The future of shooters lies in feeling

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Rez (2001) has a game design unlike the majority of shooters released in videogame history. Its addictive combat and use of music focus the gameplay in a way that is curiously therapeutic and daringly mesmeric. Each shot I fire is a harmonic or percussive pluck that navigates me to a “why?” or “what?” I can’t help but try to decipher. Why am I so compelled to shoot and interact with every minutia? What is this feeling I’m becoming sensitized to? Perhaps at the heart of Rez’s aesthetics lies the answer.


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You’ll notice that GTA: San Andreas (2004) doesn’t waste much time getting to its cynical characters. “Get yourself some colors, fool,” yells Sweet to CJ after just nearly escaping a drive-by shooting, “and a haircut, it’s embarrassing to be seen with you.” From the moment we step into our first mission, playable character CJ is being pulled back into how to dress and act in San Adrea’s territory most appropriately. At a glance, these demands may seem like the start of a simple tutorial mission: Get a haircut at Reece’s. Get green clothes at Binco’s. Yet black gamers such as…

Wil Roberts

Always looking ahead, I care a lot about what the future of digital spaces holds for the African diaspora. I’m living what I l call an ‘afro-augmented reality’.

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