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games and performance art

A New York Times article on the unlikely marriage of the TV series 'Friends' with Quake. Choice quotes:

n a coming episode of the television show "Friends," here's what might happen. Ross arrives and starts to whine. Suddenly an armor-clad warrior rushes in and with a blast from a space-age weapon reduces Ross to a pile of twitching viscera. But the show must go on, so Ross pulls himself together and rises to complete his sniveling soliloquy. Just as he finishes, he is slaughtered again. Call this episode "The One Where Ross Is Repeatedly Annihilated by a Plasma Rifle."

Except that this full-combat "Friends" takeoff will be seen on the Internet, not on television. And rather than a cozy New York cafe built on a Hollywood sound stage, the show's setting will be the futuristic digital scenery of "Quake III Arena," the ultraviolent computer game.


Mr. DeLappe said he was motivated to combine the brutal "Quake" and the genteel "Friends" because both are pop-culture creations that "present a fantasy, a simplistic view" of the world. He said the "Friends" characters' happy life in New York is "this perfect existence, and it's totally fake." To him the "Quake" violence is equally phony. "You're killed but you're instantly O.K.," he said. "There's no real consequences to it."

There are other similarities as well. Both "Quake" and "Friends" take place within tightly defined universes. The action on "Friends," such as it is, rarely occurs outside the characters' apartments or the Central Perk cafe, while "Quake" shoot-outs are confined to their computer-generated environments.

Nor is it obvious whether it is "Quake" or "Friends" that can claim to have the most three-dimensional characters. Both function on a set of predetermined rules. So just as we can predict that an opponent will need to reload at a certain point, we also know that Joey won't get the joke. As for character development, neither Phoebe nor the gun-toting skeleton has matured much since we first met them.

Quite funny.

Categories:, technology
Posted by diego on March 4 2003 at 12:10 AM

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