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Masq – not a game, but is it New Media? September 10, 2007

Posted by jmoran21 in Comics, Games, Humor.
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I’ve been addicted to the first-person interactive graphic novel known as Masq for a few months now. The “game” is flash based, a free download for 20 lives, additional lives will cost you. The game is described as being a totally interactive drama, with hundreds of possible experiences based on the choices you make. It’s a fun little diversion, and it goes into seedy territory that a lot of real games shy away from in this day and age of the frat-boy FPS. Definitely NSFW.

Is it a game? To me, the word game means that there is some degree of at least one of these elements: chance, skill, or strategy. Masq can be played with a strategy, yes, but enough plot twists occur in the story that are a direct result of your actions and yet are totally unforeseeable that strategy is useless on your first read through. This is therefore not a game, just interactive art.

Is it New Media? It is digital. It’s modular, because each scene has multiple resolutions and can occur in different orders. It’s automatic, responding to user input. It’s obviously variable, and it transcodes the pulp fiction magazine with the information age in an attempt to revitalize an old genre. This is prime cut, USDA Grade A New Media, and I can’t wait to see what genre Alteraction tackles next.

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