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The 36 Stratagems of L4D2

Games and Gaming

The 36 Stratagems is a Chinese essay, derived from various written and oral accounts, offering Machiavellian advice in the realm of warfare and politics. The stratagems are presented as parables, making them flexible enough to apply to modern situations such as business, education, or… killing zombies.

To that end, I present The 36 Stratagems of Left 4 Dead 2, a guide that brings wisdom and cunning to the apocalypse.

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Rotato Zombies: Meet the Zombies (06.09.2011)

Features, Games and Gaming

TheMadJuggler slaves over his keyboard, trying to figure out how to transliterate a Boomer’s gastric juices.

THEMADJUGGLER: Blurgle? Glurgle? Mlurgle?

Enter Hypothetical Character With Whom to Dialogue, dressed in nondescript blue jeans and nondescript-er white tee.

HCWWTD: Whatcha doin’ Juggler? Is that a new blog post?

THEMADJUGGLER: Well yeah, I’m starting a feature about Left 4 Dead 2.

HCWWTD: That old game? So this is a treatise on rage-quitting?

THEMADJUGGLER: I don’t think you understand… Yes, the Left 4 Dead 2 community at large is a fickle bunch, but my gaming community has developed this band of apocalyptic heroes who play hard and have fun. We range from hilariously carefree newbs to sentient, anthropomorphic aimbots, but we always end up having fun. In the upcoming weeks, I will be posting play-by-play commentary on our most epic realism versus matches

I think you ought to meet the zombies.

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To the Edge of the World

Games and Gaming

Dutch artist Robert Overweg is, in his own words, a photographer in the virtual world. The worlds designed in first (and third) person shooters, in his artistic vision, are the new spaces where contemporary society dwells (which is correct, at least if you consider the authors of this blog as “contemporary society”). He’s not very  interested in where the action is, however, preferring to explore and ‘shoot’ at the tranquil fringe of maps and levels or, quite literally, at the end of the world.

The End of the Virtual World: a scene from Modern Warfare 2. Image by Robert Overweg

The End of the Virtual World: a scene from Modern Warfare 2. Image by Robert Overweg

The huge (4′ by 3′) aluminium prints  are a part of his exhibition at the Concrete Image Gallery, Amsterdam, until Jul. 31st, 2010.

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Chomsky Comments on Left 4 Dead

Features

I think what’s clear here, in this shot, is that it’s the humans that have the guns, the mandate to power in this situation. The undead, these new immigrants to a world that’s still very strange to them, they are, quite categorically, unarmed.

There is a struggle for hegemony you can see here. Dominion over land, a fight for sovereignity. What would you do if armed strangers came through your land? You’d attack, naturally. You’d defend yourself, is what you’d do. And if we are even attempting to consider the justice in this situation, the undead are merely fending off the humans with their hands, their feet. How much damage could they do? But, time and time again, we see a disproportionate response to this from the humans. A call to arms, a god given Continue reading