Shooting for the Sky

My Ken Levine profile hit The Escapist today in Issue 277. I’d like to thank my editor, Susan Arendt, who must have come up with that title, because damned if I thought of it. Titles are not my strong suit. I sent in a draft of a feature piece to Gamasutra today with [Insert Title Here] at the top of the page, and an emailed admission that I had simply had no ideas at the moment.

I’ve always been horrible at titles. I can’t name my screenplays without blushing because the titles are all so bad. I will not mention my title for this Escapist piece because I might expire from embarrassment.

The funny thing is, that was so not the piece I originally set out to write about Ken Levine, but it’s much stronger than what I’d initially thought up. I just wanted to talk to Ken about the fact that during the debate with Roger Ebert earlier this year BioShock was named alongside giants like Shadow of the Colossus as defining the artistic value of the entire video game medium. That sounded like a big deal to me. Then I spoke to him, and read his recent editorial in Game Informer, and it turns that out that he completely doesn’t give a shit what Roger Ebert has to say about gaming, period, end of story.

In a way, I think I fell for this picture of Ken Levine that the video game media has built up because it’s good, quick copy. There simply isn’t a high enough percentage of long form outlets that aren’t also straight consumer facing. The blog format doesn’t really engender serious investigation of topics IMHO. This is precisely the kind of writing I want to do. It doesn’t matter if it’s politics, or moral philosophy, history, or video games, I like to ask questions and see where they lead me, and learn something by the time I’m finished. I learned that Ken Levine is really, at heart, just a gamer like the rest of us, and that’s pretty heartening.

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