15 of the Strangest Dystopias in Gaming at Kotaku

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This year really started off with a bang as I got to co-write my thoughts on two of my favorite topics, Dystopias and gaming at Kotaku. I think readers of my blog know that when I set out to write Bald New World, I didn’t want it to be a dystopia (during my first interview for BNW with Hyphen, I took pains to mention it). Of course, I understand it’s much easier to categorize when you call a work dystopian, so after initially trying to explain to people that it’s not dystopian, but nevertheless being called dystopian, I accept the label, lol.

I think, though, when people think dystopias, most think of movies and books, and gaming doesn’t get anywhere near enough attention. There are some fantastic worlds created in games from Phantasy Star II to the above image of Enslaved. My writing partner, Narelle, came up with some great ideas like Zelda which I’d never thought of as dystopian, though the water world of Wind Waker is pretty disturbing in its implications with a mad Ganon running the show.

I also got to talk a little about one of my favorite games, Snatcher, an earlier work by Hideo Kojima that borrows from Blade Runner to weave one of the best adventure games of all time. As always, Editor Tina from Kotaku is really amazing and I learn a ton from watching her edit. Also, thrilled we made Kotaku selects with our dystopian piece! I hope everyone is having a great weekend!

The future is scary and, according to these 15 dystopias in video games, it’s going to get a lot stranger before things get better.

Remember Me: Paris, the city of lights and memories. But what about memories that can be shared and erased? Neo-Paris has a facelift with bright lights, huge corporations, and rebels called Errorists. Dystopias reach another level when they can shift the fabric of the collective memory, a Jungian unconsciousness subverted in favor of the state. Erasing regrets has its allure, and this mix of science fiction, action, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is a reminder that even the worst memories are better than none.

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