise of the first and third person shooter.
 

It also predicted where video games would go as seemingly everything has integrated third person shooting controls now. The game was a good few years ahead of the curve in other respects also (fully voice acted for one).
 

It’s a divisive game but when I think about what Conkers BFD is I can’t help but think of it as a kind of counted culture work. I don’t know if it was the timing or what but that magic was lost with the Xbox remake.

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1 hour ago, Stanley said:

Well the SAW comparison was me saying they are not punk, in any way, so you may have misread that. 

 

Why do you think that early 2000s amateur newgrounds(and other sites) browser games aren't punk at all and are instead like "SAW" ? 

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2 minutes ago, partious said:

 

Why do you think that early 2000s amateur newgrounds(and other sites) browser games aren't punk at all and are instead like "SAW" ? 

Because they’re both shit.

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13 minutes ago, Stanley said:

Because they’re both shit.

 

Still not seeing how that precludes them from being punk, or why you chose to namedrop SAW and not any other musician/producer, but fair enough..

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1 minute ago, partious said:

 

Still not seeing how that precludes them from being punk or why you chose to namedrop SAW and not any other musician/producer, but fair enough..

Because punk wasn’t epitomised by bland cookie clutter game design of that ilk and Stock, Aitken & Waterman reminded me of the musical equivalent of it (you know, that being the topic) them being procurers of the blandest, most boring pop music imaginable, with interchangeable ‘stars’ of no discernible talent, displaying no verve or any kind of charisma, or attitude, whatsoever. 

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32 minutes ago, Jazz Glands said:

Bullet hell shmups. 

Aye, Touhou is probably the perfect example of this. Made by one drunkard, distributed at cons, and went on to inspire a whole load of other people in the process.

Thank you, Zun.

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