Monday, June 30, 2014

The Silent Generation

            Hello, everyone. I’m not going to apologize for the long break in between entries, because instead of writing here, I’ve been trying to finish a longer piece of fiction I’ve been working on. Remember that “short story” I posted a couple parts of? Yeah, it’s over 115 pages now. You can read it here, if you’d like. I think you’d like.
            So anyway, if I’m supposed to be doing that, why has this popped up? Well, to be honest, 115 pages of writing the same dude necessitates a break every once and awhile. But more to the point, I came across a review for a game called Valiant Hearts, a stylish PS4 puzzler based during the First World War. It looked good and whatnot, but $60 is a bit much for a puzzle game, especially when I don’t own a PS4. Mostly the second one.
            However, the review coalesced with other thoughts that have been streaming through my head. I’ve been mentioning for awhile that this year is the 100th anniversary of WWI, and until 2018, there’s going to be all sorts of interesting, smaller anniversaries. I really want to make it to Europe at some point during the interval to see what they’re all up to over there. If Russia doesn’t have some sort of tongue-in-cheek “Oh hopefully we don’t have a huge Bolshevik Revolt and have to pull out!” commentary on the 2018 World Cup they’re going to host, I’ll be very disappointed.
            Only two days ago (6/28) was the anniversary of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand being assassinated by Gavrilo Princip. I’ve been following the @RealTimeWWII and was pleasantly surprised to find they’ve got a sister account in @RealTimeWWI. I’m going to start teaching (hopefully) before the 100th anniversary of the Armistice, and I plan on having a “What was going on in Europe 100 years ago today?” board. Spoiler alert: WAR.
            I’ve already written on World War One before, here, and I must say, damn good reporting, Dickinson. Such use of mnemonics I’ve never seen. I covered the beginning of the war and how it was a pretty great comedy of errors using MAINS and high school drama.
            The video game review back there, I feel, missed a pretty big opportunity to expand upon their subject material. Sure, it describes if the game is good or not (answered with a resounding “meh”), but it ignores the game’s timely release and specific historical relevance. The review mentions that very few games are made about WWI, but moves quickly on.
            I’ve been recently spoiled by excellent medium-form writing about things, mostly sports, like Matt Ufford’s amazing piece on why you should cheer for the USMNT. He takes an exciting, timely event in the World Cup and expands upon it with pride and interesting writing. I wish that this review could have done something similar. Take the game, review it; its mechanics, its graphics, the plot, whatever. But I wish IGN had used the review as a jumping off point. There aren’t many video games about WWI. In fact, there aren’t many anythings about World War I. Few movies, few museums, few History Channel documentaries, and no patriotic pining.