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NYPLarcade Spec Ops: The Line
Developed by Yager and published by 2K Games, Spec Ops: The Line (2012) has been one of the most-discussed video games of the past year.
Edge Magazine calls it "one of the most subversive shooters yet made" and notes: “It may not be subtle, but it engages with problems that the bellicose ilk of Modern Warfare and Medal of Honor have yet to acknowledge."
Despite mixed critical response and moderate sales for the third-person tactical shooter, the game inspired a 50,000 word ebook entitled Killing is Harmless as well as an accompanying online bibliography at the site Critical Distance, which highlights over 50 articles, videos, and other responses to the game.
Its narrative references Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now (and to a lesser degree Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness) but transposes its setting from the jungles of Vietnam to a ruined, dystopian version of modern Dubai.
The plot ostensibly follows the exploits of a three-man Delta Force team made up of Captain Martin Walker (voiced by Uncharted’s Nolan North), Lieutenant Alphonse Adams, and Staff Sergeant John Lugo as they seek to uncover what has become of the rogue 33rd U.S. Army Battalion led by the elusive Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Konrad.
The game mechanics are typical of a third-person tactical shooter, but as players delve deeper into the heart of Dubai, the sands begin to shift and the objectives of the mission becomes less and less clear. Addressing the idea of player agency (explored in other titles such as Bioshock and Portal) as well as examining traditional tropes of war-themed video games, Spec Ops: The Line rushes the player towards a brutal, unhinged, and final confrontation with the self.
Please join us for a five week NYPLarcade game series at Mid-Manhattan Library featuring a critical, chapter-by-chapter playthrough of Spec Ops: The Line. All events are FREE and will be held in the first floor corner room. Doors open at 6:00 p.m.
|March 25, 2013||The Evacuation, The Dune, Underneath (1 - 3)|
|April 1, 2013||The Refugees, The Edge, The Pit (4 - 6)|
|April 8, 2013||The Battle, The Gate, The Road (7 - 9)|
|April 15, 2013||Riggs, Alone, The Rooftops (10 - 12)|
|April 22, 2013||Adams, The Bridge, Welcome (13 - 15)|
At each of the sessions listed above, participants will have the opportunity to play and/or watch three chapters of the game, followed by a guided discussion beginning at 8:00 p.m.