October 5, 2006

Façade Crosses Pages of Atlantic

by Nick Montfort · , 6:09 pm

Facade in the AtlanticAs subscribers to The Atlantic Monthly may have already noticed, there’s a story in the November issue, mentioned right there on the cover and called “Sex, Lies, and Video Games.” It’s a detailed, seven-page article about Façade, with shots of Grace and Trip. There are quotes from Will Wright and from an anonymous video game executive who explains that people like to “blow shit up.”

Jonathan Rauch wrote the piece and really managed to make a great case for how video gaming (and creative computing) can transcend its current licensed, hyperviolent state. He also gave a good account of Façade that is accurate without being overwhelming in its technical details. Gripping journalism is often built on oppositions and conflicts; here, the conflict is Andrew and Michael vs. the conventional world of videogaming, which, I think, is not a fabricated opposition.

The article conveys Andrew’s and Michael’s views on interactive drama, and – despite some talk of hill-climbing – how the problem of interactive drama requires revolutionary rather than incremental improvement. It gives a portrait of each of them, too, allowing the reader to distinguish two-earring-wearing, bushy-brown-haired, large-headed Michael from extraordinarily-average-looking Andrew.

Via the magic of subscriber-supplied temporary URLs, I offer this link to the story (update: scanned in), which will last no more than two days. And perhaps less, if the link police come by to put me in the link jail.

A final note, which may intrigue you to read on: Rauch’s article also reveals that The Party, Michael & Andrew’s work in progress, will have audible sexual moaning. Stay tuned for more here on Grand Text Auto.