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March 6th, 2007, 17:19
Allegories have also been used in the old sci fi movies from the 1950's where it was as clear as day who the (real) aliens were. (hint: it starts with the letter C ).
If you read some (or all) of Ursula K. Le Guin's books, you will see that in their hearts they are allegories, too. In one book she explores the possibilities of a man who has the oppurtunity to dream up the perfect society —- and when he does so, it turns out quite differently from what he believed it would do. In other books, she is exploring planets where there have not been wars in a really, really long time, and in yet books, she is exploring the dream society of the feminist movement in
These books are not set in today's world, they are set in strange fictional worlds, much like the Harry Potter books, and yet different from them, since the HP books
has porthole to our world. Yet, is clear that both racism and slavery are dealt with in the HP books. And not in a very favourable way, I might add.
Star Wars, too me, is also very political: The heroes fight for the Republic, and the
villains fight for the Empire. And in one spectacular scene, young Anakin is saying:
"If you're not with me, then you're a my enemy". Doesn't that sound strikingly similar to something we've heard before ??
Baldur's Gate 1 dealt with who was responsible for the bad iron ore throughout the
Sword Cost, and you, as the player, along with protagonist+ team in the game, end up undwinding a very deep (buried) political plot of treasury, corruption and power abuse in the course (or route) of the story's narrative. (An allegory of big
corporations' abuse or peddling bad products to its customers in modern day life ?? )
If we go back to former times, the man who wrote about Gulliver's Travel did so to disguise his critique of the English monarchy and the nobility at that time. The same goes for the man who write Alice in Wonderful. The Queen in Alice in Wonderland is a sort satirical portrait of a certain queen — cough —- Victoria —- cough in England.
And yes, today most people would argue that slavery is bad thing, but travel back to the ancient world of Rome and Greek splendor and they would tell you that slavery is normal, and accepted throughout the ancient world.
And as for wars:
Well, if we look at WWII my take on that is that someone had to stop a certain
German dictator. Unfortunately, only a full scale war could stop him.
The point is that in games, you need to create a fictional world, in which the player as the character, in that game, has the freedom to do what he wants or needs to do to stay in character, doing what is or her chosen character do best. And when this means that a certain member of the DB in Morrowind or in Oblivion is for slavery, well then the player needs to play as that character, regardless of
what the player's own feelings towards slavery (or murder) might be.
An actor needs to do the same thing, portray a character, be it a murderer or a person supporting slavery, in such a way that the audience can rely (somehow)
to the reasons behind the person (in the play) supporting slavery or display reasons behind murdering someone. (not that I would personally recommend either slavery nor murder). This is the real reason behind great actors like
Jack Nickolson and Robert De Niro — they do not give the audience a shallow performance of a void vessel, but they are able to fill this vessel with a backgorund for the characters they play.
And a game's story, or narrative structure, should really be able to do this as well.
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