Wednesday, September 17, 2008

In Syberia

Syberia VI — Barrockstadt
Syberia VI — Barrockstadt,
originally uploaded by miabacke.
As I've written at some point before, I'm probably not a "real" gamer, since I prefer open-ended and ambiguous online 3D worlds to "proper" games. Right now, however, I'm focusing quite a lot on traditional computer games and game theory, and my object of study is Benoît Sokal's amazing and beautiful game Syberia from 2002.

I played it, and watched someone else play it as well, in July (which was a bit weird since the game actually ends with heavy snowfall) and now I'm preparing a 30 min presentation, relying primarily on Johan Huizinga, Roger Caillois, Edward Castronova, and Jesper Juul for the theoretical framework. Even though Syberia is a game of progression with a defined beginning and end, it is still worlds apart from other more competitive computer games (which probably suits me just fine). What I enjoyed the most is the visual aspect and the sounds adds to it. The game is simply *so* beautiful!


Bryan's workshop blog said...

I'm so glad you found Syberia. It's a lovely, fascinating game. I'm fond of the automata culture, the Soviet material nostalgia, the humor, and the puzzles. And the art.

PS: my son used to claim he was a Yuki, when he was younger.

Mia said...


I wasn't sure how I'd react to it, not having been particularily impressed with any game before. I was positively surprised, however. I loved many aspects of Syberia. I'm not that into the puzzle thing, but I find the rest absolutely amazing.

Bryan's workshop blog said...

Walkthroughs can be good things.

How far did you go?

Mia said...

I finished the game... :) It's not as if I can't finish the assignments, I just don't enjoy it that much.

Bryan's workshop blog said...

I was impressed by the ending. Even though I saw it coming, I was moved by Kate's decision.

I wonder what we call this game world... steampunk post-Soviet?

Mia said...

Yes... and that was actually the only interesting decision. I mean, what would have happened if she had just left for NYC?!?! Nothing. It would have stopped dead. And yes, you could see it coming... but it was great to see Kate actually do it.

Steampunk post-Soviet is not a bad suggestion... :)