Some gorgeously Gothic art is on display within this interview with Daniel Dociu. A big copyright notice prevents me from copying, but won't stop me from insisting that you go eyeball the gloomy loveliness.
The focus is on Guild Wars art, and I must admit to not having played that yet. Our family's Gothic gameplay is now joyously sunk in BioShock.
This sort of art-hoax or social narrative hack reminds me of the way Amazon.com inadvertently hosted bits of stories, like the premature Pynchon review, or the way an alleged murderer's wish list vanished from the site. This is different from the stories Amazon supports, such as this story-game.
The Curious George tale and the Wikipedia hacks are another strand of Web 2.0 storytelling, hoaxes or accidental story nodes halfway between pranks and alternate reality games.
Two New York police detectives claim that they have discovered one horrible plot: an interstate serial killer ring, which has managed to torture and kill dozens of American college students over the past several years.
This real-life Gothic, if it's correct, is based on misunderstood deaths. Gannon and Duarte argue that the gang of murderers has successfully made the deaths look like alcohol-influenced drownings. Local police don't connect each death with others.
Extra Gothic point: this smiley face logo has apparently turned up at many of the crime scenes. Like something from comic books (who is this, the Joker?) or pulp fiction.
American politics is and always has been fraught with paranoia and fantasy, argues Jesse Walker. There's a strongly Gothic element to this, as you can detect from the article's terrific opening paragraph:
On Tuesday the lesbian assassin of Vince Foster won Pennsylvania's presidential primary. In the larger contest for the Democratic nomination, though, she still lags behind a jihadist sleeper agent who is simultaneously a secret Muslim, a secret Communist, and a secret Republican. Whoever wins their race will go on to face a brainwashed puppet of the Viet Cong, and whoever wins that race will then get on with the modern president's central task: serving the interests of Mexico.
Walker then adds a dollop of internet fear with a sarcastic touch:
Today's Gothic in real life story comes from Austria, where a very old man is charged with imprisoning his children in their home, for decades.
Police became suspicious when a 19-year-old daughter, Kerstin, was
taken to hospital with a mysterious life-threatening illness, and the
family's medical records were checked. Police say that Elisabeth F.
appeared to be "greatly disturbed" psychologically, and only agreed to
talk after the authorities assured her that she would not have to have
contact with her father, and that her children would be cared for.
It gets worse. The father allegedly molested Elisabeth. And "Josef F." fathered seven children by his daughter, all of whom remained in the home-prison.
And, in a novel-worth single sentence, we read this detail: "Rosemarie F. [Josef's wife] is said to have been unaware of her husbands' activities."
When real life imitates Gothic horror, it is sometimes with a vengeance.
Two American fears combined as one this week, with reports about a California teenager who (allegedly) published threats to kill classmates on Wikipedia. So the Wikipedia-is-evil meme connects with the post-Columbine fear of school shootings. We might well expect to see a renewed wave of interest, panic, and policymaking in response.
It could even be considered to be three anxieties in one, if we include worries about user-generated content. Teen media plus Columbine plus Wikipedia!
Deep Chalk is an art game for casual games. It's mysterious, requiring players to deduce rules by careful observation and exploration. What's being observed is a whimsical alternate world, containing an alarming number of fishhooks, and across which a rotating crystal voyages.
The Fog Fall is a fine new casual game from Mateusz Skutnik. It takes place in an elaborate bomb shelter, apparently in an alternate history where the Cuban Missile Crisis led to an atomic exchange. You assemble clues and items in order to get out. Escape the bomb shelter, as it were: (via JayIsGames)