Posts Tagged ‘video games’

Intellectual property and graffiti in video games

Sunday, June 8th, 2008

I’ve recently seen steal this film and the better sequel steal this film II, the first one manly discuss the raid against The Pirate Bay in 2006 while the later, better one concerns information and the spreading of information. Their idea is that new media and new distribution lines of information is above all an unstoppable force and that sharing is a basic human need; talking, physical touch and all kinds of human interaction are by the filmmakers considered as a form of sharing. For me this is a bit of a dual edged sword. I and all other people working with creativity sell our ideas for a living. Artists, AD’s, writers and gardeners alike all make their bread money from the theory that an idea put into reality has worth, at least to someone else that holds money. If we someday make a technology that reads minds and share thoughts the way we share files today the creative industry will be the bad guys in the debate, taking the seat inherited form the church, the rules who were against free speech, the telegraph companies, the live musicians guild, and now record companies and MPAA.

We will of course lose the battle and have to go looking for new careers. I’ll be a trucker, or if the future comes to fast a space-trucker.


Now on to my other subject for the day: I’ve been thinking a bit about the quite old and quite bad video game Getting Up lately. For those of you who don’t know the game is presented as Marc Ecco’s Getting up: contents under pressure and feature loads of graffiti. The player act as Trane who starts out as a toy in  the scene  and struggles to get respect and reputation, eventually it all turns in to the regular power to the people-state bad, individual good story that we’re all familiar with and at least I like. The game is both quite good and really crappy at the same time and that is what gets to me. While the camera sucks, the fighting is too hard and the sneaking is totally impossible there are a lot of things that make up for it.

Firstly a whole bunch of graffiti legends show up to teach Trane a trick or two, the only one I knew about beforehand (not being particularly in to graffiti) is Obey but I’m sure all who know the scene know Futura, Seen, T-Kid and the others.

What’s really, really good about the game is its way to show and tell about personal development. As Trane starts out he’s tags and throw-ups look like the shaky 80-style graffiti with a clear look of someone wanting a lot but not really knowing how to accomplish it, as we move on trough the game Trane develops a more personal style while he travels in graffiti history being more and more modern for every new level. Eventually Trane learns that words influence others and that there is something worth telling, he gets political and into wheat-paste posters. The final is simply beautiful, when Trane grabs climbing gear, a big roller and writes “STILL FREE” at an entire bridge pillar, while the cops fire at him from a helicopter.

It’s a nod to the end of the movie Bomb the System that all should watch at least once, since it deals with people trying to do what they feel is right in a controlled world.