Friday, August 19, 2005

What does a 'Rockstar' look like?

A game has been under assault recently and people are calling for an AO rating. A government tightens it's grip on art amid attacks on gaming and rather than buckle like a belt, someone fights back. I know that's a amazing thought to many gamers, but who is this mystery man? Marc Ecko. Take note, other gaming companies, this is how a rock star acts. It took 'sex' to get Rockstar in trouble. All it takes for Marc Ecko is paint. Yes, graffiti is the next target on those who think games are an inferior art form, if they recognize games as an art at all. But what evils does Marc Ecko's Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure hold that would require an AO rating? After all, Keep America Beautiful's Predisdent, Ray Empson said "We can't stop Atari, but we can warn local governments to what may be coming." Warn local governments?

Let me give you the quick recap of the game. It follows a graffiti artist, Trayne, who is pissed by the tightening control and exploitation of his government. He begins a one man revolution against it in the streets with the most powerful weapon he knows, communication. Sure his methods are unorthadox to many if not most, but anyone who denies that a painting is a piece of art because of it's physical location... God I hope you haven't bookmarked this site. I just don't have the energy or time in my life to even try to convince you that games are an artistic medium and worthy of protection.

Yeah, I wasn't surprised when I first saw Next Generation's story on groups asking for the AO rating. However I was amazed when NYC City Hall revoked his event permit for an outdoor art exhibition meant to coincide with the game's release, claiming it promoted vandalism. And I was utterly astounded when I saw him write a letter about it, and post it in his blog. I'll be damned. It's almost like some people out there make art they believe in. And they fight for it.

Marc Ecko plans to file a lawsuit citing the First Amendment, saying "... it's not an exhibition of criminal activity...I do not condone illegal activity. I'm not a provocateur...But I can't stand here and say that I condone censorship."

And even better yet, from his blog, "In the meantime, I will continue to focus on what promises to be an enjoyable day of free art and music for the city that is home to my operations and that so generously embraced our "Save the Rhinos" benefit concert in Central Park less than two months ago."

God I hope his game's good.

Mack Ecko's blog post about this:
Next Gen news story on calls for an AO rating:
Game Politic's covering of the story:


Anonymous Brett Douville said...

Until recently, I wouldn't have defended graffiti as art -- although I would still have defended Ecko under the First Amendment, absolutely.

Then I saw Banksy's work on the West Bank Barrier and elsewhere and I find myself suddenly willing to defend it as art.

The worst part is, graffiti still feels criminal. So I say to Ecko, please, please, please make your game great, so that I can make graffiti, and do it in a non-criminal way. In other words, provide us with what videogames have been providing for years: wish fulfillment.

7:10 AM, August 19, 2005  
Blogger Justin McElroy said...

Link whore. ;)

8:58 AM, August 19, 2005  
Blogger Jeffool said...

I don't argue that graffiti isn't criminal. It very much is a large portion of the time. It's just one of those things where I've come to the conclusion that just because it's criminial doesn't mean it's always bad. And I knew who Banksy was, but I had no clue he had hit the West Bank barrier. Wow. That's just pretty damn impressive stuff.

And I'm trying to lower my hopes for the game, because I have this feeling that it'll play like Splinter Cell with paint, only a little more action. Now that's not a bad thing, I love Splinter Cell. But I can't help but think that a streaming world would've been cool.

And yes Justin. I'm officially a link-whore. And true to link-whore fashion, the first time it felt dirty and I swore I'd never do it again. The second time, I just couldn't help myself. So many hits, so little work involved! Just like real whoring! Um, not that I know... :D

12:20 PM, August 19, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is that proper english. "looks" ?

8:53 PM, August 19, 2005  
Blogger Jeffool said...

Wow... My bad. Thanks, anonymous! Wish you would've left the name though. I'm all about improvement, no need to hide. Especially as you weren't an ass about it. Though, even if you were, I couldn't blame you.

(He was referring to the now fixed title which was previously "What does a 'Rockstar' looks like?")

P.S. Someone just IM'ed me and told me that every time I make an update to a posted entry, their aggregator adds an additional story to their OLI folder. Sorry if that pissed anyone off this morning when I was making changes like a madman. I claim stupidity as my defense! Justin will back me up!

12:31 AM, August 20, 2005  

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