Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Viral Video: "Heavy Rain" Bewitches, but Without Twitches–Is It the Future of Gaming?

Reviewers are falling all over themselves to praise a new videogame called “Heavy Rain,” which was released last week Sony (SNE) for its PlayStation 3.

Developed by the Paris-based Quantic Dream, using a 2,000-page script, it’s a murder mystery in the film noir genre, with a deep and complex plot.

The New York Times’s Seth Schiesel, for example, wrote on Friday, in what was a typical rave review of the “Heavy Rain”:

“In terms of eye-hand coordination or ‘gamer skills,’ Heavy Rain is negligible, even trivial, in its challenge, which will offend twitch fiends. Yet this is no simplistic Choose Your Own Adventure for children. This is a wrenching, often disturbing, almost entirely gripping experience for grown-ups.”

In other words, it goes without saying: Something with soul and creativity, unlike most of the shoot-em-up videogames now available.

But it is not without wrenching violence, concerning itself with catching the Origami Killer, a serial killer who drowns young boys in rain water.

There are four characters to play in the game, which can last up to a dozen hours, with the outcome changing depending on your actions.

While a few think the game feels too much like a straight-to-DVD movie, it might also be just the kind of change that the weak games market needs to reinvigorate itself.

Decide for yourself–here are videos of two of the many trailers for the innovative game, which seems deeply creepy:

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work