I’ve been avid AC player for over a decade—I’ve played all major releases as they came out since its inception. I’ve even read a few of the books, watched the cinematic shorts, and went to the theater to see the movie. I love the story and idea that is Assassin’s Creed.
However, in recent years, the game has strayed drastically from its compelling roots and existential undertones–which was the entire reason I forced myself to play through the clunky hair-pulling controls and egregious repetitiveness that was Altair in the first couple installments. Originally, the story was so good that I was willing to suffer through its god-awful playability. However, as the playability got better, the story became much worse.
I’m don’t know what Three Fourths Home was supposed to be, but it definitely shouldn’t have been a video game. There was nothing about this story that warranted it being played or visualized in this medium. The graphical element of a car driving through cornfields added nothing to the story, the controls and playability added no feeling or connection with the characters—if anything these components distracted from the plot and created a barrier between the “player” and what the story was trying to convey. To me, this story could have easily been a novel or perhaps a film—as a video game it was a frustrating and underwhelming experience.
The story takes place in a struggling fishing village in the Pacific Northwest; a setting that plays seamlessly with hipster-savvy characters and strong female leads. You take control of our budding photographer protagonist, Max, on her 18th birthday as she’s recently enrolled in prestigious art-driven boarding school for gifted students. In the opening scene she has a crazy premonition and discovers that she has ability to control—reverse—time. It’s awesome. It’s every indie stereotype personified in a cataclysm of so much sugary-pop goodness that it hurts your teeth and rots your mind—only to later sideswipe you with depth and soul.
Experimenter is available for streaming on Netflix and is a biographical drama of the controversial social psychologist, Stanley Milgram. Staring Peter Sarsgaard as Milgram and Winona Ryder as his wife, along with notable actors making small appearances throughout, the Experimenter flew under the radar and was quietly released in October of 2015.
In the 1950s and 60s, minds were still fresh with what the Nazi’s had done in World War II. Former Nazi leadership that fled after the war were still being hunted down across the globe and being tried for warcrimes. The public was still learning of the atrocities as reports, photographs, and footage were still being released of concentration camps. The war wasn’t a distant memory and a young Jewish psychologist, Milgram—like most of the world—was curious as to how humanity could ever allow this to happen. How could an entire nation support mass killings? What would ever turn normal, decent humans—a baker, a mechanic, a school teacher—into a Nazi extermination force? Why would a rational, casual citizen standby and allow this cruelty to occur? Or worse, willingly participate in it?
Sense8, the original series on Netflix written by The Wachowskis and J. Michael Straczynski, achieved something significant. It proved to Hollywood that we don’t need affirmative action in media, but rather compelling roles that accurately reflect the world.
From the studios’ producing the small-screen science fiction drama (which I don’t know if science fiction is the proper genre- paranormal, perhaps?), to the web-based medium in which you watch the series, to the globalization of the cast and cinematography, and finally to a story that uses a full brush to paint with all the colors—Sense8 makes a subconscious effort to show us the future of characterization in storytelling. It’s an important series on the footnote of culture because it finally leaves stereotypes behind. Heroes come in all shapes and sizes, from all creeds and cultures, from all genders and orientations, and this series showcases that without feeling like college recruiting brochure spotlighting diversity.